If you have a cat, it’s important to be aware of the possibility of them getting worms. While there are many different types of worms that can infect cats, the most common type is roundworms.
If your cat has roundworms, don’t worry- they’re easily treatable and there are a few things you can do at home to get rid of them.
Can Cats Recover from Worms on Their Own?
While it is possible for cats to recover from worms on their own, it is not advisable to let them do so. Cats can contract worms through contact with contaminated soil or by eating infected prey.
The most common type of worm that infects cats is the roundworm, which can cause serious health problems if left untreated.
Symptoms of roundworm infection include weight loss, diarrhea, and vomiting.
How Do You Naturally Deworm a Cat?
There are a number of ways to naturally deworm a cat. Some of the most common methods include using pumpkin seeds, papaya, and carrots.
Pumpkin seeds contain an amino acid called cucurbitacin which has been shown to be effective against worms. To give your cat pumpkin seeds, simply grind up a few seeds and mix them into their food. Start with a small amount and increase as needed.
Papaya contains an enzyme called papain which has worming properties. You can either feed your cat fresh papaya or give them a supplement that contains papain.
Carrots are high in fiber which helps to move things along the digestive tract, including worms. Give your cat a small carrot each day, either raw or cooked.
How Long Does It Take to Get Rid of Worms on a Cat?
The good news is that most types of worms can be treated relatively easily. The bad news is that it may take a few weeks or even months to completely eliminate the problem.
The type of worm your cat has will dictate the course of treatment. For example, roundworms can be treated with oral medication, while tapeworms require special tablets that are ingested or injected.
Hookworms and heartworms are more serious and may require hospitalization and/or long-term treatment.
In general, it takes about two to four weeks to see results from deworming medication.
However, some cats may still have worms even after treatment; this is why follow-up visits with your veterinarian are important.
It’s also important to note that deworming medication only kills adult worms; it does not prevent new eggs from hatching (which is why regular worming is so important).
What Happens If Worms are Left Untreated in Cats?
If left untreated, worms can cause a number of problems for cats.
- Roundworms: If roundworms, these parasites can grow up to four inches long. They live in the cat’s intestines and feed off of their host’s food. As they grow, they shed their skin, which can block the intestines and cause an obstruction. This can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, and anemia. If the obstruction is severe enough, it can be fatal.
- Hookworms: Hookworms attach themselves to the wall of the intestine and feed on blood. This can cause anemia and weight loss in cats.
- Tapeworms: Tapeworms live in the small intestine and absorb nutrients from their host’s food. They can also cause weight loss and intestinal irritation. Cats with worms may show no signs of illness, or they may vomit or have diarrhea, lose weight, or seem lethargic.
A veterinarian can diagnose worms by doing a stool sample test or looking at the cat’s anal area for eggs or larvae.
Treatment involves giving the cat medication to kill the worms; your veterinarian will prescribe the appropriate medication based on your cat’s age, health status, and type of worm infection.
His professional interests include humane education, ethics, small animal behavior, and veterinary. As a pet lover from school life, having grown up with two cats and a dog. If he isn’t spending time with his friends and family, Justin enjoys traveling. Learn more about Justin here.