Roundworm in cats is the most common intestinal parasite of the feline world. Roundworms love being around felines so much that they easily find their way to cat-host. Furthermore, with eggs shed through the stool of already infected animals and left behind in the environment, your pet can easily become infected through everyday activities.
Roundworm appearance in cats can be seen less if your feline in the in-house cat. However, she is still in danger.
Roundworms In Cast
Roundworms are the most common of the parasitic worms found inside a cat. All cats become infected with roundworms at some time in their lives. The most common period when your felines get roundworms is in her kitten phase. Your feline may be infected by roundworms in many different ways, making them easy to spread and even harder to control.
Your feline may ingest infective roundworm eggs from the area where it lives or simply by eating mice or other small animals, that act as hosts. These small animals usually carry young worms or larvae. Little is known, but infection in kittens may occur through the mother’s milk.
Symptoms Of Roundworms
Felines are known for not loving to show their weaknesses. In most cases, when they fell ill or sick they will hide and wait in silence for whatever next is expected for them. Just like humans, each animal is an individual, with a unique character. That being said, not all pets show symptoms, neither they show them equally. For those that do, you may notice some of the following symptoms:
- Weight loss/malnourishment
- Potbelly appearance
- Visible roundworms in stool or vomit
Roundworms are tubular and they kind of look like spaghetti: they are white or light brown in appearance, with non-segmented bodies. In general, they are several inches long and can be seen by the naked eye. Therefore, they are easily seen in a cat’s or dog’s stool.
Your cat needs to be examined, and if she is infected with roundworms, your veterinarian will detect a swollen abdominal region. Your cat may also show the signs of weakness and loss of appetite. In that case, a fecal swab to detect the presence of roundworm eggs.
Another reliable indicator of the disease is dead roundworms being passed out of the body.
There are several different treatments that you can use to clean your feline from roundworms. Moreover, several medications can be used for the same purpose and you need to talk with your veterinarian on how to choose the perfect one.
Pill Or Liquid Dewormer
If your feline develops a roundworm infection, your veterinarian will most likely prescribe a pill or liquid dewormer. Adult roundworms, larvae, and eggs are not affected equally, it will probably take a minimum two or more treatments to eliminate the infection. In most cases, the first dose of medication will kill the adult roundworms, but not eggs and larvae that are present.
Commonly, the second visit will come a month or two later to check if another dose should be performed to kill eggs that have hatched. Sometimes, a third treatment may be required if symptoms persist.
Bear in mind, if you have a multi-cat home and suspect that just one is infected, you should have all your cats treated at the same time. Roundworms can be passed quickly, so even if a second cat isn’t showing symptoms yet, she just might be infected. If she demonstrates strong cat sounds, she might be bothered with something else. In that case, contact your veterinarian.
Important: Make sure to keep cats’ litter boxes and bedding clean to help reduce the possible spread of infection.
Once you know that your cat or kitten has roundworms, your veterinarian will probably test a fecal sample to confirm it. This treatment is rather a simple one. Cats or kittens are given anthelmintic, an oral deworming medication.
Your veterinarian can prescribe the right dewormer, that is used more often when it comes to treating kittens, but over-the-counter versions are also available. Dewormer works by forcing adult roundworms out of cat’s intestines, and right into the stool. One deworming session is not enough for your cat to be fully cured, so you should deworm your cat minimum twice, but probably three times, leaving two to three weeks between each dose.
Treatment For Pregnant Cat
If you have a pregnant cat, you must consult your vet for advice on deworming the mom and kittens. Once dewormed, many of the monthly medications designed for heartworm and parasite control contain medication that will prevent roundworm infections on an ongoing basis. Once again, this is something that should be always discussed with a veterinarian.
You should know that medications will affect only adult roundworms, so they should be repeated at two to up three-week intervals to deal with any residual larvae as they mature. Also, the number of treatments will always depend on the age of the cat and her overall health. Your veterinarian is the only one that can evaluate feline’s overall health.
