May 21, 2024


Nobody needs to consider worms in cats, however as devoted feline fanatics, it’s a creepy-crawly subject which have to be broached. It would possibly gross you out to consider your furry darling being contaminated by nasty parasites, nevertheless it’s a truth that may’t be ignored. Your cat’s well being is extra vital than squeamish emotions.

Your cat definitely doesn’t need to take into consideration them both, however once they’re writhing round inside a feline physique, then kitty pricey doesn’t have a selection! And cats are meticulous creatures with a deep must be clear and tidy. Imagine what they’re feeling about an infestation…

Though small, these parasites loom giant within the feline world, so let’s forged our disgusted squirms apart and get right down to the enterprise of worms in cats.

worms in cats

Types of Worms in Cats

Felines are pure hunters who get pleasure from consuming the spoils of their predatory victory, however this could typically trigger worms. Gross because it appears, parasitic worms are a pure a part of coping with the little predators which are our cats. The commonest worms cat dad and mom will encounter are intestinal worms, with roundworms and tapeworms being probably the most prevalent.

Watch out for these GI worms in cats:

  • Roundworms
  • Tapeworms
  • Hookworms
  • Whipworms
  • Stomach worms
Image courtesy of the Cornell Feline Health Center

There are additionally worms that have an effect on different programs of the feline physique, reminiscent of:

  • Heartworms
  • Eyeworms
  • Lungworms
  • Bladder worms
  • Liver flukes

And whereas worms in cats aren’t an excessive emergency for an in any other case wholesome cat, in kittens, parasitic infections are trigger for alarm. Those tiny our bodies may be overtaken by worms and decline quickly.

worms in cats

Gastrointestinal Worms


A standard drawback amongst felines, the Cornell Feline Health Center experiences 1 / 4 to a few quarters of cats will expertise roundworms, and that common is even larger amongst kittens. Looking like yucky, off-white spaghetti noodles, roundworms make themselves at dwelling in a cat’s intestines. They survive on the meals a cat eats, reaching as much as 5 inches lengthy as an grownup creepy-crawly.

Roundworm Symptoms

Symptoms of roundworms in cats could also be minimal in adults and extra pronounced in kittens. PetMD advises cat dad and mom to be looking out for these signs:

  • Abdominal ache
  • Swelling within the abdomen, kittens might have a pot-bellied look
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lack of urge for food
  • Fatigue and weak point
  • Coughing, a results of roundworm larvae touring into feline lungs

The commonest of the intestinal worms, roundworm infections are brought on by Toxascaris leonina and Toxocara cati, and may be picked up from infested filth or contaminated prey. Cats ingest the roundworm eggs and the cycle begins. But it’s sort of a marvel roundworms infect so many cats with their difficult life cycle. Ready for some worm weirdness? Check this out.

The first and commonest route of an infection for kittens is what Dr. Ernest Ward phrases “trans-mammary or milk-borne an infection.” While nursing, kittens can ingest roundworm larvae as they go by the mammary glands of a nursing mother. Kittens then swallow the eggs, the place they hatch in these little tummies and unfold. Not so unusual, however simply wait, it’s what occurs after eggs hatch within the abdomen.

worms in cats

As talked about, grownup cats can decide up roundworms from contaminated soil and by merely licking their paws, ingesting the eggs. Eating contaminated prey may do the nasty trick too. However the eggs get to a cat’s abdomen, that is the place the cycle begins, hatching alongside the gastrointestinal line. After the hatch, the larvae worm their manner into the lungs, liver, and different tissues. Once the larvae close to maturity, they discover their manner again to the intestines, the place they mature and hang around, rising and releasing eggs. The eggs are then excreted and a brand new cycle is begun.

Dr. Ward additionally explains, “During migration, some roundworm larvae might encyst (the larvae turn into enclosed in a cyst) in a dormant state within the host’s physique. In feminine cats, the larvae can come out of the cyst throughout being pregnant. These larvae can then be handed to the kittens throughout the placenta throughout being pregnant, or by the milk after start.”

