Other Ways To Stop Cats From Bringing Home Ringworm
Now youre about to read a whole bunch of things you dont want to hear. Unfortunately, its kinda like taking off your shoes at the front door. Many people dont want to do it, but its the only way to keep nasty germs from entering.
The best way to reduce ringworm spores from traveling inside the home is to Clean off your cat before she enters.
Before allowing your cat to re-enter the home, youll have to take some extra steps, especially during high ringworm season. There are 3 ways to clean a cats coat: Dusting, Blowing, Vacuuming.
Being a cat owner myself, I know that maybe 1 cat out of 100 will tolerate option 2 or 3. If your cat is that one oddball who enjoys machinery, by all means blowing or vacuuming your cats coat will be the most effective way to remove the ringworm spores.
In reality, most people will have to resort to giving their cat a good dusting. Be sure to use a damp cloth and dust in one direction, head to tail, so you avoid embedding the spores deeper into the cats coat.
But My Cat Uses a Cat Door
If this is you, then youll have to commit to dusting off kitty just as soon as possible. However, we highly recommend a cat door that allows indoor access, but not full access to your entire home.
How Do I Prevent My Cat From Getting Roundworms
Because roundworms can enter your cat’s body in many different ways, it is essential to keep your cat’s living area clean and, if possible, keep your cat indoors to prevent it from eating wild animals that may carry roundworms.
Kittens should be treated for roundworms every 2 weeks between three and nine weeks of age and then receive a preventive treatment monthly. Fecal examinations should be conducted 2 to 4 times during the first year of life and 1 or 2 times each year in adults. Nursing mothers should be kept on monthly preventive and treated along with their kittens. A monthly parasite control product effective against roundworms is recommended to treat potential new infections. Many heartworm medications also control roundworms so ask your veterinarian about prevention and treatment choices.
What Are The Symptoms Of Tapeworms
Symptoms of tapeworms in cats are notoriously difficult to pin down. At the start of an intestinal parasite infestation when there are only one or two mature tapeworms there really arent any obvious physical reactions that you would notice. The first signs of worms in cats are to be found in their poop, or in the area immediately surrounding the cats anus. These are the proglottids, those egg-filled segments of the tapeworm that it releases as it grows in size and length.
The fresher and more recently the proglottid has broken from the mature tapeworm, the more mobile it is on its own. You may be able to see very small, dull-white to cream-colored segments, resembling nothing quite so much as grains of rice, or cucumber seeds, in the area right around the anus, or they may be visible in recently-excreted cat dung. A cat would have to have quite a large number of mature tapeworms living inside it to exhibit pronounced symptoms. A cat with a substantial tapeworm infestation may start losing weight or tend to vomit more than normal.
It is extremely rare for humans to nuture or develop mature cat tapeworms. How rare? According to the precis for this 2014 research article on tapeworm transmission in the Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine:
In the past 20 years only 16 cases have been reported in Europe, China, Japan, India, Sudan, Latin America, and the United States.
Diagnosing And Treating Worms In Cats
While some worms can be seen by the naked eye, others must be diagnosed with fecal testing. Your veterinarian will ask you to bring in a stool sample, which will be placed in a solution that allows the parasite eggs to separate from the feces and float to the top.
Next, a drop of the sample is placed on a slide and examined under a microscope to determine the exact type of worm infesting your cat. A physical exam, along with blood work, may also be carried out to get a complete picture of your cats health.
Because the lifecycle of each parasite is different, its important to know exactly the type of worm infesting your cat. This will determine medication, treatment, and follow-up care. After treatment, your cat will likely need another fecal exam to ensure the worms have been wiped out.
Thankfully, most intestinal worms in cats are easily resolved with either a single dose of dewormer or a short course of deworming medication that your vet can prescribe and administer. Certain worms can be more stubborn to resolve, resulting in slightly longer treatment courses of intestinal dewormers.
