Symptoms Of Worms In Cats 15 Main Symptoms And Their Prevention

Worms (helminthiases) in domestic cats is a fairly common phenomenon. Even those cats that never leave home can be infected with parasitic worms: in this case, the person himself brings eggs to the house on his soles. Some types of parasites cause pronounced symptoms, other worms do not manifest themselves for a long time, hiding in the muscle tissue of an animal or liver. Periodic prophylactic treatment is desirable for all owners of cats, when detecting obvious signs of the disease, anthelmintic therapy is required.

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Types of helminthiases

There are several varieties of helminthiases that are classified according to the type of worm that caused the disease.

The most common types of parasites that infect cats are:

  • Roundworms (nematodes);
  • Flatworms (trematodes and flukes);
  • Ribbon worms.

Tapeworms can reach considerable lengths (up to 70 cm). Often this parasite uses a cat as an intermediate host, and the main part of the life cycle of worms is carried out in other organisms.

Symptoms Of Worms In Cats 15 Main Symptoms And Their Prevention

Roundworms are usually small in size, but in advanced cases, the invasion can be very numerous. Roundworms parasitize more often in the small intestine, but can also affect the liver and esophagus.

Flatworms (flukes) usually affect the tissues of the lungs and liver. The size of these parasites is small, but when they enter the respiratory system, they form cysts that cause serious pulmonary dysfunctions

Infection pathways

Those cats that walk on their own can be infected with worms anywhere and anytime. But often the disease also affects completely domestic cats, which have never left an apartment in their lives. In this case, there may be several sources of infection. It:

  • Products (worms and their eggs can be found in raw meat and raw fish);
  • A trash can on which flies land in the summer – egg carriers and helminth cysts;
  • Shoes and clothes of the owner.
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A person, without suspecting it, can bring parasitic eggs and their cysts on his boots – a single contact of the sole with infected cat or dog feces is enough. Kittens can become infected from a mother cat through breast milk.

Symptoms of the disease

At home, it is not so easy to diagnose worms in cats – the symptoms of pathology can be very different. Manifestations depend on what kind of parasite is present. Specific symptoms are caused, for example, by flukes in the lungs – the cat in this case coughs, as with a cold, after which it rises in temperature. Some worms (nematodes) cause severe anemia in kittens.

Symptoms common to all helminthiases are:

  1. Digestive disorders – alternation of loose stool with constipation;
  2. Nausea, vomiting (sometimes – vomiting of blood or vomiting of worms);
  3. The presence of parasites or their fragments in the feces or in the anus of the animal;
  4. Stool with impurities of blood and mucus;
  5. Itching in the anus (animals periodically “ride” the anus on the floor);
  6. Bloating;
  7. Lack of appetite (sometimes – gain);
  8. Panting, coughing;
  9. Lag in growth and development in kittens;
  10. Fatigue, lethargy, weakness (the animal plays little, prefers to lie);
  11. Poor condition of the coat, sometimes hair loss;
  12. Decrease in body weight (sometimes against the background of an increase in the abdomen);
  13. Yellowness of the mucous membranes and eye sclera (with damage to the liver by the hepatic trematode);
  14. The outflow of fluid from the eyes;
  15. Paralysis of the hind limbs (in advanced cases);
  16. Preterm birth (or abortion) in pregnant women.
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To be sure of the variety of the disease and conduct effective treatment, it is better to take the stool analysis to a specialized veterinary laboratory. Although most helminth drugs have a wide range of effects, it is better to conduct more targeted treatment.

Symptoms Of Worms In Cats 15 Main Symptoms And Their Prevention

In addition, some diseases that have nothing to do with helminthiases can give similar symptoms: in this case, treatment will aggravate the clinical situation.

Therapeutic effect

In modern veterinary medicine, there are many different medicines for helminthiases of varying degrees of intensity. Mostly, drugs with a wide spectrum of action are used: these drugs have a detrimental effect on the nervous system of almost all types of feline parasites, causing paralysis, death and evacuation from the body in a natural way. Treatment almost always takes place at home.

Most modern drugs have a weak toxic effect on the body, and sometimes do not cause any side effects in cats. The drugs are available in the form of tablets, suspensions, drops on the tongue, special products for kittens and weakened cats. Here are the names of some of them: Pratel, Milbemax, Drontal.

Medication is given to the cat on an empty stomach in the morning. Be sure to follow the dosage indicated in the instructions for the drug (usually it is calculated depending on the weight of the animal). It is not necessary to cleanse the intestines of animals beforehand. The drug (if it is a tablet) is simply crushed and added to the feed or put on the root of the animal’s tongue, forcing him to swallow the medicine. If you give the drug forcibly, you need to securely fix the cat so that it does not injure you.

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After 2 weeks, it is necessary to re-deworm. In some clinical cases (with invasion by parasites of varying degrees of maturity), a longer treatment is carried out. The results of treatment are best judged on the basis of laboratory tests.

Pregnant cats, as well as weakened animals and kittens, some owners of cats treat folk gentle and natural remedies. Usually these are herbal preparations that are very difficult to enter into the body of the animal. Professional cat breeders and veterinarians do not recommend the practice of treating cats with folk remedies – for pregnant and weakened animals, there are special gentle drugs.


To reduce the risk of infection, you should follow a number of simple recommendations:

  • Keep street shoes in a closed cabinet;
  • Once every 10 days, clean the door mat;
  • Do not feed animals with raw fish and raw meat;
  • Do not pet cat after coming from the street;
  • Prevent infection with fleas;
  • Clean the cat tray in time.

Since 30 out of 80 feline helminthiases can theoretically affect humans, all pet owners should periodically undergo preventive deworming.

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