When you discover that your cat has worms, it can be a very unpleasant experience for you and your cat. Not only finding the worms are frightening (and disgusting), but their existence can also raise significant concerns about your cat’s overall health and well-being.
However, there are several safe and successful methods of treating worms in cats and various preventative measures you may use to reduce the likelihood of a recurrence of the infestation in the future.
The use of garlic, apple cider vinegar, pumpkin seeds, carrots, and turmeric, among other “home” medicines, helps treat and prevent worms in cats.
It is critical to recognize that, if left untreated, worms in cats can result in serious medical problems and health disorders. There are several typical signs of worms in cats that you should be aware of, and you should also be mindful of how to prevent the existence and spread of worms in your house and among your family members.
Types of Cat Worms
The intestinal parasites listed below are among the most frequent types of cat worms found in cats:
• Roundworms: Roundworms are the most frequent type of cat worm of all. Roundworms in cats can grow to be 3-5 inches in length when they reach adulthood, and they have the appearance of a piece of wet spaghetti. Roundworms in cats can be transferred during the nursing process by feeding on an infected animal or touching the contaminated feces of another animal, among other routes.
• Tapeworms: In cats, tapeworms have long and flat 18″ segmented bodies that can grow up to 8 inches in length, with their bodies being long and balanced as well. In cats, tapeworms develop when the cat comes into contact with or ingests a host harboring tapeworm eggs, such as a bird or a flea.
• Hookworms: In cats, hookworms (also known as whipworms) are the tiniest of all the regular cat worm kinds. Among cats, hookworms are most commonly found in the small intestine. They grow to be around one inch in length and feed on the blood of humans and other animals. They have the potential to induce life-threatening anemia in cats of all ages, but particularly in young kittens. Hookworms are transmitted through the excrement and can infect other animals and humans as well.
• Whipworms: Whipworms in cats is around 14 inches long and live in the cecum and colon. Whipworms are known to inflict severe damage to these organs and are considered one of the most harmful cat worms currently in existence. Whipworms are also more geographically unique than other cat worms in that they can be found in different parts of the world.
• Heartworms: Cats have heartworms that dwell in the heart and pulmonary arteries. Their transmission is carried out by infected mosquitoes, which move throughout the body for around six months before finally resting in the circulatory system. Heartworms are transferred only by the bite of an infected mosquito and not between individuals or between species. They are avoidable and treatable, but they can be fatal if not detected and treated early on in the course of an infestation before it progresses too far.
• Ringworm: Skin diseases such as ringworm, also known as dermatophytosis, are caused by a fungus and manifest as lesions and sores on the epidermis (or outer layer of the skin). The infection of dead layers of skin, hair, and nails, which is the cause of ringworm, is surprising because a worm does not cause it in the first place. Ringworm is treatable, but the process can be time-consuming and uncomfortable, especially if the condition is severe.
Symptoms of Worm Infection
Cats may or may not show signs of worm infection in some cases. They are most commonly associated with diarrhea and vomiting when they do occur. Whipworms are known to cause weight loss in rare cases. You may be able to discover worms in your cat’s feces. Worms can come out in feces alive, in which case you will see them moving or as tiny white fragments the size of a rice grain. Worms can be as small white fragments of the size of a rice grain. If your cat suffers from a significant infestation for an extended period, you may notice that she lacks energy and has become frail and feeble.
Deworming Your Cat
Method # 1: Identifying and Treating Your Cat’s Worms
1. Checking the fecal matter: Examine the feces for signs of infection. Worms themselves are the most common indicator of a worm infestation. Take a look at your cat’s stool for signs of them. Tapeworm segments are frequently broken off and pass through your cat’s feces. These segments have the appearance of little rice grains. When they’re young, they can even wiggle around like tiny worms.
• Keep an eye out for diarrhea. Various disorders can cause diarrhea in cats, but all intestinal worms, including roundworms, hookworms, and tapeworms, can create runny fecal matter. Additionally, your cat may develop blood due to colon and intestine inflammation in other cases.
2. Keep an eye out for vomiting. Cats who have roundworms may vomit as a result of the infestation. Cats may even vomit up adult roundworms if they are infected. They’ll have the appearance of spaghetti noodles. Vomiting is another possible symptom of heartworm infection. You should try to collect their fecal matter in a tiny bag, just like you would with their feces. Your veterinarian will want to look for parasites or other symptoms of illness in their vomit before treating them. It is important to remember that vomiting is not always a sign of worms. There could be a variety of concerns at play.
3. Keep track of how much they weigh. Cats who have intestinal worms or heartworms may have weight loss as a result of their infection. It is possible that the shift will be drastic at times and that it will be minimal at other times. Everything is dependent on the size and number of worms present. Cats with an expanded stomach, sometimes known as a “pot-belly,” are more likely to acquire this condition. You should check your cat’s belly for roundworms if it has developed a rounded appearance.
