4 Ways to Prevent Tapeworms in Cats

Est. Reading: 3 minutes

Brace yourself because things might get illustrative. Tapeworms are a treatable condition and are not contagious to adults - but kids have a higher risk of ingesting an infected minuscule specie. 

Continue reading this session on tapeworms in cats to help you identify when your feline friend needs medical attention.   

What are tapeworms in cats?

The tapeworm is a lengthy curved-shaped ribbon-looking infection that can grow between 4 to 28 inches in length. It consists of segments called proglottids that have each their reproductive organs. An adult tapeworm attaches its head to the mucous membrane, which lines with the small intestine and absorbs nutrients. They break off and pass through the stool. 

4 Ways to Prevent Tapeworms in Cats

Types of tapeworms 

Two of the most common tapeworms are transmitted distinctive. 

Dipylidium cranium

Transmission occurs from an infected flea. The larvae stage of the tapeworm enters and inhabits the flea’s stomach to mature into a cysticercoid. 

As your cat grooms, it can ingest an infected flea. The tapeworm cysticercoid infects your cat’s small intestine. When seeking veterinarian help, treat the flea issue and the tapeworm infection. 

The Taenia species

On this occasion, your feline friend must eat part of a contaminated rodent. Tapeworm larvae mature into a cysticercoid inside the rodent’s gastrointestinal tract until moving into your cat’s small intestine. 

Symptoms of tapeworms in cats

The distinct traces of the proglottids - rice grain-looking - is a clear sign your cat has tapeworms. Because your cat may not show any indications,  it is typical for tapeworm infections to be asymptomatic. 

Are you suspecting tapeworms? Search for proglottids 

  • around your cat’s rectum
  • cat’s feces or bowel movements 
  • Eating & sleeping area of your cat

Tapeworm segment 

Creamy-white colored segments are similar to puffed rice surrounding the anus or fur on the rear end. Is your cat scooting? They may be experiencing irritation outside the rectum. 

4 Ways to Prevent Tapeworms in Cats

Severe cases may induce vomiting or diarrhea. In chronic situations, even weight loss. 

If there are various adult tapeworms attached to the wall of the cat’s small intestine, it may be life-threatening. Because they can feed for weeks to months, an intestinal obstruction or blockage may occur. 

Though it may appear, the segment is not the entire worm. But rather pieces of the tapeworm containing egg packets. Once they shed off their fur’s back, they await to infect another flea or rodent to ingest the eggs and carry the cycle. 

Are tapeworms in cats contagious to humans? 

For someone to get infected with tapeworms, they must swallow an infected flea containing tapeworm larvae. Children are at higher risk of ingesting. Seek a medical examination if you suspect your child has tapeworms; or traces in the stool or anus. 

How to treat tapeworms in cats 

Avoid self-medicating your cat with deworming products available. Protect their safety by seeking your vet to help prescribe effective cat tapeworm treatments. 

A fecal sample can help diagnose intestinal parasites such as tapeworms. Save any worms found to have your veterinarian analyze them and give the verdict. A sealed plastic bag should help.

Oral or injectible method

4 Ways to Prevent Tapeworms in Cats

The drug is praziquantel, a tapeworm dewormer for cats. It aids in dissolving the endoparasite in the intestines. 

Praziquantel causes paralysis to the tapeworm, releasing its grip from the bowel wall. Then it exits through the stool. 

Can tapeworms in cats be prevented? 

They are common to come by but to keep your pet from getting reinfected, practice diligent hygiene. 

  1. Minimize the carriers

Control infections of fleas and ticks. 

  1. Clean & dispose of cat waste

Remove the feces from the litterbox, throw away or bury them, and routinely wash the litterbox with a pet-friendly disinfectant. 

  1. Talk to your kids 

Let them know the importance of handwashing after petting their furry friend. Keep them away from the pet feces. 

  1. Regular use of deworming drug 

Prevent contamination by giving a continuous dosage of deworming to your cat. Adult cats are more subjected to tapeworm infections. Monthly or quarterly administration of deworming drugs can decrease contamination. But before regular use, consider your cat’s health and talk to your vet to find the best option. 

Looking for more? We invite you to know The Importance of Pet Grooming - 5 Crucial Recommendations

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