Don’t be surprised if you get to know that your cat has a worm infection. It is too obvious for pets to have a worm infection at some stage in their life. We cannot restrict our pets to home only. They go out, play in the mud, catch preys and also drink the water available outside. So, all such activities make them much prone to worm infections. All we can do is take care of them and avoid getting them infected. We can do this by practicing regular and routine check-ups of our cats.
Why Should We Treat Our Cat For Worms?
The cats (pets) should be treated for worms, and this should not be ignored. We should take care of our cats and check for infections by worms on a regular basis. There are many reasons for worm infection in cats. The very first is the humanity. We own pets for our amusement and enjoyment; therefore, it’s our moral duty to take care of our pets. Secondly, if the infection of our pets is not checked well in time, it may be passed over to our family or us.
How Should We Treat Your Cat For Worms?
We should try to prevent our cats to be exposed to certain unhygienic surroundings. Though, it is not possible to keep an eye on what the cats eat throughout the day and where they go outside the house. However, we can arrange for a regular, routine check-up and also a worming treatment for the cats. Treatment could be given even if cats are not infected. This will help in preventing the infection. Although the worms are not so harmful, still they affect the cat’s health to some extent.
Worms infects cat?
Which Worms Do Often Infect The Cats?
Out of a few species of worms, there are two of them which are often found as a parasite in cats. These are roundworms and tapeworms. Roundworms, as the name suggests, are round like strings and can grow up to Approximately 15 cm in length. Tapeworms, on the other hand, are flat like ribbons or tapes. Tapeworms, in general, attain an average length of 60 cm. These parasites (worms) are found in cats intestines. Cats may eat their eggs while feeding on dead rats or any stuff already infected by these worms.
Apart from these two types of worms, there are two more types of worms which are often found as parasites in cat’s intestines. They are:
These worms are rarely found in cats. Cat’s intestine is most common and favorable habitat for parasitic worms. Other than intestines, cat’s lungs, heart, stomach or bladder are rarely infected organs by parasitic worms.
How Are Worms Harmful To Cats?
These worms reside in intestines of cats. The intestine is that part of food pipe where food stays for the maximum duration. Therefore, these worms can easily feed on the food that cat eats and cause lack of nutrition in cat’s body. Also, since the worms continuously stick to the inner wall of intestines, they tend to damage the mucus layer over the inner intestinal wall.
This results in ulcer or wounds in intestines of cats. Worms can also cause various diseases like diarrhea, dehydration, and anemia, and this may make your cat more prone to other diseases. Worms’ infection in kittens can be fatal as well.
Transmission of Worms from One Cat to Another
Mostly worms reside in intestines of a cat, and therefore, the most probable way to get out of cat’s body is through its excreta.
Roundworms grow in the intestine of cats and stay there for the whole of their lifetime. They lay eggs in cat’s intestines, which in turn passes out through feces. These eggs have a protective layer over them and therefore can live outside cat’s body for several months. They are directly transferred to another host which feed on cat’s excreta. The other means they infect other cats is through rodents who swallow these eggs and are in turn eaten by cats. The eggs hatch inside the intestines and grow as a larva. If the female cat is infected, she may pass these eggs to kittens through her milk.
Tapeworms are attached to intestinal walls by their heads. Their tape-like body is made of several segments and is not attached to intestines. Each segment has several eggs. These segments break off from the body of worm and are passed out from cat’s body through excreta. Once the eggs are released out of the cat’s body they use the same medium as used for roundworms’ eggs to get propagated.
How Can We Detect If Worms infects cat?
As we discussed above, cats may suffer from various diseases, if worms infect them. They may suffer from diarrhea, dehydration, and anemia. Apart from this, we may closely observe cat’s feces to detect any signs of infestation. Tapeworm’s segments look like a grain of rice. If you find such stuff in your cat’s droppings or its fur, you should be alert and take your cat for a medical check-up.
How Can We Treat Our Cats For Worms’ Infection?
- Treatment for worms’ infection in cats is available easily and is very effective.
- The medicines are easily available and can cure the infection completely. Medicines are available in the form of tablets, liquids, and injections.
- There are specific medicines for each kind of worms. So, it all depends on the diagnosis, done by your vet, and he/she will prescribe the medicine best suited for the infection.
- Worm infection is very common in cats and kittens which frequently feed on rodents. Such pets should be fed with a dose of medicine once in every two weeks, from the age of four weeks to 16 weeks.
- The treatment in older cats should be done in every three months.
- Additionally, the frequency of treatment depends on how frequently the cat feeds on rodents. Your vet may suggest you the best treatment regime for your cat.
Can The Worms’ Infection in Cat Affect the Owner or Owner’s Family?
In the case of cats, it is not as problematic. The roundworms in cats are not so harmful to humans. The reason being they cannot survive in the human intestine. Apart from worms, even other parasites in cats are not harmful to humans as they cannot survive at all in humans. However, it is not true for all pets. Roundworms found in dogs are potentially harmful to humans.
What Can Be Done To Reduce The Risk?
Regular check-up and timely treatment is the primary step that owner should practice to avoid transmission of worms from one pet to the other or from pets to humans. The owner should be proactive and should not waste any time as soon as he finds any symptoms which indicate the worms’ infection. The cats should be taken to the vet and a proper examination should be done. Apart from this Following steps should be taken to avoid potential risk:
- You should closely observe the feeding habits of your cat. If it frequently feeds on rodents, you should consult a vet and start treatment with the frequency of once in two weeks. Because, for cats feeding on rodents, chances for getting worms’ infection is higher.
- Also, if your cat uses your garden or any other open area near your house as a toilet, you should clean the feces as soon as possible. You may also bury them in ground. Else you may put them in a sealed bag and dispose of that safely.
- In case your cat is trained to use a litter tray, it is easier for you to dispose of the feces. You should remove the feces regularly and disinfect it using hot water or some medicated solution.
- You should also regularly check your cats for any signs of fleas and start giving them a regular treatment for this, after consulting your vet. You should be more careful about fleas in summer and autumn.
- You should try your best to keep your cat away from rodents. The best way to do this is to keep the cat inside your house and tied through a belt, especially at night.
- Children of small age groups should be kept away from cats. A bit elder once should be taught about the worms’ infection and should be advised t wash their hands each time after playing with cats. Also if they are playing in courtyard or garden that is sometimes used as a toilet by cats, they should be encouraged to wash hands after playing. Children will put dirty fingers and other objects into their mouths, and this may bring them into contact with worm eggs. Make sure that they wash their hands after playing in a garden or other open areas which may be used as a toilet by cats.
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Cats are one of the cutest pets, we have. We enjoy a lot with them; they make us laugh and are very friendly to us. All we need to do is to take proper care of them against worms’ infection. Because if they are infected, they will not be able to lead a proper life and they may transmit the infection other family members as well. There are very easy and effective treatments available for worms’ infection in cats. Also, try to avoid feeding your cats on the rodent, as this is the primary source of worms’ infection in cats. Hope you like our post, Do comment your queries and views.