Can Cats Get Worms From Dogs: 9 Ways Dogs Can Infect Cats

Cat and dog owners always ask can cats get worms from dogs, in this article I will explain the common ways cats get worms from dogs.

Worms are a common intestinal parasite found in dogs, cats, and humans.

There are a number of different types of worms that can infect dogs, but not all of them can infect cats. You will find out more as you read on.

When a cat and a dog share the same living space, there is a higher risk of sharing worms between them especially if one of them has worms already.

This is because the worming medication for cats is different from that for dogs, which means that your vet may prescribe two different types of worming medication.

In this article, we explore the issue of whether or not your cat can get worms from a dog and what you can do to protect your pet from this issue.

Can Cats Get Worms From Dogs

Yes, cats can get worms from dogs if the cat comes in contact with a worm-infested dog, cats also get worms from dogs by eating, sniffing, or walking over a worm-infested dog’s feces, drinking water from the same bowl with a dog can infect the cat.

Cats can become infected with tapeworms and roundworms if they ingest the eggs of these parasites in the feces of an infected dog.

Cats and dogs may not get along, but they can still share worms. Roundworm, caused by the Toxocara parasite, is a common worm that affects both cats and dogs.

Cats get roundworms from eating fleas or mice infected with Toxocara eggs. Dogs get roundworms from eating raw meat contaminated with the eggs of this parasite.

If your cat eats a mouse infected with these eggs, it can get roundworms and then pass them on to a dog when it scratches or bites the dog.

If your worm dog licks itself and comes in contact with a cat who shares the same space or house, the cat can contact by walking over the door feces.

A cat can easily get worm eggs from stepping on dog feces.

9 Ways dogs can infect cats with worms

Here are some common ways a cat can get worms from a dog:

  1. Cats can get worms from dogs by sharing the same eating bowl.
  2. Cats can get worms from dogs by grooming or licking a worm infected dog.
  3. Cats can get worms from dogs by kissing a worm infected resident dog.
  4. Cats can get worms from dogs by stepping on a worm infected feces.
  5. Cats can get worms from dogs by walking over a worm infected dog vomits.
  6. Cats can get worms from dogs by sleeping in the bed with a worm-infested dog.
  7. Cats cat get worms from dogs by simply playing with a worm-infested dog.
  8. Cats can get worms from dogs by playing with a worm-infested dog toy that has saliva all over it.
  9. Cats can get worms from dogs by drinking water from the same water can with a worm-infested dog.

Similarities between cat and dog infected with worms

Worms affect dogs in many of the same ways that they affect cats and other animals.

The following are some of the most common symptoms:

  • While suffering from a worm infestation, both dogs and cats may have a decrease in appetite and lose a substantial amount of weight.
  • When suffering from worms infestation, dogs and cats may have blood in their stool or vomit.
  • You may be able to spot worms in the feces or vomit of your dog or cat.
  • Worms can be transmitted to both cats and dogs that ingest fleas or other intermediate hosts, such as small rodents, that carry tapeworm larvae.
  • Both cats and dog that has worms can suffer from rough coat appearance.
  • Dogs and cats are most commonly infected when they ingest (eat) intestinal worm eggs that have been passed through the feces of an infected dog or cat.
  • Both cats and dogs that has worms can suffer from dehydration.
  • Both cats and dogs with untreated worms can suffer from abdominal pain.

Common ways to prevent worm infestation in dogs

Here are some common ways to prevent worm infestation in dogs:

  • Stop your dog from eating early morning green grass outside your doorstep.
  • Using deworming pills once in a while
  • Proper and regular grooming
  • Rodent control system should be set up
  • Keep suspected pets away from your dog or cat
  • Keep your dog drinking water away from windows and doors.
  • Don’t let your dog drink from a watering can that has water for more than 2 days.
  • Control fleas on your pet and in the environment using a flea control system
  • Seek treatment for your pet right away if you see signs of worms.
  • Keep raw eggs away from your dog.
  • Have your kittens and puppies dewormed by the vet.
  • Make sure you don’t feed contaminated raw meat to your dog.

How to handle a worm-infested dog not to infect cats

These tips are effective if the cat has not contacted the worm from the dog.

The best approach is to deworm the cat as well, as you can’t be too sure.

Here are some common tips for dealing with a dog that has a worm so that your cat can’t get the worm:

  • Remove the cat from the dog room or territory once you notice any signs.
  • Provide a new bed for the cat not using the old bed if you can’t disinfect it.
  • Provide a new eating bowl for your cat in a separate room.
  • Make sure you do not use the same drinking bowl for both pet.
  • Make sure you empty your cat existing litter box and fill with a new one.
  • Never let your cat and dog cross paths until the dog is fully recovered.
  • Avoid unnecessary grooming of both pets during the period you are treating the dog.
  • After the vet gives you a green light that your dog is good to go, take your cat for a worm test or quarantine.

Let’s now look at the individual types of worms that your cat can get from your dog.

