People And Feline Hookworms
The larvae of hookworms can infect people as well as cats. This happens when larvae from the environment migrated into and through the skin. The larvae don’t develop into adult hookworms in people, but migrating larvae cause skin irritation, itchiness, and inflammation. Although most cases are not serious, it’s best to speak with a doctor right away if your cat has been diagnosed with hookworms and you suspect the parasite may have infected a person in your home. Migration of hookworm larvae through human skin is called “cutaneous larva migrans.”
Proper treatment and prevention of hookworm infections and good hygiene are important to prevent this human health concern. Keep pet waste picked up and your dogs and cats current on their deworming to help prevent human cases.
Parsley Water Is A Natural Dewormer
Another home remedy for parasites in cats is parsley water. Parsley is a herb that has some anti-parasitic properties that will kill the worms inside your cat. Moreover, parsley has a pleasant taste, and most cats dont mind it.
So, get some fresh parsley leaves and boiling water. Add the leaves to the water, and then let them steep for 10 minutes. After that, you should strain the liquid and wait for it to cool. Then add one teaspoon to your cats food and feed it once a day.
Do not continue the treatment for too many days because too much parsley water can harm your cats kidneys.
What Never To Use
When searching for natural remedies, youre likely to come across all sorts of recipes that promise to clear up ringworm in no time. However, do your research before using any of them, as many of the most popular cures are actually toxic to cats.
Examples of things that you should never give to or use on your cat include:
- Tea tree oil
- Oil of oregano
- Topical bleach
All of the above ingredients are extremely toxic, and many of them can kill your cat. However, there are a few other popular remedies that are safe but unlikely to prove effective, as they lack antifungal properties. These include:
- Colloidal silver
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What Causes Worms In Cats
Before we talk about home remedies for cat parasites, lets learn more about the different types of worms in cats and how cats get infected. Thats going to help you prevent a second infestation once you deal with the imminent crisis.
So, cats often get infected with:
Roundworms are the most common parasites in cats, and they are responsible for almost 75% of all worm infestations. Often kittens get roundworms from their mother when the mother cat hasnt been dewormed properly before the birth.
Roundworms are 3-5 inches long, and they live in your cats intestines. As such, these worms steal your cats nutrients so that no matter how much your cat eats, she doesnt put on weight. In addition to this, roundworms are highly contagious because your cat sheds infected eggs with her stool and could lead to intestinal blockage.
Tapeworms resemble a ribbon or a tape, and they are made of segments that break off when the worm matures. These segments are shed in the feces and look like grains of rice. Cats get tapeworms when they eat a host infected with tapeworm eggs such as a flea or a rodent.
Hookworms, as the name suggests, attach themselves to your cats intestines and feed off her blood. Since the larvae live in the soil, your cat might swallow it easily when she digs outside. Hookworm infestation is very serious since it might lead to anemia.
Monitor What Your Cat Eats
It is important to supervise your cat when outside and then watches for any contact with any other animals insects and birds are common carriers of the parasites.
Fleas are found on these animals and may be carrying the parasites, once the cat eats the flea, the parasite might develop in the digestive tract. Ingesting raw or even undercooked meats may also lead to worms in cats.
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What Cats Are At Risk For Roundworms
The cats who are most at risk for roundworms are kittens and cats who hunt, but any cat can get roundworms from an owners shoe or by playing with bugs that drag their bellies on the ground and pick up the eggs, Dr. Taylor says. Outdoor cats get them from contaminated soil, hunting or playing with bugs.
What Are The Clinical Signs Of Roundworm Infection
Roundworms are not particularly harmful to adult cats, but large numbers may cause life-threatening problems in kittens and debilitated older cats. In kittens, common clinical signs include a pot-bellied appearance, abdominal discomfort, depressed appetite, dull hair coat, vomiting and diarrhea, or poor growth.
“Large numbers of roundworms may cause life-threatening problems in kittens and debilitated older cats.”
In both kittens and adult cats with small numbers of worms, there may be no clinical signs of infection. You may notice adult roundworms in your cats stool or in their vomit.
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How Are Roundworms Diagnosed
To diagnose roundworm infection, a small amount of the cat’s stool is mixed in a special solution that causes the eggs to float to the top of the solution. The sample is covered with a glass slide on which the floating eggs will collect, and the slide is examined under a microscope. This is called a fecal floatation.
“The distinctive eggs are easily recognized under the microscope.”
The distinctive eggs are easily recognized under the microscope. Roundworm eggs are usually plentiful but, in some cases, it may take more than one fecal examination to find them. Occasionally, adult roundworms can be found in the cat’s stool or vomit.
Types Of Worms In Cats
A wide variety of worms can infect your cat. Common symptoms of most intestinal worm infestations are diarrhea, change in appetite, lethargy, and loss of weight. When worms become adults, they can become visible in the cats excreta or in the fur surrounding the tail.
