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Types Of Cat Worms, It's Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

It is very common for humans to visit a doctor in order to tackle the worms in their tummies. But, did you know that the furry friends around us can also face the same problem? 

Rather it is more commonly found in your pets, than in your own body. While we can easily express ourselves when anything is wrong with us, the same cannot be expected from our pets. Instead of letting them suffer through the pain, we can look out for signs of discomfort that can indicate the presence of worms in them. One of the most common signs of the presence of worms is the sudden loss of energy in your kitten. If your kitty loves jumping on your lap every time you're back home or doesn't let you work in peace because they need the entirety of your attention, then there's a huge problem if they suddenly start keeping to themselves.

There are many different types of worms in cats that can cause severe harm to your baby cat, like roundworms, tapeworms, hookworms, heartworms, etc. Roundworms and tapeworms have similar effects in kittens. They essentially prevent the normal growth of your cats and the digestive problems are constant. The excessive formation of gas due to roundworms creates a pot belly which is a source of great discomfort for your baby. Hookworms are often life-threatening for your little munchkin because they are known to survive on blood. Thus, the constant sucking of blood is bound to cause anaemia. The symptoms of heartworms are often not physically manifested, but some common ones include vomiting and weight loss. Their creation is triggered by mosquito bites. Hence, you must keep your tiny ball of cuteness away from mosquitoes. 

Among other things, if your pet cat is suffering from a loss of appetite, weight loss, or diarrhoea, then there is a definite manifestation of worms. If your fur baby is almost an adult, then the chances of risk are considerably lower. But there is no point in putting the life of your baby at stake. Instead, you should take them to a doctor to get checked. On the other hand, if your kitten is still very young, the consequences of worm infestation become a thousand times worse. This can be because kittens do not have a well-formed immunity system yet. Since there are not always clear signs of symptoms, you must take your pet to the vet for a regular check-up. The vet will examine the symptoms or get appropriate tests done to recognize the type of worms that is causing the infection. Their treatment will accordingly be done and very soon your furball will be back to being a playful bundle of happiness.

What are the different types of worms that are found in cats?

In most cases, cats can become infected with worms because their humans were not careful or hygienic enough and transmitted the bacteria to them. Thus, it is important to be aware of the different types of worms in order to handle them.

  • Roundworm

Roundworms are types of worms in cats that look like pieces of noodles and are transmitted from other affected animals. Cats and dogs may leave their faeces that contain roundworms. These get mixed with the soil and may enter the stomach of your cat if they are not cleaned properly after taking a walk outside. Their symptoms include excessive vomiting, diarrhoea, loss of appetite, fatigue, and poor condition of fur. Almost all cases have reported signs of a potbelly due to the excessive formation of gas. Humans can also get infected by roundworms by ingesting the larvae eggs.

  • Tapeworm

It is difficult to pinpoint symptoms of tapeworm in your adult cat. This is why a monthly check-up is necessary to ensure the well-being of your little ball of sunshine. In the case of kittens, tapeworms can cause drastic weight loss, discomfort around the anus, and vomiting. They look like small grains of rice and are almost always found in the faeces of infected animals through which they can infect other animals. It is advisable to keep your cat away from the faeces of other animals. As a form of cat worms, the tapeworm cannot start showing any effect in your kitten until it reaches the intestines. A huge accumulation of tapeworms in the intestines can cause a blockage that can mess up the digestive system and causes extreme discomfort. Cats

  • Heartworm

The name itself informs you about the site of infection. One of the deadliest among cat worms is the heartworms that severely damages the blood vessels, heart, and lungs. Moreover, there are no specific symptoms of the infection of heartworms and can even cause death without any prior notice. Some animals have reported symptoms of breathlessness, rapid beating of the heart, vomiting, etc. Since there is no cure for heartworms, the only way out is prevention from mosquito bites which is the primary causative agent of heartworm infection in cats.

  • Lung flukes

Lung flukes are very rare so the chances of your little munchkin suffering from this type of worm cats are minimal. But that being said, the impact of lungworm infection is very serious and must be treated with care. If your kitten consumes contaminated water or other small animals that are infected with lungworms, the cat worm will find its way to the lungs and replicate there. The symptoms usually include excessive coughing, vomiting, or diarrhoea through which the worms are also expelled. These signs should not be confused with other health problems like pneumonia, or bronchitis. Instead, any minor physical issue should be consulted with a vet.

  • Hookworm

Unlike other types of worms, the hookworms have no physical manifestation in cats that have grown quite a bit. But younger ones may suffer from intense diarrhoea, and loss of blood which can lead to anaemia. Their mechanism of hooking onto the inner lining of the intestines causes excessive internal bleeding which can prove to be hazardous. Hookworms are contracted from other infected animals that have dumped their faeces on the soil. Your pet cat can ingest the larvae from the soil or even get infected from the ones that have stuck to your feet when you were walking on the soil infested with hookworm larvae. Humans can also get infected with these types of worms in cats that can damage the skin and cause excessive itching.

