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Tapeworms in Cats: Symptoms, Treatment, and Prevention

What is a tapeworm? These are parasites in mammals, especially cats. Yes, this cat worms are the only parasites that you can see with the naked eye. As per veterinarian recommendation, it has become easy to get rid of these tapeworms with deworming medications. Tapeworms are common among wild cats, and these parasites enter the pet’s body through infected fleas that grow into full-sized adult worms. Are tapeworms contagious in cats? Are you worried about the process of getting rid of them? Read more about the symptoms of a cat that has tapeworms and their related treatment and how to get rid of tapeworms in cats.

How Do Cats Get Tapeworms?

Ever wondered can humans get worms from cats? These are common intestinal parasites that are common in cats. They get these worms from either infected fleas or small animals with parasites. These worms in cat poop are divided into segments that break off and move around faeces. Fortunately for the feline family, these parasitic worms do not cause any severe health disease and can be treated safely with proper medication.

Squirrels and mice have parasites in their body that is why consuming these small animals transmits tapeworms into your cat’s body. Most of the infestation depends on the type of worm, but infection spreads through eggs, fleas or faeces. If your cat inadvertently swallows flea during grooming, it hatches eggs inside the intestine and completes its life cycle. Cats do not become infected by consuming tapeworm eggs. These parasites must pass through flea before infecting.

Tapeworm Symptoms in Cats

Tapeworms are not a threat to cats, and there are sure signs which attribute to their presence. If you notice proglottids crawling on their faces, it is advisable to visit the veterinarian. The parasites also cause debilitation or weight loss if they exist in large numbers. Suppose your cat drags their anus across the ground occasionally. The presence of parasites irritates proglottids. Cats can also vomit because tapeworms release attachment in the intestines and migrate to the stomach.

Tapeworm Treatment for Cats

When it comes to cat tapeworm treatment, firstly, pet owners notice proglottids on faeces or vomit and then take their pet to a veterinarian. Tapeworms are not diagnosed with the routine faecal examination. There are a variety of medications and products available. However, every one of them is not equally effective. Veterinarians can seek the most suitable way for your cat to get rid of tapeworms.

Anthelmintic is a deworming medication given in the form of a tablet or injection. The tapeworms die after treatment and are digested within the intestine by preventing worm segments from passing into the stool. You should look after that tapeworm medicine for cats does not have associated side effects like vomiting or diarrhoea. Cats should avoid getting infected by staying inside. Tapeworms are not contagious but are transmitted through fleas.

How to Get Rid of Tapeworms in Cats?

Flea and tick shampoos for cats are very popular for keeping your kitten healthy against flea infestations. During the grooming process, the habit of biting the flea-infected area. It is recommended to take consultation from a veterinarian for using the safe flea and tick medication without any side effects. Try to keep your cat indoors and away from litter and garbage. Tapeworms are present in the faeces of other animals, which are transmitted through their poop. Cat’s litter box should always be kept clean and fresh. You should wear gloves and wash your hands immediately after clearing the litter box.

Types of Worms in Cats

Other than tapeworms, there are other worms by which your cat can get infected.

Intestinal Roundworms

These worms in cat can cause severe issues like pneumonia or vomiting. Enlarged worms inside the cat’s body can lead to a distended abdomen. These are the most common type of worms among cats throughout the world.


The Hookworms are a small type of intestinal Roundworm that damages the intestine lining and results in weight loss, bleeding and anaemia. Cats can be infected with these worms by consuming eggs from the environment or eating an infected intermediate host. The larvae can also burrow themselves through the cat’s skin.


One of the deadly parasites that infest the heart, blood vessels and lungs. An infected mosquito bite transmits these parasites into the cat’s body. There is no cure for these worms, so prevention must be taken from an early stage.


What are some external parasites that cats get?

Fleas are there and manage mites that can spread from exposure to other animals. Commonly cats that spend time outdoors are more prone to these parasites.

How to distinguish between roundworm and tapeworm?

Tapeworm’s shapes like flattened grains of rice joined. Their segments can be seen in the cat’s anus or outside its body. On the other hand, Roundworm is shaped like spaghetti with tapered ends that are curled around.

How do cats act when parasites are present?

Often cats do not show any symptoms in the first stages, but common signs may include increased appetite. Small segments of worms like rice grains can be seen outside their body. Cats tend to wash or clean the area around their bottom often.

How should you clean your cat after worms?

Treatment generally consists of environmental cleaning and tapeworm dewormer for cats. Indoor floors of houses should be cleaned with a vacuum cleaner, and bedding should be scrubbed and laundered. All animals living in a single house should be dewormed together.


Different types of worms present can infest your cat. You need to be aware of regarding signs and symptoms of their presence. Immediate treatment will help your cat get rid of these disgusting parasites and protect other pets. The household will also remain clean and fresh. Some parasites are harmful to humans, so always take prevention beforehand. Treatment from a veterinarian and proper medication will help in curing your cat gradually.