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Cat deworming: how to tell if your cat has worms?

Most domestic cats will catch sooner or later in their lives worms. Outdoor and hunting cats are by far the most vulnerable, but indoor cats are also not safe.

Worms in a cat and deworming a pet

As a cat guardian, you have probably wondered many times if your pet is affected by this problem.

The article below will help you explore the topic worms in a cat. You will learn:

  • what are their types,
  • how to prevent infection with endoparasites,
  • whether a person, especially children, can become infected with worms from a cat,
  • what are the best preparations for worms in a cat.
  • What are worms in a cat?
  • Ascarids in a cat
    • How to know if a cat has roundworms?
  • Hookworm in a cat
  • A tapeworm in a cat
    • What does a tapeworm look like in a cat?
  • Protozoa in a cat
  • How do you know if your cat has worms??
  • Pills for cat deworming
  • How often to deworm a cat?
  • Worms in a cat: can a person become infected?
    • Toxocarosis (roundworm infection)
    • Hookworm infection
    • Infection of a person with a tapeworm
    • Infection with a protozoan

What are worms in a cat?

Cat worms are parasites that live in the cat's digestive tract. They function at the expense of their host, slowly destroying it.

A wormed cat may show non-specific symptoms, therefore a faecal examination is necessary to confirm the presence of parasites.

What worms in a cat are the most dangerous? You will find out later in this article.

Ascarids in a cat

Worms in a cat - photos of catworm toxocara cati in returned food | source: wikipedia

Roundworms, that is Toxocara cati (ascaris cat) and Toxascaris leonina it is the most common worms in a cat.

Kittens can become infected by sucking milk from an infected mother.

Older individuals become infected by eating invasive roundworm eggs.

Following faecal excretion, eggs need to be kept at a suitable temperature for a while to become mature - therefore fresh droppings are not a threat.

The urban environment is commonly contaminated with these parasites, so it is not difficult to get the disease.

Adult Toxocara cati worms live in the cat's digestive tract and can be excreted in the faeces (can be seen around the anus) or by vomiting.

How to know if a cat has roundworms?

See what they can look like in the video worms in the vomiting of the cat

Worms in cat vomit
Watch this video on YouTube

Toxocara cati roundworms are white worms (milk white in color), looking yak pasta threads, have 5-10 cm length.

Hookworm in a cat

Hookworm in a cat - ancylostoma tubaeforme

Hookworms Ancylostoma tubaeforme and Uncinaria stenocephala (less frequently in a cat) they also live in the cat's digestive tract.

Their parasitism is based on clinging to the intestinal mucosa and feeding on the host's blood.

Most often, a cat becomes infected with these worms by swallowing a larva in the ground. Less common is the active penetration of the larvae through the skin.

Ancylostoma tubaeforme parasites cannot be seen with the naked eye.

A tapeworm in a cat

A tapeworm in a cat

The tapeworm in cats is less common.

Cats have tapeworms:

  • Dipylidium caninum (canine tapeworm),
  • Taenia taeniaeformis,
  • Echinococcus multiocularis (echinococcus tapeworm).

A cat can only become infected with this endoparasite by eating an intermediate host (rodents, fleas, lice, birds).

Unfortunately, because of their love of hunting, cats are in the high-risk group.

What does a tapeworm look like in a cat?

See the video below for what the expelled segment looks like tapeworm in a cat.

Tapeworm - dipylidium caninum in cat
Watch this video on YouTube

These worms look like grains of rice, pieces of the parasite can be found in the cat's stool, on the fur around the anus or in the fur. This is a very important topic, so we have decided to devote a separate study to it - you can learn everything about tapeworms in a cat in the article: "Tapeworm in a cat ".

Protozoa in a cat

Protozoa in a cat - giardia lamblia

The most common protozoa in cats are:

  • Giardia Lamblia,
  • coccidia (Cystoisospora, Sarcocycstis).

These parasites inhabit:

  • small intestine,
  • bile ducts,
  • gallbladder.

Protozoa primarily infect young cats and older cats with reduced immunity.

Infection occurs by eating cysts in the environment or raw meat.

The main symptom of worming is bothersome diarrhea in a cat, however, many infected animals are asymptomatic.

How do you know if your cat has worms??

