Whether your furry friend lives exclusively indoors or likes to spend time outdoors, your feline friend can become host to internal parasites like tapeworms, roundworms, and hookworms.
While adult cats can easily pick up worms by accidentally ingesting worm eggs or feeding on vermin-infested with worms, kittens don’t necessarily have to feed on worm eggs as they can become host to these parasites from breastfeeding.
And because it is super easy for cats to pick up worms, it will make a lot of sense to know the warning signs to look out for. This way, you can seek veterinary care for the problem early on.
When left untreated, worms can trigger severe symptoms like potbelly or dull coat. That said, it is quite rare to see worms cause serious health issues in cats. Plus, getting rid of these parasites is super easy, especially with the correct worming medication. Also, with a little knowledge, you can easily tell if your cat might be under a worm attack.
What do worms look like?
While worms are internal parasites, they can be spotted in feces or around your cat’s bottom. And because there are different types of worms, these parasites don’t exactly look the same. Tapeworms, which are known to affect many cats, look like flat grains of rice and can be seen moving in feces or around your cat’s bottom.
On the other hand, roundworms are white, long, and spaghetti-like in appearance. These worms deprive cats of healthy nutrients as they are known to absorb nutrients from infected cats.
Should you notice any worms in your feline’s feces or bottom, do well to see your vet and get your cat the help it needs.
Common symptoms of worms in cats
Knowing if your cat is under a worm attack is the first step to helping your cat fight these unpleasant parasites. Thankfully, you can do this by looking out for the common symptoms of worms in cats. For those who have no idea, here are some common symptoms of worms in cats, you should know:
Cats suffering from worm infestation still have an excellent appetite, but you may begin to notice that, despite eating healthy, your cat may continue to lose weight. So, if you notice that your furry friend keeps losing weight for no reason, it’s time to visit your vet to get your cat the care it needs.
In addition to weight loss, you may also notice that your cat’s stomach looks bloated. These are all tell-tale signs of worms.
Visible changes in bowel habits
When your cat suffers from worm infestation, you may begin to notice changes in bowel habits like the onset of diarrhea. And whether worms trigger this or not, it is super important to have your cat checked out. This way, you’ll know for sure why your cat is experiencing changes in bowel habits.
Changes in your cat’s fur condition is another glaring symptom of worms in cats you should look out for. Your cat’s fur may take a beating and may become rough, coarse, and missing its usual luster because of worm infestation.
Besides coarse fur, you may also notice other symptoms like a distended stomach.
Unusual behavior in cats
Don’t take any unusual changes in your cat’s behavior for granted. That’s because unusual changes in behavior often point to something outside the ordinary. As per unusual behavior, here are two things that may point to worm infestation in cats:
Lethargy: Cats suffering from worms often show signs of lethargy. So, you may notice a lack of energy in your feline or the lack of interest to engage in activities they love the most.
Dragging their bottom across the carpet: This is a tell-tale symptom of worms in cats. Once you notice your cat starts dragging its bottom along the carpet, it may be doing so because of severe discomfort and irritation, so have it checked out by your vet.
Preventing worms in cats
While it’s essential to look out for common signs of worms in cats, it’s always better to prevent worms from infecting your cat. To keep your cat always protected, ensure that it is regularly wormed. Plus, you can take advice from your vet to find the best preventive method for your furry friend and how you should treat it.
If you have a kitten, ensure to administer preventive treatment against tapeworms from six weeks of age. From six months of age, you can have it treated for worms every three months.
You can stick to the same treatment for adult cats, but this time, make sure you have it treated every two to six months. If you have any questions, your vet should be able to help out.
Also, keep in mind that your feline may also contract worms from accidentally swallowing fleas. To this end, ensure your cat is protected against fleas.
Frequently asked questions
How do cats get rid of worms?
While worms are not lethal, they can take a toll on your cat’s health. As such, they shouldn’t be giving the room to thrive.
If you suspect that your feline is infected, visit your vet to get a worm medicine called dewormer. This type of medication is administered either orally or through an injection, depending on what your vet sees fitting. Dewormers are designed to dissolve tapeworms in the intestines.
What do worms look like in cats’ poo?
Tapeworms look white, long, and ribbon-like. Their egg sacs look like a grain of rice in cats’ feces. Unfortunately, worms can live in your cat’s gut and feed on its nutrients. Whether you have an older cat or a kitten, worms can affect felines of any age and size.
What happens if worms go untreated in cats?
If left untreated, worm infestation can be dangerous and even fatal to your furry friend. Severe worm infestation can trigger serious skin infection, convulsion, pneumonia, blindness, and more.
The best way to keep your furry friend protected from worms is to ensure they get preventive treatment against worms and fleas. It would also help if you keep your cat indoors; this makes it difficult to pick up worms.
Should you notice any of the symptoms earlier listed, please feel free to visit your vet for prompt treatment.