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Roundworms, Hookworms & Tapeworms - What People Are Not Telling You About These Intestinal Parasites

Paul Kramer

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Most internal parasites live in the intestines of their host. While they can be common among cats and most are no cause for serious concern, you should contact the veterinarian if you suspect that your cat is suffering from them.

All these common parasites can be found by having your veterinarian examine fecal sample.


These are a common feline parasite that are either passed on from the mother or picked up by contact with infected soil or by eating infected rodents. They can quickly multiply into large colonies and look like long strings of spaghetti.

Adult roundworms live in the small intestine. Eggs can survive in soil for years. After hatching, the larvae sometimes move on to the lungs. Although symptoms of infestation are not always visible, they may include vomiting, diarrhea and a distended stomach.

All cats are susceptible to roundworms, but the greatest danger is to kittens. Even if the mother is not passing eggs in her feces, infective larvae may still be hidden in her body tissue. When she produces milk for her kittens, she infects them via the mammary glands.

Very often a check by the veterinarian will not find evidence of roundworms in the kittens because they have not yet reached the intestines. Have a second examination 10 to 14 days after the first to make sure there are still none.

If the queen is treated with one of the effective drugs prior breeding, it may decrease the infection rate for kittens.


Infestations with hookworms are less common in cats than in dogs. Weakness, anemia and diarrhea are some of the signs of hookworms. Hookworms should be treated and your veterinarian will prescribe medicine, but the only preventive measure is to keep your cat indoors.

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