Cats are at risk of some intestinal parasites, and one of which is caused by worms. These greedy interlopers are able to steal your cat’s nutrition and even make humans sick.
Discovering that your cat experiences worms can be an unpleasant experience. It is not only because worms are frightful, but their presence can cause some serious health problems in cats.
Cats most commonly contract worms after getting in contact with parasite eggs or the infected feces. While a cat is walking through an area with eggs or infected feces, then it will ingest the eggs or fecal particles as it cleans it fur and feet.
Indoor cats are also possible to get worms, especially if multiple cats share a litter box contaminated with infected feces. There are some types of worms that can be exposed in cats, such as roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms and whipworms.
There are also some other less common diagnosed worms in cats that are able to cause serious problems and even be fatal, such as lungworms, stomach worms, bladder worms, liver flukes and heartworms.
However, don’t worry as there are a number of safe and effective ways of getting rid of worms in cats. There’re also some preventive measures you can take too, to lessen the possibility of a re-infestation in the future.
However, as a cat parent, you need to be aware of the symptoms of worms in cats. By knowing the symptoms, you will be able to decide the treatment earlier so the condition won’t worsen. Let’s explore the common symptoms of worms in cats.
The common symptoms of worms in cats are:
- Vomiting (sometimes you can even find worms in the vomit).
- Diarrhea (with or without blood).
- Weight loss.
- Distended abdomen.
- Constant coughing.
- Difficulty in breathing.
- Skin lesions.
- Tarry feces.
- Poor body condition.
- Dull coat.
As those symptoms progress, you may also see some other signs such as:
- Weakness or lethargy – also read lethargy in cats.
- Low blood pressure.
- Pale lips and gums caused by anemia.
- Dehydration – also understand the other causes and treatment of dehydration in cats.
Those symptoms are serious already and in some severe cases, it can also cause death. That is why it is very important to make an appointment immediately once you suspect your cat showing one of the symptoms above.
Worms in cats are able to cause pain. The migration or movement of the larvae through some organs, such as liver, stomach, eye or lungs would cause discomfort as the affected tissues become inflamed. When the pain is present, you might notice your cats have the following conditions:
- Belly pain, including gastritis. It is due to the inflammation of the stomach lining (possibly caused by nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, and food aversion).
- Eye irritation (due to excessive rubbing on the eye, squinting or discharge).
- A change in breathing pattern or rate.
Treating worms in cats is quite simple. As the specific type of worm has been identified, then your vet will prescribe a course of medication designed to eradicate the infection. Each type of worm will require different medication.
Once your cat is treated, you will notice worms or worm segments in your cat’s feces. However, don’t be panic as it is just the way of the body ridding itself of the parasites. Still, be cautious on the way you handle or dispose the excrement.
It is possible for cats to transmit certain kinds of worms to humans. A good example is the roundworm. Roundworms can transmit easily from cats to human host.
Make sure you wash your hands thoroughly after touching a cat you suspect might have worms and use gloves while handling its feces. Do you know that some pets diseases are contagious to humans? See the complete list of cat diseases that can be contagious to their owners. Beware of them!
You surely won’t to see your cats get worm again, will you? The key of preventing worm re-infestation in cats is good hygiene.
For indoor cats, make sure to clean the litter box daily, as well as changing out the litter and scrubbing the litter box to minimize the exposure to contaminated feces. Make sure you also know about the best type of cat litter for kittens
If you have outdoor cats, do regular scooping feces from the yard, sandbox and flower beds. It will surely minimize the potential propagation of the parasite life cycle.
Besides practicing good hygiene, you also need to keep your cat on year-round preventative worm medications. An example of worm medication that a cat must have is heartworm medication.
It should be administered monthly to prevent heartworm. Heartworm is a serious concern as it can have major health consequences. Heartworm is also one of the reasons your cat is vomiting blood.