Is Your Cat Carrying The Load Of Worms
Cats can have both external and internal parasites. External parasites are the one which live on the external body surfaces including ear canal and internal parasites are the one which live inside the body in different organ systems like digestive tract. These are generally called worms. Knowledge about these worms and their effects become necessary for the cat owners to minimise the damages and also prevent their occurrence.
What are the different internal worms seen in cats?
Cats can have variety of worms like,
- round worms
- tape worms
- hook worms
- thread worms and
- stomach worms
How will you know that your cat is having worms?
Generally cats having worms will display several signs like,
- loss of appetite
- dull and depressed
- retarded growth
- pale mucous membranes
- loose stools
- presence of worms in stools
- pot belly
- eating of grasses and other inanimate objects, etc.
Based on the symptoms exhibited one can suspect for the presence of worms.
What should you do if your cat is having wormload?
Consult a vet if you suspect that your cat is having worms. He may suggest you a proper deworming medicine and protocol based on the fecal examination done to diagnose the type of worms infested. Sometimes you may even notice worms or pieces of worms directly in stools.
It is advised to observe stools for the consistency and presence of worms after giving the deworming as sometimes the gut may get blocked in heavy worm loads and animal may not pass stools. Such situations should be immediately brought to the notice of your vet who will do the needful.
Follow proper schedule of deworming medicine as suggested by vet to completely remove all stages of worms and make your pet free of worms.
Why should you worry about worms in cats?
Intestinal worms can be considered a serious problem in young kittens. Hookworms can cause anemia and roundworms may lead to stunted growth and development.
Intestinal parasites are only occasionally life-threatening in adult cats, and are usually seen in debilitated animals or those that are immunocompramised.
How are the worms transmitted in cats?
Cats generally encounter worms through,
- contaminated food
- contaminated water
- bite of fleas/mosquitoes
- through colostrum and
- through placenta during pregnancy
Can you contract worms from your pet cat?
Some of the worms are transmitted to humans
- through contaminated food and water (tape worms and toxoplasma worms)
- skin penetration (larva of hookworms) which causes a skin disorder causing a red, itchy skin eruption (cutaneous larva migrans).
How to prevent the occurrence of worms in cats?
Prevention is always better than cure. You can prevent the worm load in cats by following few simple steps like,
- Proper deworming protocol from the stage of pregnancy in queens
- Proper deworming in kittens
- Follow good hygienic measures during feeding and watering
- Following healthy litter management practices
- Regular health check-up for parasite screening
A healthy pet is a happy pet!
Dr. Chandrashekhar Salimath