Cat owners always ask how do indoor cats get worms since they are kept indoors, in this article I will outline and discuss all the possible ways indoor cats can get worms.
Roundworms, hookworms, and tapeworms are the most common parasites seen in cats.
Tapeworms reside in the intestines and other organs, such as the liver, whereas roundworms and hookworms live in the intestines.
Internal parasites deplete your cat’s blood and nutrition when they are present.
Heartworms, which reside in the heart and are carried by mosquitos, can be fatal to cats.
Cats, like humans, are susceptible to worms. One of the most common types is called “roundworms.”
They’re known as roundworms because they look like long, round spaghetti noodles.
So, let’s look at where your indoor cat can get worms from even if you keep them indoors.
How Do Indoor Cats Get Worms
Cats can get worms from feces because worms can be found in cat feces and might be transmitted to cats, humans, or other pets, cats can also get worms through contact with infected soil or food, unkept litter boxes, unkept gardens, other infected pets, infected rodents, or drinking contaminated water.
The most common health risk for an indoor cat involves worms. Worms can cause anemia and other diseases, so it’s important to take worm prevention seriously.
It’s also important to know the signs of worms in cats, so you can get help as soon as possible.
Common ways indoor cats get worms
Here are the common ways how indoor cats can get worms.
Indoor cats get worms from chasing an infected rodent
One of the most common ways indoor cats come into touch with worms is by chasing an infected mouse.
Mice are rodents that carry a variety of worms and illnesses as a result of their habitat and diet.
By going after an infected mouse or other sick rodents, an indoor cat might readily get worms.
Mice often make their way into our house, and we’ve seen indoor cats chase mice on a regular basis.
Crossing the trail or nest of an infected mouse can also give an indoor cat worm.
Indoor cats get worms from unkept litter boxes
When you let your indoor cat’s excrement remain for so long that it causes the cat to return to the litter box or tray with old crap.
Cat feces ferments over time, allowing parasites to develop that can make your indoor cat sick.
Make sure your cat’s litter box or trays are clean and free of parasites, as this cat can transmit internal or external parasites to your cat.
Indoor cats get worms from eating a worm infected mouse
By eating an infected mouse, an indoor cat might get internal or external parasites such as worms.
Mice are hosts to a variety of parasites and illnesses, owing to where they dwell and what they consume.
Allowing an indoor cat to eat mice is not a good idea since eating worm-infected mice can make an indoor cat sick.
When you are not looking or when you are away from home, indoor cats may still hunt down mice.
As a result, it’s a good idea to vaccinate your indoor cat against parasites and illnesses on a regular basis.
Also, make sure you lock off any possible entrance points a mouse may utilize to get access to your home.
Indoor cats get worms from ingesting fleas
Tapeworm eggs are carried by fleas. If a flea land on your cat, self-grooming or scratching may result in the flea being ingested.
If your cat consumes a flea by grooming or scratching, you can practically ensure that it will get tapeworms.
Indirect touch is another easy method for your cat to get worms.
Cats can become infected by ingesting fleas carrying worms or if worm larvae bite the cat.
Indoor cats can get worms from a mosquito bite
Although cats are not as vulnerable to infection as dogs, they can develop heartworms after being bitten by an infected mosquito.
Heartworms do not thrive as well within a cat’s body, therefore it is not a natural host for them.
Even though cats are not a natural host for heartworm, indoor cats can get worms from mosquito bites or flies around their territory.
Both indoor and outdoor cats are at risk for heartworm disease.
Indoor cats can get worms from other cats or dogs
Be aware that if you have indoor and outdoor cats or a dog, parasites and illnesses will spread among them.
By sharing a litter box with another sick cat, your cat might get worms.
Grooming your dog or sharing the dog’s food and water bowls might possibly infect your cat.
Roundworms, tapeworms, and other parasites can infect humans, so keep youngsters away from litter boxes and wash their hands after coming into touch with a cat.
