Can Dogs Get Worms From Cats: 12 Ways Cats Can Infect Dogs

Can Dogs Get Worms From Cats

Pet lovers who keep both dogs and cats always ask can dogs get worms from cats, which is an interesting question and will be addressed in this post.

Worms are parasites that live in the intestines of animals and people. A lot of animals can get worms, but dogs and cats seem to be most vulnerable to them.

Dogs can get worms from eating an infected cat’s feces (poop). Worms are icky creatures that like living in your pets’ intestines.

There are many types of worms, but the ones that dogs and cats are most likely to get are roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms, whipworms, and heartworms.

All of these worms make your pet feel sick because they take nutrients like food and water away from them.

A worm infestation in a cat is more common than a worm infestation in a dog since they can pick up worms more easily from eating infected prey.

Can Dogs Get Worms From Cats

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

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

This is because cats often eat mice or other small animals that carry these parasites.

Cats are highly unlikely to have worms, so it is rare for them to pass them to their owners’ pets.

However, it is possible for this to happen through contact between the two animals.

There are also different types of worm medications available.

If a dog shares the same living space with a cat that has a worm, there is a high tendency that the dog will get worms from the cat.

Here is a detailed article on how dogs get worms.

How do dogs get worms from cats

A common worm found in cats is called Toxocara cati.

It is often contracted by dogs through contact with cat feces or sandboxes contaminated with infected cat feces.

Here, are ways that your dog can catch a worm from its feline friend:

  1. By sharing the same feeding bowl as cats, dogs might contract worms.
  2. By sniffing unkept litter boxes of a cat, dogs might get worms.
  3. By grooming or licking a worm-infected cats, dogs might get worms.
  4. By kissing a worm-infected resident cat, dogs can get worms from cats.
  5. By treading on worm-infected excrement, dogs can get worms from cats.
  6. By strolling through worm-infected dog vomit, dogs can get worms from cats.
  7. By resting on the same bed as a worm-infested cat, dogs can get worms.
  8. By just playing with a worm-infested cat, dogs can catch worms.
  9. By playing with a worm-infested dog toy with saliva all over it, dogs can catch worms from cats.
  10. By drinking water from the same water can as a worm-infested cats, dogs can get worms.
  11. By eating the feces of a worm infested cat, a dog might get worms.
  12. By sniffing or eating a worm-infested rodent killed by a cat, a dog can get worms.

Ways to prevent worm infestation in cats and dogs

Here are the common ways to keep worms away from your cats and dogs:

  1. Stop your cats and dogs from eating the moist, green grass outside your door in the early morning.
  2. Deworming tablets are used on both cats and dogs on a regular basis.
  3. To get rid of fleas, you need to clean your dog properly and on a regular basis.
  4. It is necessary to install a rodent control system.
  5. Keep your dog or cat away from any suspected pets.
  6. Keep your dog’s water bowl away from the windows and doors.
  7. Allow your dog to drink from a watering can that has been filled with water for longer than two days.
  8. Using a flea control system, you can keep fleas off your pet and out of the environment.
  9. If you notice indications of worms in your pet, get treatment immediately once.
  10. Ensure that your kittens and puppies are dewormed by a veterinarian.
  11. Make sure your cat or dog isn’t eating infected raw meat.
  12. Scoop all feces on your property, including that dropped by cats and other dogs, as soon as possible.
  13. Avoid taking your dog on walks through places where other dogs and cats have dumped their waste.
  14. Maintain your dog’s heartworm protection.
  15. By not allowing standing water for mosquitos to reproduce in, you can reduce the mosquito population.

