If you are a cat owner, then you need to know that most cats are infected with tapeworms at some or other time in their lives. And knowing about these tapeworms can be of immense help in keeping your kitty well protected and healthy. Unfortunately, it is the most common infection suffered by furry friends. And, partly because tapeworms are carried by fleas. Luckily, tapeworms can be easily treated in cats with oral treatments. Moreover, 99% of tapeworm infections can be controlled easily by implementing a strict flea control regime through monthly flea treatments, maintaining the cat’s coat, and keeping your house and environment free from fleas. Still, want to learn more about cat tapeworms?
Well, moving further, let’s answer your most common queries related to tapeworms in cats.
What Are Tapeworms?
Tapeworms are flat, segmented intestinal parasites found in cats. Belonging to a different family of intestinal worms such as hookworms and roundworms, tapeworms are commonly found intestinal parasites of cats. Varied types of tapeworms are known to infect cats.
What Are The Most Common Tapeworms In Cats?
The most common tapeworm of cats in the United States is Dipylidium caninum.
How Do Cats Get Tapeworms?
Cats commonly get tapeworm infection through fleas. Normally, through the grooming process, cats inadvertently swallow the flea that carries tapeworm egg. Once ingested by the cat, the tapeworm egg is released and hatches in the cat.
Are Certain Cats More Likely To Get Tapeworms?
Tapeworms are most common in environments heavily infested with fleas. Factually, fleas are the intermediate host of tapeworms, and without which tapeworms cannot complete their lifecycle. Hence, flea infestations mean the likelihood of tapeworm infections. Therefore, it is crucial to use flea treatments to prevent flea infestation and tapeworm infection.
What Do Tapeworms In Cats Look Like?
Tapeworms are long, flat (with segments) worms that can vary in length. They have suckers and hooks to help them attach to the intestine. Once tapeworms begin to grow, segments of their body separate themselves from the main body of the worm to multiply. These segments can often be in your cat’s feces, which look like small grains of rice.
What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of Tapeworm Infection?
Although tapeworms are not particularly harmful to your cat, they may cause weight loss and anemia in the long run. Scooting, vomiting, and rice grain-like things appearing in the poo are some of the common symptoms of tapeworm infection.
How Are Tapeworms Diagnosed?
It is easy to figure out tapeworm infections in your cat if you are skeptical about it. When segments of the tapeworm break off and pass into the cat’s stool, they can be seen crawling on the feces. These segments usually look like grains of rice. Less commonly, they can be seen moving around the cat’s anus.
What Are The Most Effective Treatments For Tapeworms?
A variety of tapeworm control products are available to treat tapeworm infections in cats but they are not all equally effective. Therefore, it is important to find the right one. The most effective worming products are Antezole deworming liquid and paste, Triworm-C, Drontal for cats, Popantel and Milbemax. These treatments are usually given as a tablet.
After deworming treatment, the tapeworm dies and is usually digested within the intestine, so worm segments do not usually pass into the stool.
However, they may be some side effects like vomiting and diarrhea, which are rarely reported with tapeworm treatments.