Types of worms that cats can get from dogs

In dogs and cats, there are three most common different kinds of worms: roundworms, hookworms, and tapeworms.

Cats can get worm infections from eating infected mice and birds or from the feces of infected dogs.

When cats defecate outside their litter box, they can also spread worms to dogs or humans.

Dogs can transfer roundworms to cats

In dogs, roundworms are among the most prevalent intestinal worms that can be transferred from dogs to cats.

Toxocara canis and Toxascaris leonina are the two kinds of roundworms seen in dogs.

Toxocara canis is more prevalent in pups, although it can also be passed from pet to pet.

A feces sample is used to diagnose roundworms, and deworming medicines are used to treat them.

Roundworms can cause stunted growth and, in severe cases, death if left untreated in both cats and dogs.

Infectious eggs or diseased hosts such as rodents, rabbits, and birds can cause infection in dogs which can be transferred to cats through direct contact.

The raccoon roundworm, Baylisascaris procyonis (B. procyonis), is an uncommon kind of roundworm that may infect dogs and is found in areas of North America.

Symptoms of roundworms in dogs

Diarrhea, vomiting, a potbellied look, coughing, weight loss, and a poor hair coat are all symptoms of roundworm infection.

When you see these signs, you need to keep your cat away from such an infected dog and commence treatment with your vet.

How to diagnose roundworms in dogs

A lab test called fecal flotation can be used by your veterinarian to check for worms in a sample of your dog’s feces.

If adult roundworms are present in the small intestine, roundworm eggs can be seen in the feces under a microscope.

Treatment of roundworms in dogs

Keep in mind that not all over-the-counter dewormers work. This medicine is best obtained through your veterinarian.

Deworming medicine is used orally in repeated doses to treat roundworms.

Keep in mind that not all over-the-counter dewormers work. This medicine is best obtained through your veterinarian.

Dogs can transfer tapeworms to cats

Tapeworms are an intestinal parasite that dogs get through eating infected fleas or ingesting tapeworm or flea-infested wild animals.

The tapeworm egg develops when the dog consumes the flea and adheres to the dog’s digestive lining.

The most prevalent tapeworm discovered in dogs in the United States is Dipylidium caninum which can be transferred between pets.

It may be transferred from fleas to dogs and from dogs to cats, providing you another more reason to be vigilant about flea control.

The eggs are released when the tapeworm segment, which resembles a grain of rice or sesame seed, splits apart.

The life cycle is repeated if flea eggs are also present in the environment. As a result, tapeworms can only be transferred from pet to pet by fleas.

Symptoms of tapeworms in dogs

Tapeworm segments may be passed in the feces of infected dogs. These may be visible and seem like little grains of rice.

Affected dogs’ bottoms may scoot around the ground at times.

Take a stool sample to your veterinarian for diagnosis if you see symptoms in your dog’s feces or notice your dog scooting.

How to diagnose tapeworms in dogs

Tapeworms are usually diagnosed after the owner or a pet expert notices the flat, rice-like segments.

When fecal flotations are conducted, tapeworm eggs are rarely seen microscopically.

Treatment of tapeworms in dogs

One or more doses of a specific deworming medicine are used to treat tapeworms.

Dewormers sold over the counter are ineffective. Your veterinarian must prescribe the appropriate medicine for you.

Because tapeworms are transmitted by fleas, eliminating fleas is the only method to avoid re-infection.

While attempting to manage fleas, deworming may need to be repeated. Flea prophylaxis should be used on a monthly basis.

Dogs can transfer hookworms to cats

Hookworms are intestinal parasites that cause anemia in dogs and, if left untreated, can be deadly to puppies and cats.

Hookworms may harm dogs in a variety of ways and can be transferred from dogs to cats if they both have contact.

Another kind of intestinal parasite that affects dogs and pups is hookworms (Ancylostoma caninum, Ancylostoma braziliense).

Hookworm hooks itself to the intestinal mucosa of its victim and feeds on the blood of the host.

Hookworms are much smaller than roundworms and are rarely seen in feces or vomit.

Symptoms of hookworms in dogs

Pale mucous membranes and weakness are symptoms of hookworm infection this could be due to anemia.

Diarrhea and/or weight loss can also be seen in some dogs.

Because of the quantity of blood loss that can occur, hookworm infection can be highly hazardous to small puppies or cats.

How to diagnose hookworms in dogs

After taking a stool sample and doing a fecal flotation test in the lab, a diagnosis is made (as with roundworms).

If adult hookworms are present in the small intestine, hookworm eggs may usually be detected under a microscope.

Once you notice any funny changes in your dog’s behavior, you need to see the vet.

Treatment of hookworms in dogs

Hookworms are treated in the same way as roundworms are. Because a dewormer can only kill worms in the intestine, many oral doses of the drug are required.

Hookworms are treated with the dewormer that is commonly given with puppy vaccinations.

Because not all over-the-counter dewormers are successful, see your veterinarian for advice.

Here are other interesting topics about parasites you should check out: