What Are Cat Worms And How Can My Cat Catch Them
Roundworms are the most common intestinal parasites in kittens and cats. They are long, white and look like spaghetti. Eggs from these cat worms are passed in the faeces and can live for months or years in the soil. Cats can become infected in three main ways:
- Ingestion of eggs directly from contaminated soil e.g. by licking them off their feet
- Consumption of a rodent who has previously eaten worm eggs from the environment
- Ingestion by kittens of worm larvae in their mothers milk . The vast majority of new-born kittens are infected with roundworms by this route.
To complete their lifecycle, tapeworms require an intermediate host to eat their eggs from the environment. Cats then become infected by consuming the intermediate host. Intermediate hosts include fleas and rodents. For this reason, if your cat is diagnosed with fleas, they will probably need treatment for tapeworms and vice versa. In addition, if they hunt and eats rodents, they will also require tapeworm treatment. You can find out more about tapeworms in cats with our easy guide.
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What Is The Cost Of Treating Roundworms In Cats
Roundworms in cats are relatively affordable to treat compared to other medical conditions. Be prepared to pay for the cost of an office visit as well as the diagnostics necessary to diagnose roundworms. The cost of the medication may vary, so consider working parasite prevention into your yearly budget, and talk to your veterinarian about the monthly parasite prevention options available.
Can I Catch Worms From My Cat
Several worms mentioned above are indeed contagious to humans. However, our immune system is often strong enough to purge them naturally.
That said, children and people who are immunocompromised are at higher risk of contracting it.
I suggest that you wash your hands after cleaning your cats litter box and clean it regularly to prevent contamination.
For pregnant women, it is important to wear gloves, or even let your spouse do the litter! Remember, your cat can have worms even if you dont see them!
Also cover your childs sandbox and wear gloves when gardening, as some stray cats may use them to do their business.
To conclude, many cats have had worms in their lifetime. Its important to be alert to the various symptoms mentioned above, in order to prevent parasitosis in your kitty cat.
Although very disturbing, there are different remedies for these different types of intestinal worms. Its important to act quickly to avoid contaminating yourself.
For me, the fear of catching worms is more than enough motivation to worm my animals!
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Pumpkin Seeds Destroy Tapeworms
I’m sure you’re wondering how something as simple as pumpkin seeds can be effective against parasites. As it turns out, pumpkin seeds contain a compound that paralyzes parasites and helps the body to eliminate them. They are especially effective against tapeworms.
Pumpkin seeds are also very easy to use. You just have to grind some raw pumpkin seeds and then add 1/4 of a cup to your cat’s wet food. Make sure that you mix them well with the food, or your kitty might not be tempted to eat them. Continue this for at least a week and ensure that your cat has access to fresh water.
What Else We Considered
Bayer Tapeworm Dewormer Tablets for Cats: This product contains the same active ingredient as our top choice for tapeworms, Droncit Tablets for Cats, but it’s sold in a slightly more expensive three-pack .
Profender Topical Solution for Cats: Like Centragard Topical Solution, Profender kills tapeworms, roundworms, and hookworms, but Centragard also prevents deadly heartworm when given monthly. Kittens must be at least 8 weeks old to use Profender while kittens 7 weeks and older can use Centragard.
Heartgard: The only other chewable parasite preventive available for cats, Heartgard has been on the market a long time and is a safe and trusted heartworm preventive. However, unlike Interceptor, which treats and controls three other intestinal parasites in addition to heartworm, Heartgard only treats and controls one other parasite, hookworms. Heartgard requires a prescription from your veterinarian, as well as a current negative heartworm test.
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Best Topical Tapeworm Dewormer
One dose of Centragard Topical Solution for Cats quickly and safely kills tapeworms in cats, treats hookworms and roundworms, and prevents heartworms when given monthly.
Pros: Kills tapeworms with one dose, easy-to-administer topical solution, treats and prevents roundworms and hookworms, prevents heartworms when given every 30 days
Cons: Not for kittens less than 7 weeks old or weighing less than 1.8 pounds, not for use in pregnant or nursing mothers
Centragard quickly and safely treats tapeworms and two other intestinal parasites in cats and kittens 7 weeks of age and older. It is a great option for cats that won’t take pills. Simply squeeze the liquid in one spot on the back of your cat’s neck and allow it to dry. You can use Centragard one time to treat an infestation of tapeworms, hookworms, or roundworms, or give it monthly to keep your cat free from intestinal parasites and also prevent deadly heartworm.
Centragard contains the active ingredients eprinomectin and praziquantel, which work to kill worms and prevent future infection. These ingredients are effective against the two most common species of tapeworms , two species of hookworms , one species of roundworm , and heartworms.
Because cats can become reinfected by ingesting another flea, effectively eliminating tapeworms requires treating your cat for fleas as well.
