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Treatment for Worms in Cats

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Authored by Sandy Rothra in Cats
Published on 01-07-2010

Lungworm and several different types of intestinal worms often infect cats. These worms may cause many symptoms, but often they cause no symptoms at all. They are, however, detrimental to the health of the cat and, in some cases, the worms in cats may also be transferred to humans. In a home with more than one pet, it may be necessary to treat all cats and dogs.

Roundworms

Roundworms, the most commonly found worms in cats, are about three inches long and resemble spaghetti. Many kittens contract them soon after birth from nursing their infected mother. Adult cats get them when they eat an infected small animal or contact infected feces. Your vet will prescribe a dewormer for your infected cat or kittens. This may have to be repeated several times to completely rid your cat of the worms. You will need to disinfect the litter box several times during the course of treatment. For kittens, begin treatment at three weeks, and treat every four weeks. Treat the mother at the same time.

Hookworms

Hookworms are less than an inch long and found in hot humid climates. They feed on the blood of the host cat and often cause severe anemia. Hookworm eggs are passed in the feces, and your cat may become infected through skin contact with these eggs. Your vet may keep the cat a few days for treatment. While he is being treated, used cat litter should be thrown out. All litter pans, food, bedding and water pans need to be disinfected. If hookworms are prevalent where you live, have your pet tested every few months to avoid a severe infestation. Start treatment as soon as kittens begin to move around and treat them every four weeks. For older cats treat at least twice a year.

Tapeworms

Tapeworms are long, flat and segmented worms that grow up to 28 inches long. This is the most common type of worms for cats. Cats often ingest the tapeworm with an infected flea while grooming. Tapeworm infestation may cause vomiting and weight loss, or there may be no visible symptoms. Your vet will prescribe a specific tablet to deworm your cat. You will also have to treat fleas on the animals and in your home, since fleas carry the larva. According to Tapeworm Info, tapeworms can be transmitted to humans, but this is not common.

Lungworms

Lungworms, as the name implies, invade the lungs. The cat may develop a cough. However, many cats show no symptoms when infected. This infestation is not as common as intestinal worms. Your vet will prescribe the correct dewormer, and often he will also treat with steroids for a few days.

Food grade diatomaceous earth is a natural organic wormer and claims to be safe. However, many over-the-counter dewormers are toxic and may not be the right medication or dosage for your cat. Some will treat several types of worms. It is best to let your veterinarian determine the type of worms and the best treatment.

Source:

  • Tapeworm Info: My Pet Has Tapeworms

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