Because cats, by nature outdoor foragers, are looking for food on the ground and trying to consume them, it is not a surprise that they can pick up parasites while eating things that you do not notice. Once you see that worms come out of the cat’s anus, or remains are present in the litter, get over the initial shock of seeing these parasites and follow this guide on how to deworm your cat.
- Identifying the parasites. The most common parasites that are present in cats are roundworms, tapeworms, hookworms and whipworms.
- Roundworms and tapeworms are usually prevalent among humans in cases of poor sanitation, but they can also infect some animals, including dogs and cats. Roundworms are present in kittens from cats that have not been dewormed (for roundworm ova are transmitted from mother to fetus while in conception), while tapeworms occur when a cat accidentally ingests a flea that has consumed tapeworm larvae. Both tend to occupy the digestive system as they grow, feeding on any food debris that the cat eats. Roundworms and tapeworms are also visible to the naked eye, identified in their stool as either resembling small strands of spaghetti, while tapeworms look like white rice grains.
- On the other hand, hookworms are known to suck blood and therefore can bring grave danger to cats; whipworms are usually common in dogs, but can be accidentally ingested by your cat. Hookworms can only be detected by fecal examination, but cats afflicted by this type of parasite tend to be anemic, weak, and usually have bloody diarrhea; immediate treatment by a veterinarian is a must at the first sign of hookworm symptoms.
- Treatment. Parasite removal requires different methods, some of which can be carried out at home.
- Roundworms, tapeworms and hookworms are very commonplace among cats that pet stores carry deworming medication, which you can use at home. These dewormers come in tablet, syrup or paste form, and dosage is delivered either by mixing it with their food, or directly administered orally. Follow on-the-label instructions carefully before administering the medication.
- However, as much as these medications are useful and easy to follow, first and foremost is to consult your veterinarian for advice and treatment while deworming the cat. Furthermore, one dosage may not be enough, as it may also take up to several times to remove the worms completely from your cat’s body.
- Prevention. As well as keeping an eye on your cat’s activities, especially when he goes outdoors, you need to do some cleaning, especially with the cat’s litter box. If you have kittens, wash the bedding. Use a vacuum cleaner to thoroughly clean the whole house, including furniture and carpeting, to get rid of worm ova that have dropped off the cat.
- Furthermore, since worms tend to reside in parasitic fleas and thus transfer themselves to cats while being attached, on a regular basis try to use flea-killing shampoo and tablets to ensure no worms would try to attack your cat.
As always, while it is possible to deworm your cat at home, keep in mind that an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure. By combating worms from infesting your cat through preventive measures, such as good sanitation and rearing practices, you and your pet can have a peace of mind.