How Do Indoor Cats Get Worms: 10 Ways They Get Them?

Can indoor cats get worms? How is it possible for indoor cats to get worms? Well, yes, sure they can, and it is possible.

There are barely a very few cats who will enjoy their life spending time indoors. Since cats are more outdoor roamers, it is quite common for them to catch worm infections. But even the dedicated indoor cats get worms?

Worm infection in cats usually appears or spreads by coming in contact with infected parasites, eggs, and fleas.

So even if a cat eats an infected flea inside the home, she can possibly catch a worm infection. That is why even if it is an indoor cat or an outdoor cat, it is easier for the pet to get worms.

10 Common ways indoor cats get worms from.

Indoor cats pick several types of worm and parasitical infections throughout their lifetime. The most common worm infection they catch includes roundworms, hookworms, and tapeworms.

Though worms are usually present in the outdoor environment, you can’t deny their presence in the indoor environment as well.

How Do Indoor Cats Get Worms: 10 Ways they Get them?

10 common ways your indoor cat gets worm infestation:

#1 From fleas

Indoor cats who are dealing with a flea infection may likely catch a worm infection soon. According to research, cats who eat fleas carrying the worm’s larval form often get tapeworm infection.

These fleas maybe are present in your cat’s fur or anywhere indoors. And since cats are excellent groomers, you may not even realize when they catch infection through the flea.

#2 From mother’s milk

An infected and untreated mother can pass worm infection to her infant while feeding. A mother cat often transfers roundworm larvae to their kittens while milking.

The other common method of worm transmission between mother cat and kitten is during grooming. There are chances that the mother kitty accidentally transfers infected flea into her kitten’s mouth.

#3 From other infected house pets

While you have a dedicated indoor cat, there may be other pets in the house who are allowed both indoor and outdoor.

And despite how much both or all your pets mix up or hate each other, they can easily transfer worms.

For this reason, it is essential to keep any pet with worm infection separate from all the other pets. And while one pet in your house caught worms, ensure you are deworming others along too.

Transfer of worms from one house pet to another can also happen if they are using the same litter box.

#4 From contaminated food

Contaminated food with parasites can conceivably infect your indoor cat with worms.

Maybe the food you are giving them is stale and has fleas.

Or maybe your indoor cat is preying on a rotten rat/ mouse and getting an infection.

#5 From raw food

Feeding on raw food, dedicated raw meat is a significant route for transmission of worm infection. The most common infection that cats catch by eating raw meat is tapeworm infection.

That is why, every time you feed meat to your cat, give it a little boil, at least. It is essential to ensure the meat is contamination free.

#6 From contaminated water

Contaminated water is never ever a healthy choice for pets. Even there is a common disease amongst pets known as Schistosomiasis, which is often caused by waterborne parasitic worms.

Or, in case the water you are feeding contains worm eggs, the chances of worm infection in indoor cats become vital.

#7 From worm eggs in the environment

Your indoor environment may have microscopic eggs. For instance, your garden’s worm egg infected soil came inside your house with your shoes.

And when your cat sniffs on that soil, it may catch the worm eggs, which will later generate the infection.

Remember, these eggs can survive in the environment and in almost any dry or moist place for a long time.

#8 From home contamination

A breeze of air entering your home can bring a lot of things inside. The dry leaves that flower that came with the breeze may have worm eggs or even live worms.

Or maybe the breeze brought infected fleas inside. Later the presence of all these can likely make your cat get a worm infection.

#9 During an outdoor visit

Even indoor cats step out for an evening walk, or they sneak out without making your notice.

And once the cat reaches the outdoor, there are endless chances of them catching a worm infection.

From sniffing on trash to eating poop or picking live worms from the soil, the opportunities are truly endless.

Thus, whenever you are taking your cat out for a walk or even playtime, ensure they aren’t roaming around something skeptically trash.

#10 During a grooming visit

A visit to the cat’s grooming parlor isn’t always the most hygienic one. Before and while your cat is getting the hair and bath done, obviously, a lot of other pets are getting too.

And that is the chance when the grooming parlor is possibly full of infected fleas and worm eggs. It is common for even indoor cats to catch a worm infection in such cases.

Worms in Indoor Cats – Symptoms, Causes, Treatments

Though it is less likely, even indoor cats can catch worm infections. Either the kittens or young cats are more susceptible to worms. The older cats and are less likely to go out and around have fewer chances of catching an infection.

16 Symptoms of worms in Indoor cats:

  1. Sickness.
  2. Diarrhoea
  3. Sudden Weight loss or weight gain.
  4. Sudden loss or gain of appetite.
  5. Dullness in the coat.
  6. Lethargy and lack of energy.
  7. Swollen or bloated belly.
  8. Blood in stool.
  9. Weight loss.
  10. Soft stool.
  11. Overly cleaning or washing the area around the anus.
  12. Constantly rub the back portion in the ground. It happens since worms can cause itching around the anus area.
  13. Small segments of worms or rice-looking grains in the fur around the anus.
  14. Coughing without reason
  15. Wheezing and Sneezing
  16. Difficulty in breathing

Causes of worms in indoor cats:

Indoor cats can get worms from a number of places due to several reasons. For example,

  • By eating/ swallowing worm eggs.
  • By getting bitten by or eating infected fleas.
  • Through other infected pets.
  • By eating or drinking raw/ contaminated food and water.
  • By drinking mother’s milk, in case the mother already has an infection.