What Are The Clinical Signs Of Tapeworm Infection
Tapeworms are not particularly harmful to the cat and few clinical signs are attributed to their presence.
Usually, the cat is brought to the veterinarian because the owner notices the presence of proglottids crawling on feces. Rarely, tapeworms may cause debilitation or weight loss if they are present in large numbers. A cat will occasionally scoot or drag its anus across the ground or carpet due to the anal irritation caused by the proglottids; however, this behavior is much more common in dogs than cats.
Occasionally, a tapeworm will release its attachment in the intestines and migrate to the stomach. When this happens, the cat may vomit an adult tapeworm several inches in length.
The Companion Animal Parasite Council
The Companion Animal Parasite Council is an independent council of veterinarians and other animal healthcare professionals established to create guidelines for the optimal control of internal and external parasites that threaten the health of pets and people. It brings together broad expertise in parasitology, internal medicine, public health, veterinary law, private practice and association leadership.
Initially convened in 2002, CAPC was formed with the express purpose of changing the way veterinary professionals and pet owners approach parasite management. The CAPC advocates best practices for protecting pets from parasitic infections and reducing the risk of zoonotic parasite transmission.
How Do Cats Get Tapeworms
The tapeworm requires an intermediate host before developing into an adult. So, for a cat to get tapeworms, they need to ingest the intermediate host. For example, tapeworm eggs are frequently ingested through adult fleas.
The fleas actually ingest the tapeworm eggs before jumping on a cat, and then the cat eats the flea and becomes infected. The tapeworm eggs then hatch once they have been digested in the cats intestines.
Other hosts that a cat is likely to ingest include rabbits, birds, and rodents. Scavenging may also lead to an infestation of tapeworms.
Cat Infections That Can Spread To Humans
Andy Miller, MD, is board-certified in infectious disease and internal medicine. He is an associate professor at Weill Cornell Medicine, associate attending physician at the Hospital for Special Surgery and New York Presbyterian Hospital and a fellow of the Infectious Disease Society of America.
While cats are generally safe, contact with cats, including cat bites and scratches, can cause infections in humans. If you are exposed to a cat, it is important that you understand the potential infections and how to stay safe.
How Do Humans Get Roundworms From Cats
In order for intestinal roundworms to be transmitted to humans, you would have to ingest the eggs of this parasite. The eggs then hatch in the human intestinal tract and the immature roundworms migrate to tissues in the body.
Roundworms can migrate to any tissues in the body, including the brain and the eyes. This type of infection occurring in humans is called “visceral larval migrans” or VLM.
Roundworm is most often seen in toddlers who play where a cat has defecated, then puts his or her unwashed hands in his or her mouth. The worm’s eggs incubate for several weeks in the ground or kitty litter where your kitty defecates. To be infected, the child would have to swallow the eggs.
Can People Catch Intestinal Worms From Cats
Most kittens are infected by roundworms, caught from their mothers milk. These worms live in the bowel and their eggs are shed in the faeces. Occasionally people can be infected causing various problems, including in rare cases eye damage.
Cats can also get tapeworms, either from hunting or swallowing fleas when they are grooming, and there have been a few cases of these infecting humans.
Infection with all types of worm is easily avoided by washing hands after handling cats, kittens and litter trays, effective flea control, and also by regular worming of cats . Kittens should be wormed fortnightly from six to 16 weeks. It is best to consult a vet to ensure that you choose a product that is active against everything and to design an effective worming programme for your cat’s lifestyle. Spot-on products are now available from the vet for cats who won’t take tablets.
Are Roundworms A Danger To My Family Or Me
Roundworms can be a health risk for humans. The most common source of human infection is by ingesting eggs that have come from soil contaminated with cat feces.
“In suitable environments, the eggs may remain infective to humans and cats for years.”