Worms in a cat - symptoms

The symptoms of worms in a cat are nonspecific - they can also appear in many other diseases. That is why it is so important to diagnose the problem correctly.

If your the cat has worms, you can observe:

  • vomiting and chronic diarrhea in a cat,
  • blood and mucus in the stool,
  • lethargy,
  • apathy,
  • protrusion of the third eyelid,
  • variable appetite (sometimes excessive and sometimes anorexia),
  • weight loss,
  • dull, rough hair,
  • cough, shortness of breath (most often in kittens) - it is associated with the migration of the cat roundworm through the lungs and mechanical irritation of the respiratory tract,
  • anemia in severe infestation or in kittens.
The best method to confirm the presence of intestinal worms is through a stool test. Cat feces should be collected over several consecutive days (usually 3 days). In the meantime, the sample must be stored in the refrigerator (do not freeze!). Then take it to the vet's office where it will be analyzed.

Thanks to this study, we have information in black and white about what parasites our fur is infected with.

Pills for cat deworming

Cat deworming

Oral antiparasitic agents used in the cat include pills for worms, pastes, gels.

These are single-component preparations, such as Panacur tablets, Pyrantel paste, or multi-component preparations pills for cat deworming, such as:

  • Quanifen,
  • Drontal,
  • Milprazon,
  • Milbemax.

The prices of these pills vary from a few to a dozen or so zlotys.

In general, preparations containing several active substances due to the wide spectrum of activity - from nematodes to tapeworms.

The choice of the preparation and the deworming scheme depend on the type of infestation, therefore its choice should always be consulted with the attending veterinarian. After all, he knows your cat's body best and knows what preparations work in a specific area of ​​residence.

In cats, there is a very convenient form in the form spot-on deworming (drop on the neck) - available preparations include:

  • Profender,
  • Broadline,
  • Advocate.

Deworming a cat in this way costs approx PLN 40.

These anthelmintics are very effective and are becoming more and more popular, especially since some murmurs do not accept oral pills at all.

In the case of tapeworm infestation, the control of fleas on and around the cat is as important as deworming.

Therefore, regular prophylaxis against external parasites in the cat is also essential.

How often to deworm a cat?

The cat should be dewormed when it is needed.

So the most sensible way out is periodic examination of feces and on the basis of its results, a decision is made on a possible cat deworming program.

However, if for some reason you are unable to perform this analysis, it is recommended cat deworming at least 4 times a year.

Worms in a cat: can a person become infected?

Can you catch worms from a cat??

Getting infected with parasites from animals is difficult, but possible.

Cat worms are especially dangerous for small children (due to the lack of compliance with basic hygiene rules), elderly people or with reduced immunity (chronically ill).

However, you can reduce this risk to a minimum:

  • thoroughly washing your hands after playing with your pet, after working in the garden, in the ground or in the sandbox,
  • regularly removing faeces from your cat's litter box and washing it regularly,
  • cleaning the cat's lair,
  • taking care of prophylaxis against external parasites.

Toxocarosis (infection with ascariasis)

The most common zoonosis, of course, is toxocarosis (infection with ascariasis).

In humans it is called migrating visceral larvae syndrome, because parasites travel through various organs - they are:

  • lungs,
  • spleen,
  • kidneys,
  • the nervous system,
  • eyes.

Therefore, they cause various symptoms related to impaired functioning of these organs.

Hookworm infection

They pose less of a threat to humans hookworm larvae, which, when penetrated through the skin, can cause its inflammation.

Infection of a person with a tapeworm

It is a very dangerous parasite echinococcal tapeworm, for which man is the intermediate host.

Infection occurs by eating tapeworm eggs, which may be in the stool and around the anus, or on the cat's hair, but may also be soiled vegetables and fruit (watch out for forest fruits!).

The larvae in humans most often travel to liver (but also to kidney, the brain) and there they form blisters of various sizes. The disease may pose threat to human life!

Infection with a protozoan

When it comes to protozoal infections, there is no clear evidence that cats pose a risk of infection giardiasis for human.

Hopefully this article has answered most of the questions you have asked yourself about your cat's deworming.

So, approach the topic responsibly and rationally!

If you want to learn more about the deworming program and the preparations recommended for your cat, please leave a comment under the article now.

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