Worms in Cats, Worms in Kittens

A reader asks: What's up with cats and worms?

Worms, man, worms. Why the worms?
Angie McClellan

Worms are among those unfortunate gross things, like hairballs and fleas, that can make cats miserable. Luckily there are a few fairly simple things you can do to keep them from infecting your cats.
•    Keep them inside. Outdoor cats are much more likely to chew on dead rodents or share spaces with stranger cats than their indoor counterparts. If that dead rodent had worms or if your cat chose to sun himself on a patch of dirt a worm-infested cat had previously visited and defecated upon, your cat can easily become the next worm host.
•    Keep momma cat healthy. Kittens can get worms from drinking the milk and coming into contact with the feces of an infected mother. So if you’ve got a litter, make sure the matriarch has received a clean bill of health from the vet.
•    Keep up with flea prevention. If your cat gets fleas, which are often the hosts of tapeworms, your cat get those, too. Talk about an icky double whammy!

If you suspect your cat has worms, get her to vet for an evaluation and a prescription. Look for these signs of infection:
•    Diarrhea, constipation or bloody stool
•    Weight loss
•    Frequent vomiting
•    Coughing and respiratory issues
•    Visible signs of worms in the litterbox or around your cat’s anus

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