It’s a tough question. When raising a cat, one thing you should pay attention to is that your cat may have worms. Cat worms affect your cat’s health, but it can also infect you as well as other pets. Therefore, it is crucial to deworming cats as per schedule.
However, the question that people are often wondering is: What to expect after deworming a cat?
We will help you to answer that query today. But first, let’s take a look and get some ideas at the necessary things.
What is deworming?
Administration of dewormer in cats to prevent the infestation of worms. Dewormer are those medicines which are given to cats to kill worms as per scheduled maintained by veterinarians.
What are the types of worms, and how can your cat get them?
Basically there are 3 types of worms
Round worms: have round body. For example hook worms, heart worms, and Toxocara cati
Flat worms: have flat bodies as soft as jelly. For examples tape worms and flukes
Segmented worms: have segmented bodies like annelids
Hookworms can be found in the intestines, while tapeworms live in the intestines as well as other organs, such as the liver. On the other hand, heartworms, which are brought by mosquitoes, live in the heart, and is quite dangerous since it can cause death (Rabinowitz, Gordon, & Odofin, 2007).
How can your cat get the worms?
- Most people don’t know that intestinal worms exist in kittens’ bodies before they are even born. These worms are passed onto the kittens from the mother’s body or milk.
- Eggs or infected parts in faeces is also a reason for worm infestation in cats. Cats come in contact with the faeces and bring parasites into the body when grooming themselves.
- Also, cats can ingest worms through eating an infected rodents or fleas that carry worm eggs. Moreover, being bitten by worm larvae can cause the infection as well (Beugnet et al., 2014).
How to identify whether your cat has worms?
Although some cats will show a lot of visible signs, some will not have any noticeable symptoms. If you observe your cat and notice that it has these symptoms below, please take your cat to the vet right away.(Click here to ask vet by online)
- Unknown weight loss with a change of appetite
- Visible worm segments or eggs in faeces or sometimes attached to cat’s fur
- Bloated stomach or swollen abdomen
- Coughing constantly
- Breathing difficulty
- Coarse or dull fur
- Rubbing or dragging their bottoms across the ground (Baneth et al., 2016)
When should you deworm your cat?
Deworming your cat at a young age is truly necessary.
- A kitten should be dewormed at the age of 4, 6, and 8 weeks, and the treatment should be repeated when kittens reach the age of 4 and 6 months.
- Despite being less affected by worms, adult cats still need to be dewormed every 2 to 6 months. The schedule depends on the situation and habit of each cat, so it is recommended to consult with your vet for personalized advice.(Click here to ask vet by online)
- More precisely, if your cat get worms without adopting the deworming schedule then consult your veterinarian to treat her with best possible dewormer.
What to expect after deworming a cat?
One thing that you must do after deworming your cat is to observe your cat’s situation carefully. Treating for worms is essential, but you should keep in mind that dewormers are still toxic chemicals; therefore, your cat might suffer the side effects within 24 hours after treatment.
Side effects which are commonly seen in cats are:
Your cat’s stomach will go through a lot of things when it is in the deworming process. The effect of medication and the parasites going through the digestive system causes vomiting in cats. This results in the loss of fluid from body and your cat needs fluid therapy to maintain fluid balance in the body.
You should immediately bring your cat to the veterinarian in case the cat has this symptom (Click here to ask vet by online) within an hour of taking the medication since your cat may suffer from dehydration.
Loss of Appetite
Due to the strength of deworming medications, the appetite of your cat may decrease or it may even give up eating until the medication finishes dealing with the worms.
If you see that your cat keeps having this symptom for more than 3 or 4 days, please contact your veterinarian for assistance as your cat (Click here to ask vet by online) may need another treatment to get its appetite back.
Another side effect that your cat may have is diarrhoea. You may also notice the signs of worms or worm segments in your cat’s stool or faeces. This often causes worry for cats’ owners; however, this is not a problem to be scared of since it is just how a cat’s body fights off and gets rid of the parasites.
