The idea of worms in your cat can make you squirm, but they are a common problem in cats and are fairly easy to treat. Almost all kittens are born with worms and need to get rid of these worms once in every two weeks until they attain the age of three months. If you have seen these little parasites in your cat’s litter box, then you get rid of them with some simple home remedies.
Before going any further first let us what is the basic reason for your cat getting worms
- Roundworms: these are the most common types of worms noticed in cats. They are average in size, and the most common way of getting roundworms is consuming feces of an infected cat or rodent.
- Tapeworms: cats can get tapeworms by ingesting an infected rodent of fleas. Tapeworms are of the size of 4 inches to 28 inches. They look like rice and can be seen in fur or stool of your cat.
- Hookworms: these are the most dangerous type of worms found in cats as they are extremely small in length and feed on the blood of your cat. The most common way of getting infected with hookworms by coming in contact with the hookworm or ingesting it directly.
The most common way of getting infected with worms is through ingestion while grooming, consuming a rodent which is infected or milk from an infected mother. Fleas are the most common way of worm infections. So the best way to avoid them is to keep your house flea free.
Noticing the Symptoms
The earlier you find your cast is infected with worms, earlier you can help get rid of them. The symptoms differ slightly according to the type of worm your cat is infected with. There are a few common symptoms which will help you diagnose the problem soon.
The common symptoms include abdominal swelling, reduced weight, and excessive diarrhea, puking or noticing worms in the feces. Pay close attention to your cat and watch out for these signs and symptoms for early treatment.
Treating the Worms
- Collect a stool sample: the first step in treating your cat from worms would be to scoop up a fresh stool sample from the litter box of your cat and put it in a plastic bag. Take the sample to the vet so that they can provide you with a diagnosis of the type of worm present.
- Consult the vet: the next step would be to consult a vet so that accurate testing of the sample can be done and an accurate diagnosis can be provided. The vet can further direct you to the treatment plan.
- Understand the problem: the vet will first tell you the type of worm present in your cat according to which a treatment option will be given to you. They may recommend some oral medication or topical treatment. Ensure to obey these instructions very carefully and give the medication time to time with proper dosage as prescribed by the vet.
- Follow the treatment plan: giving your cat the medicine can be a really difficult task. You can administer the medicine by hiding it in their food or give them that type of food for cats where there is space for hiding pills. If the vet recommends topical ointment then you can apply it regularly or as prescribed by the vet on the skin of your cat.
Precautions to Avoid Future Infections
Prevention is always better than cure. There are some ways by which you can reduce the risk of infection in the future.
- Preventive medications: consult your vet about any type of preventive medications to get rid of fleas and other types of worms. The vets prescribe a monthly dosage which will help prevent future infections.
- A hygienic environment: worms are transferred by fecal matter so ensure that your house is clean and safe for your cat. Also, check and clean the litter box on a daily basis to stop the worm transfer. You can also brush cat’s teeth regularly to prevent any infection.
- Try to keep your cat inside the house: when your cat goes outside the house, they have the maximum chance of getting worms as they come in direct contact with fecal matter, infected rodents and fleas. Keeping your cat indoors will reduce this risk.
Worms in a cat is a very common problem with an equally easy solution. Don’t panic if your cat gets infected with worms. Follow the steps mentioned above to get your cat worm free again. Notice the signs and symptoms beforehand so that treatment can be done early. Take the necessary precautions so that you can avoid worms in future.