Among the various intestinal parasites that can infect cats, worms are some of the most common. Once hookworms, roundworms, whipworms or tapeworms get into your cat’s intestinal tract, they want to stay there. Fortunately, almost all cases of cat worms can be detected and treated at Germantown Vet. If your feline friend shows signs of worms, don’t ignore it – schedule a visit to our clinic to begin treatment and start on preventative medications to avoid a recurrence.
Contact Germantown Vet at 240-252-7467 to schedule an appointment for your cat today.
What Are Worms?
The worms that infect a cat’s intestinal tract begin life as microscopic parasites. They can either lay dormant in your cat’s system or begin wreaking havoc the moment they enter the intestines. Worms often inhabit unhygienic surfaces and enter your cat’s body if he eats infected soil, raw meat, carrion or feces.
- Roundworms are the most common intestinal worms a cat can contract. Adult roundworms resemble three- to four-inch-long spaghetti noodles. Nursing kittens often get roundworm from their mother’s infected milk. The parasite can also transmit to adult cats that eat an infected rodent or feces from another infected animal.
- Hookworms are more common in dogs, but they’re certainly not unheard of in cats. They grow to be only about an inch long, but since they feed on your cat’s blood, they can cause dangerous health problems.
- Whipworms are also more likely to affect dogs than cats. They live in soil and can infect your pet if he licks his dirty paws.
- Tapeworms can grow to a disgusting 28 inches long. The parasite can transmit to your cat if he ingests infected soil, fleas or rodents. Despite their size, tapeworms usually cause relatively little harm except for extreme cases.
Symptoms of Worms in Cats
While symptoms vary slightly depending on what type of worms are living in your cat’s intestines, watch for these signs that something is wrong:
- Potbellied appearance
- Dull coat and dry skin
- Mucus or blood in the feces
- Signs of intestinal trouble, such as abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, vomiting, loss of appetite or weight loss
- Signs of anemia (low red blood cell count), including weakness, lethargy or fast heart rate
- Visible worm segments in your cat’s stool or in the fur near his rear end
Treating Cat Worms
Early diagnosis and treatment are important to prevent health complications from parasitic worms. A stool test is a common way to check for worms, though some eggs are easier to spot in stool samples than others. The vet may dissolve a stool sample in a special solution to make microscopic eggs easier to spot under a microscope.
Treatment depends on the type of worms your cat has. Usually, it involves taking an oral deworming medication to kill the parasites and pass them through your pet’s system. Most treatments take only a few days to complete, though follow-up vet visits may be required in the weeks following to ensure the treatment was completely successful.
Once your cat is worm-free, prevent a future infection by keeping your cat indoors. You may also want to start your cat on preventative wormer medication. To protect yourself from contracting worms from an infected pet, practice good hygiene and always wear gloves while emptying the litter box.
Visit Germantown Vet for Cat Worm Treatment
Speedy treatment is important to preserve your cat’s health. Since symptoms of worms don’t always appear, preventative stool tests are recommended if you have an outdoor cat. For help keeping your feline friend healthy and happy, please contact Germantown Vet to schedule a visit today.