A cat with worms carries living organisms that mate, multiply and lay eggs inside the body. This way of life is a successful model for the various parasitic worms, although it often comes at the expense of the host organism. A cat with a diseased worm infestation will show various symptoms and health problems.
How do worms parasitize cats?
Not even indoor cats are immune to worms: Worm eggs can be carried into supposedly safe apartments in various ways, for example by attaching themselves to human shoes. Only one thing helps regular worming. Worms can be passed to cats in a number of ways. Traditionally, infested animals – not necessarily a cat – excrete the worm eggs in the feces. The transmission then takes place via direct contact with the feces or the worm larvae, but also indirectly, for example via the mother’s milk or raw meat when cats are bared or raid the refrigerator. Flies and snails can also spread worm infections. The worms, larvae, or their eggs can be ingested either orally or through the blood or skin.
By the way: Each of these worm types can be transmitted to humans. The fox tapeworm, which is occasionally spread via cats as an intermediate host, is particularly dangerous. While this tapeworm rarely causes symptoms in cats, it can cause severe liver damage in humans. If your cat is infested with worms, be sure to pay attention to hygiene, medication and, if in doubt, talk to your own family doctor about a suitable countermeasure if you suspect an infection.
How do worms affect cats?
Infection with endoparasites such as worms does not necessarily result in an acute illness: an otherwise vigorous cat can sometimes act as an intermediate host for worms without being affected by the parasites themselves. Other cats suffer from a worm disease, medically known as helminthiasis. In addition to the general health status of the cat, the type of worm in question is decisive for an illness. General symptoms are tiredness and exhaustion of the animals, weight loss, neglect of the fur, often a bloated stomach in young cats. Poor wound healing and susceptibility to other diseases can also occur.
How can I deworm cats?
There is no vaccination against infestation with worms. Instead, cats, especially outdoor cats who occasionally eat mice, should be dewormed regularly. For adult animals, it is advisable to administer a wormer every three months. In the case of indoor cats, the droppings should be checked for worms at least once a year and, if necessary, a worm treatment should be carried out. However, be sure to discuss such measures with the veterinarian – he will also have the right recommendation for the right preparation. Incidentally, you don’t necessarily have to take your cat to the practice for a wormer’s treatment: Thanks to innovative spot-on active ingredients, you as a cat owner can apply wormers yourself. Our experienced veterinarians from Dr. Fressnapf easily online via chat – optionally with or without a camera. It is no longer necessary to trick the cat into administering tablets or pastes.