How Should I Worm A Cat
It all depends on what treatment your vet prescribes. They may administer the treatment themselves but there are also treatments which can be given with their food at home or placed on their skin. We don’t advise using natural treatments or holistic remedies for your cat, to treat worms, unless discussed with your vet.
Are Certain Cats More Likely To Get Tapeworms
Fleas are the intermediate host for tapeworm. In other words, the tapeworm is unable to complete its life cycle without the presence of fleas in the environment. Regardless of whether the owner has seen fleas on the cat, or in the home, the cat must have ingested a flea in order to have tapeworms.
“Fleas are the intermediate host for the tapeworm, Dipylidium caninum.”
Consequently, tapeworms are more common in environments that are heavily infested with fleas. It is recommended to treat your cat for fleas if tapeworms are noted, and use flea control to prevent future flea infestations and tapeworm infections.
What Are The Other Tapeworms That Can Infect My Cat
The other common tapeworms that can infect a cat are members of a group called Taenia. The intermediate hosts of these tapeworms are mice, birds, or rabbits.
“…cats acquire Taenia infestations by eating infected mice, birds, or rabbits.”
In a similar manner to Dipylidium transmission, cats acquire Taenia infestations by eating infected mice, birds, or rabbits. Tapeworm medications are highly effective at eliminating these parasites. However, if your cat continues to hunt and eat prey, reinfection can occur with passage of tapeworm segments in 6-8 weeks. In cats that hunt frequently, regular deworming may be needed.
Another less common group of tapeworms called Echinococcus is of increasing concern as a threat to human health. These tapeworms cause serious, potentially fatal disease when humans become infected. Infection with this parasite is harder to diagnose than Dipylidium because the segments are small and not readily seen. Trappers and hunters in the north central United States and south central Canada may be at increased risk for infection with this worm when strict hygiene is not practiced. Foxes, coyotes, and the wild rodents upon which they prey are important in the life cycle of this parasite.
Humans become infected through ingestion of the eggs, and may not show clinical signs until years after ingestion.
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Which Intestinal Worms Infect Cats
There are several types of intestinal worms that can infect cats, each with its own set of unique features, says Jessica Nichols, DVM, chief veterinary officer of Spay and Neuter Kansas City in Kansas City, Mo. Here are some of the most common parasites seen in cats:
Roundworms. Roundworms are long, brown round worms that look like cooked spaghetti, Nichols says. She adds that they’re the most common intestinal parasite in kittens, and kittens are infected more often than adults.
Tapeworms. Tapeworms are long, white, flat, segmented parasites with hook-like mouth parts that they use to attach themselves to the intestinal walls of cats. Segments of adult tapeworms will break off and end up in the infected cat’s poop. “These proglottids look like grains of rice that move, and they are commonly seen in the poop or around the rear end of infected cats,” Nichols says. “They eventually break open and release tapeworm eggs into the environment.”
Hookworms. Nichols says that hookworms are less common in cats than roundworms and tapeworms, which is good because they’re particularly nasty parasites. “Unlike other worms that eat food and drink materials floating around the cat’s intestines, hookworms hook their teeth into the small intestines and suck blood,” she says.
Whipworms. These can infect the intestines of cats, but according to the Companion Animal Parasite Council, this rarely happens in North America. Feline whipworms are more common in tropical regions.
Get A Proper Diagnosis
When your kitten has persistent diarrhea or other GI distress, you will need to talk to a veterinarian about fecal testing in order to determine the culprit. Different parasites require different kinds of medication, and you cant know what to use until you know what you are trying to treat!
You can request a simple ova & parasites fecal test from your vet, which is quite affordable and can help identify parasites such as giardia, coccidia, and common worms. For more extensive diagnostic information, you can request a fecal PCR test, which also provides information about bacterial infections, viruses, and more. When doing a fecal test, you will simply bring a small stool sample to your veterinarian, who will send it to a laboratory for analysis.
If you run a rescue, you can also set up your own account with a laboratory with the help of your organizations veterinarian.
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Can Humans Catch Worms
Its very rare for humans to catch worms from a cat, but it does occasionally happen. Its most common in young children who have been playing in areas where cats have toileted. Cats worms can cause illness in humans by lodging in organs such as the eyes, liver, heart and brain. If you have concerns for you or someone else, it is best to contact your doctor, or the NHS for advice. If you have small children, it is very important to deworm your cat regularly.
How Is My Cat Dewormed
After your veterinarian has identified and diagnosed your cat with worms, they will have a proper treatment plan according to the type of worms your cat has been diagnosed with. Your cat will be prescribed a dewormer medication that might be a small pill, liquid, injection, or topical medicine to be administered.