As many as 10,000 cases of roundworm infection in humans have been reported in one year in the United States. Children are at an increased risk for health problems should they become infected. If the infective eggs of Toxocara canis are swallowed by people, the larvae can invade the tissues and become encysted in various organs. Humans act like any other paratenic or accidental host. If a young child ingests a large number of infected eggs, clinical disease may become apparent.
Very rarely, liver problems may result from roundworm larval migration . Even less commonly, the larvae can migrate into the eye and cause blindness . Modern monthly heartworm preventives also prevent roundworm infections and are highly recommend for all dogs and cats.
In suitable environments, the eggs may remain infective to humans and cats for years. It is important to wash your hands thoroughly after playing with your pet, or after being in areas where they may have defecated.
Are These Infections Serious In The Cat
Intestinal worms can be a serious problem in young kittens. Hookworms can cause anemia and roundworms can lead to poor growth and development. Tapeworms can also accumulate in high numbers, leading to intestinal obstruction.
In adult cats, however, intestinal parasites are only occasionally life-threatening. Debilitated animals or those that have a weakened immune system are more likely to experience severe intestinal parasitism and show clinical signs due to their worms.
Heartworm disease is a major life-threatening problem in dogs, and is increasingly recognized as a threat to cats. Heartworm disease is transmitted by mosquitoes and can cause extensive damage within the heart and lungs.
Can You Catch Worms From Cats
Yes, you can although they dont develop in the same way, they would in your cat. Infection is more common in children than in adults.
You will notice two phrases that are similar in this article: cutaneous larva migrans and visceral larva migrans . CLM most commonly occurs with hookworms and VLM with roundworms. VLM is far more serious than CLM.
Yes It’s Possible For Humans To Be Infected By Certain Cat Worms
Getting worms from your cat is one of the very minimal risks you have when taking care of your healthy cat. Cat worms that can be transmitted to humans, as well as other animals, are:
Roundworms, hookworms and tapeworms are parasites that can be found in your cat’s feces.
Although not technically a worm, ringworm is a fungus that can be passed from your cat’s infected skin or fur to you.
Reducing Risks For Your Family
You can reduce the risk of parasitic infection to your family by eliminating parasites from pets; restricting access to contaminated areas, such as sandboxes, pet walk areas, and other high-traffic areas; and practicing good personal hygiene.
Disposing of pet feces on a regular basis can help remove potentially infective worm eggs before they become distributed in the environment and are picked up or ingested by pets or humans.
How To Get Rid Of Worms In Cats
There are several home remedies that claim to be effective in treating and preventing worms in cats, including garlic, apple cider vinegar, pumpkin seeds, carrots, and turmeric.
However, attempting to treat your cat with over-the-counter remedies or natural remedies for worms in cats is never recommended.
While it may seem like a faster and cheaper alternative to visiting your veterinarian, there is NO guarantee that those products are safe or effective in treating any type of medical condition, and they could actually be harmful to your cat.
Here are some effective and vet-approved treatments for worms in cats.
Veterinary Treatment For Your Cat
If you suspect that your cat or kitten is suffering from any of these types of worms in cats, it’s best to get veterinary advice or treatment immediately to prevent the infestation in your kitty from becoming worse. This will help protect other pets and the humans in your life who can get worms from your cat.
If caught early, many of these parasites are easily gotten rid of with conventional worming medication or natural homeopathic remedies.
How Did My Cat Get Tapeworms
So how do cats get these lovely parasites? There are two main modes of transmission. The first, and most common, is through fleas. If the cat swallows a flea infested with a baby tapeworm while grooming, that worm will mature within the intestinal cat of the track with time.
The other common way a cat becomes infected is through hunting small mammals such as mice. Once again, when the worm is in the intestinal tract, it can mature and infect kitty with the parasite.
How To Treat Ear Mites In Humans
To diagnose ear mites, you can start by making an appointment with your family doctor. They will likely refer you to an ear, nose, and throat specialist.
Your doctor can take a swab sample from your ear and complete an otoscope examination. This is a tool used to examine deep inside the ear canal. These tests can check for any abnormalities in the ear, as well as confirm or rule out the presence of ear mites.
