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by Suzie Cyrenne May 22, 2023 8 min read
Finding out that your kitty has worms in cats is definitely not something that you’d look forward to as a pet parent. Besides putting your cat's health at risk for a number of life-threatening health issues, these intestinal worms are also highly contagious to other animals—which unfortunately includes humans as well.
Just to emphasize, this health problem doesn't just affect young kittens. Adult cats are also prone to contracting worms! No matter how old your pet is, having a reliable approach to prevent worms is definitely a priority. Cats discovering their surroundings are at risk of worms. It can also affect outdoor cats and indoor cats!
And unlike what a lot of pet owners mistakenly believe, reaching for conventional medicines isn’t just your only option you treat worms in felines. 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 our discussion by having a quick overview of how many cats catch worms and become infected with these common intestinal parasites.
Contrary to popular opinion, indoor cats and free-roaming cats aren't just prone to stomach worms. There are actually a number of worms that can infect your fur baby. The most common intestinal parasites in cats are roundworms, hookworms, tapeworm infections and heartworms.
But the thing is unlike most worms that live in a cat's intestines, heartworms make their way to the heart of an infected cat. They can't also be detected in infected feces unlike in the symptoms of tapeworm infection.
This is the biggest reason why you should have a concrete and realistic strategy to prevent worms and deal with them—like a feasible tapeworm treatment—as early as possible. Now let's go over how these parasites can infect your pet...
A cat becomes prone to worm infestation as soon as he gets in contact with objects and organic matter that are already contaminated with worm eggs or parasite eggs. Even a cat indoors can be vulnerable! These can be anything from collars, toys, combs, scratching posts, a cat's bed, litter box, food and water bowls that carry worms and worm larvae, as well as infected cat's feces.
Your pet can contract worms in even the most mundane of situations, too! Moreover, transmission is also highly likely when cats eat small rodents, bugs, birds, or even an infected flea that may be carrying a common intestinal parasite, particularly in contaminated soil. This usually involves vomit or a cat's stool from an infected animal.
On the other hand, contaminated water can also conceal intestinal worms and other parasites like liver flukes. This may be due to contaminated feces or some other discharge from an intermediate host like chronic vomiting. Blood sucking parasites like mosquitoes can also transmit worm eggs!
Once your pet grooms himself after being exposed to tapeworm eggs or some other types of parasitic worms, your cat ingests them accidentally and these parasites end up in his gastrointestinal tract where their life cycle progressively kicks in.
Most common intestinal parasite types tend to slip into a cat's intestines where they grow and develop into adult worms. Additionally, there are even unusual cases of worm infestations where an infected mother or "queen" passes on the infection to many kittens through the mother's milk.
Now we’ve got that covered, let me walk you through the symptoms of worms in felines…
While the symptoms of worms in cats can vary depending on the type of parasite involved and the age of the infected feline, chances are you’ll notice the signs below:
Sudden increase in food intake (these things stick to the intestinal walls!)
A dull coat
Unexpected weight loss
A bloated belly (affected tissues include the stomach lining and GI tract)
Watery feces or diarrhea
Pale gums and bout of vomiting
Sudden change in bowel movement (infected feces alert!)
Noticeable blood or worms in cat's poop (typically accompanied by abrupt weight loss)
Cat faeces can contain tapeworm segments
Severe anemia in some cases
The moment you observe these symptoms of worms in cats, make sure you provide the right support immediately because these will have a significant effect on your cat's life. Are worms painful for your pet? Definitely! Make sure you give him a concrete worm protection strategy at a young age.
A heads up for cat owners! Confirming if your cat’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. Here's a quick guide of the things to keep an eye on:
Strands that look like cooked spaghetti or 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 or hanging from a cat's anus. Just to emphasize, never ignore your cat's symptoms of worms!
Next, let’s find out what happens if these worms in cats are not dealt with immediately and properly…
Ignoring the signs of worm infestations can lead to very serious or even fatal adverse effects. An infected cat afflicted can be vulnerable to anemia, severe dehydration and malnutrition, as well as an intestinal blockage.