On the other hand, bloody stool may occur to your cat as well. Nevertheless, these symptoms should only last for only two to three days. Treat your cats with Metronidazole drip to relieve bowl inflammation. In case they happen for a more extended period than that, you should seek help from the veterinarian (Click here to ask vet by online).
Increased salivation is a common symptom that your cat may suffer from after a deworming. Anyway, similar to the above ones, this side effect should only last from two to three days. Contact the vet immediately if your cat starts foaming at the mouth (Click here to ask vet by online) rather than salivating. It could become more severe in condition like rabies.
Beside this other symptoms that can occur are
- White gums
How to prevent your cat from being infected by worms?
You can refer to below suggestions to decrease the risk of worms in your cat:
- Give treatments to kittens at their young ages.
- Don’t let your cat to go outside without your supervision.
- Provide your monthly cat worm preventive medication as consulted with the vet.
- Keep an eye on your cat so that you can identify the symptoms and deworm your cat in a timely manner.
- Clean your cat’s litter box daily.
- Keep your house clean, especially the backyard.
- Consider keeping your cat indoors frequently as it will reduce the chance that your cat will get an infection from faeces of other infected cats, fleas or rodents.
- When you bring your cat to public places, such as playgrounds or parks, remember to dispose of faeces immediately with sanitary tools (Dryden & Payne, 2005).
Check out: Raw diet for cats
FAQ about deworming cats
1. Why do we need to deworm cats?
This is the origin of all the stories we are discussing in this article. Taking care of pets, including cats, is a job that requires a lot of work. And each stage plays a different role. Deworming is very important if you want your cat to be in good health and grow healthy.
- Deworming is necessary to prevent any worms from attacking your cat. Cats are very susceptible to the types of helminths such as hookworms, pinworms, threadworms, tapeworms, etc. These worms live inside the animal’s body, causing intestinal and digestive diseases such as respiratory, vomiting, loss of appetite, weight loss, weakness, or even death.
- Deworming also prevents zoonosis (transmission of infection to humans) like Toxocra infection. AS worms are not only dangerous for cats but also the risk of transmitting the infection to humans and other pets when handled without treatment.
Therefore, it is necessary to conduct the periodic inspection and deworming for cats to eliminate the parasitic worm problems in them.
2. Can cats become infected with helminths after being dewormed?
It sounds complicated, but in fact, this is entirely possible. The dewormers are very powerful and help to eliminate the helminths after one use. But as analysed above, there are many possible causes for this problem in cats, one of which is their living habits.
- If you use a medication which is potent against few types of worms but not for others; there is a possibility that your cat will get worms infestation.
- If cats do not change their living habits (for example, stay away from contaminants), the risk of catching helminthiasis after being treated is very high.
3. What to consider before deworming cats?
* Give cats a half-day fast before deworming
- Usually, you should cut your cat food in the evening by half. Then until the next morning, after cats wake up enough for a long time, you give cats deworming medicine is the most reasonable.
- You can insert the medication directly into a cat’s mouth. Or, blend it into a delicious food (like a pate) to lure your cat.
Note: Give cats a sufficient amount of medicine according to the directions on the medicine label. If you give your cat an overdose, it will lead to a drug shock, toxicity, which can lead to illness.
* Mix more digestive enzymes into food
If your cat does not have an excellent digestive tract, you can mix the food with yeast to feed the cat after deworming. Because of using deworming medicines, you should not feed your cat a lot, but only a small amount (half a serving, for example). The next day, let them eat and drink regularly.
* Wrap your cat up
When cats are dewormed, they can struggle, scratch, squirm, and be uncomfortable. You can wrap your cat in a small blanket or towel and leave only the cat’s head outside.
4. How should deworming for kittens be scheduled?
Worms have a strong effect on the cat’s digestive system, especially kittens, because they generally have a weak internal organ system. As such, ensuring a proper deworming schedule for your cat from an early age is also a way to better protect your furry friend’s health.
Depending on each stage of the cat’s development, the deworming schedule for them will be adjusted accordingly.
- Treat the kitten with deworming medicine from 2-3 weeks until the age of 8 weeks. When cats reach 2 – 6 months of age: perform deworming once a month. Repeat monthly until they are 6 months old.