Since ear mites feed off skin oils and ear wax, treatment usually starts with your doctor flushing out your ear canal with a saline solution to remove any wax buildup.
Afterward, your doctor may prescribe special ear drops containing the ingredients:
- triamcinolone acetonide
These ingredients can relieve itching, infection, or inflammation in the ear.
Some people have also had good results using acetic acid in the ear, which can stop the growth of fungi and bacteria. Treating an ear mite infection also involves killing live mites and their eggs, so your doctor will prescribe an antiparasitic ear drop.
Also, an ear mite infection can sometimes lead to a secondary bacterial infection. In this case, your doctor may need to prescribe antibiotics. Take the antibiotic as directed to prevent a recurrent infection.
How To Prevent Ear Mites
One of the best ways to avoid getting ear mites is to keep a close eye on your family pets. Recognizing the first signs of an ear mite infection in animals can protect you and others in the household. Although human transmission is rare, its still possible.
If you notice a dark discharge from your animals ears or frequent head-scratching, see your veterinarian immediately.
Your veterinarian can examine your pets ear canal for the presence of mites. If theres an infection, your vet will thoroughly clean their ear and then prescribe medication to treat the infection. This can include antiparasitic treatments like selamectin and moxidectin or imidacloprid.
Also ask your vet about preventive measures for future infections, such as giving your dog a monthly antiparasitic application.
If your pet has an infection, make sure you keep other family pets separate. You can also protect yourself by not sharing a bed or furniture with your pet. This is especially the case while theyre undergoing treatment.
Sanitize and wash any items your pet uses on a regular basis, such as chew toys and their bedding.
How Do You Diagnose Tapeworms In Cats
How do you know if your cat has tapeworms? The most common way that owners discover tapeworms is by finding the segments on the cat or on the cats bedding. Sometimes, it is possible to find a long, flat worm that has been vomited.
Often, your veterinarian might find the eggs of the tapeworm in your cats feces during a fecal exam, although the eggs are so large that sometimes they do not show up well under the microscope. If your kitty has fleas, it is likely a safe assumption that other friendsaka tapewormsare along for the ride as well. And if your cat hunts a lot, she likewise also has tapeworms.
Treating Your Cat’s Worms
If you have just adopted a new cat or if your cat is showing symptoms of worms, you should administer treatment right away to protect both you and your cat’s health.
Treatment for a worm infection is usually given orally and can be in pill or liquid form. A veterinarian will prescribe an anthelmintic and treatments can begin on a kitten as young as two weeks old. It may take several rounds of treatment to rid your cat of all the worms it is hosting.
Tapeworm Treatment And Prevention Strategies
Youre in luck, if, in the next 20 years, you or a small child you know are among the next 16 people to develop an intestinal parasite thanks to a wayward cat. The most effective and common treatment option is a medication called praziquantel. A single dose may be sufficient to eradicate tapeworms from a human.
There are a few simple things you can do to reduce the chances of hosting a flatworm party in your or your cats intestines. First is to establish a good flea control plan with your cat. That can mean anti-flea medications, baths for indoor-outdoor cats, and a flea collar. You could also monitor your cats poop or put a hind-quarters inspection on your monthly cat calendar. It is easy enough to keep your cat flea-free. Where there are no fleas, there can be no risk of tapeworms!
About the author: Melvin Peña trained as a scholar and teacher of 18th-century British literature before turning his research and writing skills to puppies and kittens. He enjoys making art, hiking, and concert-going, as well as dazzling crowds with operatic karaoke performances. His 17-year-old cat, Quacko, passed away the day before Thanksgiving, and his online life is conveniently encapsulated here.
What Is The Treatment For Tapeworms
A variety of products are available to treat tapeworms in cats but they are not all equally effective. For the best advice on the type of deworming preparation most suitable for your cat, you should seek the help of your veterinarian. The most effective worming products are only available by prescription from a licensed veterinarian.
