All kittens are born with parasites and continue to be exposed to parasites as they grow. Many environmental factors can expose them to worms such as fleas, rodents, feces from other cats, etc. Deworming does not prevent an infestation; it purges the system of any worms currently infesting your cat, however, should be done on a regular basis to ensure we are keeping your cat safe and parasite free. If you are concerned that your cat may have worms, please contact us and we can discuss your deworming options.
What are some internal cat parasites?
The most common internal parasites that we see in Nova Scotia are roundworm and tapeworm. Occasionally we will see whipworm or hookworm, but it is a less common occurrence. There are many different types of tapeworm, with Dipylidium caninum being the most common. This species of tapeworm, which has the appearance of small rice-like segments when passed in the stool, is contracted when your cat has fleas and ingests them (typically through self-grooming). Roundworm is often contracted at birth by their mother or hunting/eating wild animals like rodents.
What are worm infestation symptoms in cats?
Cats won’t always show symptoms of a roundworm or tapeworm infestation; however, a really bad infestation can lead to vomiting, lethargy, weight loss, and around pot-bellied appearance. If you see these symptoms, contact us to discuss deworming options and to book an appointment with your veterinarian if needed.
Do worms affect humans?
Roundworms do pose a significant risk to humans. If your cat has had roundworm, ensure that you wash all pet beds well and empty all litter boxes completely and clean them thoroughly. You can ingest them when coming into contact with feces or contaminated soil, do not allow your children to play where outdoor cats may be defecating (i.e. cover sandboxes when not in use, etc.) The most common tapeworm can infect a human however it is rare. The cases that have been reported are mostly in children and come from ingesting an infected flea. Flea prevention is the best way to avoid this concern.
What is the deworming schedule?
A veterinarian will work with you to decide on the best deworming schedule based on your cat’s lifestyle. Different factors impact how often deworming needs to be done e.g. an outdoor cat needs to be dewormed more often than an indoor cat as they are hunting rodents and have increased exposed to other animals and outdoor flea burdens.
Any deworming medication side effects?
The products our veterinarians prescribe are very safe, and we rarely see adverse effects. On occasion, some cats will have soft stool or vomiting, and for this reason, we recommend giving your cat their deworming medication with food unless instructed otherwise. If you do note any symptoms of concern following administration of a dewormer, please contact the clinic.