Facts about worms that infect your cat.
When your cat is infected with worms - it's mostly gastrointestinal parasites which infect the pet. It's one of the most common disease in cats whose prevalence is high as 45%! Mostly the parasites are wormlike, which can cause below regular symptoms like:
- Cats would start coughing or vomiting.
- Cats could also suffer from diarrhoea.
- They could possibly pass blood in stool.
- Loose weight due to loss of appetite or look potbellied.
All of this can weaken a cat's health, which could lead to other viral and bacterial infections. Do know that some of these parasites found in cat can infect humans as well!
There are different types of worms/parasites which can infect the cat, they are:
- Stomach Worms
Let's understand each of these worm infection individually, usually they are treated by your vet using the de-worming drugs.
Roundworms are the most common parasites found in cats, they are found in intestine of the cats and survive by feeding on the digested food in the host.
Cats become infected by the roundworms when they ingest rodents which have larvae in their tissues. Kittens become infected when feed from the infected mother cat.
Roundworm are usually harmless, however kittens which are infected might show symptoms of vomiting, diarrhoea or loss of appetite, if the infection is not taken care of it can lead to severe loss of blood in kittens leading to anaemia and ultimately death. Treatments are available for roundworms, however prevention of infection is most effective by good sanitation and reducing the chances of exposure to faeces of infected cats. Mother cats can be given treatment of worms - before birth to avoid passing on the infection to its kittens.
Hookworms live attached to wall of cat's intestines, feeding on the blood of the host. There is debate on whether cat are infected by eating infected rodents or via feeding from an infected mother cat. Hookworm infection causes diarrhea and weight loss, high infection could cause anaemia due to blood loss. When infected the cat's stool might appear back due to presence of blood. Prevention is easy - just maintaining good sanitation and daily cleaning - can control the hookworm infections in your feline partner.
Tapeworms live in small intestine of the cat, feeding on the digested food of the host. As the worms mature, a part of their body break up and is passed with the stool. Finding tapeworm parts in the stool also serves as one of the symptoms to diagnose that cat is infected with tapeworm.
Cats are usually infected by tapeworms due to fleas or eating infested rodents. If flea and rodents population is controlled in the surrounding environment, the tapeworm infection in cats can be reduced and prevented.
Whipworms resides in large intestine of the infected cat and usually severe infection can cause diarrhea in the host.
Stomach Worms are found in cats stomach and hence the name. Stomach worms are found mostly in free-roaming cats and they get infected by feeding on another infected cat's vomit. The symptoms of stomach worms is weight loss and intense vomiting. Controlling the environment by reducing the chances of exposure to infected cat's vomit by ingested by your cat! can prevent these kind of infection. Consult your vet, many successful medicines are available to treat this condition.
For treatment of worms you should consult your vet. It's very likely to have reinfection. Reinfection can be prevented with good sanitation procedures. Common and regular sanitation hygeine like daily remove of poop, washing the litter box with disinfectant, avoiding diets with raw meats and controlling hosts which can transmit these worms like fleas, ticks and rodents.
As they say for a healthier cat - it's imperative to have good sanitation & disinfection leading to good parasite control. Prevention is better than cure.