When you bring your pet to the vet to be examined, he/she would ask you to carry a sample of your kittys stool along with you. The purpose is to check for the presence of worm eggs in the stool sample under a microscope.
The worm can be identified after studying the shape, size, and color of the eggs. Intestinal parasites can be gotten rid of using proper medication purchased over-the-counter or prescribed by the vet.
Roundworms, popularly called ascarids, are the most common in cats as well as kittens. They are pretty resilient and can live in the soil for months or even years. In the adult stage, roundworms appear spaghetti-like in the cats excreta. Roundworms can also move up the gastrointestinal tract making your kitty cough. Potbellied kittens are usually infected with roundworms. Humans can contract roundworms through the handling of infected litterboxes.
Dogs are more prone to contracting hookworms, but cats too are at significant risk. Hookworms are similar to roundworms, but are much smaller and live in the small intestine. Serious hookworm infestation can cause anemia because they feed off a cats blood.
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Summary Of Roundworms In Cats
Roundworms in cats are common intestinal parasites that prevent them from getting the nutrients they need. Common symptoms include visible worms in feces, a dull coat and lack of growth in kittens. Thankfully, roundworm can be easily prevented with monthly preventatives. Speak to your veterinarian about appropriate preventative medications to keep your cat safe from parasites.
Our medical experts
Treatment For Roundworm In Cats
Fortunately, treatment for roundworm infection is safe, easy and fairly inexpensive. After administration of a deworming medication , the worms will pass into the stool. Due to the fact that of their plus size, they are easily recognized. At least two or 3 treatments are required they are normally carried out at two- to three-week intervals. Preferably, kitties are dewormed once again with each visit for kitten vaccinations. None of these treatments will eliminate the immature types of the worm or the migrating larvae.
The prognosis of a roundworm infection readies if appropriate medication is given without delay. Nevertheless, sometimes, exceptionally debilitated kitties may die.
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What Are The Signs Of Roundworm Infection In Cats
Adult roundworms live in the intestines of infected cats, and according to Nichols, some of the most common signs of their presence include diarrhea, weight loss, low energy, poor haircoat, failure to thrive , and sometimes vomiting. Kittens will often have a potbelly appearance, and cats that are heavily infected will sometimes have dead worms in their poop or vomit, she says. Cats with a high number of worms can also suffer from anemia and blocked intestines. However, Nichols says that many catsespecially adultswont have any signs of roundworm infection, which is why an annual screening is so important.
How Cats Get Roundworm Infections
Roundworms most commonly infect young cats and cats that are immune compromised, such as pregnant or sick individuals. Adult cats that acquire an infestation with roundworms may clear the infection on their own, or may be asymptomatic.
Kittens get an infection either through nursing or by ingesting roundworm larvae. Most kittens have at least a mild roundworm infection, and can present with symptoms if a lot of roundworms are present.
A large or distended abdomen can indicate a parasitic infection. In heavy infections, symptoms include anemia, lethargy, and vomiting or diarrhea. Occasionally, the infection can be so bad that the worms block the intestines, requiring surgical intervention and advanced treatment.
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How Do Kittens Get Worms
If you have a kitten, you need to protect them against worms. If the kitten doesnt have worms yet, chances are it will contract them at some point in the future. How do kittens contract worms? There are three main avenues for kittens to contract worms:
It is not necessary for kittens to get exposed to the big, bad world to get infected. The cause of infection can be much more domestic: their own mother. In case the mama cat is infected with roundworm or hookworm, and the kitten nurses from her, then the larvae pass through the milk to infect the kitten. A mama cat who brings meals for her kitten in the form of mice, moles or birds is also introducing worm eggs into the surrounding environment.
Another way a kitten gets worms is through what it eats. If a kitten swallows a flea during grooming and that flea has been feeding on tapeworm eggs, the eggs get transmitted to the kitten. Kittens also get infested if it swallows infected feces and vomit. This can happen intentionally or accidentally. If a kitten accidentally steps into poop and then grooms itself, it can end up contracting roundworms at the same time.
If the kitten swallows something thrown up by another kitty, there lies a chance that it may contract stomach worms. Finally, if the kitten eats an infected bird or rodent, it can end up contracting tapeworms, hookworms or roundworms.
- Diagnosis and Treatment
Roundworms Vs Tapeworms In Cats
According to VCA Hospital, roundworms are one of the most common intestinal parasites in cats and they mainly infect kittens. In fact, almost all cats will become infected with roundworms at some point in their lives, and this is usually when theyre kittens.
These round-bodied worms swim freely within the intestine and can cause abdominal discomfort, depressed appetite, dull coats, vomiting, diarrhea, and poor growth. They are not particularly harmful to an adult cat, but when not treated correctly, can cause serious problems for kittens. But in small numbers, there may be no clinical signs that a cat or kitten has roundworm.
