As I was cleaning my cat Buster’s litter box about 2 years ago, when he was a kitten, I noticed something strange. There were some white, oblong things in his stool, so I mentioned this on our next trip to the vet. It turned out that Buster was had cat worms, and I’m glad I noticed, because otherwise, I never would’ve found out. I’m usually not very observant, and I didn’t even think Buster was acting strange at all.
Cat Worms Symptoms
After that trip to the vet and some research, I discovered that there are some symptoms associated with worms in cats. Some general symptoms include vomiting, lack of energy, anemia, dull cat fur, gagging, blood in stool, weight loss (can be extreme), wheezing or coughing, shortness of breath and even sudden death. However, not all symptoms are the same, or always apparent, or extreme, and this is why it’s important for cat owners to be proactive about getting their cats checked for these. There are different types of cat worms, and below are some of their symptoms.
Hookworms (Ancylostoma braziliense)
Symptoms include pain in the abdomen, diarrhea and some blood in the feces. This mostly affects kittens.
Roundworms (Toxascaris leonine, Toxocara cati)
Some symptoms are loss of energy, vomiting, recurring diarrhea, excessive hunger, and can leave a cat with a pot belly. In stools, these resemble spaghetti.
Tapeworms (T. taeniaeformis, Dipylidium caninum)
A lot of cats can get this, particularly cats that have fleas. These are small, whitish, and oblong in shape, kind of like pellets of rice. Symptoms include the appearance of the segments around a cat’s behind or feces, frequent hunger and loss of weight.
Heartworms in Cats
More dogs get this, but cats with weakened immune systems can get it, too. A cat will need to go under several tests for these, since symptoms may be minimal or nonexistent.
Stomach Worms (Physaloptera, Ollanulus tricuspis)
This can infect a cat that eats a cockroach or cricket, or eating a rodent that has eaten either. Symptoms include tiredness, loss of weight and appetite, as well as vomiting.
Cat Worms Treatment
They say prevention is better than treatment, and if there is one thing that I realized I can do to protect my cats Buster and Choppy from cat worms, it’s that I should always see to it that their litter box and food bowls are germ-free. Vets can de-worm cats, but some are more keen on using natural remedies. One recommended natural remedy is diatomaceous earth that is food-grade. This has proven to be a natural, safe and effective de-wormer, and some types of this are even USDA-approved. Kittens and smaller cats are usually given one half to a teaspoon of this 2x a day when they eat, and for adult cats, the recommended dose is 2 teaspoons 2x a day.