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Treatment Of Roundworms In Cats

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Recovery Of Roundworms In Cats

Deworming Cats Naturally: Prevent Roundworms & Tapeworms in Cats

Unless the roundworms have gone undiagnosed and/or untreated long enough to cause more serious health problems, otherwise healthy kittens and cats that receive deworming treatment will likely have a good prognosis. Most cats will recover completely, but preventative measures, such as removing feces from litter boxes and outdoors, must be taken to avoid repeated infection. In addition, it should be noted that some heartworm treatments are also able to prevent roundworms as well, which may be an effective way to prevent infection or avoid re-infestation.

Treating Your Cat For Roundworms

There are several medications for treating roundworm in cats, including fenbendazole, emodepside, milbemycin, piperazine, moxidectin, selamectin, and pyrantel. Your veterinarian will select the remedy best suited for your cat.

These medications target and kill roundworms in various stages of their life cycles, but the eggs can remain in the environment even with treatment. Preventative measures are the best way to prevent future infections.

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How Do Cats Get Roundworms

Cats can contract both types of roundworms through the environment or from mother to kitten.

Common causes are:

  • Consuming another animal infected with roundworms, like a rodent

  • Ingesting roundworm eggs

  • Nursing from an infected queen

Cats can easily ingest roundworm eggs that are present in the environment, which then hatch into larvae and migrate through their bodies.

Cats that hunt are particularly susceptible to roundworms, as the parasite is common in wild animals. However, while outdoor cats may have an increased risk of ingesting an infected animal, that does not mean your indoor cat is entirely safe. Kittens can get toxascaris cati from their mothers while nursing, although this route is uncommon. Toxascaris leonina cannot be spread this way.

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How Did My Cat Get Roundworms

Cats can contract two species of roundworms: Toxascaris leonina andToxocara cati. Both types can be contracted through the environment or from mother to kitten.

Common causes are:

  • Consuming another animal infected with roundworms, like a rodent

  • Ingesting roundworm eggs

  • Nursing from an infected queen

Cats can easily ingest roundworm eggs that are present in the environment, which then hatch into larvae and migrate through their bodies.

Cats that hunt are particularly susceptible to roundworms, as the parasite is common in wild animals. However, while outdoor cats may have an increased risk of ingesting an infected animal, that does not mean your indoor cat is entirely safe. Kittens can get toxascaris cati from their mothers while nursing, although this route is uncommon. Toxascaris leonina cannot be spread this way.

Will My Cat Recover From Ringworm

6x Beaphar Multi Wormer For Cats and Kittens Roundworms &  Tapeworms 12 ...

The majority of cats, if treated appropriately, will recover from a ringworm infection. While the appearance of the lesions may not change much during the first week or so of treatment, some improvement should be evident within two to three weeks. Symptoms may recur if the treatment is discontinued too early or is not aggressive enough , or if your cat has an underlying disease that is compromising its immune system.

“The majority of cats, if treated appropriately, will recover from a ringworm infection.”

Occasionally, despite appropriate treatment, the infection persists. In this situation, your veterinarian may have to try alternative anti-fungal drugs.

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Symptoms Of Roundworm Infection

Many cats infected with this type of intestinal parasite are asymptomatic, meaning you might never know about the ailment. One of the easiest symptoms to observe is seeing white, rice-like flecks in your cat’s stool or stuck to the fur around the cat’s behind.

Other common symptoms include:

In severe cases, cats can develop a cough and/or pneumonia, which is a sign the parasitic worm infection has migrated from the intestinal tract and infested the lungs.

Get A Proper Diagnosis

When your kitten has persistent diarrhea or other GI distress, you will need to talk to a veterinarian about fecal testing in order to determine the culprit. Different parasites require different kinds of medication, and you cant know what to use until you know what you are trying to treat!

You can request a simple ova & parasites fecal test from your vet, which is quite affordable and can help identify parasites such as giardia, coccidia, and common worms. For more extensive diagnostic information, you can request a fecal PCR test, which also provides information about bacterial infections, viruses, and more. When doing a fecal test, you will simply bring a small stool sample to your veterinarian, who will send it to a laboratory for analysis.

If you run a rescue, you can also set up your own account with a laboratory with the help of your organizations veterinarian.

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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 cats 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 dont see them!

Also cover your childs 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!

What Are Cat Worms And How Can My Cat Catch Them

Roundworm in cats

Roundworms are the most common intestinal parasites in kittens and cats. They are long, white and look like spaghetti. Eggs from these cat worms are passed in the faeces and can live for months or years in the soil. Cats can become infected in three main ways:

  • Ingestion of eggs directly from contaminated soil e.g. by licking them off their feet
  • Consumption of a rodent who has previously eaten worm eggs from the environment
  • Ingestion by kittens of worm larvae in their mothers milk . The vast majority of new-born kittens are infected with roundworms by this route.

Another type of cat worms your cat could be infected by are Tapeworms . Tapeworms are long, flat and composed of many segments which contain eggs. The segments are regularly shed in faeces and resemble grains of rice which can sometimes be seen crawling around a cats anus or on their bed.

To complete their lifecycle, tapeworms require an intermediate host to eat their eggs from the environment. Cats then become infected by consuming the intermediate host. Intermediate hosts include fleas and rodents. For this reason, if your cat is diagnosed with fleas, they will probably need treatment for tapeworms and vice versa. In addition, if they hunt and eats rodents, they will also require tapeworm treatment. You can find out more about tapeworms in cats with our easy guide.

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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.

