Veterinarian holding a cat

There are a variety of worms that cats can get from the environment and from what they eat. Fortunately, we have tools to diagnose intestinal parasites, as well as treat them. We would love to help you ensure that your cat and your home is worm free. Ask us about the best deworming schedule for your cat(s).

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What are some types of parasites found in cats?

The most common parasites that we see in cats are roundworms and tapeworms. A cat can become infected with roundworms from contaminated soil or surfaces, or kittens can become infected through the mother’s milk. Tapeworms require a host for a cat to become infected. They can become infected with these parasites by eating either a rodent or a flea. Other parasites that we can see in cats include coccidia, giardia, and hookworms. Cats become infected with these parasites from a contaminated environment as well.

If my cat has worms, what symptoms should I look for?

Some of the main symptoms seen if your cat has worms are diarrhea, bloating, lethargy, anorexia, and vomiting. It is more commonly seen in kittens and outdoor cats but can sometimes be seen in indoor cats as well. Other things that may be seen if your cat has worms are actual adult worms in the feces and ‘sesame seed’ looking things on the fur by your cat’s anus.

Are worms dangerous to humans?

Some of the worms that cats can get can be passed to humans. Roundworms are the most common parasite that we see, which is one of the parasites that humans can contract. When transmitted to humans, the roundworm larvae migrate to the eye, which if untreated can cause permanent loss of vision. This parasite can also migrate to the lungs, which causes coughing and asthma-like symptoms. How do humans get roundworms? Humans can become infected after accidentally ingesting roundworm eggs in soil or other contaminated surfaces. Roundworms mainly affect children and compromised individuals.

What is the deworming schedule?

A cat’s deworming schedule will vary depending on the life stage of the cat and the environment it lives in. Ideally, a kitten should be dewormed every two weeks from 2-8 weeks of age, then monthly until six months. Once an adult, 2-4 times yearly, depending on the cat’s exposure to parasites. An outdoor cat may even require more.

Are there any side effects from deworming medication?

We seldom see any side effects with our dewormers. What we see more often is adult worms coming out in the stool. This can be a little disturbing for some people but be comforted to know that the dewormer is doing what it is designed to do.

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