- When cats reach 6 – 12 months of age then deworm your cat every 1-3 months. When cats reach 1 year of age or older: 1 dose of deworming every 6 months until the end of the cat’s life cycle.
5. How easily are cats infected with helminths?
- Some cats are born to explore and explore, but others like to spend time at home behind the door. If they do not roll around in the garden, play with mice or interact with other animals, then the question is: do you need to care about parasites? Sadly, even cats who are well cared for in the best environment can still be infected with worms.
- If your cat does not like to explore the outside world, you don’t need to worry about parasites, of course, that’s understandable! However, parasites are everywhere, even if cats just like to spend all day on the sofa can still be infected with tapeworms. .Cats that regularly stay at home are still at risk of tapeworm infection. Tapeworms have a long flat shape and divide into segments. They parasitize in the host’s small intestine. Cats are highly susceptible to tapeworms, most commonly swallowing fleas containing tapeworm larvae. Fleas are ubiquitous. They can hide in your clothes, the pet’s body, or any pets who come to your house. Cats do not know that they can catch flukes at any time, just through swallowing fleas when they are freely grooming their fur.
- Cats do not know that ingesting flea bites during cleaning will make them more susceptible to infection.
- Also, worm eggs can attach to objects such as shoes or clothing.
- In particular, worm larvae burrow through the placenta or from the mother’s milk passed to kittens. So, at the time of birth, kittens were at risk of worms before you were welcomed home. Besides, roundworms and tapeworms can be transmitted from the gastrointestinal tract if the cat eats or contacts an infected animal (Rembiesa & Richardson, 2003).
6. Should not deworm the cat in any of following case
- The cat is sick, in poor physical condition.
- Cat having diarrhoea and vomiting
- Pregnant cats are about to give birth.
- Hot weather.
7. Some products to support the cat deworming process
These products should not be used indiscriminately. Make sure your cat has been thoroughly tested by the vet. Besides directly following the instructions included in the product, you need to listen to experts’ opinions.
What medicines are used in cats for deworming?
- Pyrantel embolate and Praziquantel
- Ivermectin and pyrantel
- Pyrantel embolate and niclosamide
How to detect helminths in cats
With such unpredictable harm, it’s essential to find out if your cat has worms or not. Sometimes the very initial findings will help you quickly deal with its condition as well as the timely intervention of a veterinarian before its too late.
The initial symptoms will be quite unclear, so you need to consider carefully because only a few negligence, can make false assessments.
1. The coat
The fur is the surface covering the cat’s whole body, so it will attract the attention of any breeder.
Cats often like to be petted because they have a silky smoothness that few species have, but if infected with helminths, the cat’s fur will become dry, flattened, and lose the freshness. This could be due to dehydration or difficulty in uptake due to parasitic worms.
Typical cat’s gums will be pink, but if infected with worms, they will turn pale, lacking vitality due to anemia.
If your cat’s gums turn very pale or white, take them to the vet immediately.
3. The change in body shape
This is a typical sign of cats who have worms in the early stages when their bellies become large. Although this may be a common manifestation of many diseases, when it has appeared, you should also take your lovely cotton ball to see you.
4. The other signs to detect helminths presence
This symptom usually appears when the cat has been infected with worms for some time. These parasitic animals interfere with circulation to the stomach or irritate the stomach lining, making your cat feel nauseous.
* Cat faeces
Cats infected with helminths are more likely to have bloody diarrhea. If your cat’s stool is tarry (due to dried blood) or watery (caused by diarrhea), unfortunately, this could be one of the signs.(Tun et al., 2015).
Not eating or suddenly getting lazy, looking around, and watching the surrounding life are also symptoms of a worm infection. Being directly nourished by the worms causes the cat to lose appetite, resulting in the lack of the fluid necessary for sustaining life, so they are no longer active as usual.
5. The appearance of worm’s eggs to make easy detection of helminthiasis
Egg sacs of some species of worms, like hookworms or tapeworms will be very common in places such as the cat’s anus, cat litter or other preferred areas where the cat usually lies.
