by Alexander Thompson
Jul 12, 2022
3 minute read
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Can All Cats Get Worms?
- What Are the Symptoms Of Worms In Cats?
- What Are the Types of Worms in Cats?
- How to Prevent Worms in Cats?
Preventive care for your feline friends is essential. And deworming is one such care. Deworming reduces internal and external parasites to improve your cat’s overall health. In addition, it prevents the parasite transmission to you and your family members.
Can All Cats Get Worms?
Almost all cats get infected with worms, but some subgroups are more likely to get infected. Cat subgroups with high susceptibility to worms include cats living in crowded conditions or with dogs or other pets, and outdoor cats who contact rodents frequently.
Cats with the highest risk of being infected with worms are the ones that hunt, go outdoors or eat undercooked meat or meat products. In addition, cats with fleas or who share quarters with other cats diagnosed with worms. If your cat falls in any of these categories, it is best to have a veterinarian test their stool sample.
Furthermore, if you don’t maintain your cat’s litter box frequently or take extra precautions when adding a new cat to your home, your cat can get infected with worms. Therefore, you should protect your cat all year round for your and your cat’s health.
Prevention is the best cure when it comes to worms. And preventive care includes regular flea treatments. Fortunately, most common worms are not dangerous. However, untreated cases in ill cats are more dangerous. Therefore, it is best to get your cat to the vet and rid them of the parasites for better health.
What Are the Symptoms Of Worms In Cats?
Common symptoms of worms in cats include a coarse coat, diarrhea, little to no appetite, and sometimes vomiting. During a significant parasitosis, your cat won’t do well.
Other signs your cat may exhibit if he has worms include mild to severe diarrhea, bloody stools, vomiting, and loss of appetite. Their coat may also appear poor, and they may lose weight, have worms in their stools, and have mucous-filled feces.
Furthermore, anemia, swollen abdomen, weakness, evidence of worms in the anus’ opening, and appearance of rice grains around your cat’s anus are signs of a worm infestation.
Usually, these signs are present when your cat is experiencing a significant parasitosis. However, it is crucial to note that cats showing little to no symptoms are most likely experiencing a minor to moderate infestation.
What Are the Types of Worms in Cats?
Below is a list of the most common worms found in cats:
Roundworms are the most common intestinal parasites in cats that are visible to the naked eye. These worms are known for stealing nutrients from your cats’ ingested food. Afterward, they produce eggs that your cat eliminates through feces.
Tapeworms are intestinal parasites your cat may contract after ingesting a flea with tapeworm eggs infestation. The worm then matures inside your cat’s intestine. As a result, you can spot tapeworms in your cat’s feces or the fur near their anus.
Hookworms are tiny internal parasites with small hook-like teeth they use in attaching themselves to the intestine lining of their host. Although hookworms are tiny and not visible to the naked eye, infected cats experience symptoms including anemia, pale gums, and lack of energy.
Heartworms are potentially deadly. These parasites infest your feline friend’s heart, lungs, and blood vessels. The bite of infected mosquitoes is the primary transmission mode of heartworms. Unfortunately, there is no cure for heartworm infestation in cats. Therefore, following monthly preventive measure is the best form of protection.
Cats contract lungworms when they drink contaminated water or hunt or contact lungworm larvae-infested birds or rodents. After ingesting the larvae, they make their way through your cat’s intestines, traveling to the lungs and developing into adult worms to lay eggs.
Whipworm infections in cats are deadly. Cats contract whipworms when they ingest anything containing the eggs. Food, soil, water, animal flesh, and infected feces carry whipworm eggs. Symptoms of whipworms in cats include weight loss, bloody diarrhea, and digestive or intestinal issues.
An infected cat’s vomit primarily contains stomach worms. These worms are prevalent in free-roaming cats or cats from multi-cat households. Cats with stomach worms usually experience appetite loss, weight loss and malnutrition, and chronic vomiting. However, sometimes, infected cats are asymptomatic. Fortunately, it is pretty easy to treat stomach worms.
How to Prevent Worms in Cats?
Keeping your cat on a year-round preventative medication is the best way to prevent intestinal worms. In addition, many heartworm preventive medications can prevent roundworms and hookworms in cats. Furthermore, flea preventatives can protect your cat from tapeworms.
You must visit your cat’s vet for the best preventative option for your pet. You can also guard your cat against intestinal worms by keeping your feline friend indoors and cleaning their litter box regularly.
Furthermore, because cats can be asymptomatic even with an intestinal worm infestation, it is imperative to screen them once a year. The screening exercise involves taking a poop sample from your cat to the vet for a fecal float test. The test is to check for parasite eggs, and it can identify the presence of hookworms, whipworms, roundworms, and sometimes tapeworms.
Cats are susceptible to infestations from different kinds of worms. It is therefore essential to know their signs and symptoms. Prompt treatment prevents your cat’s infestation from becoming worse while protecting other cats in your household. Although discovering that your cat has worms is quite disturbing, effective treatment from your vet can get your cat worm-free in no time.
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