5 Ways to Deal With Worms in Cats Naturally

by Suzie Cyrenne November 02, 2022 11 min read

5 Ways to Deal With Worms in Cats Naturally

Finding out that your feline family member has worms in cats is definitely not something that you’d look forward to as a pet parent. Besides making your cat prone to serious health issues, these parasites are also highly contagious to other animals—which unfortunately includes humans as well.

Unlike what a lot of people mistakenly believe, though, reaching for conventional medicines isn’t just your only option when it comes to getting rid of worms in cats. There are actually natural remedies that you can go for to deal with these unwanted visitors.

Make sure you follow along because I’m going to walk you through what these are in just a bit. Let’s start off our discussion by having a quick overview of how a cat becomes contaminated with these parasites.

 

How Does A Cat Become Contaminated With Worms?

A cat becomes prone to worm infestation as soon as he gets in contact with objects and organic matter that are already contaminated with the eggs of these parasites. These can be anything from collars, toys, combs, scratching posts, food and water bowls, as well as the feces of infected animals.

Moreover, transmission is also highly likely when a cat eats an infected organism like a bug, rodent, or bird that he may have come across with in his surroundings.

Once a cat grooms himself after being exposed to these eggs, which typically involves the meticulous licking of one body part after another, these parasites end up in his gastrointestinal tract where they hatch and develop.

Additionally, there are even unusual cases where an infected mother passes on the infection to her kittens through her milk.

Next, let’s talk about the types of parasitic worms that your feline family member could be prone to…

 

What Kinds Of Worms Do Cats Get?

The parasitic worms that a cat may be infected with are classified into two (2) groups, namely common and uncommon. They are categorized as such based on their ability to contaminate objects as well as their prevalence in specific geographical areas.

The common ones include hookworms, roundworms, tapeworms, and whipworms.

  • Hookworms got their name from the hook-like mouths that they use to cling to a cat’s intestinal wall to feed on the host’s blood. There are two types of hookworms that commonly infect felines, namely Ancylostoma braziliense, which is considered as the more aggressive species, and Ancylostoma tubaeforme.
  • As their name implies, roundworms have a circular shape and are usually light brown or white in color. They can also grow up to six (6) inches long when they’ve fully developed. Rather than latching on to the walls of the intestines, these parasites freely move around the gastrointestinal tract. Toxocara cati and Toxascaris leonina are the species of roundworms that can infect cats.
  • Tapeworms have segmented bodies and can grow as much as 28 inches when fully developed. They’ve got their name from their ribbon-like appearance, which resembles that of a tape measure. Technically referred to as cestodes, these worms in cats latch to the intestinal walls and snatch nutrients from the host. Interestingly, symptoms of tapeworm infection tend to be only visible after a long time.
  • Named after their whip-like bodies, whipworms are known for causing a severe intestinal infection called trichuriasis that is characterized by anemia and acute abdominal pain. These worms in cats can grow up to almost three (3) inches in length and can also be transmitted to dogs and humans. Trichuris campanula and Trichuris serrata are the types of whipworms that often infect felines.

As for the uncommon parasitic worms in cats, these include bladder worms, heartworms, liver flukes, lungworms, as well as stomach worms.

  • Bladder worms, particularly Capillaria feliscati or Pearsonema feliscati, which only infect cats, burrow deep in the bladder and may either cause severe difficulty in urination or recurring incontinence. Besides the ingestion of the contaminated water, the larvae of these worms in cats can also infect felines by entering open wounds and lesions through wading or swimming in the same.
  • Referred scientifically as Dirofilaria immitis, heartworms are considered as one of the most dangerous worms in cats since they can set off extremely serious and even fatal adverse effects. These parasites are passed on by mosquitoes that carry their larvae.
  • Liver flukes are trematode parasites that often live in bodies of fresh water like rivers, ponds, and lakes. They can also survive in streams and puddles in some cases. These worms in cats are typically passed on to felines when they drink the contaminated water or eat bugs and rodents that may have already been infected by these parasites. The Metorchis conjunctus is the prevalent type of liver fluke in North America.
  • As for lungworms, they are hair-shaped worms in cats that travel to the lungs and airways as soon as they infiltrate a feline’s body. They can either be passed on through the ingestion of an infected bug, rodent, or bird, or perhaps by means of contact with contaminated water bowls, collars, toys, and similar items. Eucoleus aerophilusand Aelurostrongylus abstrusus are the species of lungworms that affect cats.
  • While cases involving stomach worms—particularly the Physalopteraand Ollanulus tricuspis types—are still being recorded in and around North America, they are deemed as very rare due to the mode of transmission from one infected cat to another. A feline can only be affected with these worms in cats through the consumption of the vomit of a diseased host.

Now we’ve got that covered, let me walk you through the indicators that your feline family member has worms in cats…

 

How Do Cats Act When They Have Worms?