These egg sacs are about the size of sesame seeds or cucumber seeds, and are milky in colour and can move around.
How helminthiasis is transmissible to humans from cats?
Once you’ve got a cat, cuddling and patting it daily is an irreplaceable thing. But when you show affection for your beloved pet, it is possible that this infection can be transfer to you: A helminth infection from cats.
Within the scope of this article, I will give you the basic knowledge about this rather strange disease.
1. What infection is zoonotic from cats?
Cat helminthiasis is an animal-to-human infection caused by the parasitic nematode commonly found in the catgut (T. cati).
Toxocara cati is a round worm of the Ascarridae family. They usually parasitize the cat’s small intestine, then lay their eggs and follow the faeces. When cats eat it will be infected with adult worms, there are cases where worm larvae cross the placenta or milk from mother cats to kittens.(Capári et al., 2013).
- People who are infected are usually random hosts, either by swallowing worm eggs found in soil or water contaminated with cat faeces, or swallowing worm larvae when eating undercooked cat meat.
- Those who ingest T. cati worm eggs hatched eggs release larvae in the small intestine, the larvae go through the intestinal wall and move to the liver. From the liver, larvae through the circulatory system and lymph migration to other organizations such as the lungs, viscera in the abdomen, eyes … cause internal injuries.
- Worm larvae cannot develop into adult worms and cannot replicate life cycles in humans. Larvae can live in humans for many years if left untreated.(Zanzani, Gazzonis, Scarpa, Berrilli, & Manfredi, 2014).
For most people, infection with nematode worms causes no symptoms, and the parasites usually die within a few months.
However, some people experience mild symptoms such as:
- Fever of about 38 ° C or higher
- Stomach pain
In rare cases, worm larvae infect organs such as the liver, lungs, eyes, or brain and cause severe symptoms such as:
- Loss of appetite or weight loss
- Itchy skin rash
- Wheezing or difficulty breathing
- Convulsions (multiple episodes)
- Blurred vision or cloudy, usually only affects one eye
- One eye is very red and sore
Severe symptoms may last for years, pneumonia syndrome, ophthalmitis, chronic abdominal pain, and focal neurological disorders that may occur due to migration of Toxocara larvae. (Capári et al., 2013).
If you find yourself experiencing these symptoms, see your doctor right away. Get some symptomatic treatments. If infection persists for longer then undergo blood tests and get medication as per prescription. There is no limit to the infection of helminths from cats.
5. Ways to prevent it
There are many ways you can prevent yourself from this type of disease in regards to What to Expect after Deworming a Cat. Please pay attention and follow these following ways for your safety:
- The germ of infection is from your pet, so the first thing you need to do is take your pet to a veterinarian to prevent Toxocara infection. Your veterinarian may recommend tests and treatment for deworming.
- Wash your hands with soap and water after playing with pets or other animals, after outdoor activities, and before preparing food.
- Clean up your living area and pet. Especially, you should clean dung about 3 times a week.
- Children are especially susceptible to this type of disease because they are often attracted to cats in particular. You should teach them how to play or wash their hands after playing with a cat and do not leave them near the cat litter area.
Usage of dewormer for infections are common as it can eliminate parasites; you should always seek advice from a veterinarian before letting your cat go (Click here to ask vet by online) through deworming. By doing that, your cat will have proper medication, and you can be fully prepared to deal with the side effects.
So, what to expect after deworming a cat? You’ve got the answer. Also, you can Ask Vet below Chat or Click Here.
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Tun, S., Ithoi, I., Mahmud, R., Samsudin, N. I., Heng, C. K., & Ling, L. Y. (2015). Detection of helminth eggs and identification of hookworm species in stray cats, dogs and soil from Klang Valley, Malaysia. PloS One, 10(12).
Zanzani, S. A., Gazzonis, A. L., Scarpa, P., Berrilli, F., & Manfredi, M. T. (2014). Intestinal parasites of owned dogs and cats from metropolitan and micropolitan areas: prevalence, zoonotic risks, and pet owner awareness in northern Italy. BioMed Research International, 2014.