Indoor cats can get worms from household insects or pests
Indoor cats will go for almost anything in the house. Rodents, insects, and other domestic pests carry worm eggs, which your cat eats and passes on to you.
Roundworm eggs can be carried by a variety of animals, including mice and common houseflies. By biting your pet, mosquitoes and ticks can spread parasites.
Indoor cats get worms from unkept human footwear
Indoor cats can get parasites like worms by wandering through the area where you store your shoes.
You can’t be too sure your shoes aren’t carrying worm eggs under them as you walk from outdoors into your house.
Parasites may be found almost anywhere, including on human paths, and they can adhere to the bottoms of your shoes.
Even if your cat never goes outside, people of the family are likely to come and leave on a daily basis.
Because microscopic worm eggs can remain dormant for months, they’re simple to find on clothing and shoes.
When you’re outside, you can’t entirely avoid them, but you can reduce the risk of contamination by removing or washing your shoes before going outside or entering your house
Indoor cats get worms from potted plants around your home
Coming into touch with worm eggs under the leaves of potted plants surrounding your home might give your indoor cat worms.
This is possible, especially if you keep potted plants you water around your house, pests can lay eggs under the leaves of the potted plants.
Parasites can live in the soil we use to pot the plants and flowers we have around the house.
When your cat comes into touch with this dirt, there’s a good possibility he’ll pick up worms.
Indoor cats get worms from unkept small flower gardens
Walking through your home’s flowers or gardens might cause worm eggs to infect your cat.
Parasites are abundant in flowers and grasses, and when an indoor cat wanders through these flowers, it comes into touch with the parasites.
By rubbing its body against the flowers or grasses in your property, an indoor cat might parasitize.
Worm larvae are found in the garden under leaves, and if they come into touch with a dog, they are transferred to the cat’s skin to continue their growth.
Cats like playing in the garden, which makes it simpler for them to catch worms; however, don’t let your cat out while the leaves are damp.
Indoor cats can get worms from contaminated soil surface
Moist surfaces are ideal for laying eggs for flies, and most cats like digging and rolling in wet soil.
When cats dig in the dirt, they come into touch with worms, which continue their development stages on the cat’s body.
Indoor cats get worms from eating worm larvae
Flies, fleas, and other parasitic insects are common, and they have been observed to lay eggs on moist food or substances.
When flies land and deposit eggs on something, the eggs hatch into larvae that are invisible to a cat’s sight.
When a cat eats these larvae, it becomes a host, and the larvae might grow into adults over time.
When cats drink water where flies lay eggs, they can consume larvae, therefore keep any stagnant water away from your cat.
Indoor cats get worms from worm infected food or water
The easiest method for cats to catch worms is to eat contaminated food, which might happen if you offer your cat leftover food.
Leaving your cat’s food out in the open might attract flies, who will then drop worms in the exposed food.
Always ensure that the bag containing your cat’s food is tightly closed whenever you take food from it.
Flies prefer moist surfaces, such as water, and they deposit eggs on the surface, indicating that the water has become polluted.
When a cat drinks polluted water, the worms are ingested and the cat becomes ill.
Make sure there is no open water in your house since you never know when your cat will be able to drink from it.
Indoor cats can get worms from grooming itself
Indoor cats can get parasites by grooming themselves.
A cat uses its paws to groom itself, and this can lead to the injection of any form of parasites.
Cats are known for licking themselves, and this can lead to an indoor cat injecting a parasite that stocked at its body.
Diagnosis of worms in indoor cats
Your veterinarian will examine your cat thoroughly and collect a detailed medical history from you.
The majority of healthy animals will exhibit no signs of worm infestation.
Kittens with a high worm burden may get ill, and roundworms may be present.
Due to a large number of worms, they may develop a pot-belly in extreme situations.
Worms are most commonly detected by microscopic stool inspection, although a single fecal test might be deceptive since eggs are not always released into the feces.
In instances when intestinal worms are highly suspected, broad-spectrum dewormers are frequently employed, and it is appropriate to deworm cats that go outside and hunt on a regular basis.