While the symptoms of worm infestation in cats can vary depending on the type of parasite involved and the age of the infected feline, chances are you’ll notice the following signs below when these unwanted visitors have made their way inside your pet’s body:

  • Sudden increase in food intake
  • A noticeable dullness of the coat
  • Unexpected weight loss
  • A bloated belly
  • Watery feces or diarrhea
  • Recurring bouts of vomiting
  • Pale gums
  • More persistent grooming of the rump and neighboring areas
  • Sudden change in bowel movement
  • Stools that contain blood or worms

And while we’re on the subject of bloody stools that could also be laden with parasites, here are a few notes on how to spot worms in cat poop…

 

What Do Worms In Cat Poop Look Like?

Verifying if your feline family member’s poop has worms is not that tricky to pull off. You just have to look for any unusual bits in your pet’s feces to do this. In case you’d like to have a quick guide of the things to keep an eye on, I’ve put together a handy list below:

  • Gray or white strands that look like cooked spaghetti
  • Things that resemble broken bits of rice
  • White or yellowish ribbon-like segments

Another aspect to take note of is the presence of movement. It’s not uncommon that these worms in cats may still exhibit movement once they’re expelled from a host’s body.

Next, let’s find out what happens if these worms in cats are not dealt with immediately and properly…

 

What happens if you don’t get rid of worms in cats?

It should be noted that ignoring the signs that your feline family member is infected with worms can lead to very serious or even fatal adverse effects. A cat afflicted with these parasites can be vulnerable to anemia, severe dehydration and malnutrition, as well as the possibility of having an intestinal blockage.

Moreover, these adverse effects are significantly more dangerous to kittens as well as senior cats that may have other underlying conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease, diabetes, kidney issues, and high blood pressure.

Now, let’s see if you can get rid of cat worms at home…

 

Can I get rid of worms in cats at home?

While this may sound surprising, there are actually a number of home remedies for worms in cats that you can use to get rid of these unwanted visitors. And just to make things even more interesting, these cat worm home remedies are also supported by concrete scientific proof.

I’ll walk you through what these are and how to properly use them in just a few moments…

 

Home remedies for worms in cats that you can use to support your pet during this health issue

Apple cider vinegar has antioxidative properties that help fight parasites.

As reported by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), apple cider vinegar contains antioxidants that not just boost resilience against disease. Researchers reveal that its antioxidant properties can also help get rid of gastrointestinal parasites like coccidia.

To use apple cider vinegar in supporting your pet during worms in cats, mix half a teaspoon of ACV with your feline family member’s water. Should your cat reject the water-ACV mixture, you can experiment with other base liquids like broth and juice until you find a combination that your pet likes.

Moreover, make sure you don’t serve apple cider vinegar to your cat straight since it is too sour and acidic for his tummy to handle. And while we’re at it, keep in mind to go for organic options when shopping for ACV.

Coconut oil has antiparasitic attributes.

Another study published in the NCBI reports that the natural chemicals found in coconut oil are able to inhibit parasitic activity, such as in the cases of malaria (Plasmodium falciparum), leishmaniasis (Leishmania donovani), and Chagas’ disease (Trypanosoma cruzi).

This beneficial effect is primarily attributed to the presence of various fatty acids, sterols, flavones, and polyphenols, among others.

To use coconut oil in supporting your pet during worms in cats, thoroughly integrate ¼ teaspoon of the same with your pet’s meals. While you can do this up to two times daily, never give your cat more than ½ teaspoon of coconut oil per day since this can already lead to flatulence and even indigestion. Additionally, always go for food-grade coconut oil for this application.

Diatomaceous earth can help bolster the body’s resilience against parasites.

The Iowa State University’s Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture points out that diatomaceous earth can be utilized as “part of a parasite control program” for small animals.

The researchers add that while tests do not show that diatomaceous earth is a potent standalone parasite control agent, it has been observed to help “control gastrointestinal (Gl) parasites in sheep” when used alongside other natural antiparasitic means.

To use diatomaceous earth in supporting your pet during worms in cats, add ½ teaspoon of the same to your pet’s wet food once per day. Repeat the process for two (2) weeks until the symptoms of infection subside.

Make sure you only go for food-grade diatomaceous earth for this approach.

Pumpkin seeds contain natural chemicals that help get rid of parasitic nematodes.

A different study highlighted in the NCBI reveals that pumpkin seed extracts were rich in cucurbitine, amino acids, fatty acids, berberine, as well as palmatine that showed positive effects with regard to the elimination of parasitic nematodes.

The researchers even concluded that pumpkin seeds may be deemed as an inexpensive alternative option in controlling gastrointestinal nematode infections.

To use pumpkin seeds in supporting your pet during worms in cats, wash the seeds thoroughly and roast them at 350°F for forty-five (45) minutes to an hour. Let the pumpkin seeds cool down completely then finely grind them up using a blender or a mortar and pestle.

