The bad news is about 45% of cats have worms at any given time. On the other hand, the good news is they are easier to treat than you might think.
If your cat is in that unfortunate 45%, it can be an unpleasant discovery. These worms are frightful and cause serious health concerns in your cat. Further, worms are more common in kittens, which can, in worst cases, threaten their life.
As much as cats are good at self-maintenance, they will not take care of this issue on their own. It is important for their pet parents to assist in this regard.
How do you know if your cat has picked up any worms? Cats with worms may show certain signs.
In this article, we shall analyze some of the most effective ways to check for worms in addition to understanding these symptoms. By reading on, you will be able to find all the information you need on cats with worms.
How Do Cats Get Worms?
Your cat may walk through a place with infected feces or eggs more often than you might assume. They get worms whenever they come in contact with the parasites.
Moreover, cats are fastidious groomers, and they can ingest these eggs and infected fecal particles when they clean their feet or fur. Although it is more common in outdoor cats, The same is true for indoor cats.
It is particularly more common in cats that share the same litter box. Further, outdoor cats hunt small insects and rodents for fun, even if you feed them well. That will increase the risk of contracting worms since they can thrive in your feline’s muscle tissue.
Any cat may develop a worm infestation when they come in contact with these insects and rodents. The larvae can develop to maturity in your cat’s intestines as they grow to cause serious damages.
What Are the Signs of Worms in Cats?
There is a wide variety of signs or symptoms you may notice in your cat during a worm infestation. We have explained some of the most common symptoms to look out for below.
Vomiting is one of the most common symptoms you may notice in cats with a worm infestation. If your cat vomits only once, it can be because of indigestion.
However, if your cat vomits more than once a day and goes on for two to three days, you must take them to the vet for a worm test. Also, if vomiting occurs with other symptoms such as drooling and abdominal heaving, it can leave them dehydrated.
These additional symptoms are not very common unless the condition is very bad.
Although many things cause diarrhea in cats, such as spoiled food, infection, and allergies, intestinal parasites are the most common reason. So, look out for your cat if their stool is running loose or watery.
Diarrhea can last for a few days, a week, or a month depending on the level of infestation. Also, take your feline to the vet immediately when you notice any sign of dark or bloody stools.
Does your cat weigh abnormally low? Or, do you notice any sudden changes in their physique?
Weight is not a very common symptom in adult cats. However, kittens tend to lose weight or not gain weight as they age when worm infestation occurs.
Depending on the breed of your cat, they will have a thick or thin coat. Whatever their coat type, maybe, if they are healthy, it will shine.
So, if you notice your they have a dull coat, it can be one of the signs of worms in cats. It is easier to notice this in a cat with thick. Nonetheless, if you pay attention, you can see it in all types of cats.
A distended abdomen is a result of fluid build-up in the abdomen and chest. If you notice your cat showing signs of bloating in the abdomen and chest region, it can be because of worms.
Further, a distended abdomen can be a symptom of something larger than worms. Hence, be very cautious and take them to the vet as soon as you can.
Other than these major symptoms, you may also notice some of the signs we mentioned below:
- Low blood pressure
- Pale lips and gums
Types of Worms in Cats
There are also many types of worms cats can pick up in their life. Some of the most common types of worms are listed below:
There are some worms not as common as the ones mentioned above. Nonetheless, they can affect your little kitty and cause severe health problems.
- Stomach worms
- Bladder worms
- Liver flukes
What Happens if Worms Go Untreated in Cats?
If you do not treat your cats against worms, it can be very dangerous. Further, larvae of these worms can migrate through the organs and tissues of their body. Hence, the problems can turn from bad to worse in a matter of months.
Some long-term effects include severe skin infections, blockage in the intestines, or anemia due to blood loss. They can even cause blindness, convulsions, and death in the worst cases.
The damages to your cat’s health also depend on the type of worm and your cat’s age. Although small kittens are more likely to face lethal problems, big cats are not completely safe either.
Are Worms Painful for Cats?
Worms can potentially cause pain in cats, especially in kittens. Sometimes the larvae can migrate through the stomach, liver, and even eyes. That can cause inflammation and extreme pain in your furry little feline.
Hence, look out for any pain in your cat since pain is one of the signs of worms in cats. Here are some of the body parts you should test for pain.
- Pain in the belly due to inflammation in the stomach lining. Rub your kitty’s belly a little hard yet tenderly to see if they react to any pain. Generally, symptoms such as vomiting, loss of appetite, and food aversion can accompany belly pain.
- Does your cat keep rubbing their eyes due to itching or irritation? If you notice any discharge around their eyes often, it can be because of larvae migration. Sometimes, squinting can also accompany these signs.
- Rub your hand gently across their chest and check their breathing pattern. If you notice that your cat is trying hard to breathe, it can be because of lungworm. Sometimes, too much abdominal fluid can press against the diaphragm and restrict proper breathing.
Apart from the signs mentioned above of worms in cats, you may also see the presence of them. You may see it as a whole worm, parts of them, or eggs in your furry feline’s stool.
If you see any of these symptoms, even if you do not think it is a worm infestation, take your kitty to the vet. Your vet can confirm the problem with a physical examination or a blood test.
Fortunately, you can remove most worms effectively with the right dewormer. Even after you deworm your kitten, it is vital to continue to be proactive about looking out for their safety.