Are Worms Dangerous To Humans
Humans can get infected with cat worms. However, they are considered an abnormal host for feline worms, so they become lost and confused in a human body and do some unusual things. Eggs of roundworms are excreted in cat feces. After two weeks in the open, they can become infectious to humans. If accidentally ingested, the worms can migrate to organs such as the liver, lungs, brain or eyes. The human body generates an immune response to try to wall them off and prevent them from moving any further. The disease in humans is known as visceral larva migrans. If in the eye, it is known as ocular larva migrans. Children are at a higher risk of infection. Humans can also be infected with feline hookworms and tapeworms. As with roundworms, eggs are excreted in the feces of infected cats.
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.
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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Treatment For Tapeworms In Cats
Medications that are specifically designed to eliminate parasites treat tapeworms in cats. In cats, these medications include epsiprantel, praziquantel, and fenbendazole. Epsiprantel and praziquantel are used to treat both dipylidium and taenia, and veterinarians may recommend fenbendazole for taenia tapeworms in some cases as well. Treatment for fleas will also be needed.
In severe cases of tapeworm infection, veterinarians might also have to treat complications like intestinal blockages. It can require additional diagnostic imaging, procedures, and medication to resolve.
Controlling Worms In Your Pet’s Environment
Combine deworming with feces cleanup so that pets are not reinfected by worm eggs that survive in the ground. Roundworms and whipworms remain in the soil for years and are not susceptible to commonly used disinfectants, such as bleach and boric acid. However, heat above 100Â°F kills most worms, so that steam, boiling water, or burning straw will kill them. Immediately picking up feces dramatically reduces environmental contamination. The Companion Animal Parasite Council developed the concept of strategic deworming, which requires deworming pets before the worms mature and produce eggs that contaminate soil. Strategic worming reduces the possibility of environmental contamination and recommends adult pets receive deworming medications every 3 months.
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Recovery And Management Of Tapeworms In Cats
Different species of tapeworms require different management strategies. For instance, if your cat is diagnosed with dipylidium caninum, you will need to treat your cat, home, and other pets for fleas as well as tapeworms to prevent reinfection. Flea infestations can be tricky to manage, and can also expose other cats and dogs in the home to tapeworms. Your veterinarian can help you come up with the best treatment plan for removing fleas safely from your home, as well as the best flea preventative for your area.
Taenia taeniaeformis tapeworms, on the other hand, are transmitted through rodents. It may be impossible to stop an outdoor cat from hunting, which may mean youll need to make regular veterinary visits to monitor your cat for reinfection. Indoor cats that hunt are also at risk, and if there is a tapeworm infestation in your homes rodent population, it might be time to consider removing unwanted houseguests.
What About Other Infestations
Notably, many of the products you can get for treating common worm infestations in your cat can also be used for the treatment of various other bugs and infestations. Its common to see a single treatment capable of taking on various kinds of ear mites, worms, ticks, and fleas in and around a cat’s body. If youre concerned your cat might be exposed to other infestations at the same time as a worm, the best thing you can do is look into a comprehensive form of treatment capable of tackling everything at once.
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Which Worming Products To Use
There are many different worming products available on the market, and drug availability varies between different countries. While worming products may be available from pet shops and even some supermarkets, these are often old or less effective products and some are even less safe to use in cats.
It is always better to seek the advice of your vet, who will know what types of worms occur commonly where you live, and will be able to recommend the most effective and safest treatments for your cat. Additionally, some treatments are available which may be easier to administer, 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.
See also our information on how to give your cat a tablet.
What Are Some Types Of Parasites Found In Cats
Worms come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Roundworms are the most common intestinal parasites in cats they measure about 3-4 long and resemble spaghetti. Hookworms are also common in cats, but they are typically much smaller than roundworms. They are usually less than 1 long and can cause life-threatening anemia in adult cats and especially in kittens. Tapeworms are also found long and flat, resembling strips of tape. They are segmented and can also infect cats, and they are anywhere from 4-24 in length. Over time, a tapeworm infestation usually causes vomiting and weight loss.
