Is your cat feeling a little low and not very energetic lately? Have you noticed your cat unusually itching and scratching around the anal region? The chances are your cat is infested with tapeworms and you might be wondering how to get rid of tapeworms in cats.
Luckily, the treatment of tapeworms in cats is quite easy and will be discussed thoroughly in this article, but first let’s take you through the definition of tapeworms in cats and the associated symptoms.
What are Tapeworms?
Tapeworms, as the name suggests, are flat, thin and several inches long whitish or creamy intestinal parasites that can affect pets including domestic cats and dogs. Tapeworms are rather troublesome for your cat than dangerous. And this is because they feed on the nutrients from your cat, causing them to lose weight. Tapeworms in cats should be treated immediately, as they dwell in the intestine and multiply tenfold within a short span of time.
What are the Symptoms of Tapeworms in Cats?
Since tapeworms are intestinal parasites i.e. they live in the intestine, the symptoms are not visible but rather felt.
What you can do to check tapeworms in a cat is to look out for the traces or segments of worms around the anal area.
Other symptoms of tapeworms in cats include:
- Mild diarrhea
- Appetite changes
- Rough, patchy coat (in heavily infested cats)
- Excessive itching and irritation around the anus
- Reduced stamina
- Watery eyes
- Mild fever
Causes of Tapeworms in Cats
- The main cause of tapeworms in cats is the unhygienic conditions or food that the cats ingest
- It has been reported that cats that hunt are more likely infested by the tapeworms than cats who don’t. Therefore, vets advise preventing domestic cats from hunting behavior
- The cats might get infested by tapeworms from another infected cat or pet
- Fleas are the carrier of tapeworms in cats. Treat your cats and other domestic cats with any veterinarian approved and specially formulated product for fleas. Vets might recommend different medications for different conditions, however, the most effective products to treat fleas are the ones containing fipronil and selamectin
- Contaminated food and water cause tapeworms in cats
Diagnosis of Tapeworms in Cats
Most of the time, looking at cat feces with broken segments of tapeworm can confirm the infestation, however, to be certain, you can take the cat to a clinic and your veterinarian may confirm this using a microscope.
How to Get Rid of Tapeworms in Cats?
Once your cat has been diagnosed with tapeworms, the second question arises, “how to get rid of tapeworms in cats?”
The answer to this question may vary depending on the condition of your cat. Most of the times, vets recommend medicinal wormers to get rid of tapeworms in cats. These wormers can be given by injection or as an oral supplement. The dewormers are usually effective in a day or two.
How Does Medicinal Wormers Work?
The medicinal wormers paralyze the tapeworms in cats causing them to leave the walls of the intestine. It then allows the tapeworm to dissolve in the intestine and the dissolved, dead tapeworm is passed through the feces.
How to Get Rid of Tapeworms in Cats Without Going to the Vet?
Although it is not recommended to treat tapeworms in cats without the supervision of professionals, it is sometimes difficult to reach the clinic on time. In such cases, professionals suggest using Bayer Tapeworm Dewormer that contains Praziquantel as an active ingredient which kills tapeworms in cats.
How To Administer Bayer Tapeworm Dewormer?
- Crush appropriate portion of the pills into a fine powder
- Mix this powdered tablet into your cat’s food
- Hold the cat securely but firmly so your cat does not jump
- With the help of a soft rubber soon, hand-feed this mixture to your cat
- After you’ve finished feeding your cat, offer some delicious treats
How to Get Rid of Tapeworms in Cats Naturally?
Many pet owners are concerned about the side effects of conventional deworming products available in the market and therefore are reluctant to treat their feline friends through them.
The good news is, you can still get rid of tapeworms in cats naturally through.
Raw and fresh pumpkin seeds are highly energetic and a great source of vitamins, minerals and other vital nutrients. They are effective to treat tapeworms in cats because they contain amino acids called cucurbitacin which paralyzes the worms and eventually kills them. The dead tapeworm is then passed through feces.
Coconut & Coconut Oil
Dried coconut can help in getting rid of tapeworms in cats. You can sprinkle 1 or 2 tsp of coconut in the cat food and feed it regularly for quick results.
On the other hand, coconut oil, if given regularly, can prevent your cat from infesting worms.
Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is effective to treat several problems in humans and animals, both. It increases the alkaline levels in cat’s intestine, which results in paralyzing the tapeworms and other parasites.
How to Prevent Cats From Getting Tapeworms?
The main cause of tapeworms in cats is the unhygienic living condition of your cat. They say Prevention is better than cure, therefore, always practice the following preventive measures in order to keep your cat healthy.
- Clean the litter box regularly
- Stop your cat from interacting with hunting cats
- Clean the food and water bowl daily
- Provide your cat with fresh, healthy and uncontaminated food and water
- Control the flea population by using a simple flea collar
Tapeworms in cats are not dangerous but a matter of concern as they get all their nutrients from your cat’s body, leaving the cat malnourished and lethargic. The causes of tapeworms in cats are as simple as eating an infected flea or rodent. Therefore, always ensure a healthy lifestyle for your cat.
The treatment of tapeworms in cats is often through medicinal deworming products. It takes a day or two to completely get rid of tapeworms in cats.
However, you should always visit the vet and get expert advice to avoid any issues related to cat health.