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Can Indoor Cats Get Worms? (Vet Answer)

You would assume that an indoor-only cat would be immune to the illnesses and ailments that plague outdoor cats. Yet, it has been demonstrated that indoor cats can get rabies, ticks, fleas, and worms.

Hence, indoor cats can contract worms just like outdoor cats. Although it is rare that your indoor-only cat will get infections and worms, it is conceivable.

In "Can Indoor Cats Get Worms? (%year% Vet Answer)" by BestForPets (bestforpets.org), we will only discuss how indoor cats can get worms, the types of worms they can get, and how to avoid this from occurring to your gorgeous cat in the future.

Which Worms Can Attack Your Indoor Cat?

There are five kinds of worms that might infect your indoor cat if you do not take preventative measures. Here, we’ll discuss all three briefly.

1. Tapeworms

A tapeworm is a segmented, segmented, flat, long worm that lives in the small intestines of afflicted animals. The most frequent way for an indoor cat to get tapeworms is through consuming an infected flea.

Even if your cat has never stepped foot outdoors, you can still introduce fleas into your home on your clothing, and they will subsequently infest your cat. It is also possible for an indoor cat to get tapeworms by consuming infected rats that have found their way into your house.

2. Roundworms

Another type of parasite that your indoor cat might get are roundworms. Eggs of the roundworm can contaminate sources of food and water. If your cat consumes the egg of a parasite, he will get infected.

A kitten can also get roundworms via its mother’s milk, so the kitten you bring home may already be infected. As with tapeworms, roundworms can be transmitted by infected rodents.

3. Heartworms

Many cat owners who keep their cats indoors believe they do not need to worry about heartworms, but it is possible for your feline friend to get this harmful parasite. The bite of an infected mosquito transmits heartworms, a form of roundworm.

Although it’s unlikely that an indoor cat can develop heartworms, mosquitoes do enter houses. Hence, if an  infected mosquito bites your cat, he may acquire heartworms.

Hence, it is as important to safeguard your indoor cat from this deadly parasite as it is to protect your outdoor cats. Especially if you reside in locations where heartworm disease is prevalent.

4. Hookworms

Another sort of parasite that might infect your indoor cat are hookworms. These blood-sucking parasites reside in the intestines of your beloved friend and can cause severe illness.

This parasite is carried indoors by rats or lizards that find their way inside. If your cat consumes these parasites, he may contract hookworms. Food and water sources infected with hookworm eggs are another typical means by which these parasites might infect an indoor cat.

5. Lungworms

Although lungworms are more frequent in outdoor cats who hunt and kill birds and rodents, indoor cats have been found to contract them. This kind of parasitic worm targets the lungs and respiratory system of cats. These parasites can be brought into your home by lizards, rodents, or even slugs and snails.

Now that we’ve covered the sorts of worms that your indoor cat is most likely to catch, we’ll discuss some of the signs of worm infestation in your indoor cat.

Symptoms to Watch for in Your Indoor Cat

Unfortunately, the signs you should be on the lookout for in your indoor cat are vague and non-specific. It is likely that your adult indoor cat will exhibit no clinical signs of worm infestation. Still, we will list some of the signs to watch out for below.

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Coughing
  • A dull coat
  • Bloody or mucoid feces
  • The cat looks to be overweight.
  • Pale mucus membranes
  • Normal appetite loss

Although these signs are something to watch out for in your indoor cat, it is conceivable that they may not manifest at all. If you believe your cat has worms, you should visit a veterinarian for a complete diagnosis and treatment.

How to Treat Worms in Your Cat

There are several treatments available to deworm your cat. As soon as your veterinarian identifies the parasitic worm at hand, he may provide you with safe and efficient therapies.

To prevent contributing to antiparasitic medication resistance and exacerbating situations, it is advisable to avoid over-the-counter medicines without a vet’s prescription. Always visit your local veterinarian for an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment.

How to Prevent Worms in Indoor Cats

Like with anything else in the world, prevention is essential. The best approach to protect your indoor cat from these parasite worms is to prevent the worms from ever reaching them.

It is critical to know that pet insurance does not often cover any form of parasite treatment, making prevention for your cats more important than ever.

Good sanitary practices, such as daily litter box cleaning, weekly litter box washing, and avoiding overflowing the litter box with more than two cats, can help prevent worms in indoor cats.

Ensure that your cat is clear of ticks and fleas, search your home periodically for rodents, and refrain from feeding your cat raw meat, as worms can also be generated by this diet.

Taking good care of your cat, along with frequent vet visits for examinations, may spare you and your cat a great deal of heartache in the long run.

A Word of Warning

While most cat owners are aware of the hazards that parasitic worms pose to their feline pets, many are unaware that these same worms may also be a threat to humans. Worms are one of the diseases that may be transmitted between animals and humans.

Keep your children away from the litter box of your cat, and always wash your hands after scooping or cleaning the litter box to prevent this.

It is crucial to wash your hands after touching a cat, especially if you know the animal already has a worm infection.

Final Thoughts

The question of whether indoor cats may get worms has been answered emphatically in the affirmative. Yet, we are aware that there are several methods for this to occur and numerous types of worms that can infect them.

As said earlier in “Can Indoor Cats Get Worms? (Vet Answer)” by BestForPets (bestforpets.org), the best course of action is to attempt to prevent worms from infecting your kitty friend and to treat the parasite infection promptly if they occur.

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Dr. Deborah Fletcher

Deborah R. Fletcher, DVM, is a skilled veterinarian with more than 15 years of experience dealing with companion and exotic animals. She has experience caring for a variety of animals, including household cats and dogs, reptiles, birds of prey, and even primates. Dr. Fletcher is a valuable part of the BestForPets team, where she contributes to their aim of providing pets and their owners with the finest possible treatment and services.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Deborah Fletcher


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