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 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.
How Do Cats Get Worms
Cats most commonly contract worms after coming into contact with parasite eggs or infected feces.
A cat may walk through an area with eggs or infected feces, and since cats are often such fastidious groomers, they will then ingest the eggs or fecal particles as they clean their fur and feet.
This can occur in indoor cats as easily as it can in outdoor cats, particularly if multiple cats share a litter box that is contaminated with infected feces.
Cats that live outdoors and regularly hunt small rodents are also at a higher risk of contracting worms because the worms can live in the muscle tissues of their prey.
After eating a rodent thats infected with worm larvae, a cat can develop a worm infestation as those larvae develop to maturity in the cats intestines.
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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!
Weight Loss And A Distended Stomach
Cats who have worms often still have a good appetite, but you may notice that despite eating a normal amount, they are losing weight. If your cat is losing weight for any reason its time for a trip to the vet, but if it is accompanied by a distended stomach i.e. a stomach that looks bloated it may be a symptom of worms.
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Is There More Than One Type Of Tapeworm
There are two types of tapeworm. The most common, and the one discussed throughout this article, is known scientifically as dipylidium caninum, explains the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention .
The other type which is far more dangerous and far more rare is called Echinococcus. According to the CDC, cystic echinococcosis is caused by infection with the larval stage of a tapeworm called hydatid worm, or Echinococcus granulosus, which is found in dogs, sheep, cattle, goats, and pigs.
“Although most infections in humans are asymptomatic, CE causes harmful, slowly enlarging cysts in the liver, lungs, and other organs that often grow unnoticed and neglected for years,” the CDC reports.
Another type of tapeworm is called Echinococcus multilocularis, and can cause a disease called Alveolar echinococcosis . This tapeworm is found in foxes, coyotes, dogs, cats, and small rodents. Human cases are rare but very seriouscausing parasitic tumors that can form in the liver, lungs, brain, and other organs. AE can be fatal if it isn’t treated, according to the CDC. But that, thankfully, is rare. In fact, a study published by the PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases found only forty-one echinococcosis-related deaths in the United States between 1990 and 2007.
How Long Can Worms Last Inside My Cat
I don’t know that I could tell you how long one worm on its own would last. I’m sure there is a parasitologist that’s shaking their head at me because I don’t remember that anymore. But really, they continue to reproduce over time. You’re probably not going to have one worm that dies off and never becomes an issue. You’re going to have this worm that, generation after generation, is reproducing and continuing to cause problems, not only for your cat but also in the environment your cat is in. They’re going to be spreading eggs and potential intestinal parasites to everybody around, including us and other pets.
If you still have other questions and you’d like to reach out to us, you can call us directly at , you can email us, or you can reach out on Facebook. But please do reach out, and we’ll get back to you as fast as we can.
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How To Worm A Cat Or Kitten
Deworming cats is simple as worming treatments are now available as liquids, pastes, granules and palatable worming tablets as well as liquid spot on formulations so you can choose the easiest one for your cat. Follow the on-pack instructions in full and stick to the advised schedule for your chosen product.
Because roundworms are so common in kittens it is vital to begin treatment from an early age. It is recommended that kittens are treated for roundworms every two weeks from two until eight weeks of age, then monthly until six months of age and every one to three months thereafter. Kittens only require tapeworm treatment if they also have fleas.
Adult cats should be treated every 1 to 3 months with a product which is effective against both roundworms and tapeworms.
How Common Are Worms In Cats
They’re quite common. It’s more common in cats that go outside because they have a higher exposure risk, but we see indoor-only cats with worms because of some of the reasons we talked about beforethe potential exposure to dirt on your shoes. Up here in Maine, we have many old houses, and little mice can find their way in. Thankfully, cats are usually pretty good at catching those mice before they cause a problem, but with that also comes potential exposure to parasites.
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Is There Anything Else That I Should Do
Flea control is the cornerstone of the management and prevention of tapeworm infection. Flea control products are convenient to use. Depending on the type of product you use and the presence of other pets in your home, you may also need to treat your house and yard for fleas . With some of the newer products, environmental flea control may not be needed. Circumstances vary however, so be sure to talk to your veterinarian.
“Flea control is the cornerstone of preventing tapeworm infection.”
If the cat lives in a flea-infested environment, tapeworm infection can become re-established within a few weeks. This is very rarely due to treatment failure in most cases, reappearance of tapeworm segments represents a re-infection of the cat. Additional recommendations include:
1. Promptly have your cat treated when tapeworms are detected.
2. Remove and dispose of all pet feces properly, especially in public parks, yards, or playgrounds.
3. Teach and practice strict hygiene practices for children after playing outdoors.
What Are Some Signs And Symptoms Of Intestinal Parasites In Your Cat
One of the crazy things is sometimes the cat looks and feels totally fine if they have a low parasite burden. And that’s where regular stool screenings with our fecal tests are essential because it allows us to catch those parasites before they start to cause a problem, which is always the ideal situation, as we want to prevent problems. Another aspect in preventing issues would be to use a topical or oral dewormer regularly. Again, that’s where Revolution Plus would come in, as we’re protecting against fleas and tickswe can deworm monthly and not have to worry about it.
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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.
Tapeworm Symptoms In Cats
Most cats do not show signs of illness from tapeworm infections. Cats who have heavy flea infestations are more likely to end up with large amounts of tapeworms in their intestines, and there is potential for these patients to experience the following signs of tapeworms in cats:
- Weight loss
- Poor appetite
You may also spot the tapeworm egg segments in your cats litterbox or near their anus. Pale yellow and mobile, the Dipylidium proglottids come out with the cats feces, but the segments can also migrate from your cats anus without the presence of stool. They are about a quarter of an inch long when fresh and stretched out, but begin to dry after leaving the body and become more difficult to see. When dry, they somewhat resemble sesame seeds. Fresh or dry segments can occasionally be seen stuck to the fur around the anus or moving on the surface of fresh feces.