Treating Your Cat For Roundworms
There are several medications for treating roundworm in cats, including fenbendazole, emodepside, milbemycin, piperazine, moxidectin, selamectin, and pyrantel. Your veterinarian will select the remedy best suited for your cat.
These medications target and kill roundworms in various stages of their life cycles, but the eggs can remain in the environment even with treatment. Preventative measures are the best way to prevent future infections.
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The Best Products Prevent Many Different Parasites
In general, Sawyer prioritizes products that provide both flea and heartworm prevention. “Heartworm disease, although rare, is not treatable in cats and has a high fatality rate,” she said. “Coverage for ticks, immature life stages of fleas, and intestinal parasites are also important, and fortunately now there are products available that protect against all the above.”
Will My Cat Recover From Ringworm
The majority of cats, if treated appropriately, will recover from a ringworm infection. While the appearance of the lesions may not change much during the first week or so of treatment, some improvement should be evident within two to three weeks. Symptoms may recur if the treatment is discontinued too early or is not aggressive enough , or if your cat has an underlying disease that is compromising its immune system.
The majority of cats, if treated appropriately, will recover from a ringworm infection.
Occasionally, despite appropriate treatment, the infection persists. In this situation, your veterinarian may have to try alternative anti-fungal drugs.
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Can I Prevent My Cat From Getting Roundworms
Prevention of roundworm infection should include the following measures:
- Breeding females should be dewormed prior to pregnancy and again in late pregnancy. This will reduce the risk of environmental contamination or transmission from the mother to her new kittens.
- Kittens should be dewormed as recommended by your veterinarian. The first deworming should be given at two to three weeks of age. Note that this is prior to the time most kittens are seen for first vaccines. It is entirely appropriate to present new kittens for an initial examination and deworming at two weeks of age.
- Adult cats remain at risk for re-infection with roundworms throughout their lives. Whenever roundworms are seen, the cat should be dewormed immediately. Cats at high risk for infection with roundworms should be routinely dewormed. Cats that like to hunt mice or indoor/outdoor cats should have a fecal examination several times a year.
- Many heartworm preventive products contain medications that will treat roundworm infections. This is the easiest and simplest method for preventing roundworms. Your veterinarian can advise you of the appropriate time to give these products, based on your specific geographical area.
- Control of insects and rodents is important since they may serve as sources of roundworm infection for cats.
- Contact your animal control officials when homeless animals are found.
How To Prevent Roundworms In Cats
Many monthly heartworm preventative drugs also protect against roundworms. Your cats veterinarian will work with you to find the best roundworm treatment option for your pet.
Nichols adds that its important to keep your cats environment clean by regularly emptying its litter box. And because cats can get roundworms by eating infected meat, the Companion Animal Parasite Council recommends keeping cats indoors so theyre less able to hunt and eat animals that may carry the parasite.
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Can Essential Oils Be Used For Deworming Cats
Essential oils can be used for deworming cats as They will protect your cat from any external parasites and will also function as a repellant, preventing subsequent infections.
A simple method is to mix a small amount with a cat shampoo that is appropriate for your cats skin condition. Alternatively, you can bathe your cat as usual before applying the essential oil directly to their skin.
Approximately five drops should be enough. Make sure you dont apply it to any open wounds or damaged skin.
If your cat has a skin problem, blend 20 drops of essential tea tree oil with 100 ml of basic vegetable oil such as sweet almond, rosehip, or argan oil before applying a little amount to the skin.
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Can Cats Die From Worms
This is indeed possible, especially if you have a kitten at home. They are more vulnerable to worm infestations because their immune systems are not yet fully developed.
A cat that has diarrhea for too long may suffer from severe dehydration. In addition, you now know that certain worms can cause anemia, a condition that can lead to death if left untreated.
In short, all the symptoms mentioned above must be addressed quickly to avoid a gloomy prognosis.
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Gastrointestinal Parasites In Kittens By Dr Erica Ellis Dvm
What is the culprit?The most common organisms who infect the gastrointestinal tract of kittens include protozoa like giardia, tritrichomonas feotus, and cryptosporidium parvum. Worms like diplidium caninum are also possible cause of diarrhea, and weaned kittens are susceptible to ancylostoma tubaeforme and toxocara cati .How are different parasites transmitted?Protozoa are spread by infective feces that can contaminate food, water, or other objects that even a young kitten could lick. The queen may not be showing any symptoms despite a chronic infection, so do not rule this cause out even if the kittens mother is healthy. Tape worms are spread when kittens ingest fleas. Round worms or hook worms transmission requires ingestion of contaminated feces or of hosts ranging from rabbits to earthworms. As such, these parasites are less likely to infect neonatal and infant kittens but are still worth ruling out in older kittens.What symptoms will the kitten show?Protozoal parasites: Diarrhea, which can tend to be mucoid and foul-smellingHook worms: Malaise, poor weight gain, a distended abdomen, anemia, a rough hair coat, diarrhea, and blood in the stool
Round worms: Intermittent diarrhea, a distended abdomen, failure to gain weight despite ravenous appetite, possibly white, noodle like worms in the stool
Tape worms: You may see no symptoms, or you may see worms resembling rice grains in the stool
You Can Prevent Roundworms
Roundworms are a common, but potentially dangerous, intestinal parasites of cats. Most, if not all, kittens are infected. Detection through fecal testing and proper deworming result in eliminating these pesky nematodes.
