When To Begin Worming Treatments In Kittens
In contrast to dogs, kittens are not born with worm larvae already present in their gut, but they can contract them from their mothers milk. Because of this risk, worming treatment should begin from a young age.
Some worming treatments can begin once kittens are six weeks old. Once your kitten is 9 weeks of age they can start on monthly Advocate® which will then continue to control intestinal nematode worms, and in addition: fleas, heartworm and lungworms.
Regular worming treatments will ensure your kitty stays happy, healthy and safe from worms throughout its nine lives as a cat.
How Do You Deworm A Kitten
The easiest way to deworm a kitten is with a medication that you give them orally. There are over-the-counter cat dewormers suitable for kittens, or you can get one from your vet. You can even take your kitten to the vet and have them dewormed there instead of doing it at home if you want to.
Most oral medications for kittens are flavored, so your kitten might take the medication willingly. Otherwise, you can use a small plastic syringe to push medication directly into their mouth.
Its essential to measure dewormed exactly. Too much medication can make your cat sick and cause a range of medical problems. Too little dewormer, and it might not work, and can even make it harder to treat your kittens worm infection in the future.
The exact amount of dewormer you need depends on the brand of the medication and how much your kitten weighs. If you arent taking your kitten to the vet to get them dewormed, the easiest way to measure your kittens weight is usually with a kitchen scale.
Once you know your kittens weight, youll need to do a little simple math to get the right dosage.
Some medications are effective in a single dose. However, some medications may need you to give your kitten several doses to be effective.
What Types Of Worms Can A Cat Catch
Yes, there is more than one type of worm that can infest your pussy cat! Roundworms, tapeworms, hookworms and whipworms are parasites that can all be present in your cat.
Most worms are spread through the ingestion of eggs from infected stools. You will say, of course, that your cat does not eat stools. But as your cat is constantly grooming itself, all it takes is for your cat to walk on infected ground to ingest these eggs a little later.
Here are the 4 main families of worms that are harmful to our feline friends. What do cat worms look like?
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How Do You Prevent And Treat Worms In Cats
The most effective way to prevent worms in cats is to, where possible, keep cats indoors and avoid their exposure to rats, birds, rabbits, fleas and faeces.
Many inexpensive treatments for worms are available, such as an injection that your vet can give, a tiny tablet that can go in with food, or even some drops that can be applied to the skin.
If you suspect that your cat is suffering with worms, its important to book an appointment to see your vet as soon as you can. We have cat insurance to protect your pet from any health issues they may face.
Can I Deworm My Kitten Myself
All kittens should be treated for common parasites such as roundworms and hookworms at 2, 4, and 6 weeks of age. This can be done at a veterinarian, or at home. To deworm a kitten at home, youll need a digital scale, a 1cc syringe, and a bottle of oral dewormer which can be purchased online or at a pet supply store.
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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 To Prevent Tapeworms
Keeping your cat free of flea infestations with flea and tick medication is the best protection against tapeworms. However, if infestation does occur, the environment must be treated along with the cat to prevent recurring infestations.
Since cats are fastidious groomers, you may not see the fleas that they are ingesting or know that they are contracting tapeworms until there is an infestation.
Ask your veterinarian which flea and tick prevention products are safe for your cat. Keeping your cat indoors and away from dead animals and garbage may also help prevent them from ingesting tapeworms.
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How Do I Know If My Cat Has Roundworms
The most common test for roundworms is a fecal flotation performed by your vet.
A small amount of your cat’s stool is mixed with a solution that causes eggs to float to the top, where they can then be picked up and examined on a microscope slide. The eggs are microscopic, so you wont notice them at home.
In addition to identifying the presence of roundworms, fecal exams spot eggs of many other worm species and other microscopic parasites. So, its an important part of your kittens health checks.
Its important to note, though, that false negatives are possible.
Sometimes, cats are infected with young worms, which arent yet releasing eggs that can be detected on a test.
