Does my cat have worms?

Does my cat have worms?

Worm infestations in people are known to sometimes cause blindness. They’ve also been linked to asthma and other serious issues, especially in children. In the UK, 4.8 million households include a cat, and 1,480,000 of these include children**(PFMA, 2019). 23% of cats in the UK are not wormed* (PDSA PAW Report, 2018), meaning the cat, their owners and their families are all potentially at risk from worms.  

Fortunately, keeping your cat and your family worm-free is easy:

  • Learn how worms are spread and how to reduce this
  • Know the signs and symptoms of a worm infestation
  • Follow a regular worming routine

How do cats get infested with worms?

Cats can get infested with worms at any age, even as very young kittens. The most common ways an adult cat may become infested with worms are:

  • Picking up worm eggs from the grass or soil, and ingesting them while grooming
  • Ingesting infected fleas (and occasionally lice)
  • Eating infected prey, like mice and birds
  • Eating undercooked meat

All kittens are likely to become infested with worms via their mother’s milk. Pregnancy reduces the effectiveness of the mother’s immune system, allowing worms to develop and pass to her young during nursing.

How do I stop my cat from getting worms?

Stopping your cat from getting worms is near impossible, but it is easy to help reduce the risk and spread:

  • Clean litter trays and outdoor areas

Worm eggs need to ‘mature’ for up to two weeks before they become infective, so emptying your cat’s litter tray and picking up any poo from the garden should be done immediately. This reduces the amount of worm eggs in the environment, thus reducing the risk to pets and people.

  • Wash your hands after handling poo

This good hygiene practice minimises the spread of bacteria, and reduces the chance of you and others from picking up worm eggs.  

  • Adopt a regular worming routine

This is the easiest way to stop a cat worm infestation from taking hold. Missing a worming treatment or failing to deworm at all can result in health problems for your cat. It also increases the risk of infestation to other people and their pets.

How often should I deworm my cat?

Adult cats should be dewormed at least once every three months. Fortunately, protecting your cat and your family can be as Easy as 1, 2, 3. Effective and affordable wormers, such as Beaphar WORMclear®, are available without prescription from your local pet shop and online. 

Nursing queens and kittens should be wormed more often than adult cats. It is recommended that worming takes place every two weeks until the kittens are 12 weeks old. Once the kittens are 12 weeks old and the queen is no longer nursing, they can all be wormed once every three months. You must check a product is suitable for both nursing queens and kittens before commencing treatment. For additional advice about worming pregnant or nursing queens, contact your vet.

Check out our blog – Choosing the right wormer for your cat or dog – to help you pick the right wormer for your cat.

Should I deworm my cat more often if they hunt and eat prey?

Some prey animals like mice and birds can carry worms. If your cat is a regular hunter, speak to your vet or pet shop retailer about whether you should consider worming more often.

What are the signs and symptoms of cat worms?

Signs and symptoms of worms are hard to spot. A cat can be home to a worm infestation without their owners knowing because often there are very few or no outward symptoms.

One of the most common signs an owner may notice is what appears to be grains of rice in their cat’s faeces or stuck to fur around their bottom. These ‘grains of rice’ are segments of tapeworm, and signify the presence of a worm infestation. Tapeworms are transmitted by fleas, so worming alone will not solve the problem. You need to treat your pet with an effective flea treatment as well.

Check out our blog – Worms in cats and dogs: signs and symptoms – to find out what other signs you should be looking out for.

You can find out more about our WORMclear® range for your dog or cat by clicking the buttons below.  You can also visit our retailers section to find your nearest store.

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  pet types : Cat Worms

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