Worms

When your cat or kitten has worms, it is the result of coming into contact with a parasite (usually a flea) that has entered your cat’s body. Most kittens have  worms and will need to be de-wormed (take a medication that kills the worms) several times during the months that make up kitten hood. It is therefore necessary that EVERY new kitten be checked by a vet and wormed.

Roundworms are the most common source of worms in kittens and tapeworms are the most common  worms in adult cats. Roundworms get into the kittens through mother’s milk. A kitten with very large numbers of roundworms will have a pot bellied appearance. Roundworms themselves look like spaghetti noodles and can be present in stool or vomit. They are easily treatable with oral medication.

Tapeworms in adult cats are usually the result of the cat ingesting a flea (with the tapeworm inside it) during a normal self grooming session. Outdoor cats can also get tapeworms by eating prey such as raw meat and raw fish. Tapeworms are about 1 cm or 1/4 inch long. You may see them moving around the fur around your cat’s anus. Tapeworms that have left the cat’s anus and have dried up, look like grains of rice and can be spotted in places where your cat sleeps. Due to the fact that the worms can come  from fleas if your cat has tapeworms it may also  have fleas. Therefore it needs BOTH de-worming and flea medication to stop the cycle. Make sure your vet checks for both scenarios.