Worms in cats: symptoms

Worms in cats are common and are not only a problem for free-range animals. Even common cats are not always spared from the common parasites. For this reason, cat owners should be sensitive to the symptoms of a worm infestation and, if in doubt, consult the veterinarian. Worms in cats: Affected house tigers often look tired and listless - Image: Shutterstock / berna namoglu

Worms in cats are not always easy to spot. Especially in the early stages, you hardly notice the worm infestation, and it can express itself very differently, depending on the type of worm: tapeworms, roundworms or hookworms. In addition to the type of parasite, other factors such as the cat's state of health, age and resistance are decisive for the symptoms. A preventive visit to the veterinarian is advisable if you discover one or more of the following warning signs on your pet.

Worms in cats: general symptoms

Cats that have worms often look weak and tired. Your willingness to perform decreases, the fur looks dull and shaggy. Hair loss can occur on the back. In young animals, worm infestation sometimes leads to a bloated stomach, while adult cats can lose weight and look emaciated. Poor wound healing and susceptibility to diseases are also indications of a worm infestation. You should also see a veterinarian if your cat has frequent diarrhea, vomiting, and parts of worms or blood in the feces. Conversely, constipation and flatulence, which did not resolve itself after 24 hours, are also reasons for a visit to the vet.

Have symptoms of a worm infestation clarified at the veterinarian

An advanced worm infestation can lead to anemia and various diseases of the animal concerned. Young and weak cats can be particularly hard hit. Therefore, the exact diagnosis should be made by a veterinarian. It also clarifies which worms are involved and which treatment steps make sense. Play it safe if you protect your pet from the annoying infection with a worming treatment from the start. Your veterinarian will be happy to advise you on which products are suitable and how to use them correctly.

Causes of worm infestation in cats

The causes of worm infestation in cats lurk everywhere. Freelancers can particularly easily with ...

Transmission of the different worms in cats

Your cat always gets tapeworms from intermediate hosts: either from fleas or prey such as mice or birds. The infestation with tapeworms only becomes noticeable when it is well advanced, especially due to indigestion and deficiency symptoms such as weakness and dull fur. Since tapeworms are found worldwide, infection is not uncommon. Talk to your vet about whether you can give your cat a worming regimen several times a year to prevent infestation. This is how tapeworms are eliminated before they can do any damage. This essentially applies to free-range animals, for indoor cats, a worming regimen is usually sufficient.

Hookworms can dig into the body through the cat's skin, for example on the paws, but it is also possible that the animal swallows the larvae and the parasite develops in the intestine. There the worms feed on blood and lay their eggs, which the cat excretes with the faeces. If a member of the same species comes into contact with the infected feces, they can become infected.

Roundworms also get into the cat's body if swallowed, but can also be passed on from mother to cat via breast milk. Therefore, the veterinarian carries out a worming cure as a precaution during the initial examinations of kittens in order to combat a possible infestation with roundworms. While healthy, adult cats can cope with mild roundworm infestation, this type of worm is life-threatening for kittens.