Gastrointestinal Parasites Of Cats

Gastrointestinal parasitism is a common problem in cats, with prevalence rates as high as 45% in some populations. These parasites can be wormlike or one-celled protozoan organisms. They usually cause fairly nonspecific symptoms, such as a dull coat, coughing, vomiting, diarrhea, mucousy or bloody feces, loss of appetite, pale mucous membranes, or a potbellied appearance. The vomiting, diarrhea, anemia, and dehydration caused by intestinal parasites can weaken a cat, making it more susceptible to viral and bacterial infections and other diseases. Importantly, some GI parasites of cats have the potential to infect humans.


Roundworms are the most common intestinal parasite of cats, affecting 25% to 75% of cats, with higher rates in kittens. Adult roundworms are three to five inches long, cream-colored, and live in the cats intestine, where they dont attach to the intestinal walls and survive by eating food ingested by the host. Adult female worms produce fertile eggs that are passed in the infected cats feces. The eggs require several days to several weeks to develop into the infective larval stage.

Hookworm larvae can penetrate human skin when people come in close contact with contaminated soil. As they migrate under the skin, these larvae can cause a skin condition called cutaneous larval migrans, characterized by itchiness, irritation, and long, linear, track-like lesions.

Neither Ollanulus nor Physaloptera cause disease in humans.

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What Are The Signs Of Roundworms In Cats

Unless your cat has large numbers of worms you may not notice anything is wrong. One or two roundworms wont cause your cat any discomfort. The only time you may notice anything odd is if you see tiny specks of white in your cats feces. You may also tiny specks on your cats rear end, particularly with long haired kitties.

If your cat is unfortunate enough to have large numbers of roundworms, she may be losing weight. A pot bellied appearance is common, and you may also notice her coat has become dull looking. Small round patches of hair loss with crusty skin are other signs to watch for.

Vomiting is another worrying sign, and if things have got this bad you should take your cat to the vet as soon as possible. Roundworm is easily treatable but should never be ignored, especially in the very elderly or sick.

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Best Oral Tapeworm Dewormer

Beaphar Worming Granules Powder Wormer Roundworm Treatment Per Gatto ...

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.

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Whats The Best Roundworm Treatment For Cats

The best roundworm treatment is typically deworming medication.

The most efficacious medication will be prescribed by a veterinarian, Dr. Cruz said. It is not recommended to use over-the-counter deworming medications.

Interceptor is a prescription chewable dewormer for dogs and cats that protects your pet from roundworms. It also helps with hookworms and whipworms, and can even help prevent heartworm disease.

Interceptor is available for cats in the following weight ranges:

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.

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Types Of Worms And Their Signs And Symptoms

Cornell University veterinarians estimate that as many as 45% of cats have intestinal parasites at any given time. In adult cats, parasite infestations may cause mild to moderate digestive symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, and gas. However, heavy infestations, especially in kittens, can lead to more severe digestive symptoms, weight loss, anemia, malnutrition, and restricted growth.

“We’ll see cats coming in, for example if they’ve been in a feral situation. They are anemic, bloated, they have chronic diarrhea and vomiting, their coats are brittle and unkempt, and they can be very depressed,” Jeffer said. “Kittens can actually die from parasite infestations.”

Some of the most common worms seen in cats are roundworms, tapeworms, and hookworms.

Roundworms: Common in cats, especially in kittens, roundworms are large , smooth, and round-bodied. You might not notice symptoms, particularly if your cat has only a few roundworms. In kittens, large numbers of worms may cause a pot-bellied appearance, vomiting, diarrhea, low appetite, dull coat, and restricted growth. You might also see roundworms in your cat’s stool or vomit.

Tapeworms: If you see something in your cat’s feces that resembles grains of white rice, or you notice them licking or biting the area under their tail, they could have a tapeworm infestation. Cats contract tapeworms when they ingest an infected adult flea. As the tapeworm grows, segments break off and pass in your cat’s stool.

Cats Should Be On Parasite Prevention Year

Pet Tips – Roundworms

Veterinarians recommend broad-spectrum parasite prevention for all cats. Indoor-outdoor cats are at high risk for contracting intestinal parasites like roundworms, hookworms, and whipworms, and all cats, including those that live indoors, need prevention from deadly heartworms.

“Parasites can enter the house many ways,” Sawyer said. “They can be brought in by other pets like the family dog or by small rodents. They can be brought in by us, for example, a flea on our clothes or on our shoes. Mosquitoes can also enter through an open door or window and transmit heartworm disease.”

Some owners think their cats only need preventives in the spring and summer, but veterinarians recommend keeping cats on a broad-spectrum parasite preventive all 12 months of the year. Different parasites are active during different months, and parasite activity can vary depending on where you live. Additionally, parasites can become active earlier than expected, including in the winter.

“It’s a little bit of a gamble, especially with climate change and the unpredictability of the weather in most areas of the country,” Jeffer said. “Where I live in North Carolina, the weather changes from week to week. One week we might have a snowstorm and the next week it might be 70 degrees. When there are puddles on the ground and the temperature’s warm enough, that’s mosquitoes’ favorite time of year.”

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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.

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.

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Roundworm Infests Digestive Tract

Roundworm is a parasite that infects the digestive tracts of animals like dogs, cats, foxes and wild animals. There are two types of roundworm that can affect cats, Toxascaris leonina and Toxocara cati. Cats become infected with roundworms by ingesting infective worm eggs found in contaminated water, soil, food, vomit, feces or an infected rodents, birds or insects. The eggs must be present in their environment for at least three days to become infective but can remain infective for a long period of time. The worms will live in the cat’s intestines and absorb nutrients from food the cat eats causing damage to the lining of the intestines and interfering with digestion. Roundworm can also be passed from nursing mothers to kittens.

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