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How To Deworm A Cat
In most cases, your vet will first examine your cats stool for the parasite to identify what the worms are. After this examination, he will prescribe medication for cat worming according to the results gathered from the examination.
Besides using a deworming product, you can try some natural remedies for worms in cats to deal with mild infestations. Do not hesitate to discuss with your vet if you notice that the home remedies are not working. Also, do not apply any of these remedies if your cat has other symptoms like fever.
You should deworm your cat as early as four weeks old because they are mature enough to have worms in them at that age. However, four-week-old cats are too young for natural remedies for worms in cats, so take them to the vet rather than trying to care for them at home.
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.
The hookworm gets entrenched in the skin and enters the lungs of the kitten. From the lungs, it migrates to the intestines.
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How Do Cats Get Hookworms
A cat can become infected with hookworms in a few ways.
Hookworm eggs are passed through the feces, where they then hatch into larvae. Cats may contract hookworms via drinking water infested with the larvae ingestion of animals/rodents infected with hookworms or larval penetration of the skin, usually through the feet when walking on infected soil, sand, or litter. Kittens can become infected when drinking their mothers milk.
Outdoor cats and those in shelters are more at risk for becoming infected with hookworms, although indoor cats can still contract this common parasite.
Once the larvae are inside the cats body, they make their way to the lungs, then the small intestine, where they attach themselves to the intestinal wall. There, they feed on the cats blood and mature into adult worms. The adult worms reproduce eggs that then pass through the stool. It usually takes anywhere between two and four weeks from the time of the initial infestation for the cat to be able to pass the hookworms to other cats, animals, and/or humans.
How To Treat Tapeworms In Cats
Whats the treatment for tapeworms in cats?
Theres a specific type of medicine that will kill the worms. Usually one dose does the trick.
If you have a barn cat or an outdoor cat thats a hunter, our veterinarians may recommend deworming your cat every three months. This simply involves giving your cat a special tablet.
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Treatment Of Worms Fleas And Parasites
Internal ParasitesThe American Society of Veterinary Parasitologists states that greater than 90% of kittens are born with worms. While a queen is pregnant, the larvae migrates to the queens breasts. When the kitten nurses from the queen, larvae are acquired in the milk. This is the most common way that kittens acquire worms.The American Society of Veterinary Parasitologists recommends that all kittens be dewormed four times at two week intervals. This is a simple and highly effective method of ridding your cat of the most common type of worms in NY, hookworms and roundworms. You administer a liquid or tablets to your cat. The medication is very safe and very effective.
Tapeworms are another common form of worm that affects cats. Tapeworms are acquired when cats ingest infected fleas. The flea hosts the immature stage of the tapeworm. Upon ingesting the flea, the immature stage of the tapeworm grows and develops into a tapeworm in the cats intestine. Treatment for tapeworms should be commenced only after the cat has been checked and found to be flea free. The medication is very safe and effective. Two doses are given two to three weeks apart.
The last parasite to be discussed is probably one of the most common ones, ear mites. Ear mites are transmitted by contact with other cats . So if your cat is diagnosed with ear mites please be certain to have your other cats checked to insure that they are not also infected.
Recovery And Management Of Roundworms In Cats
Managing roundworms takes time. Roundworm eggs stick to surfaces and can become mixed in with dust or soil. If your household has suffered from a roundworm infection, educate all family members about proper hygiene, like hand washing, to reduce the risk of a human infection.
Breeders can reduce the risk of transmission of roundworms from queens to kittens by treating queens with appropriate medication during the final week of pregnancy. Treat kittens with the medication your veterinarian recommends at 3, 5, 7, and 9 weeks old, and monthly after that until theyre 6 six months old. Treating the mother at the same time will help lower the risk of infection.
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Best Oral Tapeworm Dewormer
One Droncit tablet quickly and safely kills tapeworms in cats and can be given mixed with food.