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Worm Preventive Tips For Cats
Here are some common tips to help prevent worm infestation in cats:
- Early in the morning, prevent your cats from devouring the damp, green grass outside your entrance.
- Cats should be given deworming pills on a regular basis.
- You must groom your cat correctly and on a regular basis to get rid of fleas.
- The installation of a rodent control system is required.
- Maintain a safe distance between your cat and any suspected pets.
- Maintain a safe distance between your cats water bowl and the windows and doors.
- Allowing your cat to drink from a watering can that has been filled with water for more than two days is not a good idea.
- You can keep fleas off your cat and out of the environment by using a flea control system.
- If your cat shows signs of worms, seek treatment as soon as possible.
- Make sure your kittens have been dewormed by a vet.
- Check to see whether your cat has eaten any contaminated raw meat.
- As quickly as possible, scoop any excrement on your property, including that of cats and other canines.
- Walking your cat through areas where other dogs and cats have deposited their excrement is not a good idea.
- Keep your cats heartworm prevention up to date.
- You may minimize the mosquito population by avoiding allowing mosquitos to breed in standing water.
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Can Humans Get Tapeworms From Cats
It is possible to get tapeworms from cats, but the risk of infection is low. However, humans can accidentally ingest larvae that have passed through your pet’s feces. Even though the risk of infection from cat to human is rare, its always best to disinfect your home after your cat has been diagnosed with worms to help prevent reinfection or the infection of other cats and humans.
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Prognosis Of Roundworms In Cats
Left untreated, roundworms in cats can be deadly. Severe infestations of roundworms in cats can cause anemia, intestinal blockages and rectal prolapse, all of which can be fatal.
In general, though, your kitty can expect to make a full recovery from a roundworm infection. Once she has completed treatment for roundworms, she can usually expect to live a healthy and normal life. Take my Salvypoo, for example: He is now 3 years old, weighs 15 pounds, has a lustrous striped coat and loves climbing the walls . In short, he is the picture of health and Ive almost gotten over the shock of finding that worm in the first place.
Thumbnail: Photography ©ysbrandcosijn | Getty Images.
Identify The Type Of Worms
Knowing what type of worms your cat is affected by will indicate the best course of treatment.
Intestinal worms in felines may be of several types including hookworms, roundworms or tapeworms. Each type of worm has its own characteristic and a vet can identify the worms by performing a fecal flotation test and other blood tests.
You may also monitor your cat and observe if you can detect tapeworm segments in the feces or vomit of the pet.
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Which Worming Products To Use
There are many different worming products available on the market, and drug availability varies between different countries. While worming products may be available from pet shops and even some supermarkets, these are often old or less effective products and some are even less safe to use in cats.
It is always better to seek the advice of your vet, who will know what types of worms occur commonly where you live, and will be able to recommend the most effective and safest treatments for your cat. Additionally, some treatments are available which may be easier to administer, such as an injection that your vet can give, a tiny tablet that can go in with food, or even some drops that can be applied to the skin.
See also our information on how to give your cat a tablet.
How You Can Protect Your Cat And Your Home
To avoid the problems stemming from worms, the best thing you can do is to have your cat examined. Go to the veterinarian and ask him/her to perform the necessary exams on your pet. If worms do show up, the veterinarian can quickly treat your cat for them.
You can also opt to keep your cat from going outside to prevent an infection. Consider investing in new doors to prevent your pet from escaping outside.
Notably, though, that will only reduce the chances of your pet getting worms. They could still get infected without heading outside. Protecting your cat against fleas is also smart. Use flea collars and powders regularly to keep those parasites away.
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Treating And Preventing Worms
Kittens. Your kitten will need a special worming treatment suited to their age and weight. They should have their first treatment at 3 weeks old and after that, they should be wormed every two weeks until they are 16 weeks old. After 16 weeks, they will need a treatment every one-three months .
Adult cats. A worming treatment every three months is usually enough to prevent problems from developing. More regular treatments may be necessary if your cat hunts a lot.
What to expect after treatment. You probably wont notice any changes after giving your cat a worming treatment, unless they had lots of worms, in which case you may see some dead worms in their poo. Contact your vet if your cat has diarrhoea or seems unwell.
Can I Treat My Cats Worms At Home
Although some anthelmintics are sold over the counter without a prescription, different medications kill different types of worms. Because you must first find out what type of intestinal parasites your cat has, make a visit to your veterinarian for a fecal test. Your veterinarian can then recommend the proper anthelmintic.
