If you have experience in owning cats, you may be well familiar with the worms around your cat’s anus. These worms look like small grains of rice. If you are a first-time cat owner, you must be aware of this health condition that may hit your cat anytime. Just like humans, the stomach and intestines of cats also have a variety of microscopic organisms. The presence of these organisms is normal and healthy. But, sometimes, it may happen that the eggs of parasites enter the cat’s digestive system. This results in the increase of adult worms that eat all the food going through your cat’s gut and, however, steal all nutrition.
It is true that discovering worms in your cat can be a stressful experience for you. The finding of these worms is not only a frightful situation for you, but it can also develop some serious health conditions in your cat. The most common types of worms in the cat’s digestive tract include roundworms, tapeworms, coccidian, and others. There are a number of safe and effective home remedies for worms in cats. You can also take the help of a variety of preventative measures to reduce the chances of infestation in cats in the future.
How Do Cats Contract Worms?
The common reason for getting worms in cats is parasite eggs or infected feces. When cats get in contact with these things, they get worms. When a cat walks through the areas with parasite eggs or infected feces, they get ingested in the cats as cats are natural groomers. This usually happens when cats clean their fur and feet.
Whether you have an indoor cat or an outdoor cat, this condition can occur in all cats. This condition commonly occurs where there are multiple cats, and they share a litter box contaminated with infected feces.
The cats living outdoors and those who regularly hunt small rodents are more likely to get worms. It is so because these worms may stay in the muscle tissues of the prey. When a cat eats a rodent that is infected with worms, they are at high risk of developing worm infestation.
What Are The Symptoms Of Worms In Cats?
Sometimes, worm infestation in cats can be a condition without showing any symptom, while sometimes it can be a severe and life-threatening condition. It completely depends on the type of worm your cat has as well as the severity of the worm infestation. The common symptoms of worm infestation in cats are vomiting, diarrhea, tarry feces, weight loss, swollen abdomen, skin lesions, dull coat, and poor body condition. When the infestation in cats gets worse and symptoms progress, you may notice other signs as well, such as weakness, dehydration, pale lips and gums, low blood pressure, and shock. In the most severe cases, it can lead to death too.
The common types of worms in cats are roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms, and whipworms. Among them, tapeworms are the most common. The less common worms in cats are lungworms, stomach worms, bladder worms, liver flukes, and heartworms. These types of worms can cause serious health issues. Sometimes, they can be fatal as well. Other symptoms of worms in cats include difficulty breathing, coughing, diarrhea, vomiting, and gagging.
Do Worms In Cats Are Painful?
In addition to the above symptoms of worms in cats, these worms can be painful as well. When larvae move through various organs, such as the liver, stomach, eye, or lungs, it can cause discomfort. It is due to the inflammation of the affected tissues from the disruption. This pain can be:
- Stomach pain due to the inflamed stomach lining (symptoms may be nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, and food dislike).
- Eye irritation (symptoms may be eye rubbing, squinting, or discharge)
- A change in the breathing rate of your cat
The fluid build-up due to the loss of protein can result in a swollen stomach in cats. This can lead to discomfort due to the bloating of the abdominal muscles and skin. Also, the large amount of abdominal fluid puts pressure on the diaphragm and can cause breathing problems.
What Are Home Remedies For Worms In Cats?
Parasites can infect cats anytime if you do not take care of them properly or if their living space is not clean or due to any other reason. These worms can make your cat sick. No doubt vets can treat your cat safely for worm infestation. But, many cat parents do not want to give their cats potentially harmful substances. They want to cure their cat’s condition with the help of natural remedies for worms in cats.
Have a look at some of the natural home remedies for worms in cats that you can try before you visit the vet.
Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth (DE)
Food grade DE is easily available from a nursery or garden center. You can also get it under the name of fossil shell flour. This product is used by breeders and farmers for dietary support as well as for deworming. This product kills worms and insects through dehydration. Make sure not to buy pool-grade Diatomaceous Earth, as this product adds toxins for pool filtration and can be toxic to your cat. To use food grade DE, you have to mix half a teaspoon of this product into a can of wet cat food. As this DE is completely tasteless, your cat will not notice it at all. Make sure to continue adding half a teaspoon of DE every four days.
If you give dry cat food, you can give DE by adding it into a treat such as a tuna or ground chicken. Check your cat’s feces for worms. Repeat this home remedy for worms in cats after two weeks. You can also choose to use this product monthly. In addition to working effectively for deworming your cat, DE also helps in absorbing harmful toxins. It is also helpful in promoting stronger bone structure as it contains some calcium.