Pros: Kills tapeworms within 24 hours, easy-to-administer tablet, powerful active ingredient, long-trusted brand name, affordable, single pills available for purchase
Cons: Some cats may experience salivation or diarrhea after taking, not for kittens under than 6 weeks old
Droncit Tablets tackle tapeworm infestations quickly and safely in cats and kittens 6 weeks of age and older. They are conveniently sold per pill, unlike the other tapeworm dewormer we considered, Bayer Tapeworm Dewormer Tablets, which are sold in a three-pack and at a slightly higher cost per pill.
Each tablet contains 23 milligrams of the active ingredient praziquantel, which works to paralyze and eliminate tapeworms within 24 hours. This ingredient is effective against the most common species of tapeworms , eliminating them in a single dose. The tablet can be fed whole or crumbled and mixed with food.
Because cats can become reinfected by ingesting another flea, effectively eliminating tapeworms requires treating your cat for fleas as well.
What Is The Deworming Schedule
Once the specific type of worm has been identified, your vet will prescribe your cat a course of medication designed to eradicate the worms. These medications differ by worm type . You may notice worms and/or worm segments in your cats feces. Dont be alarmed as this is just their body ridding itself of the parasites, but do be cautious when handling or disposing of the feces.
The best way to prevent a parasitic infection in your cat is to deworm regularly. Deworming protocols differ between kittens and adult cats and also between indoor and outdoor cats. Please call our clinic at to speak to one of our team members and discuss options and pricing.
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When To Treat Your Cat
Kittens are commonly born with worms or become infected early in life, especially with roundworms, which can be transmitted through their mothers milk. Kittens should be wormed at two, four, six, eight and twelve weeks of age. After this, they can be treated with an all wormer for cats every three months.
Pregnant and nursing cats should also be treated with worm medication during mating, and before giving birth to a litter, as they can pass on intestinal worms to their kittens.
If your cat has a heavy worm infestation you may need to repeat your cat dewormer ten days after the initial dose is administered.
Worming Throughout Your Pet’s Life
Pets are dewormed for tapeworms throughout their lives. When worms live only in the pet’s intestines, such as tapeworms, the pet’s immune system doesn’t register the tapeworm as foreign and doesn’t make antibodies to attack it. Thus pets develop no protection to repeated tapeworm infections. Tapeworms are spread by fleas, and fleas can be controlled with Nexgard Chewables, Revolution, Bravecto Chews, and Advantage II.Roundworms and hookworms are different from tapeworms because they migrate through the pet’s body. During their migration, rounds and hooks stimulate a pet’s immune system to make antibodies to them. Thus, adult pets with mature immune systems may naturally rid themselves of roundworms and hookworms. If pets are exposed to an overwhelming number of roundworms and hookworms, or if their immune systems are not working well, they need deworming for these worms during adulthood.
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Finding A Kitten Dewormer
While many over-the-counter dewormers target the types of worms found in dogs, most varieties of dewormers for cats and kittens require your veterinarians prescription. Never give your cat a dewormer formulated for dogs. Talk with your vet if your kitten, or its mother, has been exposed to the outdoors, has fleas, or has other indicators of a possible parasite infection.
Summary Of Hookworms In Cats
Hookworm infestations can be severely debilitating for your cat, and even fatal, particularly for kittens, so its important to consult your vet immediately if you suspect your cat has been infected with hookworms. Frequently deworming your cat, having regular fecal exams and practicing good litter box hygiene can help control hookworm infections.
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The Basics About Worms And Kitten Dewormers
The term worms includes several types of parasites that can affect the gut, heart and other organs of cats at any life stage. Kittens are particularly vulnerable.
Infection with roundworms is very common, approaching 100 percent of all kittens in the U.S., says Michael Stone, a clinical professor of small animal medicine at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University.
If there is any sign that your kitten has worms, your vet will recommend treatment. The treatment may be a broad-spectrum kitten dewormer to rid your kitten of several types of parasites. But your vet may also want to test your kitten to make sure that the medication they prescribe is the right one for your kittens specific parasite issues.
If your kitten needs a dewormer, it may be pills, oral liquid medication, or an injection. Most dewormers kill worms, not worm eggs, so some of these medications are administered in a series of treatments over several weeks.