What are cats tapeworms
Cats tapeworms are parasites that live in the small intestine of cats. They are flat (like tapes) and segmented, white in color and can grow up to 20cm long.
Tapeworms are not born in cats intestine, but are carried there in an immature form through an intermediate host, such as fleas.
How do cats get tapeworms
It depends on the tapeworm type. There are three kinds of tapeworms in cats:
Dipylidium caninum uses flea larva as an intermediate host.
Taenia pisiformis uses rabbits.
Taenia taeniaeformis uses rats or mice.
To make a long story short, if your cat eats fleas (usually during grooming), rabbit, mouse or rat viscera, it will get a tapeworm.
Why cats tapeworms are bad
Cats tapeworms can cause severe diarrhea, poor or extreme appetite, avitaminosis, lethargy, coughing and abdominal distention.
What are the signs of tapeworms in cats
· Check the cat's recent stool for tiny white or cream-colored eggs or egg chains. These are cats tapeworm eggs.
· Watch the cat for any change of behavior. If she starts dragging or rubbing her anal on carpeted surfaces because she is feeling itchy, it most probably cats tapeworms.
· Examine its belly. If this is noticeably distended, it most probably carries a high population of intestinal cats tapeworms.
· Check for any of the symptoms described above, such as diarrhea or changes in appetite.
How to get rid of cats tapeworms
Nowadays there are a lot of effective OTC cats tapeworm tabs in the market. These tabs cause the tapeworms to lose their protective layer and be digested. You will never see them pass, they will just disappear.
Ask your vet which are the best tapeworm tabs for your cat's age and weight.
How to prevent a tapeworm infestation
· Prevent a possible flea infestation by using occasionally the recommended by your vet treatment.
· Clean your cat's bedding and vacuum all rugs regularly.
· Discard the litter and clean the litter box on a daily basis. Wrap all feces in plastic and dispose them in the trash.