CatsMedical & Health

worms in cats? How to treat it in cats ?

What are the most important types ??

What are the symptoms of worms in cats ?? 

One of these diseases that usually affects cats is intestinal worms. These creatures are creepy creatures that travel around the cat’s body, which causes massive inconvenience and problems. It is necessary to get rid of them as quickly as possible to prevent any other problems. Before we look at the treatment of worms in cats, let us take a first look at its symptoms, causes and the different types of worms found in cats.

How does infestation of worms in cats occur??

Infection with worms in cats depends on the type of worms:

1- Cats catch worms by being exposed to eggs of worms or infected particles in their stools from animal infected with worms.

2- In some cases, cats that live outside the home hunt rodents that have worm larvae living in their tissues. The cat then eats rodents, swallows infected tissues, and larvae grow into worms in the cat’s intestine.

 3- Cats can also catch fleas that carry roundworm eggs if they themselves have fleas that carry a worm infection.

4- Or to be bitten by the worms that penetrate the skin.

5- kittens can also develop some types of worms during whelping from an infected mother.

What are the symptoms of presence of worms in cats??

Worms in cats can depict numerous symptoms and signs that could potentially be due to worms. If any of the following signs and symptoms are seen, visit a vet immediately to get your feline diagnosed.

  • Worms in the feces
  • Bloody stools
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Continuous coughing
  • Labored breathing
  • Sudden loss of weight
  • Bloated stomach
  • Constipation
  • Dry and dull fur coat
  • Lethargy and weakness
  • Increased appetite

What are the types of worms in cats?

Roundworms 

(Toxascaris leonina and Toxocara cati) are the most common worms in cats, affecting 25% to 75% of cats, with higher rates in kittens. Adult roundworms are three to five inches long, cream-colored, and live in the cat’s intestine, where they don’t attach to the intestinal walls and survive by eating food ingested by the host. Adult female worms produce fertile eggs that are passed in the infected cat’s feces. The eggs require several days to several weeks to develop into the infective larval stage.

Cats become infected with Toxocara cati by ingesting eggs or rodents (transport hosts) that have larvae in their tissues. Kittens can ingest larvae that pass through an infected queen’s milk, sometimes becoming infected soon after birth. 

Roundworm infections are usually relatively benign, but affected kittens may show vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, or loss of appetite. If left untreated, roundworm infections may cause potentially life-threatening anemia (low red blood cell count) and, in extreme cases, stomach rupture, so infection should be taken seriously and treated aggressively. Infection is confirmed by the presence of parasite eggs during microscopic examination of the stool. Several medications treat roundworm infections effectively in cats, but owners can minimize the likelihood of infection by prohibiting hunting and reducing exposure to the feces of infected cats. Treating queens prior to breeding reduces the likelihood that the parasite will infect kittens. It is important to note that reinfection after successful treatment is relatively common.

Toxocara can infect people. When Toxocara larvae migrate through the tissues of people, they can cause damage to various organs and the eyes, called visceral larval migrans and ocular larval migrans, respectively. Although these diseases are rare, they can be quite serious, especially in young children. They can be easily avoided by preventing ingestion of Toxocara eggs from contaminated soil or hands.

Hookworms

Hookworms are a type of small intestinal roundworm found in most countries throughout the world but are more common in some countries than others. These worms can cause damage to the lining of the intestine where they attach to the surface, and this may result in weight loss, bleeding and anaemia.

Cats may be infected by ingestion (eating) eggs from the environment, from eating an infected intermediate host (as with Toxocara cati above) or by the larvae in the environment burrowing through the cat’s skin.

Common cat hookworms include Ancylostoma tubaeforme, and Uncinaria stenocephala, but other species occur in some countries.worms in cats

Tapeworms

Tapeworms are generally long flat worms composed of many segments. Mature segments containing eggs are released from the end of the tapeworm and are passed in the faeces. These segments often resemble grains of rice and can sometimes be seen on the hair around the anus of the cat, in the faeces and on the cat’s bed.

To complete their life-cycle, all tapeworms require an intermediate host to first eat the eggs from the environment, and then the cat will become infected by eating the intermediate host. Animals that act as intermediate hosts vary depending on the species of tapeworm. The most common tapeworms that infect cats worldwide are Dipylidium caninum and Taenia taeniaeformis.

Dipylidium caninum is transmitted to cats by fleas. The immature fleas larvae ingest the eggs of the worm, but infection is then passed on to a cat when it swallows an infected flea during grooming. It should be assumed that any cat infected with fleas also has Dipylidium caninum (and vice versa).worms in cats

Taenia taeniaeformis is passed on when they eat small rodents (rats and mice), the rodents having eaten eggs from the environment. This infection occurs very commonly in cats that hunt.

How worms in cats is treated??

There are many different worm products available on the market, and the availability of drugs varies in different countries. While worm products may be available from pet stores and even some supermarkets, they are often old or less effective products and some are less safe in treating worms in cats.

It is always best to seek the advice of your vet, who will know the types of worms that commonly occur where you live, and will be able to recommend the most effective and safe treatments for your cat. In addition, there are some treatments that may be easier to administer, such as injections that your vet may give, or a small tablet that can come in with food.

What are the ways to prevent worms in cats?? 

Roundworms are extremely common in kittens, and as kittens can be infected from the mother’s milk it should be assumed that all kittens are infected, and worming should be started at a young age. Common recommendations are to: worms in cats

  • Treat kittens for roundworms every 2 weeks from 3 weeks of age until 8 weeks of age, then monthly to 6 months of age
  • Treat adult cats (greater than 6 months of age) every 1-3 months

Tapeworms are only usually a problem in older cats, unless a kitten also has fleas.

  • Treat adult cats (greater than 6 months of age) every 1-3 months with a product that is effective against both tapeworms and roundworms.
    A product active against Dipylidium caninum should also be used in kittens that have flea infestations.

 Worms in cats control begins with good sanitation procedures. This includes daily removal of feces, washing the litter box with a disinfectant, such as diluted household bleach, on a regular basis, avoiding overcrowded conditions, avoiding diets with raw meats, and controlling intermediate hosts like fleas, ticks, and rodents. Good worms in cats control is the key to a healthier cat.

Resources:

https://icatcare.org/advice/worming-your-cat/

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