Worms in Cats: All you need to know about it
Regular worming is a crucial part of pet care – in fact, it is helpful for the health of both pets and their owners.
Regular worming is a crucial part of pet care – in fact, it is helpful for the health of both pets and their owners. Toxocara parasites live in dogs’ and cats’ digestive systems and release their eggs in their faeces.
It is possible for kittens to carry worms from birth. Worms can be passed down from their mothers or ingested from their mothers’ milk. If kittens are not dewormed from around the age of two weeks, they can have many worms by the time they are eight weeks old.
How do cats catch worms?
A cat can catch worms from her mother right from the beginning:
- Ingestion of larvae in mother’s milk
- Ingestion of worm eggs in their environment
- Flea infestation can cause a cat to be infected with tapeworms
- Cats can also become infected with intestinal worms by hunting and scavenging
How do I know if my cat has worms?
Here are some signs to watch out for:
- If your pet’s faeces contain visible worms
- Loss of weight
- Abdominal swelling/potbelly
- Vomiting and/or diarrhoea
The health risks
The health risks posed by worms are not just limited to cats; they also affect humans. Infected pet faeces can be ingested by people after handling soil, sand or litter trays containing infected faeces, so quick, hygienic removal of pet faeces is crucial. Despite its rarity, roundworm parasites can cause toxocariasis, an infection that can cause eye problems among many other symptoms. Children are particularly vulnerable since they are more likely to come into contact with soil that is contaminated.
In order to prevent worms from causing harm to your pet, it’s best to treat your pet frequently and at appropriate intervals. Your veterinarian can advise you on the most effective worming regimen for your pet. Your vet can provide you with a far more effective dewormer than those available in pet stores or supermarkets.
If you have questions about your pet’s worm medicine, please contact your veterinarian.