Cats are considered to be one of the most popular pets across the country. They have that natural charm that attracts many pet lovers to bring them home. I have nothing against cats, but they just don’t seem to fit my lifestyle. However, I know quite a number of people in my neighborhood who own a cat or two. Some of my relatives and friends also have them. Fortunately, I have not seen them in any of the restaurants I have visited to critique.
If you have a cat, chances are you already have a general idea about some of the life-threatening diseases that affect these animals, such as pancreatitis in cats and kidney problems in cats. That is good as your knowledge can help save your cat from untimely death due to serious illnesses. However, even the seemingly minor health problems in cats also deserve attention as they may lead to life-threatening problems. In particular, owners should also be aware about roundworms in cats. Several cat owners that I know of have cats that are infected with this type of worm. Roundworms can affect cats, regardless of breed.
Symptoms of Roundworm Infestation in Cats
There are two types of roundworms that commonly affect cats. They are the Toxascaris leonina and Toxocara cati. Generally, they manifest several common symptoms including:
- Abnormal feces
- Swelling of the abdomen
- Coughing (this is an indication of the presence of larvae in the lungs)
There are different ways on how cats can be infected with roundworms, the most common of which is through ingestion of food, water, feces or vomit that contains roundworm eggs. As for kittens, they normally get roundworms if their mother has it during pregnancy or from their mother’s milk if the mother has become infected only after pregnancy.
What is the treatment for roundworms?
Fortunately, treating roundworm infestation in cats is inexpensive and simple. Veterinarians generally administer deworming medications to the affected cat. Owners can expect to see dead or dying roundworms in the stool after treatment. However, deworming medications general cannot kill the larvae or immature worms; so medications are normally given two or three times, typically in weeks interval.
As a preventive measure, cat owners may have their pet receive a regular dose of anthelmintic medication especially if the animal frequently spends time outdoors. Kittens are also advised to get dewormed during boosted vaccination.
Cats diagnosed with roundworms infestation have a big chance of recovering from the condition if appropriate treatment is given promptly. As for owners, if their cat is diagnosed with roundworms, proper disposal of the feces must be observed as humans can get roundworms by ingesting eggs through the consumption of fresh produce from soil contaminated with roundworm eggs. Also, washing of hands after handling the feces is important.
Roundworms infestation in cats should be taken seriously by pet owners as this problem does not only seriously affect cats but also their owners.