Moreover, these adverse effects are significantly more dangerous to kittens and senior cats that have underlying conditions like inflammatory bowel disease, diabetes, kidney issues and hypertension.
The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) reports that apple cider vinegar contains antioxidants that improve overall resilience and protection against gastrointestinal parasites like coccidia.
How to use: Mix half a teaspoon of ACV with your cat’s water. Should your pet 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. Remember to never give ACV to your cat straight.
Another study published in the NCBI reveals that the natural chemicals found in coconut oil can inhibit parasitic activity, such as in the cases of malaria and Chagas’ disease. This beneficial effect is primarily attributed to the presence of various fatty acids and polyphenols, among others.
How to use: Thoroughly integrate ¼ teaspoon of coconut oil with your pet’s meals. While you can give multiple doses, never give your cat more than ½ teaspoon of coconut oil daily since this can already lead to flatulence and indigestion. Go for food-grade coconut oil for this application.
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 anti-parasitic means.
How to use: Add ½ teaspoon of diatomaceous earth to your pet’s wet food once per day. Repeat the process for 2 weeks until the symptoms of infection subside. Make sure you only use food-grade diatomaceous earth for this approach.
A different study highlighted in the NCBI reveals that pumpkin seed extracts were rich in amino acids and fatty acids that showed positive effects in 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.
How to use: Wash the pumpkin seeds thoroughly and roast them plainly at 350°F for 45 minutes to an hour. Let the 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 cat’s food. Moreover, you can keep on doing this until the symptoms of worms in cats subside.
Another NCBI study shares that turmeric is loaded with curcumin that has been observed to help impede the activity and development of Schistosoma mansoni, a type of water-borne blood fluke that affects the liver.
Besides helping reduce parasitic infection and damage, laboratory tests also reveal that curcumin inhibited the development and activity of S. mansoni, significantly decreasing their numbers.
How to use: Slice a thumb-sized piece of turmeric and steep it in a cup of hot water for at least 10 minutes. When the mixture cools down completely, you can use it as a water substitute for your pet.
Alternatively, you can also peel and grate a sliver of turmeric and add the same to your pet’s meals when dealing with worms in cats. Just make sure you mix it thoroughly with his food since turmeric is spicy when eaten straight.
And while we’re on the subject of natural options you can use to support your kitty during a worm infestation, here’s a premium natural product that you should check out…
Zumalka’s PARASITES AND WORMS targets parasites and worms that unexpectedly infiltrated 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 parasites through the use of 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…
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.
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.
Remember to keep an eye on the animals that your pet 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.
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.
Immediately quarantine your pet once you notice any of the symptoms that he may be infected with worms. Administer natural remedies as soon as possible to keep the infestation from worsening.
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 CONTACT US right now.
Besides providing the right support and assistance when your cat is sick, getting in touch with a pet homeopathy specialist will also help you achieve the quality of life you've always dreamed of for your fur baby.
HOMEOPATH & CO-FOUNDER OF ZUMALKA
Suzie Cyrenne is a certified Homeopath with over ten years of experience creating natural products for cats and dogs. She co-founded eCommerce brand, Zumalka in 2013 with her husband Matt and is on a mission to help thousands of animals naturally improve their quality of life and shares her experience on their popular YouTube show. Hence, she created a line of high-performance natural pet supplements to target the root cause of common health issues. Suzie was influenced by her mother-in-law, who practiced homeopathy and made natural remedies from home. After being on prescriptions for many years for a skin issue without resolution, she wanted to try something new. Her problems were cleared up within a few months of dedication to a better diet supplemented by homeopathic remedies. That's when she knew that homeopathy worked! During this process, she wondered why there weren't better options for pets and soon created a popular line of natural remedies that have helped thousands of pets across the USA. When she’s not traveling or reading the next personal development book, you can find Suzie snowboarding, working out, or enjoying a daily hike.
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