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How Do I Know If My Cat Has Worms?

Updated April 17, 2017

Regularly checking your cat for worms is one of the best ways to keep her healthy. By monitoring her behaviour and taking her to the veterinarian regularly, you're doing your part in keeping her happy and worm-free. If you suspect your cat may already have worms, you can investigate the problem in several ways.

Spotting the Worms

Check your cat's litter box. If your cat has worms, there's a very good chance that they will eventually pass through your pet when he makes a bowel movement. Keeping an eye on the litter box for worms on his faeces is a good way of keeping tabs on your cat's health. If your cat passes a roundworm, you'll see a long, slimy thing wriggling. If she has a tapeworm, you'll see segments of it in your cat's faeces. You can tell if there are tapeworm segments in the litter box if you see dried up white chunks that resemble uncooked rice.

If your cats share a litter box and you discover that one of them has worms, you must find out which cat has worms, give her a separate litter box, and treat her. It is possible for worms to spread from one cat to another if they share a litter box.

Watch your cat's behaviour. Is he acting out of the ordinary? If your cat is eating excessively, licking his rear end more than normal, or scooting around on his bottom, this could be a sign of a worm infestation. A swollen stomach may also be an indication that your cat is infected with worms. As with all unusual behaviour that causes concern, take your cat to the veterinarian immediately for a checkup. If she is acting this way it could be the sign of worms or a more serious problem. Something that is affecting your cat's behaviour needs to be checked out immediately to ensure her safety.

Monitoring your cat's anus will usually show you if your cat has some types of worms, like a tapeworm. The living segments of a tapeworm can be found poking out of your cat's anus, wiggling around, or stuck to the fur around the rear area. They are small, white, and seem to ungulate when they surface.

Some worms, like heart worms, do not present themselves outside of the cat. This is one of the main reasons regular trips to the vet are so important to your cat's health.

Getting Rid of Your Cat's Worms

As soon as you recognise the signs of worms, take your cat to the vet, or bring a sample of his faeces for testing. You need to know what type of worms your cat has before treating them. Do not simply purchase an over-the-counter medication without consulting your veterinarian first. Some varieties may have harmful chemicals that may kill the worms but could harm your cat. It's best to find out what your vet recommends.

Preventing Worms

One of the first steps towards preventing worms in your cat is to treat her regularly for fleas. Ingesting flea larvae or eggs can cause a worm infestation. Remember, preventive measures are less costly and frustrating than dealing with a sick cat.

Don't forget to take your cat to the vet for regular checkups. If you can't tell if your cat has worms, your veterinarian will let you know if your feline friend is in the clear.

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