Worms in cats

Worms in cats

Cats are known to have gotten intestinal worms at some point in their lives. Now ofcourse there is not too much to worry about because when taken to be checked up by the vet, these worms can be treated effectively and safely without a big problem.

Here is some extra information about the worms that you as a pet parent must know.

How Do Cats Get Worms?

Cats are mostly seen licking themselves. This is their way of grooming themselves. Infestation depends on the type of worm and also when the cat happens to step into the feces with the worms and ingests them why licking themselves.

Sometimes, outdoor cats hunt rodents that have worm larvae living in their tissues. The cat then eats the rodent, ingesting the infected tissue, and the worm larvae grow into worms in the cat’s intestines. Cats also can become infected by eating fleas that carry worm eggs or by being bitten by worm larvae penetrating the skin. Nursing from an infested mother can pass on the worms to the kittens in no time.

Roundworms are the most common intestinal worm in cats. They get these by eating infected rodents or by ingesting feces containing roundworm eggs.

Roundworms grow to be between three and five inches long and eat the food your cat ingests, stealing her nutrients. The worms then produce eggs, which the cat eliminates in her feces (and can then infect other cats). The eggs can take weeks to become infective, so a cat owner who is fastidious with litter box hygiene can keep them at bay.

What Other Types of Worms Can Cats Get?

Cats can get infected by tapeworms, hookworms and whipworms. They get tapeworms by ingesting fleas infected with tapeworm eggs or by eating infected rodents. The entire worm matures in the large intestine of the cat which then break themselves into pieces and are pooped out.

The egg-filled tapeworm pieces that are shed in feces look like grains of rice or sesame seeds, are about a quarter inch long.

Hookworms are small, half-inch long threads that can be hard to spot in cat feces. They feed on your cat’s blood, attaching to the lining of the intestines. Adult cats get infected by hookworm larvae penetrating through their skin or by ingesting them. The larvae first migrate to the lungs and then the intestines where they grow into adult worms.

A cat that has intestinal worms may suffer from diarrhea, loss of appetite or vomiting, with the severity of symptoms dependent on the type of worm and how heavy the infestation is. Tapeworms and whipworms typically cause mild symptoms.

Treatment and Diagnosis

The vet usually first examines the sample of the feces of the cat and may also carry out blood tests to get a complete idea of the health condition of the cat. With the advancement in research and technology, there are now medications that help in treating the worms safely and effectively with some medicines working on multiple type of worms.

Medications are typically given by mouth at intervals that depend upon the type of worm, degree of infestation and results of follow-up fecal examinations. The health progress is then determined through frequent regular tests.

It is also noticed and recommended that home remedies without the consultation of the vet are not effective and may also cause harm rather than any good for the health of the cat.

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