Does Your Cat Have Worms? Here's How To Tell

28 October 2018
 Categories: , Blog


Cats of any age and breed can potentially get tapeworms. These are nasty gastrointestinal worms that can screw up your cat's digestion and potentially cause them to lose weight and become very sick. Whether your cat lives indoors or is allowed to roam outdoors, they could be potentially at risk for worms. Here's how you can figure out if your cat has worms and what you should do about it.

Common Symptoms

Cats with tapeworm infestations typically manifest a few symptoms of their own. This is pretty much to be expected, as anyone would feel under the weather if they had parasites in their stomach!

One of the first symptoms you might notice is that your cat seems to be hungry all the time. This is because tapeworms are taking some of the cat's nutrition and preventing your kitty from fully absorbing everything they're eating. On the other hand, some cats will experience nausea and vomiting and lose their appetite.

If you notice that your cat is losing weight, this is also one of the first signs of a tapeworm problem. However, on its own, it's not necessarily tapeworms, so check for the following signs as well.

Check the Box

This is a bit of a gross but necessary one; your cat's body will occasionally expel tapeworms through the gastrointestinal tract, which means that they may have worms in their poop.

When you next scoop the litter box, take a close look at what's in there. If you see anything moving or discover small white or yellow abnormalities in your cat's stool, that's likely tapeworm larvae. Dispose of anything you find in the litter box and contact a vet to have your cat examined and dewormed.

Check Fur

If you're not sure about the litter box, there is one final sign. Cats get tapeworms from fleas, which carry the tapeworm larvae inside their own bodies. When your cat grooms itself and swallows one or more fleas, they can become infected.

Check your kitty's fur to see if they have a flea problem. Living fleas or flea dirt -- small specks of red or black -- are signs that your cat has or has recently had a flea infestation. That's enough evidence when combined with above signs that your cat has worms, so again, get to a vet for a deworming session.

The good news is that most cats can have their worms cleared with a simple medication prescribed by your veterinarian. However, you should never leave your cat to try and beat worms on their own. This could make them extremely ill, so talk to a vet as soon as you can. For more information about diagnosing and treating your cat for worms, contact veterinary offices like Pittsburgh Spay & Vaccination Clinic.