Common Worms in Cats
Toxocara cati, Toxascaris leonina. Both up to 100mm.
Roundworms are zoonotic parasites, which means they can be passed from animals to humans â€“ especially children. Up to 60% of kittens and young cats suffer from roundworm infection. Roundworms may be transmitted via the milk of the mother, or via direct ingestion of eggs. In addition, roundworm larvae are often present in the rats, mice and birds that may be ingested by cats. Roundworm symptoms include lack of appetite, rough coat, depression and vomiting.
Ancylostoma tubaeforme. Up to 7mm.
Uncinaria stenocephala. Up to 12mm.
Ancylostoma braziliense. Up to 10mm.
Female hookworms can lay up to 30,000 eggs daily. These hatch in the faeces. Infection is caused by swallowing or skin penetration. Symptoms of hookworm infestation include anaemia, lack of appetite, depression and diarrhoea. Like roundworms, hookworms are zoonotic parasites which can affect humans as well.
Dipylidium caninum and Taenina spp.
Common Flea Tapeworm (Dipylidium caninum) cysts develop in fleas. Cats can eat infected fleas while grooming themselves. The tapeworm then develops in the cat's gut. Taenia cysts develop in rodents that can be eaten by cats. While not a major health risk, tapeworms cause itching and can be responsible for cats showing signs of irritation around the anus.
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