Symptoms of worm infection in indoor cats
If you suspect your cat has worms, take them to the vet doctor for a fecal test and to discuss beginning them on a deworming treatment with your veterinarian.
Dewormers for cats can be applied topically or taken orally. Here are some common symptoms of worm infection in cats:
- Continues diarrhea
- Persistent vomiting
- Regular coughing
- Dull fur
- Sudden loss of appetite
- Rapid weight loss
- Swollen belly
- Mucus or blood in feces
- Worms in feces
- Sudden decreased in activity
- Signs of heart failure
Prevention of worms in indoor cats
Because parasite treatment is not covered by pet insurance, it’s a good idea to start taking measures as soon as possible.
Controlling intestinal parasites and avoiding reinfections need proper cleanliness.
This involves removing excrement on a daily basis, disinfecting the litter box on a regular basis, minimizing overcrowding, avoiding raw meat diets, and managing intermediate hosts (fleas and rodents).
The secret to a healthier indoor cat is parasite management.
How to keep worms away from indoor cats completely
Here are some of the common ways to keep worms away from your indoor cat;
- Vaccinating your indoor cat
- Clear all the small bushes around your home
- Disinfecting your house
- Don’t walk into the house with the same footwear you used for work.
- Don’t bring in unsafe pets
- Cat proof your home
- Close down all the possible mice entry units
- Regular medical check-ups
- Bath your cat with warm water
- Keep your cat litter box clean
- Don’t allow your cat to enter a dirty garden
- Groom your cat regularly
- Get antibiotics by vet approval
- Get anti- parasite cream or spray.
- Get a safe scratch post for your cat.
How to treat worms in indoor cats
If your cat develops worms, there are a number of easy and effective treatments available; speak with your veterinarian to choose the best product for your cat.
Even if your indoor cat spends their days indoors, sleeping on your sofa, keeping up with a regular worming program at least once every three months can help keep your indoor cat healthy and clear of intestinal parasites.
The condition’s therapy will be based in part on the veterinarian’s diagnosis, although worming should be done on a regular basis regardless of symptoms as a preventive precaution.
Treatments that can be administered at home include:
- Spot-on treatments
Because the frequency of usage varies per product, it’s a good idea to create reminders on your calendar, so you don’t forget when the next treatment is due.
Some of the pills, powders, and pastes can be mixed with cat food or treats, while others must be administered straight into the mouth; again, read the directions carefully.
If you are unsure about administering a worming medication, your veterinarian or a veterinary nurse at your clinic may be able to help you.
What vaccines do indoor cats need?
Here are the vaccines every indoor cat needs according to WebMD;
- Feline calicivirus shot
- Rabies shot
- Feline leukemia shot
- Bordetella shot
- Feline viral rhinotracheitis shot
- Panleukopenia shot
Read more about cats:
- Do Cats Need To Go Outside: 8 Pros & 6 Cons To Note.
- Why Do Cats Wander Off For Days: 12 Reasons To Note.
- Trauma In Cats: 11 Major Causes, Symptoms & Preventions
Wrapping up on How do indoor cats get worms
One common misconception is that indoor cats are immune to the dangers of parasites, but this is far from true.
These types of parasites can be found in both outside and inside environments, so all felines are at risk of coming into contact with them.
In most cases, cats get worms after coming into touch with eggs or contaminated excrement.
Worms can also be contracted via hunting and eating worm-infected rodents.
Fleas also play a significant influence in worm infestations.
Cats can become infected by swallowing worm-carrying fleas or being bitten by worm larvae.
Some of the most common parasitic infections that indoor cats encounter are tapeworms, roundworms, and hookworms.
Tapeworms latch onto the intestines and suck off the nutrients available for use in this area.
Roundworm eggs can survive in the soil for up to 2 months; they enter the body through contact with infected feces.
Hookworms can live in dirt or sand; they enter through wounds or through contact. So, protect your cat and the environment.
Finally, make sure you lock off any possible entrance points a mouse may utilize to get access to your home.