If your feline doesn’t have special health demands or needs, your veterinarian will probably recommend a regular deworming protocol to keep roundworms at bay. Preventing pets from eating rodents can help prevent infection with worms, so overall prevention is sometimes the best solution.
Which Worming Products To Use?
Choosing the best worming product for your kitten is not easy work, especially with so many different products on the market. Luckily, you can find the majority of worming products available in pet shops and even some supermarkets, although this offer may vary from country to country.
The key here is to find the right products and that’s the main reason why you should talk with your veterinarian and follow his instructions. Your veterinarian may subscribe an injection that only your veterinarian can give, or a tiny tablet that go in with food, or even some drops that can be applied to the skin.
Worming Your Cat
Roundworms are common in cats, especially kittens because kittens can be easily infected from the mother’s milk. That being said, the best way to help your cat stay away from these parasites is to start working your cat at a young age. Common recommendations are:
- Kittens: treat your kitten every 2 weeks from 3 weeks of age until 8 weeks of age and after that monthly to 6 months of age.
- Adult cats: your cat needs to be older than 6 months of age to be considered adult. An adult cat should be treated every 1-3 months. You should treat your cat with products that are both effective against roundworms and tapeworms.
Left untreated, roundworms in cats can be deadly. Roundworms can lead to severe infestations that can cause rectal prolapse, intestinal blockages, or can even cause anemia, and each of this conditions can be fatal. Luckily, your kitty can make a full recovery from a roundworm infection, and once the treatment is over and she is fully recovered, she will live a healthy and normal life.
Can Humans Get Roundworms From Pets?
Long story short, yes. Humans can accidentally ingest roundworm eggs after animals and shed them in our environment. For example, if you don’t wash your hands after gardening you can catch roundworms. Also, children can catch roundworms by contaminated dirt and grass.
Roundworm In Cats Treatment – Key Takeaways
Most cat breeds will contract roundworms at some time in their lives, especially as kittens. After all, roundworms are one of the most common parasitic illnesses that can affect cats and dogs, but luckily this condition is both preventable and treatable.
Knowing what your cat might suffer from during her lifetime is being a responsible pet owner and knowing what you can do to prevent that. So, knowing what roundworms are and how they affect your feline, will keep your feline roundworm-free and healthy.
Frequently Asked Questions – Roundworm In Cats Treatment
1. What Is The Treatment For Roundworms In Cats?
Sometimes, adult roundworms can be found in the cat’s stool or even vomit. Luckily, treatment for roundworm infection is easy and safe. Also, it’s relatively inexpensive. There are different treatments and your veterinarian will decide on the best one for your feline.
2. How Long Does It Take To Kill Roundworms In Cats?
The dying and dead roundworms are pass into the stool after administration of the anthelmintic or deworming medication. None of these treatments will kill the worms or even migrating larvae. You will have to perform two or three treatments. Luckily, treatments are short and usually done at two to three-week intervals.
3. How Do You Get Rid Of Roundworms In Cats?
If your cat develops a roundworm infection, your veterinarian will probably prescribe a liquid dewormer or a pill. It usually takes a minimum of two treatments to fully eliminate the infection.
4. How Do I Know If My Cat Has Roundworms?
Cats don’t have a sign of infection, although cats with major roundworm infections commonly show dull hair, vomiting, weight loss, and heavy appearance. Luckily, you can notice adult roundworms in cat’s vomit or feces. If your cat vomits make sure that she can’t reach some of the food that she shouldn’t be eating.
5. How Did My Indoor Cat Get Worms?
Dipylidium is transmitted to cats by fleas, and immature fleas (also known as larvae) ingest the eggs and infection is passed on to a cat when it swallows an infected flea during grooming. On the other hand, taenia is passed on to cats by common small rodents such as rats and mice. Also, roundworms can appear in any cats that hunt.