Symptoms of worm infestation in cats

Here are some common symptoms of worm infestation in cats, according to PetMD, which are as follows:

  1. Weight loss
  2. Dull coat
  3. Distended abdomen
  4. Diarrhea
  5. Skin lesions
  6. Vomiting
  7. Lethargy
  8. Coughing
  9. Difficulty breathing
  10. Poor appetite
  11. Dehydration
  12. Sudden collapse
  13. Sudden death
  14. Seizures

Symptoms of worm infestation in dogs

Here are some common symptoms of worm-infestation found in dogs:

  1. The loss of weight is accompanied by a significant rise or decrease in hunger.
  2. The look of a distended abdomen, or a ‘pot-bellied’ appearance
  3. Lethargy
  4. Vomiting
  5. Diarrhea/soft stools for a long time
  6. Coughing for a long time
  7. Coat thinning and/or hair loss, as well as skin irritation and inflammation
  8. Tapeworm segments visible in dogs stuck to the skin and fur around the anus/hindquarters area while rubbing or dragging the hindquarters across the ground
  9. Roundworms can be seen in infected feces in dogs, looking like small grains of rice.

How to handle a worm-infested cat not to infect your dog

Here are some common tips in handling a sick cat not to infect your dog with worms during treatment:

  1. Once you see any symptoms, remove the dog from the cat room or area.
  2. If you can’t sanitize the old bed, get a new one for the dog that isn’t using it.
  3. In a separate room, place a fresh food bowl for your dog.
  4. Make sure you don’t give both pets the same drinking bowl.
  5. Make certain to empty your cat’s old litter box and replace it with a new one.
  6. Allow no contact between your cat and dog until the cat has fully healed.
  7. During the time you’re treating the cat, don’t groom both pets excessively.
  8. Take your dog to the vet for a worm test or quarantine once your cat has been cleared by the vet.

Here is a detailed article on the common ways dogs can get worms from humans.

Types of worms a dog can get from a worm-infested cat

In dogs and cats, there are four most common different kinds of worms they can share with each other:


Tapeworms are spread by fleas, which are eaten by dogs. The gut where tapeworms attach absorbs part of the dog’s nutrition.

Each segment of the tapeworm is roughly the size of a grain of rice. These are excreted in the dog’s feces and can be observed near the anus.

Tapeworms can be killed with an injection or a pill. Humans can get tapeworms as well.


Dog hookworms are the tiniest of all the worms found in dogs. Hookworms are typically found in the small intestine of dogs.

They grow to be about an inch long and feed on human blood. In dogs of all ages, but especially pups can induce life-threatening anemia.

Hookworms are transmitted by excrement and can infect both animals and humans.


Dog worms of all kinds are the most frequent. In adulthood, roundworms in dogs can reach a length of 3-5 inches and resemble a piece of wet spaghetti.

Roundworms can be passed from dog to dog through the breastfeeding process, feeding on an infected animal, or contact with infected excrement from other pets.


Whipworms can be found in the junction of the small and large intestines. They drink the blood of their hosts here.

They can be picked up by dogs from polluted soil or when grooming.

When huge numbers of whipworms are embedded in the gut, they can produce bloody diarrhea.

Whipworms can be treated with certain heartworm preventives, and whipworms can be treated with an oral dewormer.

Here is a detailed article on how humans get worms from cats.

How to diagnose worms in cats and dogs

While tapeworms may be visible in a cat’s or dog’s stool, other forms of intestinal worms are generally found by microscopically examining eggs in a stool sample.

Your veterinarian will ask for a stool sample if your cat or dog displays any of the symptoms.

Even if your cat or dog shows no signs of illness, it’s a good idea to take a sample of his feces to your veterinarian for an annual inspection.

A blood test is generally used to identify heartworms. A radiograph, ultrasound, or echocardiography may be necessary in rare situations.

Your veterinarian may prescribe deworming medicines as well as preventive treatments to treat various types of intestinal parasites and heartworms.

Here is a detailed article on how indoor cats can get worms.

Wrapping up

Dogs and cats can both be carriers of worms. Dogs are often infected with roundworms, while cats are usually infected with hookworms or tapeworms.

These parasites can easily be transmitted from one pet to the other through contact with their stool.

While you may think that having two different pets will help spread the love around, this could actually lead to one of your pets getting worms from another pet.

This happens because cats and dogs often share food and water bowls and can easily transfer worms back and forth without any signs of illness.

When it comes to parasites like roundworms, hookworms, and whipworms, there are some other ways that your pets can catch them too; for example if they ingest eggs passed by their mother in her feces.

Therefore, be sure to deworm your dogs and cats at the same time. Do not deworm one and leave one.

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