Trichinellosis in Cats: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment What You Need To Know About FelineTrichinellosis

Trichinellosis in Cats: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

The parasitic illness Trichinellosis is caused by the roundworm Trichinella spiralis. In this article, we explore this disease further and how to recognize it.

Trichinellosis, also known as trichinosis, is a parasitic disease caused by the trichinosis parasite - Trichinella spiralis. While it is commonly associated with pigs and pork products, it can also affect other animals, including cats. This disease may be dangerous to cats' health and can even be spread to people. As a result, cat owners and veterinarians must be aware of the symptoms, causes, and treatment options for trichinellosis in cats. 

This article will go through the numerous components of this disorder, such as how it is transmitted, clinical indicators, diagnosis, and therapy.

Trichinosis Causes

The trichinella disease in cats is caused by eating contaminated meat, most commonly from rats or other wild animals carrying the Trichinella spiralis parasite. The parasite can live in the muscles of these animals for years, and when cats consume it, it can develop and multiply in their digestive tract. The parasite's eggs and larvae can then enter the bloodstream and go to the muscles, where they form cysts and cause inflammation.

In some cases, cats can become infected through the consumption of infected pork or pork products. However, this is relatively rare as most commercial pork products are thoroughly cooked and processed to kill the parasite.

It's worth noting that trichinellosis is not contagious between cats and it is not spread through contact with feces or other bodily fluids. Instead, the primary mode of transmission is through the ingestion of infected meat.

Symptoms of Trichinosis

Trichinellosis symptoms in cats might vary depending on the severity of the infection and the stage of the disease. In some situations, cats exhibit no symptoms at all, whilst, in others, the symptoms can be severe and even fatal.

Trichinellosis in cats is characterized by the following symptoms:

  • Vomiting and diarrhea: Cats with trichinellosis may experience gastrointestinal symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea.

  • Muscle weakness and pain: The larvae of the Trichinella parasite can migrate to the muscles, causing pain, weakness, and stiffness.

  • Fever: Infected cats may develop a fever, which can be a sign of inflammation and infection.

  • Weight loss: If left untreated, trichinellosis can cause a cat to lose weight rapidly.

  • Respiratory symptoms: In severe instances, trichinellosis can lead to respiratory symptoms like coughing and difficulty breathing.


Feline trichinosis can be difficult to diagnose because the symptoms are similar to those of other disorders. However, veterinarians can use a variety of methods to diagnose the condition, including:

  • Physical examination: Your cat may be examined by a veterinarian to look for evidence of muscular soreness or weakness, as well as any other symptoms that might suggest trichinellosis.

  • Blood testing: Blood tests can be done to screen for the presence of Trichinella parasite antibodies, which can assist in confirming the diagnosis.

  • Imaging tests may be done to check for cysts in the muscles, which can be a symptom of trichinellosis.

  • Muscle biopsy: A muscle biopsy may be required in some circumstances to confirm the existence of the parasite.

Treatment and Management Options

Trichinellosis treatment and management choices in cats are determined by the severity of the infection and the stage of the disease. In most cases, veterinarian intervention is required to diagnose and treat trichinellosis appropriately.

Here are some treatment and management options for trichinellosis in cats:

  • Antiparasitic medicines: Anti-parasitic medication is the primary therapy for trichinellosis. The drug is intended to destroy adult worms and larvae in the digestive tract and muscular tissue.

  • Supportive treatment: Cats with trichinellosis may require supportive care such as IV fluids, pain medication, and nutritional assistance.

  • Monitoring: Cats with trichinellosis should be constantly followed for any changes in their status, and any new symptoms should be reported to the veterinarian.

How Can Trichinosis Be Prevented?

Preventing trichinellosis in cats requires a combination of responsible pet ownership and proper food handling. Here are some prevention tips to help keep your cat safe from this parasitic disease:

  • Cook all meat thoroughly: Cook all meat to an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) to kill any potential parasites. Avoid feeding your cat raw or undercooked meat, especially meat from wild animals.

  • Source meat from reputable suppliers: If you're feeding your cat meat, make sure it's sourced from a reputable supplier that follows safe food handling practices.

  • Hands and surfaces: After handling raw meat, always thoroughly wash your hands and surfaces. This will aid in the prevention of the spread of bacteria and parasites.

  • Keep your cat inside: Keeping your cat inside can help limit its risk of being exposed to diseased animals and their meat.

  • Veterinary examinations on a regular basis: Regular visits to your veterinarian can aid in the early detection of any potential health issues, including trichinellosis.

You can lower your cat's chance of acquiring trichinellosis by following these preventative steps. If you believe your cat has the parasite, call your veterinarian right away for a diagnosis and treatment. Early intervention can significantly increase the likelihood of a successful recovery.

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