Both indoor and outdoorcats are affected by cat worms, so it is important to be able to recognize thesymptoms before the condition gets worse. Depending on the type of worm thesymptoms may range from less apparent ones like lethargy to severe ones likechronic diarrhea.
Tapeworms go by thescientific name of Dipylidium caninum, T. taeniaeformis, and are carried byfleas that infest cats and end up in their systems by way of ingestion. Theycan be seen in feline excrement fur, tail or in the animal’s bedding in theform of small white balls. The cat is suspected to have tapeworms if it losesweight despite good appetite and it is important to know that this type ofparasite does not pass from animals to humans easily.
A roundworm orscientifically called Toxocara cat or Toxascaris leonine is a spaghetti-likemilky white or brownish parasite narrowing at its ends, which can be passed onfrom animals to humans. This type of worm affects cats most frequently, andkittens with cat worms will feel hungry all the time and will have a round fatstomach. Symptoms of cat worms in adult cats are reduced activity of the cat vomiting and chronic diarrhea.
Hookworm orscientifically termed Ancylostoma braziliense, are potentially fatal cat worms,particularly for kittens, because they suck the blood of the host animal thusleading to anemia. Infected kittens will have abdominal pain, diarrhea andbloody stools, while adult felines usually do not develop any symptoms sincethey become resistant to hookworms with age. These worms can only be seen underthe magnifying instrument, and they can also be given from animals to humans.
The two types of stomachworms, Ollanulus tricuspis and Physaloptera, can be found in the cat’s stomach.As the former is not typical of the U.S., it is most commonly detected in stray cats. The infection isa result of ingested vomit of an infected animal. Infected animal will loseweight, vomit and be lacking energy. Crickets and cockroaches are carriersof Physaloptera worms which can also end up in the cat’s body by eating arodent that ingested a carrier cricket or a cockroach. Vomiting, low energy andappetite loss are the signs of Physaloptera worm infection. The presence ofthese worm eggs is determined by examining the cat’s stools or vomit.
These parasites are moretypical of dogs as their natural hosts. Mosquito bites can give the cat heartworms,especially if their immune system is weakened by an illness or otherfactors. Heartworm infestation may pass with little or no symptoms. Still,the presence of this particular parasite can have a fatal outcome or damage theanimal’s heart or lungs. A series of blood tests is required to diagnoseheartworm infestation.
Deworming medication issold in pharmacies, but they can fail to eliminate the parasites completely and can further upset the cat’s stomach so the best thing to do is contact aveterinarian for instructions on worm treatment.