Tapeworm segments migrating to the anal area may also cause excessive anal itching which can lead to butt scooting or constant licking of the anal area.
What makes it so difficult to diagnose tapeworms in cats is that kitties are very fastidious groomers. Cats can clean the evidence from their backsides and bury their stool in the litterbox before anyone gets a chance to see the evidence of infection. And fecal flotations performed by your veterinarian can also come up short when trying to detect tapeworm infection due to the intermittent shedding of the egg-containing segments.
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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.
Use The Enzymatic Cleaner
You can now go ahead and use the enzymatic cleaner. The instructions for using this kind of cleaner should be on the container so just refer to them.
Dont worry if the stains and odors are still noticeable after applying the enzymatic cleaner. You need to give it a bit of time so that it can work effectively.
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Causes Of Roundworms In Cats
Cats often get roundworms by eating another small animal that was also a host, such as a mouse or other prey, though kittens may get roundworms through their mothers milk. Kittens get them from their mothers when they initially nurse, says Dr. Tash Taylor of the Cat Clinic of Johnson County in Lenexa, Kansas. go through the normal life cycle and some will encyst in the muscle and come out when the mother is pregnant. These migrate to the mammary glands and are transmitted to the kittens the first time they nurse.
Unfortunately, indoor cats are not immune to roundworms its possible for a sheltered housecat to contract roundworms by eating an infected insect that has wandered into your home. Roundworms in cats can also occur if you track an egg in on your shoes and your cat ingests the egg while grooming her sweet little jellybean toes.
What Are The Other Tapeworms That Can Infect My Cat
The other common tapeworms that can infect a cat are members of a group called Taenia. The intermediate hosts of these tapeworms are mice, birds, or rabbits.
“…cats acquire Taenia infestations by eating infected mice, birds, or rabbits.”
In a similar manner to Dipylidium transmission, cats acquire Taenia infestations by eating infected mice, birds, or rabbits. Tapeworm medications are highly effective at eliminating these parasites. However, if your cat continues to hunt and eat prey, reinfection can occur with passage of tapeworm segments in 6-8 weeks. In cats that hunt frequently, regular deworming may be needed.
Another less common group of tapeworms called Echinococcus is of increasing concern as a threat to human health. These tapeworms cause serious, potentially fatal disease when humans become infected. Infection with this parasite is harder to diagnose than Dipylidium because the segments are small and not readily seen. Trappers and hunters in the north central United States and south central Canada may be at increased risk for infection with this worm when strict hygiene is not practiced. Foxes, coyotes, and the wild rodents upon which they prey are important in the life cycle of this parasite.
Humans become infected through ingestion of the eggs, and may not show clinical signs until years after ingestion.
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Are Certain Cats More Likely To Get Tapeworms
Fleas are the intermediate host for tapeworm. In other words, the tapeworm is unable to complete its life cycle without the presence of fleas in the environment. Regardless of whether the owner has seen fleas on the cat, or in the home, the cat must have ingested a flea in order to have tapeworms.
“Fleas are the intermediate host for the tapeworm, Dipylidium caninum.”
Consequently, tapeworms are more common in environments that are heavily infested with fleas. It is recommended to treat your cat for fleas if tapeworms are noted, and use flea control to prevent future flea infestations and tapeworm infections.
Why Are Worms In Cats Dangerous
The most common intestinal worms in cats include roundworms and tapeworms. These are present in many animals digestive systems. As long as they live in small numbers, they are quite harmless.
However, if the parasites grow too numerous, these freeloaders start to cause health problems for their host. Kittens may experience stunted growth as the worms in their intestines steal vital nutrients. Malnutrition, dehydration, and anemiaa shortage of red blood cells that may cause fatigue, dizziness, and a fast heart rateare also possible when parasites attach to the intestinal wall and start feeding off your cats blood.
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How Can I Tell If My Cat Has Tapeworms
Vomiting up pieces of worm that is still alive is a good indicator, of course. Other signs your cat might be suffering from a tapeworm infestation include unexplained weight loss, though the most common sign your cat is infested with tapeworms are the proglottids. You’re likely to see those rice-sized, egg-filled tapeworm segments in either your cat’s feces or crawling near her anus. You might witness your cat “scooting” across the floor if the segment is irritating her skin, but this behavior is much more common in dogs.
Why Is Early Detection And Diagnosis Of Intestinal Parasites So Important
Mostly because of all the things we talked about. Parasites are gross, cause problems, and are contagious to people . Tapeworms are not as much of an issue, but if your pet has this, they could give it to you. I think that’s reason enough to be proactive about this, but we also want to keep our pets as healthy as possible for as long as possible. Preventative measures, regular stool samples, and regular deworming can go a long way towards keeping your pet healthy for a long time.
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How Does My Cat Get Worms
There are several different ways your cat can get worms, depending on the type of worm. Roundworms and hookworms are ubiquitous in the environment. You can find them pretty much anywhere. They’re very hardy, so their eggs can last a very long time in the environment. You can get exposed simply by walking around or having exposure to dirt that may come in on your shoes as a potential area. Hunting can put your cat at risk because if they eat a mouse or some other creature infected with these parasites, they could also become infected. And then, with kittens, we can see the transmission of roundworms and hookworms through the placenta and the milk. Regular deworming of kittens is essential. And then we have tapeworms, which are a slightly different group. Cats get tapeworms or the most common tapeworm that we see, through ingestion of a flea. For example, if your cat has fleas and then is grooming and eats a flea accidentally, they could become infected with tapeworms that way.