Worms are a common problem for cats. And no cat parent wants their favourite feline to be infested with wriggling nasties
Expert vet Dr Lily Richards explains how to spot the signs of worms in cats, how to treat them, and ways to prevent getting them.
Cats get worms by eating their eggs and they come across these in different ways, the most common being:
Kittens can also get worms through their mum’s milk if she’s infected.
You might be surprised to learn that indoor cats can still get worms.
Though their risk is lower than a cat who goes outside, they can still pick up the parasite by coming into contact with infected animals or objects. People can bring in fleas – which carry tapeworms – into the home and infect indoor cats.
Some cats don’t show any symptoms so it can be tricky to tell if your feline has a worm infestation. A few signs to look out for include:
Take your cat to the vet if you notice any of these symptoms.
Cats are most likely to pick up one of two different types of worms:
Treating a worm infestation is usually quite straightforward and involves giving your cat a tablet or spot-on liquid treatment prescribed by your vet.
The best way to stop your cat from getting worms is to keep up with a regular worming treatment. And don’t forget a consistent flea treatment as fleas can pass tapeworm eggs onto your kitty.
Vets will advise on the right regular worming treatment for your individual feline, which can come as a tablet or spot-on solution.
Some other ways you can protect your cat against worms are:
How often you worm your cat depends on their age and lifestyle:
It’s best to worm your cat just before mating. But there are safe treatment options available if you need to worm your cat while she’s pregnant.
Speak to your vet who will advise on a treatment plan to suit your expecting feline.
Catching worms from your cat isn’t common but it can happen, so remember:
It’s normally recommended to treat for worms before fleas as some deworming medications also target fleas. Your vet will let you know in which order to give your cat their treatments.
Flea treatments can usually be given to your cat a few days after their worming treatment. But this does depend on the individual medication used so follow your vet’s instructions.
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