Worms in Cats & Kittens
Cats can become host to several types of intestinal parasites, which are referred to as worms. Infestations can cause an array of symptoms such as weight loss, diarrhea, bloody stool, worms visible in the stool, coughing, constipation, and bloating.
Possible Types of Worms in Cats
Unfortunately, there are multiple types of worms that can affect your cat, including:
Deworming a Cat
If you suspect your cat has worms, get him checked out by a veterinarian as soon as possible to get dewormed. When a cat is infected with worms, it can prevent their body from absorbing nutrients and make them extremely sick.
The age of your cat will be a major factor in worm treatment. Usually, kittens are de-wormed every two weeks until they are four weeks old. Kittens pick up worms easily. As a kitten gets older, they won’t need to be wormed quite as much. A cat who spends time outdoors and is exposed to ticks and fleas should be wormed every two to three months. An indoor cat should be wormed around every six months.
Administering worming medication can be more difficult for cats (compared to dogs), as they don’t take pills readily. The medicated paste form is also not the easiest, but it can be a little easier than trying to fool them with the pill form. Your veterinarian will guide you to the best deworming option for your cat. Note: it’s best not to attempt deworming on your own as it could make your cat even more sick.
There are quite a few preventative options for your furry family member.
- Maintaining a hygienic environment for your cat is crucial.
- Picking up any fecal matter that is in your yard, especially if you let your cat roam – it can be a breeding ground for parasites.
- When your cat goes outside, watch him to ensure he is not trying to go after any birds, insects, or rodents as they are all common carries of parasites. Fleas can also be prone to carrying parasites.
Additionally, you can visit your veterinarian for a monthly medication that you can give your cat to prevent certain types of intestinal worms such as tapeworms. Some options include Revolution and Drontal, which are oral and topical medications.
If your cat does happen to have worms, keep him in isolation until cured. If you own multiple cats or pets, doing so keeps the chances low of infecting your other animals.
Can I Get Worms from My Cat?
Yes, you can get worms from your cat, as some of them are zoonotic, meaning that a disease can be transmitted from an animal to a human. In fact, several internal and external cat parasites are zoonotic and can affect humans in a more serious way than pets. Feline roundworm is a common parasite that can be transmitted to humans. The eggs from roundworm are excreted through cat feces. After just two weeks in the open, they can become infectious to humans. If a human accidentally ingests the parasite, the worms can make their way to organs such as the eyes, brain, lungs, and liver. Humans can also contract feline hookworms. Just like with roundworms, the eggs of the hookworms can be excreted through the feces.
Wearing gloves when changing the cat litter and keeping up with good hygiene is key when you have any pet, in addition to maintaining your cat’s monthly preventative prescription.
By enrolling your cat early, conditions and illnesses like parasite infection treatments will be covered up to 90% by your Healthy Paws cat insurance. Find out more by getting a free quote.