Cats and worms! This phrase can be a nightmare for many cat parents. No matter if your cat is an indoor cat or plays outside all day, he can get worms. But the question is, how do cats get worms.
A cat can get worms in many ways. For example, if the cat comes in contact with fleas and feces, he can get worms. There are many more reasons for this health condition.
Getting worms is quite common in cats. The good news is there are ways to get rid of the worms. If your cat is suffering from worms, or you are curious about how a can get worms, this article is for you.
Types of Worms in Cats
Cats can suffer from various types of intestinal parasites. In simple words, we call it worms. Here are the most common worms:
1. Roundworms: This is the most common worm in cats. The parasite is about 3 to 4 inches long. However, the roundworms look like large white spaghettis. They can lay thousands of eggs in one day.
You can bring the eggs of the roundworms with your shoes or clothes. When the cat comes in contact with the egg, he gets infected. One cat can pass the roundworms to another cat.
2. Hookworms: The hookworms are not as big as roundworms. They are less than 1 inch in size and live in the cat’s small intestine.
Just because these parasites are small, do not think they are harmless. The hookworms can lead to life-threatening anemia in kittens and adult cats. Rodents and lizards are the main sources of hookworms for domestic cats.
3. Tapeworms: Tapeworm in cats is pretty common. These parasites are flat, long, and resemble a stripe of tape. They can be both long and small. Their sizes are somewhere between 4 to 24 inches. If your cat is infested with tapeworms, he will vomit and lose weight.
4. Lungworms: These small parasites make a way to the cat’s lungs and live there. The lungworms can damage the feline’s lungs. These parasites enter into the house with small animals like lizards, snails, or small plants.
5. Heartworms: The heartworms are deadly and dangerous. They live in the heart and major vessels of a feline. A cat mainly gets these worms by mosquito bites.
How do cats get worms?
An indoor cat gets worms in many ways. Even it is much easier than you can think. Cleaning your house is another thing, but there is always a chance that your cat may get infested with worms.
Here are some ways how cats get worms:
Worm eggs from feces
Those cats who are infected with worms will pass the microscopic worm eggs in their feces. These worm eggs will leech around in the environment and look for a place to live. For example, soil in the garden. The parasites can survive over a year in the soil of your garden.
If your cat plays in the contaminated ground and licks the soil, the eggs will get into the cat’s intestine. And eventually, your pet feline will be infected with worms.
Worms from fleas
Fleas are the most common source of tapeworms. They carry the worm larvae. If a cat eats worm-infected fleas, he will surely suffer from worms.
Worms from hunting
Cats are natural hunters. They can go after small animals like rodents or lizards at home. But these lizards, like animals, can carry the larvae of tapeworm, roundworm, or hookworm. Ingesting parts of the infected animals while hunting or scavenging can make the cats infected too.
Worms from mother’s milk
Even though a kitten does not leave the house, it can get worms too. How? From its mother’s milk. If the mother cat is infected with any type of worm, she will pass the larvae of the parasite to the kitten via milk.
A newborn kitten is vulnerable and does not have a strong immune system. So, the worms can be dangerous for the baby. The parasites can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and the kitten will lose weight.
These are the main ways of how a cat gets worms. Sometimes, the larvae of worms penetrate a cat’s skin and infect the pet. However, if the feline licks a toy that has larvae on it, the cat will get worms.
Symptoms of worms in cats
An infected cat exhibits some symptoms. For example,
- The cat will suffer from diarrhea.
- The feline will vomit too often, usually after eating any food.
- You will notice blood, mucus, or worms in the cat’s feces.
- The cat may suffer from anemia.
- You will notice the cat has a swollen belly.
- The pet cat can cough.
- The feline may lose his appetite.
- The cat may find it difficult to breathe.
- Losing weight is the main sign that the cat has worms in his intestine.
If you notice any symptoms, take the pet to a vet immediately.
How to get rid of worms in cats
How do cats get worms? I have already talked about this. Now let’s discuss how we can get rid of it.
Well, taking the cat to the vet is the best option. Depending on the number of worms or condition of the cat, the vet will take his next steps. Generally, the vets suggest deworming tablets or meds to cats.
Deworming tablets or liquids are very effective and safe at the same time. After feeding your cat the meds, you will not see an immediate result. You may have to wait a few days. But eventually, the pet will get better.
Prevent cat worms
Do you know how to prevent the cat worms? Well, you can not insist on your cat not to play outside. So, deworming the cat annually or on a more regular basis can help you. Also, try to keep the surroundings of a cat clean.
Can I get worms from my cat?
It is unfortunate but yes. The cat’s parents or the children can get infected by the cat worms. There is nothing you can do without taking precautions.
How do cats get worms or how to treat them? I hope this article has helped you to get the right answers. Now, you will be able to provide great care to your cat.