Cat worms or helminths are parasitic worms that settle in the body of an animal and cause pathological processes in it.
Infection occurs by swallowing the larvae of the worm. The larvae are in the external environment: in soil, in water, on grass, in raw meat and fish, on unwashed vegetables. Even if the cat does not leave the house, it can still become infected with worms that the owners brought on shoes, clothes or hands. Many types of worms are transmitted through feces, as well as by eating an insect, such as a flea.
Types of cat worms
In the body of a domestic cat, helminths of three types can parasitize:
- tapeworms (cestodes)
- roundworms (nematodes)
- flat flukes (trematodes)
Depending on which parasite has settled in the cat’s body, the symptoms will differ.
Roundworms (nematodes) – parasitize mainly in the small intestine, they feed on the host’s blood and can cause anemia in cats, especially kittens. With a large number of worms accumulate and are able to clog the intestinal lumen. Infection with nematodes occurs through contact with infected animals, by eating feces that contain helminth eggs. The most common are the worms of the Ascaris order – Toxocara.
Tapeworms (cestodes) also parasitize the small intestine. This type of worm can be transmitted not only through raw meat and fish, but by swallowing a flea or withers. One of the most common types of tapeworm is cucumber tapeworm (dipilidiosis). In an animal infected with tape parasites, segments of the worm can be found on the hair around the anus, which in appearance resemble grains of rice.
Flat helminths (trematodes, flukes) are less common in cats and parasitize in the lung and liver tissue. Infection of the animal occurs when swallowing small freshwater crustaceans, raw fish, rodents. The most common of this group of worms is opisthorchiasis, which parasitizes in the ducts of the liver, gallbladder and pancreas.
Symptoms of infection with worms in a maine coon
During their parasitism in the body of a cat, worms of any kind release numerous toxins that harm the host’s body. So, depending on the degree of damage and the place of parasitism by helminths, the following signs of infection are found:
- depression, poor or perverted appetite, weight loss, fatigue;
- poor quality wool, it becomes dull and disheveled;
- indigestion (constipation, followed by diarrhea, and vice versa, vomiting);
- itching in the anus;
- stool with blood or mucus;
- kittens will be stunted, pale skin, bloated belly;
- shortness of breath, cough (this occurs at the time of worm migration through the body);
- yellowness or pallor of the mucous membranes.
Treatment of worms in cats maine coon
To treat an animal, you first need to find out the type of parasite, since some drugs are designed only for the destruction of one type of helminth. Therefore, if worms are suspected, a fecal analysis should be taken.
It is not always possible to detect the presence of eggs in the cat’s feces the first time, this is due to the period of development of the worm. If the animal has recently become infected, then there are immature individuals in the body that have not yet released eggs, so the results of the studies may be false negative. To avoid this situation, you need to donate feces at least 3-4 times a month.
The necessary drug after typing the helminth will be prescribed by the attending physician, depending on the age and condition of the animal.
Are worms transmitted from cats to humans
A person can become infected with worms from his pet if hygiene rules are not followed. So, from a cat a person can become infected
- roundworms – roundworms;
- cucumber tapeworm, which is very easily transmitted through fleas;
- diphyllobothriasis and many other species.
Therefore, hygiene is also important for the owner of the cat, since the treatment of helminthic invasion in humans is most often more difficult than in animals.
Prevention of worms in domestic cats
Prevention of helminthiases in cats is quite easy:
- prophylactic use of antiparasitic agents for fleas and worms 1 time in 3 months;
- avoid contact with street animals;
- do not feed the animal with raw meat and fish;
- clean the animal’s litter box more often and change the bedding.
Remember that various anthelmintics should be prescribed by a doctor based on the age and condition of your Maine Coon. Uncontrolled intake of drugs can lead to complications and even death!