How Do Cats Get Worms?

Sometimes, round worms may already be present in your cat’s digestive tract when it is born or when it is very young.

This is because some round worms can be transmitted during pregnancy from the mother or through the milk from the mother to the baby kitten.

Other worms, such as tapeworms, may come from the environment (usually if your pet is a hunter) or could be transmitted by fleas.

What type of worms might affect my cat?

The two types of worms frequently found in cats include:

  • Round Worms
    These worms lodge in the pet’s small intestine, where they can make them unwell. They can be detected by the presence of eggs in the pet’s stools, only visible under a microscope. Occasionally you may see a large whole worm being passed in the stools or vomit but this is rare.
  • Tape Worms
    These flattened worms fix onto the walls of the intestine and can also result in illness in your pet. Their presence can be detected in the stools, where the sacks of tapeworm eggs look like grains of rice to the naked eye.

There are other types of worms which occur in our companions that you may read about, such as heart worms (in the heart) and types of hook worm in cats but these usually only have the potential to affect pets that have been taken abroad.  Speak to your vet if you are concerned about these in your pet.

What can I do to support my pet’s health when it comes to worming them?

The British Small Animal Veterinary Association has guidelines for the worming of companion animals and they recommend that dogs and cats should be wormed regularly as advised by the pet’s veterinary surgeon.

Your vet will be able to supply you with the wormer(s) which is (are) best suited to your pet and the worming regime will be very dependent upon your pet’s lifestyle and your own.  Wormers can take the form of a spot-on, pills, pastes and liquids to name a few.

In some instances your vet will recommend worming once every few months and in other instances more frequent worming will be advisable.  It all depends on the age and lifestyle of your pet and whether or not there are vulnerable people in contact with your pet, such as children and/or those who have compromised immune systems.

Always follow your vet’s advice when worming your pet as not all worming products are suitable for all breeds.

Want to know more?

We hope this helped to answer your questions about how cats get worms. If you’d like to learn more about worms, your cat’s health, or other facts about your feline friend then we’d like to help – sign up to our newsletter below.


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