Its important to recognize cat worm symptoms caused by the common feline hookworm. A cat hookworm infection poses a threat to your kitten and senior cats. This common intestinal parasite can be transmitted to people. Here's how to recognize cat worm symptoms, how to get rid of them and how to prevent them from spreading to your family.
The scientific name for the two most common cat hookworms are Ancylostoma tubaeforme or Ancylostoma braziliense. The adult hookworm lives in your cat's small intestine. It gets its name for a hook-like appendage that it uses to attach to the wall of the small intestine in your cat or kitten. This parasite causes blood to leak from the intestinal lining into the bowel of the host cat.
While they are hooked into the lining of your cats small intestine, cat hookworms feed on the tissues. As they eat this tissue, they also suck blood and then inject a bit of an anti-coagulant to keep the wound open for future snacks. Since the wound is bleeding, your kitten or granny cat can suffer blood loss and bleed into the bowel. This can lead to your cat becoming anemic.
Anemia weakens the immune system in your young kitten. Her entire digestive tract is more fragile. Your kitten's thinner, weaker intestinal lining may rupture as the cat hookworms tear into the tissue. This is usually fatal.
Your senior cat is also more likely to have a weakened immune system and develop anemia. This leaves your older cat susceptible to other illnesses and disorders.
Cat worm symptoms aren't always obvious. First your cat has to get into something to get these parasites into her system. Cats become infected with cat hookworms when they eat an animal, like a bird or mouse or chipmunk, that is infected with the cat hookworm larvae. They can also get it off of plants or grasses that had feces with the larvae dropped on the plant.
One other way that your kitten or cat can get this feline parasite is when the larvae attaches itself to the skin of your cat. Then it burrows into the skin making its way into the intestinal tract.
That's exactly how humans get cat hookworms. Your kids play in the same sand or soil that a cat used as a toilet. Sandboxes are the most fantastic litter box for cats. Reduce your worry that your kids will be infected by getting rid of the sandbox. Go to the beach and leave the cat at home.
Also, clean the litter box daily. And wash your hands after cleaning the litter box.
Cat Worm Symptoms of Feline Hookworms
- Black, tarry stools;
- Bloody feces;
- Your cat's fur is dull;
- Weight loss;
Treatment for Cat Hookworms
Kittens need treatment when 2-3 weeks old. Follow your veterinarian's recommended schedule for ongoing de-worming.
Before you are tempted to use a synthetic de-wormer or over-the-counter de-worming product, you will find comfort in knowing you can use a natural remedy for cat de-worming. These are commercially prepared products that are proven to free your cat of hookworms and other internal parasites.
Natural remedies have been used in Eastern and Western societies for centuries to purge internal parasites. The best part is that they will calm your cat's digestive system and stop the cat worm symptoms because those nasty cat hookworms will check out of your cat's internal hotel.
Kate Rieger has been owned by 15+ cats and is a champion of spay and release for her feral cat neighbors. Never one to be short on opinion, she is on good behavior during her speaking engagements at organizations where she spreads the word about natural alternatives to pet care. Drop by and pick up a free copy of her eHandout '111 Things You Don't Know That Could Harm Your Cat'. You can find out more about natural remedies for pet care too.