Worms or Intestinal Parasites in Cats (cont.)

How Do Cats Get Worms?

Though means of transmission can vary, one of the main ways that cats get worms is through the ingestion of the feces of infected felines. Mother cats can also pass on worms to their kittens.

What Are the General Symptoms of Worms?

Symptoms differ depending on the type of parasite and the location of infection, but some common clinical signs include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Worms visible in stool or segments of worm seen near anus
  • Bloody stool
  • Bloating or round, potbellied appearance to abdomen
  • Weight loss
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Coughing
  • Trouble breathing

Are Certain Cats Prone to Worms?

Outdoor cats and those who are routinely exposed to soil where other animals defecate are prone to worms. Kittens and cats who do not receive regular preventative health care are most at risk for developing complications associated with internal parasites.

What Should I Do If I Think My Cat Has Worms?

It's important to bring your cat to a veterinarian, who can confirm the presence of worms. Avoid self-diagnosis, since worms are not always visible or identifiable.

How Are Worms Treated?

Please don't attempt to treat your pet yourself-your cat should be treated for the specific type of worms he has. A dewormer that eradicates tapeworms, for example, will not kill roundworms. And some over-the-counter deworming medications can be harmful. After your vet has accurately diagnosed the type of parasite your pet has, he or she will then prescribe the best course of treatment, which may include an oral deworming agent.