Discovering worms in cats can be a pretty upsetting experience for cat owners. Cat worms are not only a health concern for our feline friends but also other family members as humans can contract worm infection from cats. Noticing worms in your cat’s stool, you may start wondering how do cats get worms. Is it possible for indoor cats to get worms? And how to get rid of worms in cats?
When it comes to deworming cats, cat owners have plenty of safe and effective options. There are deworming medicines for cats that will immediately eliminate the worms. There are also parasite preventive medicines for cats to stop future infestations, so you never have to worry about cat worms.
However, with many options available, it often gets pretty overwhelming for cat owners to choose a deworming medicine for cats. On top of that, many over-protective cat parents try to look for natural and at-home deworming remedies instead of buying pet medicines as they are skeptical about the side effects.
Deciding to give pet medications to your cat involves the benefit-risk analysis—we give these medicines to our cats as they outweigh the risks, meaning that every medication can have unwanted side effects on our feline friends. Therefore, you trying to avoid these pet medicines is very responsible of you as a cat parent. Some of the most common side effects of pet medications include vomiting, diarrhea, stomach ulcers, lumps, bumps, kidney damage, lethargy, anaphylaxis, etc., according to PetMD.
Given that pet medications may have side effects, you should always ask your vet about the potential side effects your cat may exhibit and what you can do to alleviate them. Moreover, it would help to inform the vet about all the medications that your cat might be receiving.
To save you and your pet from going through the trouble of using a pet medication for worms in cats and then worry about its side effects, we have winnowed down some of the most effective home remedies for worms in cats. But before we get there, we should learn: How do cats get worms? What are the different types of worms in cats? What are the symptoms of worms in cats? Can humans get worms from cats?
How Do Cats Get Worms?
Our cats contract worms as they come in contact with worm eggs in the environment or infected feces. Worms in cats may also come from infected cat fleas and sometimes from their mother’s milk. Our cats may also pick worms from eating on infected prey such as mice, squirrels, and birds.
Outdoor cats are at a greater risk of contracting worms. They may walk through areas contaminated with infected feces or eggs of parasites. And as cats are fastidious creatures, they will ingest these eggs and infected feces attached to their fur and paw pads as they lick to clean their coats and paws.
Cats eating grass, which could contain worm eggs or infected feces, may also contract worms. Therefore, you are advised not to let your cat munch on the grass on the lawn. If your cat seems to have developed a penchant for leafy greens, you should check out cat grass—a safe and healthy way to satiate your cat’s cravings for grass.
Indoor cats are at a lower risk of contracting worms, but it is not impossible. In multiple cat households, cats sharing litter boxes may contract worms if there are infected feces in the litterbox. Similarly, if infected fleas find their way into your home, they could transmit worms to your feline friend.
Did You Know?
Indoor cats tend to live longer than outdoor cats. Where outdoor cats have an average lifespan of around 2 to 5 years, indoor cats have an average lifespan of around 10 to 15 years.
Is It Possible for Cats to Get Worms From Dogs?
Yes, your cats can get worms from dogs. Many parasites are not species-specific—they can infect both cats and dogs. For instance, Toxascaris leonina roundworm can infect both cats and dogs. Our dogs can pick up parasite worm eggs from the infected dog feces. Moreover, cats can get worms from their canine friends if an infected flea jumps from dogs onto them and gets ingested.
Can Humans Get Worms From Cats?
Yes, humans can get worms from cats. As discussed above, many parasites are not species-specific. For example, tapeworms in cats can spread to humans, with fleas serving as intermediate hosts.
Some of the most common modes of transmission of cat worms to humans are:
- Children playing in areas where cats are defecating and then putting their hands in mouths
- Walking barefoot in such contaminated areas
- Gardening in the soil where infected cats may have defecated.
Humans may contract hookworms as their skin comes in contact with the soil contaminated with infected dog feces. To avoid the accidental ingestion of parasites, we should adopt good hygiene practices.
What are the Different Types of Worms in Cats?
There are many types of worms in cats. Below we have listed some of the most and least common cat worms.
|Most Common||Less Common|
How to Tell if a Cat Has Worms?
