The Squirm On Worms: What These Slimy, Squishy Parasites Are Doing Inside Your Favorite Feline And How To Get Rid Of Them

22 October 2019
 Categories: , Blog


Cats are, by their very nature, slick and meticulous creatures, so when something about their behavior, demeanor, or personal habits is "off", you notice, right away. One situation nearly certain to set off your feline health radar is a parasitic infection, or, worms. These often microscopic nomads infest the intestinal tract, along with other areas of a cat's anatomy, wreaking insidious havoc along the way.

As gross as the worms may be, though, you must be a strong and fearless human to defend your hapless but hopeful feline.

What Worms May Be Affecting Your Feline

Worms wiggle their way into your cat's body via infected bugs or animals they consume or through contact with infected feces (of other cats or dogs). There are roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms, whipworms, and more, some of which you can see (in fecal matter) without the assistance of a microscope. While despicable, these tiny creatures are highly adept at nestling into the internal environment of a cat, hungrily feeding on the foods the cat ingests. Some of them attach to the walls of the intestines and some float freely, but however they roam about, they're going to cause problems for your precious feline.

The Signs You May See If Your Cat Is Infected

Your usually sleek and shiny cat might neglect their coat if they're feeling the effects of a parasitic infection; thus, it may appear dull and lackluster. They may occasionally throw up, depending on where the worms are in their system, but they're very likely to have evidence of the internal invasion in their feces, such as watery, foul-smelling movements, even tinted with brightly-colored blood.

Some cats display a different behavior pattern, void of their usual playfulness and high energy, while others don't display as many symptoms, although the parasites are likely to make their presence known in one way or another, even subtly. They may eat and weigh a little less, or, in extreme cases and in most younger cats, show a puffed-out belly (distention). Any one or combination of these symptoms warrants a call to your vet as soon as you see them.

How You And Your Veterinarian Will Eradicate The Parasites

Fortunately, most parasites are easily treated with medication, although a couple of doses may be needed, depending on how fiercely the infection persists. Also, the tablets don't usually come with any side-effects that may confuse or worsen the issue you're dealing with. Ask your vet about increasing the ferocity with which you clean, as bleaching or otherwise disinfecting the litter box, floors, and pet areas may be needed to kill any stray worms or eggs hanging around. Scooping out poop quickly, along with cleaning the scooper, are essential habits for avoiding a possible re-infection. 

It's important to note, too, that, while rare, some parasitic infections are transmissible to humans, especially little kids who tend to put their fingers in their mouths, even when they're not clean. If anyone in the household is having odd stomach symptoms or young children are complaining of vision changes, you'll need to visit a doctor for people, as well.

De-wormers are generally very effective, but if you have a feline who prowls around outdoors, where they may encounter parasite-ridden dirt, bugs, or small animals of prey, your veterinarian will recommend treatment at regular intervals

Cats may be slick, highly-calculated and, according to some purrspectives, superior; however, there are times when their human keepers must step in and rescue them. Parasitic infection is one of those unfortunate occasions and, with the assistance of an experienced and knowledgeable vet, you can defeat the ghastly creatures, ridding your cat of all symptoms and setting them back on their usual purrsuit of feline bliss.

For more information, contact a local veterinarian.