If your cat has roundworms, you may even see worms of their litter pan or in vomit. Otherwise, you might by no means see a symptom of worms in cats. Roundworms are usually discovered with a float check and microscopic investigation by a routine fecal examine at your vet’s workplace. A cat mother or father might not even understand their cat has roundworms till a vet examination discovers them, however as soon as identified, go forward and deal with your cat. While roundworms may not result in any issues for a wholesome grownup cat, kittens and senior cats with well being points are in danger for problems surrounding roundworm infections.

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how to get rid of worms in cats


One of the most typical worms in cats, this flatworm truly resembles the widespread worm picture individuals conjure up when pondering of intestinal parasites. Attaching to the liner of the small gut with a nasty hook mouth, tapeworms are white or cream in coloration and develop as much as 11 inches lengthy.

The Cornell Feline Health Center explains, “Their small head is related to a sequence of segments full of eggs” and these segments then break off when mature, passing by the intestines to land within the litter pan ultimately.

Tapeworm Symptoms

Parents often understand a cat has tapeworms once they see segments, referred to as proglottids, of their cat’s poop and even caught within the fur across the anus. And sure, when recent, these items contract and squirm. Dry items seem like sesame seeds or small grains of rice and break open to launch the eggs. While this can be the one indication you discover, your cat would possibly exhibit these basic signs if the infestation has been happening some time:

  • Vomiting
  • Weight loss (tapeworms take up vitamins from the cat’s weight loss program)
  • Butt dragging
tapeworm symptoms cats
Image Courtesy of Friendship Hospital for Animals

Cats decide up the most typical forms of tapeworms by ingesting fleas or wildlife which has consumed tapeworm eggs. Dipylidium caninum, also referred to as the ‘flea tapeworm’ plagues cats after they’ve eaten an contaminated flea. The Taenia taeniaeformis selection comes from consuming contaminated rodents.

The greatest method to forestall tapeworms in cats is by treating felines with anti-flea medicine and controlling rodent populations. If your cat is a pure ratter, preserve a eager eye out for parasitic infections.


Like tapeworms and roundworms, hookworms hand around in the digestive tract. These little creeps hook into the liner of your cat’s intestines and feed off their blood. Vampires they could be, however not the type you need knocking at your window at midnight of night time. As they feed off blood, hookworms can harm a cat’s well being, inflicting weight reduction and anemia. For kittens, these issues may be life-threatening.

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Hookworm Symptoms

With related life cycles and transmission routes as roundworms and tapeworms, hookworms additionally current with lots of the identical signs, however embody some horrifying ones as effectively. Look for these signs of hookworms in cats:

  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Black, tarry stool ensuing from digesting blood
  • Dull fur
  • Weight loss
  • Itchy, irritated pores and skin or rashes
  • Paw pad sores, typically seen in heavy infestation

Hookworms may cause extreme sickness if left untreated. Call the vet for those who suspect hookworms have taken maintain of your kitty.

Image Courtesy of the Center for Disease Control


Another intestinal worm, the whipworm is the smallest of the bunch and lives within the giant intestines of its host. These parasites can infect cats, however as veterinarian Dr. Wendy Brooks explains, “Cats are clear animals and fastidious round feces, they usually hardly ever get contaminated. When they do, worm numbers are so small that signs hardly happen.”

Whipworms may be handled with dewormers and plenty of drugs formulated for heartworms have substances that assist with whipworm prevention.

Stomach Worms

Found extra in outside and feral cats, however nonetheless unusual within the U.S., abdomen worms are precisely what you’re picturing. A small, however gross worm that lives within the abdomen of its host, hanging on to the liner. The Companion Animal Parasite Council experiences signs of abdomen worms in cats as “continual vomiting, elevated gastric mucous manufacturing, weight reduction, and anorexia.”

There are two forms of abdomen worms that have an effect on cats. The Physaloptera spp. selection comes from consuming an contaminated host. The Ollulanus tricuspis kind comes from consuming the contaminated vomit of one other cat or different animal. Appetizing


How To Treat Intestinal Worms in Cats

Worms in cats are handled with anthelmintic drugs through injections or oral tablets. Commonly referred to as dewormers, these worm remedies usually must be administered in multiple dose. Larva and eggs can evade medicine however as soon as they’ve reached maturity, remedy will obliterate the gross invaders.