We also want to get rid of roundworms to protect our human family members from potential infection. You and your veterinarian can treat and keep your cat healthy by working together and choosing the medications and preventative that fit your pet and their lifestyle.
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How Often Should I Treat My Cat Against Roundworm
Your cat or kitten needs regular worming at least every few months to keep her in tip-top health and protect her against roundworm. Kittens are particularly at risk of contracting roundworm, due to their immature immune systems.
The benefits of most roundworm treatments are short-term, so its vital to get into a regular worming routine for your cat. Your local vet will advise you on the best roundworm prevention treatment for your cat or kitten.Most worming treatments are an effective way of keeping your cat worm free, as well as killing any worms your cat has already picked up.
Monitor What Your Cat Eats
It is important to supervise your cat when outside and then watches for any contact with any other animals insects and birds are common carriers of the parasites.
Fleas are found on these animals and may be carrying the parasites, once the cat eats the flea, the parasite might develop in the digestive tract. Ingesting raw or even undercooked meats may also lead to worms in cats.
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Symptoms Of Roundworms In Cats
Spotting symptoms of roundworms in cats can be somewhat challenging. If your cat has a small number of worms, no symptoms may be present, but in general a cat with roundworms may experience lethargy, vomiting, abdominal swelling or a potbellied appearance , weight loss or failure to gain weight, dull coat or diarrhea.
Kittens in particular may vomit up roundworms or pass them in the litter box. If you suspect your cat has roundworms, you might spot the distinctive, spaghetti-like parasites in her feces. In extreme cases, roundworms in cats can cause intestinal blockage or coughing due to the migration of roundworm larvae into the lungs.
How Can I Help Reduce The Risk Of Roundworm In Cats
Good hygiene practices can help reduce the risks of this parasite for both pets and people:
- Pick up your cats feces from the backyard , and regularly clean your cats litter box.
- Wash your hands after cleaning out litter boxes.
- Wash your cats bedding regularly, along with any blankets or cushions your cat uses for sleeping or grooming.
- Control rodent and insect populations that could carry roundworm.
Implementing these good hygiene practices can help keep your pet happy and healthy for years to come.
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Can I Prevent My Cat From Catching Worms
Other than keeping your feline indoors, the best way to prevent a worm infestation is by using dewormers.
Your vet will probably suggest antiparasitic treatments either annually, or more frequently, depending on your pets lifestyle, as a preventive measure.
This protocol is also very important for young animals, as they often have worms.
Flea control is also an effective and important strategy, as is good litter hygiene!
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How Do I Know If My Cat Has Roundworms
The most common test for roundworms is a fecal flotation performed by your vet.
A small amount of your cat’s stool is mixed with a solution that causes eggs to float to the top, where they can then be picked up and examined on a microscope slide. The eggs are microscopic, so you wont notice them at home.
In addition to identifying the presence of roundworms, fecal exams spot eggs of many other worm species and other microscopic parasites. So, its an important part of your kittens health checks.
Its important to note, though, that false negatives are possible.
Sometimes, cats are infected with young worms, which arent yet releasing eggs that can be detected on a test.
But because roundworms are very common in kittens and false negatives can occur, your vet may still recommend treatment.
People And Feline Hookworms
The larvae of hookworms can infect people as well as cats. This happens when larvae from the environment migrated into and through the skin. The larvae dont develop into adult hookworms in people, but migrating larvae cause skin irritation, itchiness, and inflammation. Although most cases are not serious, its best to speak with a doctor right away if your cat has been diagnosed with hookworms and you suspect the parasite may have infected a person in your home. Migration of hookworm larvae through human skin is called cutaneous larva migrans.
Proper treatment and prevention of hookworm infections and good hygiene are important to prevent this human health concern. Keep pet waste picked up and your dogs and cats current on their deworming to help prevent human cases.
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Roundworm Infestations In Humans
Human infections mostly come from soil or sandboxes contaminated with feces from infected animals, but you could also acquire them from an infected cat in your home.
Not surprisingly, children are especially at risk because theyre more likely to put dirty fingers in their mouths. And, unfortunately, roundworms tend to affect children more severely than adults.
Since humans arent a natural host for this species of worm, the misguided worms can migrate to various organs in the body, including the eyes and liver , which can lead to liver problems or blindness.