Intestinal worms are a common problem for cats.
What are the symptoms of worms in cats?
– diarrhhea, weight loss, vomiting, blood in the stool, a bloated abdomen, lethargy, visible worms in the stool or around the anus.
Cats can potentially pick up several types of intestinal worms during their life. The most common internal parasites found in cats are roundworms, hookworms and tapeworms. There are also many other types of internal parasites that can affect cats. These parasites can cause a a lot health issues – but how do cats get worms in the first place?
Roundworm eggs for example eggs can be found into the surrounding environment, like the soil in your garden, where they can survive for years. If cats accidentally eat these eggs, or if cats walk over contaminated ground and then grooms and licks their feet, they can develop a roundworm infection.
Another way that cats can get internal parasites – from fleas. The most common way for a cat to get tapeworms is by eating infected fleas carrying the larval form of the worm.
Kittens can get internal parasites from mother’s milk. Infected mothers can pass roundworm larvae to their kittens through their milk.
In the case of hookworm, after the eggs on the ground release larvae, these larvae can crawl through the skin of the cat to access the deeper tissues.
Many cat owners believe that keeping their cats indoors protects them from parasite infestations. Unfortunately, that’s not always true. Indoor cats can become infested with fleas quite easily. Tapeworms are carried by fleas. Your cat can get tapeworms by swallowing a flea that is carrying tapeworms. This can happen while your cat is grooming.
You can also carry by accident on your feet some worm eggs on your feet if you walked on contaminated ground and bring them into the house.
Cats can also become infested by sharing litter trays with cats who are already infested, also by eating something contaminated with feces.
Kittens are especially prone to suffering from internal parasites due to their immune system still developing. Sometimes kittens might need many internal dewormings to get rid of the worms if they are infested. Always ask for the advice of a vet before using any kind of deworming for your kitten.
So there are many ways for cats to become infested with internal parasites so the best thing that you can do is to prevent these infestations. Your cat or kitten should receive regular deworming treatments. Your vet will make specific recommendations for routine deworming based on your cat’s lifestyle. You should also have your cat’s feces examined periodically for parasites. This should be a microscopic examination performed by your veterinarian. Good parasite control is the key to a healthier cat.