In a study of 125 samples of cats and dogs, tapeworms were found in just 1% of dogs and 3% of cats. This indicates that tapeworms are a rare condition in cats. This is not to say that tapeworms in cats are harmless. You must treat your cat soon.
Tapeworms are found in a cat’s intestines. When cats ingest infected rodents, meat, or flea, they get tapeworms into their system. They leech onto the cat’s intestinal linings and suck all its essential nutrients.
Tapeworm segments might occasionally be seen on your cat’s fur or around its anus. However, it’s more common for them to cause symptoms like weight loss or diarrhea than to show up in visible form.
If there’s tapeworm in your cat, give it tapeworm dewormer meds, preferably from Bayer. Bayer tapeworm dewormer meds are highly effective and rarely trigger side effects. Bayer tapeworm dewormer for cats dosage is as follows:
- If your cat weighs 4 or less than 4 lbs, give it ½ tablet.
- If your cat weighs 5 to 11 lbs, give it 1 tablet.
- If your cat weighs more than 11 lbs, give it 1 ½ tablets.
But how do you know if your cat has tapeworm to treat it immediately with meds? Just look for the below signs.
Segmented, Rice-Like Particles in Feces
Tapeworms are segmented, meaning they have many parts. The segments are white, rice-like, and flat. You can see them in the stool and sometimes in the vomit or fur. In some cases, tapeworm segments may be visible on your cat’s skin. Seeing these worms in your cat’s feces or vomit could mean she has a tapeworm infection.
Hunger Without Weight Gain
If your cat is hungry, but its weight remains the same, tapeworm might be to blame. Cats have a naturally lean metabolism and typically eat 12 to 20 times daily. When given the opportunity, they may even increase their food intake.
Tapeworms can cause this hunger without weight gain because they consume nutrients from the cat’s body. They use the nutrients for energy production and growth. The parasite deprives its host of these resources. This results in malnutrition despite the increased desire to eat more.
Tapeworms can cause your cat to have intestinal blockage. When this happens, your cat may eat less and have diarrhea or vomiting. They will also have a distended abdomen, and you may notice that they don’t feel like their usual self.
Tapeworms can block up to 50 percent of your cat’s intestinal tract. They attach themselves to small pouches inside the intestines called crypts. It’s a place where food digestion occurs to absorb into the bloodstream for energy production and growth.
Therefore, treating the condition with meds alongside lifestyle modifications is essential. Control their diet so you aren’t feeding them fat-rich foods. Or this could lead to further complications down the road.
Severe Weight Loss
If your cat has a tapeworm, it will lose weight. The tapeworm can grow as long as five feet and 50 segments. The parasite feeds on your cat’s resources. It saps energy from the cat’s body and makes him feel tired.
If your cat is experiencing weight loss, he may also have anemia due to blood loss as tapeworms are eating his red blood cells. You should detect and treat the condition at the right time to prevent this problem from happening again.
If the condition is severe, then take the cat to the vet. Vets will regularly check your pet’s weight and confirm that they receive sufficient nourishment. Cats must weigh at least 10 pounds, the average weight.
Poor Coat Quality
If you notice that your cat’s hair is patchy and matte or looks thin and brittle, there’s a good chance he might have tapeworms. These parasites, which feast on your pet’s coat, might cause hair loss. It could signify tapeworm infestation if you notice any scabs or bald spots on your cat’s body.
Tapeworms can cause your cat to gag and throw up. This triggers their bodies to get rid of the toxins by vomiting. While it’s normal for your cat to vomit once a month if you notice frequent vomiting, this could indicate a tapeworm infection. If your cat throws up without apparent reason or pattern, it could be because of tapeworms.
Is your cat experiencing diarrhea for more than two days? Take it to the vet. Tapeworms can cause diarrhea, but so can many other conditions. In addition to your cat’s stool being loose and frequent, you may also see blood or mucus in their stools. This is especially true if the tapeworm has grown large enough to be visible inside its intestines.
Anaemia is when the blood does not have enough red blood cells. This results in lighter gums, lethargy, and weakness. Cats are more likely to suffer from anemia than dogs, but it’s still common in both species.
Tapeworms can cause anemia by eating your pet’s food before it gets into their stomach. Because tapeworms live in the intestines and absorb nutrients from the food that passes through them, they may rob cats of vital iron.
Adult dogs and cats need 80 mg/kg of dry matter of iron daily in their diets. An adult cat eats a tapeworm containing hundreds or even thousands of eggs. Your cat may miss out on hundreds of milligrams of iron if they don’t get treatment immediately.
A seizure is a rapid disruption in brain function. It can cause unusual behavior, changes to your cat’s appearance and body movements, or even loss of consciousness. Seizures are not usually a sign of tapeworm infection.
About 16 in 10000 cats will have seizures during their lifetime. Your cat may become a victim of it. Seizures can be life-threatening for your cat if you don’t get him the right and timely treatment, as seizures may indicate a brain disorder aside from tapeworms.
In some cases, treating a tapeworm infection is as simple as giving your cat a pill. The good thing about tapeworms is that they can usually be prevented by flea and tick medications.
However, if the symptoms are severe, take the cat to the vet immediately for timely treatment. That’s because tapeworms may cost your furry friend if untreated for a long time. Nonetheless wish you years of companionship with your feline!