But because roundworms are very common in kittens and false negatives can occur, your vet may still recommend treatment.
Diagnosing 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.
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Symptoms Of Roundworms In Cats
Spotting symptoms of roundworms in cats can be somewhat challenging. If your cat has a small number of worms, no symptoms may be present, but in general a cat with roundworms may experience lethargy, vomiting, abdominal swelling or a potbellied appearance , weight loss or failure to gain weight, dull coat or diarrhea.
Kittens in particular may vomit up roundworms or pass them in the litter box. If you suspect your cat has roundworms, you might spot the distinctive, spaghetti-like parasites in her feces. In extreme cases, roundworms in cats can cause intestinal blockage or coughing due to the migration of roundworm larvae into the lungs.
What Is The Treatment For Roundworms
Fortunately, the treatment for roundworms is safe, simple, and relatively inexpensive. The dead and dying roundworms pass into the stool after administration of the anthelmintic or deworming medication. Since none of these treatments will kill the immature forms of the worm or the migrating larvae, at least two or three treatments are needed. Treatments are typically done at two to three week intervals. Ideally, kittens are dewormed with each visit for booster vaccinations. If your adult cat goes outdoors, you may wish to administer periodic doses of a dewormer. Nursing females should be treated at the same time as their litter of kittens.
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Why Are There Worms In Cat Poop
There are worms in your cats poop because your cat has a heavy infestation of tapeworms, roundworms, or hookworms. A large number of these worms may already be populating your cats intestines so that when your pet defecates, clumps or worm segments are also excreted. Even indoor cats can get infected just by ingesting infected fleas or by eating rodents or insects around the house that are carriers of worm larvae.
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.
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Can Humans Get Worms From Cats
Yes, humans can get worms from cats if they come in direct contact with infected feces or soil. This tends to happen when people are gardening without gloves, walking barefoot through infected soil, or if children are playing in a sandbox that has infected feces from cats. The best way to prevent this from happening is to practice good hygiene.
How To Treat Worms In Cats
The best way to treat worms in cats is with deworming medication, to kill both the larvae and adult worms within your cats intestines. In many cases, dewormers may be given in multiple doses to interrupt the life cycle of the intestinal parasite. Make sure to follow your vets instructions for dosage amounts and when to administer them. In many cases, the second dose is used to kill any worms that might have hatched after the first dose was administered.
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Signs Your Cat Might Have Worms
Intestinal parasites are most common in outdoor cats and kittens that grew up in unsanitary conditions. They are rarely found in indoor cats. However, regardless of your pets living situation, you should keep an eye out for these signs to help you tell if your cat has worms:
- Vomiting and diarrhea: Whether caused by worms or another problem, these symptoms are a sign of digestive distress and warrant a trip to the vet.
- Mucus or worm segments in your pets stool: The intestines often secrete mucus as a defense mechanism against a parasitic invasion, making your pets stool slimy. Tapeworm segments may also break apart and end up in your pets stool.
- Lethargy and fatigue: These are possible symptoms of anemia and malnutrition.
- Dry skin and dull coat: The skin and fur are the first to suffer from nutritional deficiencies if your cat has worms.
- Odd appetite: Watch for sudden hunger caused by malnutrition refusal to eat or drink because of an upset stomach and rapid weight loss despite eating normally.
- Potbelly: Kittens, in particular, may develop a potbelly in response to intestinal parasites.
Not sure if your cat has worms? If youre in the Frederick County, MD area, contact Village Vet of Urbana to schedule a diagnostic appointment.
