Feline Worms in Stool

Detecting feline worms in stool can be a challenge for cat owners because cat litter can cover or disguise the appearance of tapeworms segments and roundworms. Visual confirmation of the presence of worm segments or whole worms in your cat's stool indicates that your pet has become infected with an intestinal parasite. Prescription medication kills feline worms in stool and any live worms still living in your cat's intestinal tract.

Feline Roundworms

Up to 75 percent of cats and kittens will become infected with roundworms during their lifetime. Your cat may either vomit up or pass whole roundworms when defecating. Feline roundworms can measure up to five inches long and exhibit cream or white coloration. Roundworm infection occurs when your cat comes in contact with another cat's roundworm egg infested stool or when your cat eats an already infected rodent. Roundworm infection can also pass to a kitten through its infected mother's milk.

Feline Tapeworms

If your cat is infected with a tapeworm, you may see tapeworm segments moving around in your cat's stool. These white segments can measure up to a quarter inch in length. When fresh, individual tapeworm segments resemble the shape of a grain of rice, and dried segments turn brown and resemble sesame seeds. You may notice tapeworm segments crawling around your cat's rectum in addition to moving in a stool sample. The tapeworm sheds these segments in order to carry eggs out of the host's body. You may see multiple tapeworm segments in a single stool sample. The most common types of tapeworm transmission involve your cat either ingesting a flea carrying tapeworm eggs or eating a rodent who already harbors the intestinal parasite.

Feline Worm Diagnosis

In order to diagnose exactly which type of feline intestinal parasite your cat has, your veterinarian will ask you to bring in a fresh stool sample for microscopic analysis. Once the veterinary clinic confirms which type of intestinal parasite your cat has, your veterinarian will call you to discuss the treatment options for your cat and strategies to prevent future intestinal parasite infection.

Feline Worm Treatment

The most common treatment for feline worms in stool involves giving your cat an oral medication to kill the intestinal parasites. Your veterinarian may prescribe a second dose of the medication a few weeks after the initial dose to ensure that your cat does not have any parasites still alive inside the intestines. You may need to bring in an additional stool sample after administering the last dose of medication so your veterinarian can confirm that your cat's stool does not contain any worms or worm eggs.

Feline Worm Prevention

Using a flea prevention product can decrease the likelihood of your cat coming in contact with a flea carrying tapeworm eggs. Limiting the amount of time your cat spends outdoors will decrease the chance of your cat eating wild rodents which can cause both tapeworms and roundworms. Keeping your cat indoors will also reduce the chance of your cat coming into contact with cat feces already carrying roundworms.