4. Examine the gums of your cat. Usually, a cat’s gums should be a bright pink color. Parasites, such as numerous worms, can cause gums to become pale due to anemia or sheer shock. Make an appointment with the veterinarian if your cat’s gums are pale. If your cat is having difficulties breathing or appears to be lethargic, get immediate medical attention.
5. Find out what kind of worms your cat is carrying. It’s critical to determine what sort of worms your cat has to begin therapy. Though you don’t need to learn the complexities of each variety of worm, the following are the most common worms you’ll come across throughout your quest:
• Roundworms are the most frequent parasite that cats are infected with. Lactating kittens can get them through their mother’s milk, whereas adult cats can acquire them through contact with infected feces.
• Tapeworms are segmented parasites that may often be visible in the fur of a cat’s hindquarters, where they feed on the cat’s blood. They can be obtained through the consumption of fleas.
• Hookworms are more minor than roundworms and can be found in the small intestine, where they reproduce. A cat can become sick by skin contact or through eating contaminated food.
• Lungworms are parasites that live in the lungs of cats and are a less common parasite. Typically, they are acquired through the consumption of an animal host, such as a bird or a mouse.
• Heartworms are perhaps the most harmful of all the parasites. Virus-infected animals are bitten by mosquitoes, which ingest tiny heartworm larvae along with their blood meal. The larvae develop, and the next time a mosquito bites into an animal (such as your cat), it injects the heartworms into the bloodstream, causing the animal to contract the disease.
Method # 2:Treating your Cat for Deworming
• Raw pumpkin seeds can be used to naturally deworm your cat by crushing the seeds fresh every day and feeding her. Then, sprinkle one teaspoon per 10 pounds of your cat’s body weight every day into her food.
• As an alternative, you can experiment with using food-grade diatomaceous earth by incorporating it into all of your cat’s meals. You can make a powder out of this sedimentary rock and sprinkle approximately an ounce of it on her food to give her a boost. Be careful not to purchase pool-grade diatomaceous earth, as it may be hazardous to your cat and is not intended for consumption.
• Adding fresh, minced garlic to your cat’s diet once a day is an alternative supplementation method. For the first few times, give your cat merely a pinch of it because she may be hesitant to consume it. Garlic has the potential to fight parasites, prevent your cat from becoming infected with parasites, or both.
• For the first 24 hours, you can try placing your cat on an extended fast so that the worms starve and die.
How to Prevent Worms in Cats
Cat worm infestations and transmission to children and adults can be avoided by following excellent hygiene practices and using heartworm, intestinal worm, and parasite prevention products year-round.
Fleas can transmit worms to your cat. Flea infestations should be treated as quickly as possible by washing all of your cat’s bedding and thoroughly cleaning any areas where you notice fleas, such as her litter box. If you have additional pets in your home, make sure to treat them for fleas as well as your dog. Spraying the yard with an anti-flea solution is another option. Just check the label to make sure it’s safe for pets before using it.
It’s important to remember that cats can contract other types of worms by consuming infected prey such as rats and birds, drinking contaminated milk from their mother while still a kitten, coming into contact with another infected cat or animal, or playing in licking soil that has been infected.
To keep your indoor cat from being exposed to infected feces, it is critical that you clean the litter box daily, change the litter, and scrub the litter box regularly.
For outdoor cats, sweeping excrement from the yard, sandbox, and flower beds daily will help to reduce the likelihood of the parasite life cycle being propagated in these areas.
Are Worms Painful for Cats?
Worms in cats have the potential to cause discomfort. Larvae may migrate through the liver, stomach, eyes, or lungs, causing pain since the affected tissues will become irritated due to the disruption.
This could manifest itself as follows:
• Stomach pain, especially gastritis, is caused by stomach lining inflammation (potential nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, food aversion).
• Irritation of the eyes (excessive rubbing of the eye, squinting, or discharge).
• A change in the rate and pattern of your cat’s breathing.
Some animals may have a distended belly due to the accumulation of fluid caused by protein loss, which can be painful due to the swelling of the abdominal muscles and surrounding skin.
Furthermore, excessive abdomen fluid pressing on the diaphragm and restricting the usual lung capacity for proper breathing might result in breathing difficulties.
What Happens if Worms in Cats are Not Treated Correctly?
Worm infestations that are gone untreated can be harmful, if not fatal, to your cat’s health and well-being.
Because larvae migrate through the organs and tissues of the body on their journey to the gut, they can cause serious health problems like skin infections, blindness, convulsions, and pneumonia, depending on where they migrate through the body.
Progressive anemia, weight loss, dehydration, and even death can ensue from blood loss and other nutrients that the intestines should absorb.