Symptoms and Causes of Roundworms in Cats and Treatment Solutions


Roundworms are digestive parasites that prevail in felines. Two species of roundworms infect cats; both are round, as much as four inches long, and white to fade brown (they look similar to spaghetti noodles). They move to a cat’s intestinal tracts, soaking up nutrients from the feline’s diet. While one type of roundworm (Toxascara leonina) threatens only to felines, the other type (Toxocara cati) can trigger illness in people, too.

Symptoms of Roundworms in Cats

The eggs of roundworms are identified under the microscope in a routine check of a stool sample (the test procedure is called fecal flotation). It is possible to tell the difference in between the species of roundworm based upon the look of their eggs. When roundworms appear in vomit or stool, the diagnosis is necessary and immediate. The medical term for infection with roundworms is ascariasis.

Roundworms (both kinds) can produce any of the following symptoms, although symptoms may appear with heavy infections:

  • Failure to gain weight or weight reduction
  • Dull hair coat
  • Pot-bellied look
  • Kittens will often vomit up roundworms or pass them in their feces
  • Diarrhea
  • In some cases coughing due to the larval migration through the lungs

Seldom, very heavy infections can lead to blockage of the intestinal tracts, which will make a kitten very ill (throwing up, sleepiness).

Symptoms and Causes of Roundworms in Cats

Main Causes for Roundworms in Cats

Felines ingest roundworm larvae in numerous ways: through mother’s milk, by eating the eggs, or by eating another organism such as a beetle or rodent which brings roundworm larvae. The roundworm larvae (including those that are swallowed and ingested as eggs, which then hatch) move through the body tissues, with most eventually reaching the lungs, where they make their way up the windpipe and are spent and after that swallowed.

When swallowed this time, the larvae then end up being adult roundworms in the intestinal tracts. These produce many eggs, which are passed in the feces. Eggs only become infective after weeks in the environment. The eggs are sturdy and can remain infective for months or years.

Often the larvae stop their migration in the liver, where they get in an inactive state. In a pregnant female, these larvae become active once again, and the larvae can be secreted in the milk after birth. They can also produce an active adult roundworm infection in the mom’s intestinal tracts, so she then sheds many eggs that can also contaminate the kittens. Toxacara cati roundworms, in specific, have a life process that makes them very reliable at contaminating kittens.

Types of Roundworms

There are two types of roundworms; while they look and act similarly, they have various life process.

Toxocara cati:

  • Seen typically, especially in kittens.
  • Larvae can contaminate people.
  • Complex life cycle.
  • Kittens can ingest larvae through their mom’s milk.
  • Ingesting eggs (which hatch into larvae after being consumed).
  • Eating rodents or other providers (beetles, earthworms) who have been contaminated with the larvae.

Toxaxcara leonina:

  • Less typical.
  • Regularly seen in older cats.
  • Usually, don’t infect human beings.
  • Likewise seen in dogs.

Toxascara leonina has a much more straightforward life process than Toxocara cati. The eggs are shed in the feces, and as soon as consumed, they develop into adult roundworms in the intestines (no migration required) that eventually shed more eggs. The eggs are just infective after some days to weeks in the environment. Rodents can likewise become contaminated with Toxascara leonina larvae, and felines can become contaminated from consuming an infected rodent.

How to Treat Roundworms

Treatment is the same, no matter the roundworm involved. Some medications can be used to deal with roundworms, and your vet can assist you to choose the one right for your cat. Medications will only impact adult roundworms, nevertheless, so they require to be duplicated at two-week intervals to deal with any recurring larvae as they grow. The number of treatments required will depend on the age of the feline and the circumstance, which will be assessed by your veterinarian.

If you have a pregnant feline, consult your veterinarian for guidance on deworming the mom and kittens. Once dewormed, a number of the month-to-month medications created for heartworm and parasite control consist of medication that will prevent roundworm infections on a continuous basis– options that can be gone over with your vet.

If your cat is not on one of these preventatives, your veterinarian will advise a regular deworming protocol to keep roundworms at bay. Cleaning up pet wastes quickly, and preventing pets from eating rodents can likewise help prevent infection with worms.