The most common way that kittens get roundworm is through milk-born infections. This means that the roundworm larvae are present in a mother cats mammary glands and are then passed down to her kittens through nursing.
Another way that both cats and kittens can become infected with roundworm is by swallowing eggs that contain the larvae, which can come from the feces of infected cats or the tissues of an accidental host, such as an earthworm, cockroach, rodent, or bird.
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Can Cats Die From Worms
This is indeed possible, especially if you have a kitten at home. They are more vulnerable to worm infestations because their immune systems are not yet fully developed.
A cat that has diarrhea for too long may suffer from severe dehydration. In addition, you now know that certain worms can cause anemia, a condition that can lead to death if left untreated.
In short, all the symptoms mentioned above must be addressed quickly to avoid a gloomy prognosis.
Roundworms In Cats Lungs
Respiratory parasites may be worms, or even the insects like maggots which live in the respiratory system, either in passages or in blood vessels. The infestation can also affect the upper respiratory tract, which includes the nose, throat, and the windpipe, or even the lower respiratory passage, like the bronchi and lungs.
Such given parasites affect most of the hosts systems: the respiratory system, cardiovascular system, the circulatory system, and the endocrine system.
Animals which live in several pet households, including cats, living in unsanitary conditions are at an increased risk of transmission. Exposure to infected feces of other cats that are carriers of the parasite may also make an animal to be more susceptible.
This includes being in an environment like a boarding facility, but your cat is also at an increased risk if it goes outdoors, as has several opportunities to be in contact with other cats and their feces.
These roundworms in cats normally begin their life cycles in shellfish, lizards, and worms, spreading to other cats opportunistically.
Symptoms and Types
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Treatment For Roundworms In Cats
Luckily, when identified early, treating a roundworm infection is pretty straightforward to help bring your healthy cat back to their normal self.
In the case of kittens, kittens should be dewormed at 2-3 weeks of age and at every visit for booster vaccinations. If you notice that your kitten has roundworm, you will likely use an anthelmintic, or deworming medication to kill the immature form of the worms and the migrating worm eggs. At least 203 treatments are needed to fully eradicate the roundworm.
In addition to treating kittens proactively and quickly if you notice an infection, breeding female cats should also be dewormed prior to pregnancy and again later in their pregnancy.
Adult cats also remain at risk for roundworm infections and the best treatment is prevention. We talk about some prevention tips later in this article, but one of the best and easiest things you can do is to give your cat a parasite medication, such as a flea or heartworm medication, that also treats roundworm. If your cat goes outside, you should have their stools examined several times a year.
Keep Infected Animals In Isolation:
If you have several cats or pets, always ensure to isolate an infected animal from your other pets. Keep litter boxes, food bowls and sleeping areas separate so as to prevent roundworms in cats, which may be contagious, from spreading. It is also relevant to keep young children away from the infected animals.
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Can Humans Get Worms From Cats
When youre dealing with parasites in animals, you cant but get worried about yourself. Well, an adult person can get worms from a cat, but the chances are very slim if you keep good hygiene and regularly deworm your pet.
Since roundworm eggs live in the soil and feces, you can eat them unknowingly if you dont wash vegetables well or your hands after youve cleaned the litter box.
Tapeworms are harder to catch because youll have to swallow a flea infected with a tapeworm egg. Youre far more likely to get tapeworms from uncooked, infected meat. However, its not impossible, especially for young children who put everything in their mouths.
All this means that worms in cats should not be ignored. They can be dangerous to you as well as your kitty. To keep your animal happy and healthy, you should take care of any parasites on time. Speak with your vet how often you should deworm your cats and dogs and keep an eye for signs of infestation.
What do you think about these six home remedies for parasites in cats? How do you treat worms in your cat? Tell us your story in the comment section.
Can I Catch Worms From My Cat
Several worms mentioned above are indeed contagious to humans. However, our immune system is often strong enough to purge them naturally.
That said, children and people who are immunocompromised are at higher risk of contracting it.
I suggest that you wash your hands after cleaning your cat’s litter box and clean it regularly to prevent contamination.
For pregnant women, it is important to wear gloves, or even let your spouse do the litter! Remember, your cat can have worms even if you don’t see them!
Also cover your child’s sandbox and wear gloves when gardening, as some stray cats may use them to do their business.
To conclude, many cats have had worms in their lifetime. Its important to be alert to the various symptoms mentioned above, in order to prevent parasitosis in your kitty cat.
Although very disturbing, there are different remedies for these different types of intestinal worms. Its important to act quickly to avoid contaminating yourself.
For me, the fear of catching worms is more than enough motivation to worm my animals!
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