You can then sprinkle a pinch of this pumpkin seed powder to your feline family member’s food. Moreover, you can keep on doing this until the symptoms of infection subside.

Turmeric helps get rid of water-borne parasites.

According to the NCBI, turmeric is loaded with curcumin that has been observed to help stave off the activity and development of Schistosoma mansoni, a type of water-borne blood fluke that affects the liver.

Besides helping reduce the area of infection as well as the subsequent parasitic damage, laboratory tests also reveal that curcumin inhibited the development and activity of S. mansoni, significantly decreasing their numbers.

To use turmeric in supporting your pet during worms in cats, slice a thumb-sized piece and steep it in a cup of hot water for at least ten (10) minutes. When the mixture cools down completely, you can use it as a water substitute for your feline family member.

Alternatively, you can also peel and grate a sliver of turmeric and add the same to your pet’s meals. Just make sure you mix it thoroughly with his food since turmeric can have a spicy kick when eaten straight.

And while we’re on the subject of natural options you can use to support your feline family member during worms in cats, here’s a product that you should check out…

A product you should consider including in your home pet care checklist for worms in cats

 

Zumalka’s PARASITES AND WORMS targets parasites and worms making a home in your cat’s gastrointestinal tract. This product is designed to deal with roundworms, pinworms, tropical parasites, intestinal worm disorders and even conditions resulting from infestation by worms.

PARASITES AND WORMS is also formulated to relieve progressive weight loss, malnutrition and even nervous disorders that are often caused by the presence of these unwanted visitors in the digestive tract using premium natural ingredients and a gentle holistic approach.

 

Now that I’ve walked you through how to get rid of worms in cats using natural means, here are a few useful and practical tips to keep them at bay…

Simple ways to prevent cat worm infection

  1. Always make it a point to clean your cat’s litter box daily. It is also crucial that you have a proper disposal area for your cat’s stools. Using sealable trash bins is highly recommended.
  2. Make sure you keep your surroundings as clean as possible. This includes your patio, yard, and other places that your cat could wander and lounge in. Take care of any dead rodents, birds, and bugs that could be infected with parasitic worms immediately to avoid transmission.
  3. Remember to keep an eye on the animals that your feline family member is socializing with, especially with cats or dogs you are not familiar with. Avoid contact with wild animals that could be potential hosts of worms in cats like squirrels and racoons at all times.
  4. Schedule a regular cleaning and disinfecting of your pet’s things like blankets, beds, collars, toys, and similar items to get rid of any eggs or larvae of worms in cats that he may be lurking around.
  5. Immediately quarantine your feline family member once you notice any of the symptoms that he may be infected with worms in cats. Administer natural remedies as soon as possible to keep the infestation from worsening.

For the next part of our discussion, let’s tackle a few frequently asked questions regarding worms in cats…

 

FAQs

How long after deworming a cat are the worms gone?

It depends.

The length of time varies since there are several factors to consider in this situation. Besides the age and overall health of the infected cat, the type of parasitic worm involved as well as how soon the appropriate remedy was administered should also be taken into account.

Do cats with worms need to be isolated?

The short answer is yes.

A cat infected with parasitic worms can easily transmit these unwanted visitors to other felines. One way that worms in cats can be passed on is through the use of a shared litter box as well as contaminated food and water bowls.

Can an indoor cat get worms?

The short answer is yes.

An indoor cat can still be infected with parasitic worms even if he hasn’t stepped outside your home. Your feline family member could still be unknowingly vulnerable to worms in cats once he gets in contact or ingests bugs and other small animals that could be harboring them.

Can worms live in cat litter?

The short answer is yes.

One of the primary modes of transmission of worms in cats is through the stools of infected felines. These stools could contain several larvae or eggs of parasitic worms and could easily be passed on to other cats, especially if they use a shared litter box.

 

Conclusion

That concludes our comprehensive look at worms in cats and how to get rid of them using natural means. In case you’re looking to learn more about keeping your beloved pet healthy and happy using a holistic approach, make sure you sign up for our Free Health Advisor Guidance right now.

Apart from walking you through useful and practical tips and recommendations, our Natural Health Advisors will also be your guide on the products and treatment options that best fit your animal's health needs.

Suzie Cyrenne
Suzie Cyrenne

HOMEOPATH & CO-FOUNDER OF ZUMALKA

Suzie Cyrenne co-founded Zumalka over five years ago, and has worked in naturopathic pet medicine for more than six. Day-to-day, she works as the lead manager for the Zumalka staff and specializes in training the team to have thorough knowledge of pet health and the company’s extensive line of naturopathic remedies.

Suzie has gained a lot of experience from years spent in the pet health field and she earned her degree in Homeopathy at the School of Classical Homeopathy in Quebec, Canada, (a partner of the European Academy of Natural Medicine (AEMN) in France).

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