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Can I Get Worms From My Cat
Cats can pass certain intestinal parasites to humans, including roundworms, hookworms, and Giardia. Although people can technically get tapeworms, it is unusual because the person would have to ingest a flea infected with tapeworm. Due to the risk of transmission to humans, its important to have your cat tested for worms once or twice a year and to use a year-round parasite preventive product.
Is Worms In Dogs Contagious
Intestinal parasites are contagious to other animals and humans. Because they primarily inhabit the GI tract, larvae, or eggs, are passed in the feces. The infective larvae then inhabit the soil around the feces, leaving other dogs, and children, vulnerable to accidental ingestion and subsequent infection.
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What Are Roundworms And Why Should Pet Parents Care
The scientific names for the types of roundworm that infect cats is toxocara cati or toxascaris leonina. Roundworms are one of the most common intestinal parasites in cats . In fact, most cats are infected at some point during their life, usually as young kittens.
These worms, which can grow to 3-6 inches in length, dont tend to harm healthy adult cats. Young kittens, older seniors, or immune-compromised cats are more at risk, though.
Left untreated, severe roundworm infestations can have serious, life-threatening health consequences for kittens. Plus, the worms can affect humans.
How Can You Tell If A Kitten Has Worms
Signs of intestinal worms can vary, depending on which type of worm is present and the severity of the infection. Some kittens with intestinal worms appear completely fine, with no signs of intestinal parasites, with the parasites discovered on a routine fecal parasite examination. In other cases, intestinal worms can cause significant illness.
When intestinal worms cause clinical signs in an affected kitten, common signs include:
- Visible worms in the feces or vomit
- Visible rice-like worm segments around the rectum
In many cases, there is considerable overlap between the signs caused by intestinal worms and those caused by other illnesses. If your kitten shows signs of vomiting or diarrhea, dont assume that its simply due to intestinal worms. Instead, you should take your kitten to a veterinarian for evaluation. In addition to a thorough physical examination, your veterinarian will perform a fecal parasite examination. In this test, a sample of your kittens stool will be collected, processed, and examined under a microscope. A member of the veterinary team will look for eggs that indicate the presence of intestinal worms, as well as other organisms that may live in your kittens digestive tract.
If your cat is showing signs of gastrointestinal disease and your veterinarian does not find intestinal worms to explain your kittens signs of illness, they may test for other medical conditions. Learn more at our articles titled Why is my cat losing weight? and Is my cat sick?
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Why Deworm My Cat
Worms are parasites that can infect a kitten through the mothers milk and an adult cat can get infected through flea eggs or contact with other animals. Roundworms and tapeworms are the most frequently occurring varieties in cats. An infected kitten may suffer from growth retardation and a damaged immune system because it cant absorb all the necessary nutrients from its food. Worms are also contagious to humans. This makes deworming your cat very important.
What Are The Signs That Your Pet Cat Has Worms
The signs that your cat has worms are hard to miss. Youll be able to notice them quickly because your furry friend will definitely act differently and appear weak.
The way your cat moves around may change because of worms. The worms may cause your cat to become lethargic. Cats may also drag their bottoms along the floor because of the irritation caused by the worms.
Pets dealing with parasites may also lose weight suddenly even though their eating habits have not changed. Their fur may also look and feel rough after the worms have settled in.
Diarrhea and vomiting are also symptoms of a cat with worms. You need to address those symptoms right away both for the welfare of your pet and your home.
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Signs Of Worms In Pets
It may be difficult to see any symptoms of your pet having worms, but it’s important to have a regular worm treatment in place, as advised by your vet.
If your pet does have the parasite, you may see worms in faeces or vomit, or around your pet’s bottom. Wrap any worms you find on or near your pet in damp cotton wool and take them to your vet, so they can advise the best worm treatment.
Other signs your pet could have worms include:
- Your pet starts losing weight
- Their fur is becoming dry and coarse
- Increased appetite, weakness and diarrhoea
- In severe cases, infected puppies and kittens can have a distended abdomen or ‘pot belly’.
Can Humans Get Worms From Cats
Yes, humans can get worms from cats if they come in direct contact with infected feces or soil. This tends to happen when people are gardening without gloves, walking barefoot through infected soil, or if children are playing in a sandbox that has infected feces from cats. The best way to prevent this from happening is to practice good hygiene.
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When To See A Vet
You should always see a veterinarian if you have concerns that your cat is unwell, particularly if they have weight loss, changes in appetite, and vomiting or diarrhea.
Its also worth going to your veterinarian before a problem arises. Our vets will happily discuss preventative worm treatments with you. Get off on the right foot by taking your new kitten in for a check over straight away. Remember that cats can be carriers of worms without showing any symptoms at all, so routine anti-parasite treatment is advised, particularly in young animals and those that go outside and hunt.