Why worming your cat is so important

Regular worming is a vital part of pet healthcare – in fact, it is important for both pet and family health. Roundworm parasites, called Toxocara, live in the digestive system of dogs and cats, and release their eggs in the faeces of infected animals.

Kittens can potentially be carrying worms from birth. They can inherit worms from their mother, and your kitten could already have worms when they are born... and then could get even more worms from their mother’s milk. If kittens aren't given a de-wormer early – from around two weeks old – they can have a lot of worms by the time they’re just eight weeks of age. 

Catching worms

As well as right at the beginning from their mums, cats can also catch worms:

  • By eating eggs found in their environment
  • From larvae in the environment 

How do I know if my cat has worms?

Signs to look out for are the following:

  • Visible worms in your pet’s faeces
  • Weight loss
  • Swollen abdomen
  • Diarrhoea and/or vomiting

Health risk

Not only are worms bad for your cat’s health, but they are also a significant health risk to humans. People can ingest the eggs after handling soil, sand or litter trays with infected faeces, so quick, hygienic removal of pet faeces is extremely important. Although rare, roundworm parasites can cause an infection called toxocariasis, which amongst other symptoms, can cause eye problems – children are more at risk as they are more likely to come into contact with contaminated soil.

Worm medicine

Prevention is better than cure, so the best thing to do is treat your pet regularly at appropriate intervals to make sure that worms never get to a level where they’re going to cause any harm. Your vet will be able to advise you on the best worming regime for your pet. The de-wormer that your vet can provide will be far more effective than those available in pet shops or the supermarket.

If you have any worries or concerns regarding your pet’s worm medicine, please contact your vet for advice.

If you have an Agria Pet Insurance policy, you can access the free Pet Health Helpline, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The veterinary-trained team will advise on any concerns or queries that you may have over your pet’s health – much like the NHS 111 service for people. Call free on 03333 32 19 47.