Tapeworms In Cats: Frequently Asked Questions
Intestinal parasites are an unfortunate aspect of caring for your pets, including your cats. One of the most common parasites, tapeworms, live in the intestinal tracts of pets, and if not treated, can cause serious issues with your cat's health. Here are the answers to a few frequently asked questions you might have about tapeworms in your cat.
What Exactly Are Tapeworms?
Tapeworms are a variety of parasite that lives in the small intestines of your cat. The worms are flat, segmented, and feature a hook-like mouth that allows the worms to attach to the inner walls of your cat's intestinal tract. Many times, indoor cats will become infected by tapeworms if the cats have a flea infestation. The tapeworms live inside the fleas and when the fleas cause irritation, the cats chew on the fleas and the tapeworms are released into the cat's system.
What Are the Signs of Symptoms of Tapeworms in My Cat?
There are several signs and symptoms of intestinal parasites in cats, including tapeworms, including:
- Lack of appetite
- Dramatic weight loss
Often, one of the most telltale signs of a tapeworm infestation is that you will actually see the tapeworms in your cat's feces. The tapeworms will look like small white pellets, as the tapeworms will often break apart when they are defecated by your cat.
How Will My Veterinarian Treat Tapeworms?
If you suspect your cat has tapeworms, it is important to take your cat to a veterinarian right away. Often, the vet will ask for a stool sample to diagnose the tapeworms. Luckily, the treatment for tapeworms is a simple medication that can be given to your cat orally or through an injection. The medication will break down the tapeworms in your cat's system and they will be eliminated through your cat's feces.
How Can I Prevent Future Tapeworm Infestation?
Tapeworms are a serious problem that can make your cat very sick. The best way to treat tapeworms is to prevent your cat from getting infected by the parasite in the first place. A monthly flea treatment is a great way to protect your cats from tapeworms. The medication is available in both an oral and topical treatment. Additionally, if you adopt or purchase a kitten, ask your veterinarian to deworm your new pet.
This will eliminate any tapeworms living in the kitten's system and will prevent the kitten from spreading tapeworms to the other cats in your home.
Tapeworms are a common parasite that can be easily prevented and treated. For more information, contact a veterinarian near you.