worms in cats
What are Worms?
• Worms are parasites (organisms that live inside your cat.)
Where does my cat get Worms from?
• Cats can catch worms from hunting and eating rodent and birds.
• Cats can catch worms from coming into contact with faeces from an infected cat, or the soil that they have been to the toilet in.
• Cats can also pick up worms from fleas!
• Kittens can pick up worms from their mum through her milk if she is infected. WORMING KITTENS IS VERY IMPORTANT!
• There are a few different types of worms that your cat can catch, most of them live in the stomach and intestinal tract.
• The two most common intestinal worms are roundworms and tapeworm.
What are the signs of worms?
• Some cats can have worms but only appear unwell when heavily infected.
• Some of the signs that could suggest your pet has worms include:
◦ Diarrhoea (from very severe to just a little bit loose)
◦ Weight loss, especially if they also seem very hungry
◦ Some cats (especially kittens) can have a round or swollen looking tummy
Diagnosis of worms?
• Sometimes worms can be seen in you cat's poo, they can look like spaghetti or bits of rice.
• Despite being infected you may not always see worms in your cat's poo.
• Worm eggs are too small to be seen by the naked eye but can be tested for in a laboratory (poo sample).
Differentials (problems that look like Worms, but aren't!)
• Bacterial Infections – E.g. Salomnella, E.Coli and Campylobacter. These are of particular concern as they can be also passed onto people.
• Cancer – this is much rarer for us to see, but given how serious it is, it's important to rule out.
• Eating a foreign object (like a toy or string!) - This can then get stuck, causing vomiting and diarrhoea and then further, more dangerous complications
• Vomiting, diarrhoea and weight loss are very common signs of lots of different diseases. Which is why it is important that your pet is seen and given a though examination and investigations as necessary.
Treatment of Worms?
• In most cases is very simple with either a tablet or a paste that you can give to your cat at home.
Prognosis for Worms (how a cat is likely to do afterwards)?
• Most cats recover very well from having worms, with no long term problems.
• Very young kittens, with very high numbers of worms can be very poorly and may need extra support and aftercare, but thankfully it is less common for us to see these cases.
Prevention of Worms
• Is easy!
• Routine worming for all cats, how regularly you give the medication depends on the product we use.