  • Stress induced Alopecia

If you are choosing to bring a fur baby home, you have to stick up with the amount of fur that will be found on every belonging of yours. From your furniture to the clothes you wear, hair from your pet cat can find its way to everything. Cats grooming themselves is not a cause of worry. What should make you worry is when your kitten starts losing so much fur that its skin coat looks skimpy. Cat Stress induced alopecia is often found in cats that are very anxious and restless. The stress causes them to lick themselves more than usual, causing the loss of hair. Consulting a vet is suggested so that they can advise how to treat the problem.

Preventive measures for worm cat infections

By sticking to these preventive measures, you can make sure that even if your cats have worms, they can enjoy a healthy, normal life.

  • Keeping your surroundings clean and hygienic is the first step to ensuring a wormless kitten.
  • Cleaning yourself and your kitten thoroughly after a day out is necessary to prevent infections.
  • Take your cat to a vet on a monthly basis for check-ups.
  • Make sure your pet kitten is not on the hunt for other smaller animals that may be infected with cat worms.
  • Keep a close eye on their faeces to find any signs of worms in cats and also worms in cat vomit.
  • Including preventive medicines prescribed by a vet with your cat's daily meals.
  • Conducting a faecal test, or regular deworming can also prove to be very effective in preventing worm infections in your precious fur babies.

Treatment for worm infections

  • Taking your furry little friend through the deworm cats process can effectively kill worms in cats.
  • Prescribed medications can be administered through a number of doses of medicines that will guarantee the end of worms. A single dose is not effective because it is ineffective in preventing another bout of infection.
  • Performing an endoscopy and swift removal of the worms that are found on the stomach lining is an effective worm treatment for cats. This is only for the types of worms in cats that fix themselves around the intestines like roundworms, tapeworms, and hookworms.
  • Injecting medicine directly through the skin of your cat is also effective worm treatment for cats and has a quicker reaction on the cat worms.

Medicine for worm infections

  • Pencing is extremely effective when it comes to intestinal worms such as roundworms and tapeworms.
  • Drontal Plus (pyrantel, praziquantel, fenbendazole) can be administered for infections from hookworms, whipworms and other kinds of cat worms in the intestine.
  • Praziquantel is directly injected into the skin of your fur baby. It paralyzes the tapeworms so that they can no longer stick to the intestines and passes out of the body through the faeces
  • Pyrantel pamoate or Ivermectin is effective against the condition of Physaloptera spp. and the dosage needs to be taken twice in two or three weeks.
  • Levamisole is an immediate treatment solution for Ollulanus tricuspis.

Remember that your little munchkin is like your own baby, hence, do not use any medicines for their treatment before consulting a vet.

Preventing worm infections from reoccurring

  • Keeping your home hygienic and cleaning your pet's area of litter to keep it free from germs is the first step to making sure there is not another bout of infection.
  • Take your pet cat to the vet for regular deworm cat sessions.
  • Keep your cat away from the faeces of other animals while taking them out.
  • Cleaning them thoroughly after coming back home. 
  • Keep a lookout for any minor sign of discomfort that may signal the beginning of another infection.
  • Not delaying the treatment of any physical ailment that your kitten is suffering from.
  • Put your kitten on a healthy diet to increase their immunity, rebuild their appetite, and regain their energy after recovering from a worm infection.

FAQ on Worms in Cats


How do you know if a cat has worms?

Different worms exhibit different structures. Thus, you can lookout for signs of them in the faeces of your pet cat. You can also be attentive to symptoms like diarrhoea, vomiting, weight loss, such as worms in cat vomit. 

Can humans get worms from cats?

Yes, humans can also get infected by cats. This is why it is always advised to wear gloves while feeding your cat, or cleaning its litter. If you use your bare hands, then avoid putting them in your eyes or mouth and clean them thoroughly.

What should I do if my cats have worms?

If you suspect that your cats have worms, you should immediately take it to a vet. Administering medicines to your cat on your own can have a severe impact on your cat. Instead, you should always consult a vet for the treatment of worms. 

How long does it take to get rid of worms in cats?

Worms can multiply in numbers at a rapid pace and can continue to do so even after the first dose of deworm cat medicine. Thus, the process of treatment for worm infection can last for a month to make sure not a single worm is left in your cart. 

How to get rid of worms in cats naturally?

Foods like pumpkin seeds, chamomile, coconut, carrots, and apple cider vinegar can prove to be very effective against worm infections for your cat. But it is always advisable to visit a vet for a surer treatment against worm infection.

For the latest on COVID-19, visit the official Government website: www.sacoronavirus.co.za
For the latest on COVID-19, visit the official Government website: www.sacoronavirus.co.za

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