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Just like us, cats are also prone to various intestinal parasites such as worms. They are a primary health concern for cats of all ages, living in all kinds of environments. The majority of the cats that are infected by worms do not show any signs at all. These worms can cause serious health issues if they continue to remain in the cat’s body. Also, some of these worms are capable of infecting humans.Symptoms
Cats that are infected by worms will exhibit the following symptoms.
- Bloating or potbellied appearance at the abdomen
- Bloody stool
- Difficulty in breathing
- Weight loss
- Worms visible in stool or near anus
However, these symptoms depend on the location of the infestation and type of parasite inside the cat.Common types of worms in cats
The following worms are usually found in cats.
- RoundwormsThe most common intestinal parasite in cats is roundworms. They have a spaghetti-like appearance and can grow up to three to four inches during adulthood. Kittens usually get them if they drink their infected mother’s milk. Adult cats generally get them from eating infected rodents or feces of infected felines.
- HookwormsSmaller than roundworms, hookworms generally reside in the small intestine of cats. As they feed on the cat’s blood, they can cause anemia, a life-threatening problem in kittens. Their eggs can pass through feces and infect other cats either through skin contact or ingestion.TapewormsTapeworms are usually flat and have the capability to grow up to 28 inches in length. When cats are infected by tapeworms, they suffer from weight loss or vomiting. Tapeworms are acquired when cats eat infected rodents or fleas. Small segments of tapeworms are found at the rear end of the felines.
Also, there are chances of cats getting infested by lungworms. They primarily reside in the lungs of the cat. One of the symptoms of a lungworm infection is coughing although the majority of the cats do not show any symptoms. The common carriers of lungworms are slugs and snails. However, cats can get them if they eat infected rodents or birds.Treatment
Regardless of whether your feline friend is infected by roundworms or not, you have to start the deworming treatment when they are three weeks old. Deworming should be done every two weeks till they are eight weeks old. After that, you have to treat them on a monthly basis till they are six months old. For adult cats, they should be dewormed every one to three months.Tapeworms mostly infect older cats unless your kitten has fleas. To remove tapeworms in kittens, you have to use products that are effective against Dipylidium caninum. If adult cats have tapeworms, you have to treat them every one to three months with products that are effective against roundworms and tapeworms like Profender topical solution for cats..Although there are many products available in the market for deworming cats, you should always ask your vet for advice. The vet will tell you the dosage and which product is most effective.