Can a healthy Cat get worms?

Did you know that worming your cat not only protects them, but also you too? It is very easy for infected cats to leave worm eggs on their coat when grooming and then we kiss and hug them and end up ingesting the eggs!

One worm can be transmitted to children and can cause permanent eye damage.

It may not always be easy to spot if your cat has worms, you may notice that they are hungrier than normal but not gaining weight. It may cause vomiting, diarrhoea and or constipation with potentially serious consequences. In addition, they may weaken your cat’s immune system, making it more susceptible to infection. In a mild infestation, you may simply not know, and this is one case where you can remain unaware.

How could my cat get worms?

The short answer is all too easily. Even the most cared for, well fed, happy and healthy cat can become infested with worms.

Even though you cannot see them, other cats may have left behind worm eggs and larvae, where they leave their droppings. These eggs and larvae can remain infectious for months, even years. These can be picked up on your cat’s coat, muzzle or paws and are ingested during grooming. In this way, worms can then infect your cat, home and garden.

Both Roundworms and Tapeworms can be picked up from a hunting cat’s prey; mice, for example often carry infective larval stages. By far the most common tapeworm is acquired by swallowing infected fleas while grooming.

Types of Worms

There are a dozen different species of roundworms, tapeworms, hookworms and whipworms, which may infect the cat in the UK. Fortunately there are very effective ways to control these and minimise the spread of infection.

Regular worming is very important, indoor cats should still be wormed, but can be less regularly. Many flea treatments also cover some worms and are given monthly. Tape worms can be treated every 3 months. Other things you can do to keep your family safe are, careful, daily, disposal of cat litter.

Wash your children’s hands after playing with kittens and cats.

Avoidance of raw offal or unsterilised pet food.

Remember that outside cats usually don’t defaecate in their own gardens, so worming your cat protects your neighbours too.

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