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.
What Is A Vector
Vector-borne diseases are those transmitted by fleas or ticks among other parasites that infest dogs and cats. They can affect pets and people. Ticks can transmit a large number of vector-borne diseases in North America including ehrlichiosis, Lyme disease, relapsing fever, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and tularemia.
How To Prevent Worms In Cats
Worm infestations in cats and transmission to children and adults can be prevented through good hygiene practices and the year-round use of heartworm, intestinal worm, and parasite prevention.
For indoor cats, cleaning the litter box on a daily basis, as well as changing out the litter and scrubbing the litter box on a regular basis is vital for minimizing exposure to contaminated feces.
For outdoor cats, regularly scooping feces from the yard, sandbox, and flower beds will minimize the potential for propagation of the parasite life cycle.
Featured Image: Shutterstock/Sakolnap
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Offer Kitty Several Cat Beds
Most cats have a handful of places they like to settle in for a nap. Having cat beds located throughout the home can help contain ringworm spores and make your job of cleaning a lot easier.
Spray the beds regularly with a pet friendly anti-fungal or dust them with baking soda. Vacuum the cats beds and launder them regularly.
Can Humans Get Roundworms From Cats
So named for their spaghetti-like appearance, roundworms are white or brown, and they feed off an animal’s intestines. These parasites are passed through water, food, vomit, or feces that are infected with roundworm eggs. If someone accidentally ingests any of the eggs that person can become infected. Though uncommon, it is possible for a person to pass these parasites to another person; for example, if an infected person did not wash their hands after going to the bathroom and then prepared food for someone else.
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What To Do If Your Cat Has Worms & How To Avoid Them
Think your cat has worms? Find out how to tell for sure and how to treat them is she does.
The bad news: Intestinal worms in cats are very common. The good news: Theyre relatively easy to treat, and most cats make a full recovery. Plus, there are simple steps you can take to prevent worms in cats and help protect your pet from these parasites.
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.
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Keep Your Kids Worm Free
Dogs and cats may become infected with an internal or external parasite at some point in their lifetime. These parasites can cause everything from simple irritation to life-threatening conditions if they are left untreated. Whats more, some pet parasites can be transferred to you or your children. At ZippiVet, were often asked about the diseases parasites carry and whether they may be easily transmitted to the rest of the family. These diseases are called Zoonoses, or zoonotic diseases, and there are more of them than youd think!
Can I Prevent My Cat From Getting Roundworms
Prevention of roundworm infection should include the following measures:
- Breeding females should be dewormed prior to pregnancy and again in late pregnancy. This will reduce the risk of environmental contamination or transmission from the mother to her new kittens.
- Kittens should be dewormed as recommended by your veterinarian. The first deworming should be given at two to three weeks of age. Note that this is prior to the time most kittens are seen for first vaccines. It is entirely appropriate to present new kittens for an initial examination and deworming at two weeks of age.
- Adult cats remain at risk for re-infection with roundworms throughout their lives. Whenever roundworms are seen, the cat should be dewormed immediately. Cats at high risk for infection with roundworms should be routinely dewormed. Cats that like to hunt mice or indoor/outdoor cats should have a fecal examination several times a year.
- Many heartworm preventive products contain medications that will treat roundworm infections. This is the easiest and simplest method for preventing roundworms. Your veterinarian can advise you of the appropriate time to give these products, based on your specific geographical area.
- Control of insects and rodents is important since they may serve as sources of roundworm infection for cats.
- Contact your animal control officials when homeless animals are found.
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How Is A Parasitic Infection Treated
The main treatment is prescription antiparasitic medication. This family of drugs can kill parasites and help pass them through your system.
The antiparasitic medication youll receive, doses schedule, and duration of treatment will depend on the type of parasite infection you have. Dont stop taking the medication in the middle of the course, even if you feel better.
In very severe cases in which parasites have invaded other parts of the body, additional treatments like surgery and other medications to address additional problems caused by the parasites may be necessary.
Ask your doctor if you should follow a special diet or take nutritional supplements during this time. Follow up with your doctor as advised.
Most people respond well to treatment and feel better within a few weeks. A full recovery can be expected in most cases.
It may take longer to recover if you have:
- a severe case
How To Treat Tapeworm In Cats
So how do we actually treat tapeworms in cats? There are several types of deworming medicine for cats;that are very effective in getting rid of tapeworms. Many can be given orally, although some are given by injection.
Most require at least two doses to be effective, and remember, as soon as kitty hunts again, the parasites will be right back. Also, if you are not controlling a flea problem in the house, the tapeworms will be back.
Remember to treat ALL of the animals living in the houseincluding exotic pets like ferrets, guinea pigs and rabbits, as well as dogs and cats! As a rule, if there are fleas in the house, all dogs and cats in the house will need to be treated for tapeworms, even if they arent showing signs of infection.
As disgusting as tapeworms are, the vast majority of them are not contagious to people and do not cause any significant problems to cats. They are generally symptoms of a larger problem, such as a flea infestation or hunting small mammals that are able to transmit other, more significant, parasites.
Working with your veterinarian, you should be able to quickly resolve the problem for both you and your kittybefore you step on a hairball loaded with 20 inches of wiggling worm!
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Can Humans Really Get Ringworm From House Cats Or Cats That Only Go Outside Occasionally
Yes, not only can you get ringworm from cats, felines are thought to be the number 1 suspect of both mysterious ringworm and stubborn ringworm infections. If youve got a cat with ringworm, chances are quite high that humans in the home will suffer the same fate.
This article will explore a few things you can do in order to reduce the chances of your cat bringing home ringworm in the first place and what you can do if these hearty fungal spores are already in the home.
