Cats sick with tapeworm are quite common. The good thing is, this condition is totally curable. To offer the feline a proper treatment, you must know what causes tapeworms, the symptoms, and how to get rid of tapeworms in cats.
The tapeworms are white, long, and flat intestine parasites. When your domestic cat comes in contact with a stray cat, or other small animals, like lizards, it can get the worms. Your cat will show symptoms after getting infected with tapeworms. With proper medication, your feline will come around soon.
No matter if your pet cat has worms or not, you must read this article. Knowing everything about the tapeworms will help you take better care of your feline.
The tapeworms are longer than other worms. These parasites are white, long, flat, and have a hook-like mouth. They use this hook-like organ to anchor onto the small intestine of your pet cat. The tapeworms have both the male and female reproductive organs.
You will be surprised to know that a tapeworm can grow about 20 inches. A fully grown tapeworm is 8 inches long. Are you wondering where they get the nutrients? Obviously from the feline’s body.
3 types of tapeworms can infect a feline. None of these parasites can directly enter a cat’s body. The tapeworms require an intermediate host to enter the feline’s intestine.
However, there can be many ways why a cat has got tapeworms. The most common intermediate host is fleas. If you digest an infected flea, it will get tapeworms. A cat often does that while grooming itself.
Again, the cats can get tapeworms if they eat any infected small animals. For example, mice or squirrels. When your cat goes outside to play, keep a close eye on it. If the kitty gets in touch with an infected wild animal, it will get tapeworms.
Symptoms of Tapeworms in Cats:
The worst part of this condition is there is almost no sign. Most cats show no symptoms of getting tapeworms. If your cat has infested a large amount of tapeworm infected fleas, it will show the signs given below:
♦ Loss of appetite
♦ Weight loss
♦ Continuous vomiting
You may notice tapeworms in the cat’s feces. Sometimes, an excessive amount of parasites can cause itching. It will lead to constant lick of the anal area.
Many of you can question, how to tell if the cats show absolutely no sign? No matter if your kitty is healthy or not, it needs regular vet checkups. So, I suggest you let the vet examine the cat once or twice every six months
How to get rid of tapeworms in cats:
We have discussed what tapeworm is and its symptoms in cats. Let’s see how we can get rid of these parasites.
The good news is the tapeworm in cats is easily treatable. When your feline will be diagnosed with tapeworms, the vet will prescribe a course of dewormer for it. The dewormers are very effective to kill the tapeworms in the cat’s intestine.
The dewormers dissolve the ingested tapeworms and remove it through the cat’s feces. You can give your cat oral deworming medicine or an injection. Both are equally effective. In most cases, the cats do not feel any side effects of the medicines. Some cats may feel like vomiting or suffer from diarrhea.
After a short period, your cat will be completely free from any tapeworms or other parasites. To be sure, you can consult the doc and get the cat examined again.
How long will it take to deworm a cat? The period can vary depending on the feline’s condition and medicine power. With a strong medicine, the deworming will be successful within a few hours. However, it can take a week for a few cats.
How to prevent tapeworms in cats:
Now you know how to get rid of tapeworms in cats. But don’t you think prevention is always better than the cure? From my point of view, as a responsible cat parent, you must emphasize prevention first. So, how will you do that?
First of all, try to control the fleas. Consult the vet about the flea treatment in your cats. Why? It is because most of the time, fleas are the main culprit why your indoor cat is infected with tapeworms.
The fleas carry the tapeworm larvae. So, when the cat licks bites at a flea on its skin, the pet ingests a tapeworm. That is why do a flea treatment of your lovely cat.
However, if your cat goes outside and plays, keep a close eye on it. If the feline gets in contact with a host animal, it will have worms too. The cats have a wild instinct to prey and eat small animals. If your cat eats an animal like a bird, lizard, or rodent, which is infested with tapeworm, the pet will get the worms too.
Observe your cat’s feces once in a while. Check if there is any sign of worms or not. Also, regular worm checkup is really important. Experts suggest deworming the cats once or twice a year just for safety.
Can I get tapeworms from my cat?
I have faced this question more than once. It is highly uncommon, but yes, humans can get tapeworms from the felines.
If the human accidentally ingests an infected flea egg or a flea, it means he has ingested a tapeworm. Also, the cat parent can get the worms from an intermediate host like a lizard, rodent, or squirrel. So, the humans do not get the tapeworms directly from touching the cat or stroking its fur.
Can tapeworm be life-threatening?
I have mentioned earlier that tapeworms are treatable. But what will happen if you ignore the condition? Your cat will start vomiting a lot, and the worms will be visible in the pukes. The adult cats will develop inflammation due to the untreated condition. Though tapeworms are minor intestine parasites, sometimes the infection can be serious and life-threatening for the feline.
Each cat needs deworming at least once a year. I hope with this article on how to get rid of tapeworms, you will be able to take better care of your feline.