Using garlic is also one of the effective natural remedies for worms in cats. You can mix fresh garlic into your cat’s food. Make sure to do this just once a day. You can start with a pinch of garlic and can increase the quantity slowly when your cat starts eating this mixed food. Garlic works great in killing the parasites as well as can also prevent from getting worms.
Another way to use garlic for treating worms in cats is garlic juice. You just need to extract the juice from the clove as it will serve as a potent anti-parasitic. Spray this garlic juice on your cat’s food as it will be undetectable by your pet, and your problem is solved. You can also add a black walnut for your cat’s food to increase the effect.
Ground Pumpkin Seeds
Some experts suggest giving a teaspoon of ground pumpkin seeds to your cats as one of the best home remedies to treat worms. The pumpkin seeds have anti-parasite nutrients, and you can add this powder to wet cat food. At the same time, it is recommended to consult your vet before you consider using any home remedy to treat worms in cats.
Make sure to grind the pumpkin seeds fresh every day. You can add one teaspoon per 10 pounds of your cat’s body weight a day. You can also talk to your vet as he/she can help in determining the type of parasite involved and what dosage will work best for your cat.
Maintain Good Hygiene Habits
It is also one of the natural remedies to treat worms in cats. It is suggested to remove cat feces daily. You should clean the litter box regularly as it will help in preventing and clearing out intestinal parasites. All cat parents should develop good hygiene habits. Also, keep your cat indoors most of the time. But, keep in mind that it does not eliminate the risk of getting parasites from preying in the grass and soil.
When your cat gets worms, you can use a small amount of chewing tobacco as one of the helpful home remedies for worms in cats. Just mix chewing tobacco with your cat’s food as it may help in getting rid of the parasite. The nicotine present in chewing tobacco works like a poison to the worms. If you use it in small amounts, it will not hurt your cat in any way. Just take a pinch of chewing tobacco and feed it to your cat either directly or mix it with regular cat food. Always keep in mind that you should not give tobacco to your cat once the issue is solved.
Give Natural Herbs
There are several herbs that work great in removing and preventing worms in cats. They help in digestion and flush out worms from the digestive tract. You can use quassia, a plant that helps in stimulating the appetite and increasing bowel movements in cats, therefore flushing out the parasites. Other effective natural herbs are cinnamon and peppermint. They are quite effective in removing worms out of the digestive tract by creating an unfavorable environment for worms.
Can cats get worm infestation from dogs?
Yes, cats can get infected from dog poop because not all types of worms are species-specific. Certain worms can affect both dogs and cats. The cats can also get tapeworms through the fleas on dogs. It is more likely to happen when they live in an infested home or yard. When a flea from dogs gets onto cats, and if they get ingested, there are chances of developing tapeworm infestation.
Can humans get infestation from cats?
Yes, it can happen when cats come in contact with contaminated feces or soil directly. The common situations when humans can get worms from cats are:
- When kids play in sandboxes where cats have excreted
- When you walk barefoot on the contaminated soil
- When you touch the contaminated soil without wearing gloves
So, it is recommended to follow good hygiene practices to prevent the transmission of worms from cats to their owners.
How can you prevent worms in cats?
Worm infestation in cats, as well as its transmission in humans, can be prevented by maintaining good hygiene habits. You should also use intestinal worm and parasite prevention.
If you have an indoor cat, make sure to clean the litter box daily. Also, it is important to change the litter and scrub the litter box regularly to minimize exposure to contaminated feces. For outdoor cats, you should scoop these feces regularly from the yard. It will help in minimizing the spread of the parasite life cycle.
How can you notice that your cat has worms?
Some parts of the worms may be noticeable in the feces, or they can also be visible around the anus. The common symptoms that may indicate that your cat may have worm infestation include vomiting, bloated abdomen, constipation, and cough.
Can worms in cats be life-threatening?
Yes, having worms is common for a cat. There are some types of worms that can be very harmful to cats and can even be life-threatening for them. In severe cases, some types of worms can cause death to older cats and kittens if not treated on time.
How to get rid of worms in cats?
You should keep the living area of your cat clean. Also, make sure to clean their litter box on a regular basis. You should also keep an eye that your cat does not come in contact with infected cats or dogs. Don’t forget to use a dewormer regularly. If you notice any symptoms of worm infestation, visit the vet as soon as possible.