“After treatment, the tapeworm dies and is usually digested within the intestine, so worm segments do not usually pass into the stool.”
The deworming medication called an anthelmintic may be given as a tablet or an injection. After treatment, the tapeworm dies and is usually digested within the intestine, so worm segments do not usually pass into the stool. Side effects, such as vomiting and diarrhea, are rarely reported with the newer tapeworm medications.
How Can You Tell If Your Cat Has Tapeworms
As a tapeworm grows, pieces of its body break into segments and pass into your cats intestines. You may see dried, white or cream-colored segments of the tapeworm in your cat’s feces, or you may find them stuck to the fur under your cats tail.
Some tapeworm species will break into segments that are too small to see, while the segments of other tapeworm species will resemble sesame or cucumber seeds in size and appearance.
If a tapeworm has traveled into a cats stomach, and the cat vomits up the worm, it may come up as a large and moving segment.
Cats may bite or lick their anus, or drag their hindquarters across the floor. Keep in mind that a tapeworm infection is often asymptomatic and, contrary to popular belief, rarely a cause of weight loss in cats.
If you notice tapeworms, take your cat to the vet for an evaluation. A fecal sample can be used to diagnose intestinal parasites like tapeworms. Its always helpful to save any worms that you find and bring them to your veterinarian for diagnosis. They can be transported in a sealed plastic bag or jar.
What Is The Treatment For Tapeworms In Cats
Luckily, treatment for cat tapeworms is pretty easy and effective. If your cat is infested, your vet will give you a tapeworm medicine called a dewormer. Typically, dewormers are oral medications, though they can also be given through an injection.
The deworming medication causes the tapeworm to dissolve in the intestines. Since the worm has been digested, you shouldn’t expect to see evidence of it in the litter box. The deworming medication should not cause your cat any adverse side effects, like vomiting or diarrhea.
The best-case scenario is to keep your cat from getting infected in the first place. You can greatly reduce your cat’s risk of ever getting tapeworms by using flea control treatments regularly and keeping your cat inside. Tapeworms are not contagious, like a cold, per se, but they are transmittable through fleas from animal to animal and in rare cases to humans. Just like your cat, if your dog eats an infected flea while chewing his skin, he can get tapeworms. If you or your child accidentally ingests a flea, you could get tapeworm, too.
What My Indoor Cats Can Get Worms
Yes they sure can! Cats being the hunters that they are, require frequent deworming throughout the year. So how do indoor cats get infected with worms?
Indoor cats will hunt just about anything in your home. Rodents, insects, and other household pests harbor worm eggs, which are passed on to your cat when he devours them. Mice and the common house fly are just two of the many critters that can carry roundworms eggs. Mosquitoes and ticks can transmit parasites to your pet by biting them.
Even if your kitty never goes outside, theres a good chance that members of the household come and go on a daily basis. Microscopic worm eggs can lay dormant for months, so its easy to track them in on clothing and footwear. Theres no way to avoid them completely when you are outdoors, but you can lower the chances of contamination by removing or cleaning shoes before entering the house.
Transfer From Cat to Cat or Dog to Cat
If you have both indoor and outdoor kitties or a dog, be prepared for parasites and diseases to spread among them. Your cat can pick up a case of worms by sharing a litter box with the other infected cat. A cat can also be infected by grooming your dog or sharing the dogs food and water bowls.
Humans can also contract roundworms, tapeworms, and other parasites as well, so keep children away from litter boxes and wash their hands after contact with the cat.
Illnesses You Cannot Get From Your Pet
Although there are several infectious diseases you can get from your pet, there are many more that are not naturally transmitted from pets to humans. Because pets can get diseases that are similar to those humans get, you may wonder if you can get them from your pet.
Here are some infections that sound similar to human diseases but which you cannot get from your pet:
- Feline immunodeficiency virus