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December 2023

Cat Worming: Types, Symptoms & Wormer Treatments


How do cats get worms?

Your cat can get worms from a few different sources. The most common is from contact with an infected animal or the faeces of an infected animal; whether it be another pet in your household or the neighbour’s cat. Nursing kittens often contract worms through their mother’s milk, if she’s infected.
Worms are common and easy to pick up – on the plus side, they’re easy to avoid if you keep your buddy’s prevention up to date all year round.

How do I tell if my cat has worms?

Common cat worm symptoms include:

  • Change in appetite
  • Dull coat
  • Round, bloated belly
    You might even see worms in your furry family member’s faeces.

Types of worms in cats

"There are a number of internal parasites that may affect your cat, all of which can be easily prevented", Says Dr Hay. The three most common are listed below:


Symptoms may include:

  • Poor coat condition
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting,
  • Pot-bellied appearance
  • In more severe cases, pneumonia and intestinal blockage
    Infection can occur due to hunting or by ingesting infected faeces. Infected cats can even transmit it to their kittens via the mammary glands during feeding. Thus, it is best to consult your veterinarian about a worming schedule for your cat if she is pregnant.


Tapeworm is usually transmitted by fleas or rodents. Segments of tapeworm, similar-looking to grains of rice, may be noticed in your cat’s faeces or around their bottom. In some instances, your cat may vomit up segments of tapeworm.
Symptoms of severe cases of tapeworm include a dull coat and weight loss.
Some particular types of this worm, commonly acquired by lizard-hunting kitties, require a stronger dose of medication to eradicate an infestation.


Found in the in the intestines of an infected animal, Hookworms have a mouth-like part including teeth, which they use to attach themselves to the host’s intestine wall. Here, they feed and live off the blood of the host. If left untreated, Hookworm infestations can lead to serious health concerns.
Symptoms may include:

  • Black stools
  • Anemia or pale gums
  • A dull coat
    There are a number of ways cats can become infested with hookworm, including coming into contact with larvae infested soil, or ingesting the larvae in food or water.

Treat worms with cat wormers

Your adult cat should be wormed every three months for life.
‘All wormers’, available in either a paste or a tablet, will protect your cat from all types of intestinal worms, some of which can transfer from cats to humans (just in case you were second guessing whether it was worth it!).

Dr Hay Chung BVS says, "Try and get all of the pets in your household on the same worming schedule. It will help avoid an infestation and it will be easier to remember!"

In addition to ensuring your cat’s worm treatment is up to date, your cat’s ongoing healthcare should include vaccinations and regular flea treatment.

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