How To Identify Worms In A Cat
This article was co-authored by Brian Bourquin, DVM. Brian Bourquin, better known as Dr. B to his clients, is a Veterinarian and the Owner of Boston Veterinary Clinic, a pet health care and veterinary clinic with three locations, South End/Bay Village, the Seaport, and Brookline, Massachusetts. Boston Veterinary Clinic specializes in primary veterinary care, including wellness and preventative care, sick and emergency care, soft-tissue surgery, dentistry. The clinic also provides specialty services in behavior, nutrition, and alternative pain management therapies using acupuncture, and therapeutic laser treatments. Boston Veterinary Clinic is an AAHA accredited hospital and Bostons first Fear Free Certified Clinic. Brian has over 19 years of veterinary experience and earned his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Cornell University.There are 8 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article received 21 testimonials and 92% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 659,101 times.
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Some Of The Ways You Can Prevent Your Cat From Getting Worms Are As Follows:
- All kittens and all-new household additions should be dewormed
- Use monthly heartworm and flea preventative that treats and controls hookworms and roundworms all year long
- Routine wellness and fecal examinations
- Keep your litter box clean
- Keep your cat indoors so that their possible exposure is limited
If you have any further questions about deworming cats or you’re ready to get an appointment for your own pet, please give us a call!
Treating And Preventing Worms
Kittens. Your kitten will need a special worming treatment suited to their age and weight. They should have their first treatment at 3 weeks old and after that, they should be wormed every two weeks until they are 16 weeks old. After 16 weeks, they will need a treatment every one-three months .
Adult cats. A worming treatment every three months is usually enough to prevent problems from developing. More regular treatments may be necessary if your cat hunts a lot.
What to expect after treatment. You probably wont notice any changes after giving your cat a worming treatment, unless they had lots of worms, in which case you may see some dead worms in their poo. Contact your vet if your cat has diarrhoea or seems unwell.
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How To Tell If Your Cat Has Worms
Cats with worms typically have a coarse coat, will experience diarrhea, have little or no appetite and may even vomit. In short, during a major parasitosis, they will not be doing very well.
Here is a more complete list of signs that a cat might exhibit in cases of a worm infestation:
- Swollen abdomen
These signs are generally present during a significant parasitosis. Most animals show little or no symptoms during a minor to moderate infestation.
Read on to find out how to protect your cat from these parasites.
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.
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How Is My Cat Dewormed
After your veterinarian has identified and diagnosed your cat with worms, they will have a proper treatment plan according to the type of worms your cat has been diagnosed with. Your cat will be prescribed a dewormer medication that might be a small pill, liquid, injection, or topical medicine to be administered.
Feline Lower Urinary Tract Diseases
Some estimates say as many as 3% of cats seen by vets have feline lower urinary tract disease , which is actually a group of feline diseases with multiple causes.
Female and male cats can get FLUTD, and it often occurs in cats that are overweight or unfit or who eat dry food. Stress, a multi-cat household, and sudden changes can all raise a cat’s risk of FLUTD, and treatment depends on the type of FLUTD your cat has. FLUTD symptoms include:
- Drinking more
- Licking around the urinary area
- Lack of appetite
It’s always an emergency if your cat can’t urinate. Call your vet immediately if you suspect your cat has a urinary tract problem.
Read more about cat urinary tract problems.
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How Do You Clean Your House If Your Cat Has Worms
Treatment generally consists of a general dewormer and environmental cleaning. Indoors, the floor should be vacuumed and cleaned with an all-purpose cleaner. Litter boxes and bedding should be scrubbed and laundered. All animals in the house should be dewormed together to ensure all infected animals are treated.
How To Treat And Prevent Worms
Treating worms is usually relatively simple. Once the specific type of worm has been identified, your vet will prescribe your cat a course of medication designed to eradicate the infection. These medications differ by worm type i.e. roundworm treatment wont work to kill hookworms.
After being treated for worms, youll notice worms and/or worm segments in your cats feces. Dont be alarmed this is just his body ridding itself of the parasites but do be cautious when handling or disposing of the excrement.
The best way to prevent a parasitic infection in your cat is to keep him out of harms way. Cats who live indoors are less likely to get worms, as are cats who stay flea- and tick-free through the use of prescription prevention medications.
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