Worms in cats are pretty common. While they are a big concern for cat owners, they do not always have any serious consequences for cats. In fact, most of the infected cats won’t be showing any symptoms at all. However, it could be severe to the life-threatening level in other cases, depending on the severity of the infestation and the type of parasite. Therefore, you should always be on the lookout for the symptoms of worms in cats.
Depending on the type of worm, cats may show different symptoms of parasite infestation. Nevertheless, we have narrowed down some of the common signs of worms in cats below:
- Diarrhea (in some cases, there might be blood)
- Vomiting (in certain instances, you may find worms in your cat’s vomit)
- Weight loss
- Skin lesions
- Dragging their rear on carpet
If left untreated, worms in cats could become life-threatening. It could lead to the development of the following serious symptoms:
- Poor quality coat
- Low blood pressure
- In severe cases, it could even result in the demise of infected cats.
How to Get Rid of Worms in Cats?
Worms in cats are quite common, but you need not worry much as they can be easily treated. Today, cat owners have a litany of options available to get rid of worms in cats, ranging from topical medications to deworming pills for cats. On top of all that, there are many effective home remedies for worms in cats. Below we have discussed some of the most effective cat deworming home remedies.
Home Remedies for Worms in Cats
Many home remedies for cats claimed to be effective in getting rid of cat worms. These home remedies include the use of apple cider vinegar, pumpkin seeds, garlic, carrots, and turmeric.
Apple Cider Vinegar for Worms in Cats
Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) is effective against many cat diseases. ACV helps our cats to fight feline respiratory infection and also urinary tract infection in cats. In addition to that, ACV is also effective against fleas on kittens, helping our cats get rid of fleas. Similarly, apple cider vinegar is also known to help eliminate worms in cats. But there is little scientific proof to consider ACV as an effective remedy for worms in cats.
However, given that ingestion of ACV will create an acidic environment in cats’ stomachs—making it an undesirable habitat for worms. So, worms in cats will have no other option but to leave their body as they excrete. Moreover, ACV can also help cats in their fight against worms by getting rid of fleas—many fleas are responsible for transmitting tapeworms to cats.
Pumpkin Seeds Flush Worms in Cats
You must be wondering if pumpkin seeds are even safe for cats.
Well, yes, pumpkin seeds are not only safe for cats but also have many health benefits. Pumpkin seeds contain an amino acid named cucurbitacin, which paralyzes worms in cats. The worms hooked on the intestinal walls of the cat lose their grip and are pooped out. They are the most effective against tapeworms.
But you have to be very careful while feeding pumpkin seeds to your cat. You should not give whole seeds to your cat. Instead, you should grind them and give them alone or may add them to your cat’s food. You may also want to get your vet’s opinion about how much and how often you can give powdered pumpkin seeds to your cat for deworming.
Food-Grade Diatomaceous Earth for Deworming Cats
Diatomaceous earth is a sediment rock formed by the fossil remains of diatoms, tiny aquatic creatures. If you are going to give it to your cat, you should crush it into a fine powder and make sure that it’s food-grade. Where diatomaceous earth is deadly for parasites and insects, it is totally safe for our furry friends.
To use it for deworming your cat, add two spoons of it to your cat’s wet food. You may also want to discuss how much and how often you should be giving it to your cat with your vet.
If you are having difficulty finding food-grade diatomaceous earth for deworming your cats, you can check out the 100% Organic Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth Powder. While ordering this food-grade diatomaceous earth powder by the DiatomaceousEarth store, you do not have to worry about the presence of any inorganic material in it, as all of their products are certified by the organic minerals review institute.
Dewormer for Cats
If the above-mentioned home-based deworming remedies for cats do not work, you may want to get your cat checked by the vet and start looking into dewormers for cats available in the market. There are a wide variety of dewormers for cats available in the market. While some are effective against a specific species of worms in cats, such as Bayer Expert Care Tapeworm Dewormer for Cats is effective against only tapeworms, Durvet WormEze Liquid is effective against only roundworms. So unless you are sure that which parasite is bugging your cat, you should get a broad spectrum dewormer for cats that is effective against all types of worms in cats, such as Drontal Broad Spectrum Dewormer, which will kill not only tapeworms and roundworms but also hookworms.
Now that you have learned all about how do cats get worms and how to get rid of worms in cats, you may want to look at fleas on kittens and home remedies to get rid of fleas on kittens.