To eliminate worms in cats, make an appointment with the vet. Doctors have entry to the perfect info and the suitable drugs for sure forms of parasites. They additionally know the suitable prescribing schedules to greatest catch worms in cats as they mature sufficient to be destroyed by drugs.

There are cat deworming merchandise for buy over-the-counter, however earlier than giving your cat any drugs, speak to the vet. The identical goes for any homeopathic recipes that promise to eliminate worms in cats naturally.

How to Prevent Intestinal Worms in Cats

With a number of easy steps, you’ll be able to assist your cat avoid wormy invaders:

  • Be certain felines go to the vet yearly for all vital screenings, together with fecal sampling which seems to be for indicators of worms in cats.
  • Use flea and tick preventive medicines. If potential, select merchandise that additionally present safety in opposition to intestinal worms.
  • Keep the litter field clear and scooped. Remove the poops every day and clear the litter pan with disinfectant cleaning soap regularly.
  • Sweep and vacuum often, in addition to retaining your cat’s bedding recent and clear.
  • Feed cats absolutely cooked meat or, if on a uncooked weight loss program, observe all safe-handling procedures.
  • For kittens, observe beneficial protocols for deworming.
  • Nursing moms may also be dewormed to stop the passing of parasites to kittens.
  • Keep cats indoors as a lot as they’ll enable.
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Potential Risk for Human Infection

Also, remember that roundworms, tapeworms, and hookworms all have the potential to contaminate people. Good hygiene in the home and the litter pan will assist to remove the chance of cat-to-human transmission of icky parasites. Treat cats for worms to reduce transmission dangers.

Other Types of Worms in Cats 

Most typically, cats are contaminated by intestinal worms, however there are parasitic worms that invade different physique elements. Fortunately, most of those are hardly ever seen in felines.


Spread by the chunk of contaminated mosquitoes, heartworms invade the center, lungs, and blood vessels of a number and have the potential for rising as much as a foot lengthy. They pose a significant danger to contaminated animals, inflicting harm to the organs concerned and even dying. Good information for felines although, cats will not be a common host for heartworms, which helps preserve them from surviving to the grownup stage, in response to The American Heartworm Society.

“While this implies heartworm illness typically goes undiagnosed in cats, it’s vital to know that even immature worms trigger actual harm within the type of a situation referred to as heartworm related respiratory illness (HARD).”

There are presently no accredited drugs to deal with heartworms in cats, so prevention is essential.

Image Courtesy of The American Heartworm Society


An issue for felines on the U.S. west coast and Asian continent, cats undergo with eyeworms when contaminated flies deposit eggs across the eyes whereas making a meal of eye secretions. 1 / 4 to three-quarters of an inch lengthy, the worms may be seen wiggling within the eyes! Can you say nightmare? The Merck Manual suggests bodily removing at the side of prescribed drugs.


The commonest type of the lungworm, Aelurostrongylus abstrusus, infects cats worldwide as a consequence of contact with small rodents, lizards, frogs, and birds. These coiled worms with whipping tails bury themselves deep into lung tissues the place they lay eggs to proceed the infestation cycle. Symptoms of lungworms in cats can resemble these of respiratory sicknesses. Most cats will likely be simply advantageous after deworming remedy, however take particular care with kittens, felines with weakened immune programs, and senior cats. They might require additional drugs to assist heal their lungs.

worms in cats

Bladder Worms

A uncommon incidence in cats, bladder worms come from consuming contaminated earthworms and may be handled with dewormers. Also referred to as hairworms, they could not trigger any signs in a cat, however Dr. Catherine Barnette, DVM, says, “Infection might result in blood within the urine, urinary accidents, and straining to urinate.”

Liver Flukes

PetMD experiences frogs, snails, and lizards are sometimes the supply of liver fluke infections in cats residing in “Florida, Hawaii, and different tropical and subtropical areas.” While many cats don’t exhibit signs, some felines fall fairly in poor health, displaying:

  • Loss of urge for food
  • Weight loss
  • Diarrhea
  • Jaundice
  • Enlarged liver
  • Pot stomach look
  • Fever

Treatment will depend upon the severity of the an infection and cats that undergo from heavy signs will want extra superior care.

Alright, are your insides crawling but? Let’s hope not! And let’s additionally hope your cat isn’t squirmy on the within both!