What to Do If Your Cat Has Worms

If you suspect your cat has worms you will have to act immediately. Worms lodged in the cat’s intestines are not life threatening, but can cause distress and may also lead to anemia, as the worms will deprive the cat of the nutrients and will also cause dry skin and coarse fur. There are a few steps to follow when your cat has worms.

Identify the Type of Worms

Knowing what type of worms your cat is affected by will indicate the best course of treatment.

Intestinal worms in felines may be of several types including hookworms, roundworms or tapeworms. Each type of worm has its own characteristic and a vet can identify the worms by performing a fecal flotation test and other blood tests.

You may also monitor your cat and observe if you can detect tapeworm segments in the feces or vomit of the pet.

Apply Treatment

If the type of parasites is identified, the treatment can be prescribed. The dewormer medications are designed to kill the parasites and the eggs and larvae, so that the parasites are completely eliminated. The treatment may take up to 2 weeks, depending on the type of medication prescribed.

You may also offer immune system supplements to your cat to help him recover and to restore the health of the skin and coat.

If you have other cats in your household, you will have to administer treatment to all cats, even if they don’t show symptoms of having worms.

Keep the Cat Isolated

While under treatment, the cat should be kept isolated from other cats in your household or the cats around the house. This will make sure your cat won’t infect the other cats. This step is beneficial for the other cats, but will pay off in the long run also, as your cat won’t be exposed to the worms if the other cats are healthy.

Clean the Cat’s Environment

The worms can shed eggs or larvae and these may be present in the cat’s environment. Clean the cat’s bedding and the floors as well as the garden, to remove all eggs and larvae. Use diluted bleach, which is efficient in killing all types of worm eggs or larvae.

Get Preventive Measures

Worms in felines are transmitted through feces, saliva, the ingestion of fleas or contact with a cat that carries worms. You can’t stop your cat from getting in contact with other cats (unless your pet is an indoors pet and there are no other pets in the house), but you may give the cat tablets that can prevent the contraction of worms, keeping the intestines healthy and worm free.

These preventive tablets can be given periodically, as indicated by the vet.

Some vets are against administering these preventive tablets, as they can have side effects, which can be severe (i.e. liver damage).

If you choose not to administer preventive drugs, you should know how to recognize the signs of worms in your cat and get help when needed.