Roundworms in Cats

Preventing Roundworms in Cats

Ringworm generally infects cats who hang around outdoors or who hang around with outdoor felines. While it is not impossible to agreement ringworm from a pest or rodent that makes its method inside, such an event is relatively unusual. Keeping felines inside, for that reason, is an effective protectant.

Once ringworm is identified, it is crucial to follow the vet’s guidelines carefully. In addition:

  • Quarantine any contaminated felines or kittens up until the infection is completely resolved.
  • Tidy all surface areas regularly throughout your cat’s treatments.
  • Take care to keep cat feces away from other animals and children.
  • Practice good hygiene.

People and Cat Roundworms

The larvae of Toxocara cati roundworms can infect individuals, in addition to felines. This happens when eggs are ingested. It is most typical in children who might not practice the very best hygiene and may pick up eggs on their hands when playing in the backyard, for instance. Good health is critical; kids ought to clean their hands frequently, and cats need to be staying out of areas where children play. Sandboxes, not remarkably, pose a specific obstacle. It is also important to keep pet waste picked up.

The larvae do not turn into adult roundworms in individuals, but the larvae were moving through the tissues can trigger inflammation, especially in kids. Most cases are not significant, however in major cases organ damage is possible, as result of the moving larvae (e.g., liver, lung, brain), and in some cases the larvae can reach the eyes, causing visual disturbances and even loss of sight.

Migration of roundworm larvae through human tissues is called “visceral larva migrans,” while migration to the eyes is called “ocular larva migrans.” Correct prevention of a roundworm infection is necessary to avoid these human health problems.

Cat Owners and Rowndworms – Sharing Experience

Jane: My sibling’s cat appears to have worms, I do not live near him, … we are multiple states away … however, he explains them as roundworms. I have sent him over-the-counter treatments, and he is still having problems. Can these things exist beyond a cat, so that the cat keeps getting reinfected? He has tried a few products this year, and he gets her bedding tidy, she is bathed … He appears to be keeping things as clean as possible. Exists an affordable option? I support him economically, so I am attempting to be frugal.

Monica: Over the counter, de-wormers do not work and aren’t safe. Is cat kept inside, or allowed out? If the cat heads out, he needs to be wormed regularly. Drontal is a broad spectrum de-wormer, comes in tablet type and is the most typical recommended. The typical dose is when every three months for felines who go outside. The dosage amount is based upon the feline’s weight. Drontal is gotten through the veterinarian. Revolution spot-on flea treatment used monthly will avoid roundworms and hookworm but not tapeworm. Profender spot on is a broad spectrum de-wormer, placed on the feline regular monthly (does not protect versus fleas).

Sheryl: My cats and I returned in with my parents a while back, and a couple of days ago I observed worms hanging out of my mama’s cat’s butt (sorry I do not have a much better term for that). I called the veterinarian and explained the worms, and they stated the cat has roundworms, so I entered and picked up an oral dewormer for all of the cats (5 total). I provided all the first dose, and the next dose is in 2 weeks. My mother’s female feline is the only one that we saw worms on, so we are seeing her like a hawk, looking at where she regularly sits. She has a pillow she sleeps on every night on top of my papa’s cabinet, and my mommy came out and stated there were little pinkish things all over the dresser around the pillow. These things have to do with 1/2 -1/ 3 the size of a grain of rice, and they sort of had an actual light pinkish tint to them. The only thing I can think about is that they are roundworm eggs. Does anybody understand? We through the pillow in the washer and sterilized the cabinet, and washed my parent’s comforter. Now that I think about it … I inspected the cat tree for worms. However, I should go back and check for eggs.

Sonya: Has anyone on this board ever got Roundworms from their feline? Also, the length of time does it take for Deworming Meds to kill the Roundworms in felines? I am a first time cat (animal) owner. I took my feline to the vet the other day. The Vet stated that my feline had a little case of Roundworms and provided her Deworming Med. We started that yesterday. Today I could see the Roundworms in my feline’s stool. It was my first time to a veterinarian, and, a great deal of information! I want my feline to get well and hope that her deworming medication eliminates the worms quickly. I am concerned about my 4-year-old child and my senior parents getting Roundworms. It the passing of the worms from cats to human beings common? I have understood many feline owners and have never heard of them of capturing Roundworms.


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