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
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Prevention Of Worms In Cats Is Easier Than Treatment
According to Nichols, the best way to prevent intestinal worms is to keep your cat on year-round preventative medications. Many heartworm preventatives can also protect your cat from getting roundworms and hookworms, and flea preventatives play an important role in protecting cats from tapeworms. Your cats veterinarian can help you find the best options for your pet. Nichols adds that keeping your cat indoors and cleaning his litter box regularly can help guard your cat against intestinal worms.;
Because cats can have intestinal worms without showing any signs, Nichols emphasizes the importance of having your cat screened once a year. This involves bringing in a poop sample from your cat so your veterinarian can perform a fecal float test to look for parasite eggs. The test is often part of your cats yearly wellness visit, she says, and it can identify the presence of roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, and sometimes tapeworms.
How Do Cats Get Roundworms
Trans-mammary or milk-borne infection is the major route of roundworm transmission in kittens. The immature roundworms called larvae are present in the mother’s mammary glands. The larvae pass to her kittens in her milk during nursing.
Both kittens and adult cats may become infected by swallowing eggs that contain infective roundworm larvae. These eggs may come from the feces of infected cats or from the tissues of paratenic hosts . In a paratenic host, the roundworm eggs do not mature into adults, but are just transported. If a cat eats the paratenic host, the roundworm is able to complete its life cycle. Common paratenic hosts for roundworms include earthworms, cockroaches, rodents, and birds.
The life cycle of the roundworm is complicated. Once ingested, the larvae hatch out in the cat’s gastrointestinal tract and migrate through the muscle, liver, and lungs. After several weeks, the larvae return to the intestine to mature into adults. When the adult worms begin to reproduce, eggs will pass into the cat’s stool, thus completing the life cycle of the parasite.
During migration, some roundworm larvae may encyst in a dormant state in the host’s body. In female cats, the larvae can come out of the cyst during pregnancy. These larvae can then be passed to the kittens across the placenta during pregnancy, or through the milk after birth.
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Cat Diseases And Parasites That Can Infect People
Pets are increasingly important in this and other developed;countries.
Many pet owners are;unaware of the diseases and parasites their pets may;harbor;that can cause illness;to humans.; This is one reason that proper veterinary care through routine visits to a veterinarian;is so important.
The transmission of diseases between people and pets;is the basis for the;One Health Initiative whose goal is to;unite human and veterinary medicine.; Check out their website, where;you will find information;about the history of this organization and the important work they are undertaking to share information about the new or re-emerging diseases, 70% of which are zoonotic or vector-borne .
As recently discussed here, cats, like other animals can harbor and transmit a number of diseases and parasites to humans.; The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the leading public health institute in the United States, contains a plethora of scientific information and data on its website, including he most common diseases associated with cats that can cause human illness.
The description of these;diseases and parasitic disorders is republished below to demonstrate why it is so important for cat owners to take care of their pets, which, in turn will help keep all family members healthy.
How Do Cats Get Tapeworms
First, a tapeworm egg must be ingested by a flea larva, an immature stage of the flea. Once inside the larval flea, the tapeworm egg continues to develop as the larval flea matures into an adult flea.
During grooming, or in response to a flea bite, the cat inadvertently swallows the flea. As the flea is digested within the cat’s intestine, the tapeworm egg is released, it hatches, and then anchors itself to the intestinal lining, therefore completing the lifecycle. Unlike other intestinal parasites, cats cannot become infected by eating tapeworm eggs. Tapeworms must first pass through the flea before they can infect the cat.
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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.
Types Of Parasites You Can Get From Your Pet
When you cuddle with your furry friend and let them give you kisses, you may not be thinking that they could pass along some unwanted guests to you. Zoonotic parasites can be transmitted from pets to humans. Heres what pet owners should know.
Some pets are born with intestinal worms . Intestinal parasites can affect your adult cat or dog, who can pick them up in unsanitary outdoor areas or from wildlife. Until your pet is dewormed for parasites, your family can be at risk of zoonotic parasitic infections. However, monthly heartworm preventives can protect your pet from most intestinal parasites because heartworm prevention medication includes parasite preventives.;
Here are four common zoonotic parasites:
Contact us to discuss preventative options for your furry friend to make sure they dont get bugged.;
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How Are Tapeworms Diagnosed
Most commonly, an owner recognizes that their cat has tapeworms through the observation of proglottids on feces or in vomit, and brings this to the attention of the veterinarian. When segments of the tapeworm break off and pass into the cat’s stool, they can be seen crawling on the surface of the feces. These proglottid segments look like grains of cooked white rice or cucumber seeds. Less commonly, segments are seen moving around the cat’s anus.
You should note that tapeworms are not readily diagnosed with routine fecal examinations. Because of this, you should notify your veterinarian when tapeworm segments are found in your cat’s stool.
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.
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How Do I Prevent My Cat From Getting Tapeworms
Try to keep your cat from coming in contact with intermediate hosts that contain tapeworm larvae. Because fleas are an intermediate host for the most common kind of tapeworm, flea control is an essential prevention measure.
If you think your cat is infected with tapeworms, call your veterinarian for an appointment to get an accurate diagnosis and safe, effective treatment options.
Can Humans Get Tapeworms From Cats
Another common worm found in cats is the tapeworm. These worms are found in the small intestines and in some cases can cause an infection. The most tapeworm found in cats in the United States is the Dipylidium caninum. These tapeworms are unlikely to have any effect on humans. According to the CDC, there are a few reported cases in children. The Echinococcus is another tapeworm that is found rarely in the United States. These are unfortunately contagious and can cause serious medical problems for humans.
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