Treatment of worms in indoor cats:

The most preferable and safe treatment of worms in indoor cats is deworming. Once you start noticing symptoms of worms in your cat, reach the Veterinarian for better guidance.

The Veterinarian may advise an oral or injectable dewormer depending upon your cat’s age and the level of infection.

A mild deworming tablet does the job in the early stage of worm infection. However, some repetitive medicines/ injections become a must when the infection has reached a crucial stage.

Some of the most common deworming medicines for cats include Panacur (fenbendazole) and Drontal Plus (pyrantel, praziquantel, fenbendazole). However, avoid using any of these without Vet’s advice.

Panacur C Canine Dewormer (Fenbendazole), 1 Gram, Yellow, 3 Count (Pack of 1)
  • Mix the daily dose with a small amount of your dog’s usual food; Your dog should eat all of the medicated food; If feeding dry dog food, it may need to be moistened to aid mixing
  • Repeat the daily dose for 3 days in a row (each packet is a daily dose depending on your dog's size)
  • If dog's weight is in between suggested dosing sizes, it's safe to use the next higher size; For example a 15 pounds dog should be treated with the 2gm packet
  • Safe for all Dogs 6 weeks and older, including pregnant Dogs
  • Deworming schedules may vary depending on the climate where you live and the activity of your dog
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Elanco Tapeworm Dewormer (praziquantel tablets) for Cats and Kittens 6 Weeks and Older, 3-count
  • 3-count bottle of tapeworm dewormer for cats
  • Easy effective way to remove common tapeworms in cats
  • Tablets may be crumbled and mixed with food or taken by mouth
  • Tapeworm Dewormer for Cats will remove the common tapeworms, Dipylidium caninum and Taenia taeniaeformis, from cats and kittens
  • For use in cats over 6 weeks of age
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FRONTLINE Plus for Cats and Kittens (1.5 pounds and over) Flea and Tick Treatment, 3 Doses
  • Waterproof flea and tick treatment for cats and kittens: Frontline Plus for Cats provides waterproof, fast-acting, long-lasting flea and tick treatment and control for your cat. This product is approved for use on cats and kittens 1.5 lbs and over.
  • Break the flea life cycle with frontline: Frontline flea and tick treatment for cats kills adult fleas plus flea eggs and larvae to stop existing infestations and prevent establishment of new infestations.
  • Kills fleas and ticks: Frontline flea and tick treatment for cats kills fleas, flea eggs, lice, and ticks. This flea and tick treatment kills ticks, including those that may transmit Lyme disease.
  • Trusted flea and tick protection for cats: Frontline Plus for Cats has been trusted by veterinarians for nearly 20 years. Made with 2 tough killing ingredients, fipronil and (S)-methoprene – one to kill adult fleas and ticks and the second to kill flea eggs and larvae – this fast-acting, long-lasting protection provides flea and tick control for cats and kittens 8 weeks and older.
  • Lasting flea and tick protection: Frontline's long-lasting formula is stored in the oil glands of the cat's skin to give non-stop flea and tick protection for a full 30 days. Frontline flea and tick treatment for cats works non-stop for a full 30 days. A 3-dose supply lasts for 3 months.

How do you know if your indoor cat has worms?

Your indoor cat may have worms if he/she is vomiting or experiencing Diarrhoea. A sudden gain or loss of weight is also a sign of worms in cats.

If any day you are susceptible to worms in your cat, monitor their eating habit, their fur health, and the area around their belly.

Monitor your cat’s stool for any live worms upon sensing something unusual. You can also take your cat’s stool for a quick diagnosis at the Vet.

Can cats get worms from litter boxes?

Worms can survive for a long time in the litter of any infected pets.

Thus, if two or multiple pets are sharing the same litter box, the chances are that all of them can get worms.

That is why it is essential to first maintain a separate little box for each pet.

And secondly, while one of the pets in your house is suffering from worm infection, consider keeping it away from other pets.

Can strictly indoor cats get worms?

Yes, it is less likely, but even a strictly indoor cat can get a worm infection.

Especially if the house is shared by more than one pet, the chances of worm transmission become higher.

The strictly indoor cats who never venture outside may get worms through contaminated food and water. I

n addition, infected fleas can also transfer worm infection to indoor cats who barely get out of the house.

How often should you deworm an indoor cat?

For maintaining the maximum precaution, consider deworming your indoor cat at least thrice a year.

In addition, pet owners need to treat their cats seasonally or year-round for both internal and external parasites.

With kittens, consider treating against roundworms at the age of 2, 4, 6, and 8 weeks. And once the pet turns three months, start deworming once every month.

With prolific hunting cats, deworm them once every month. Cats who are into hunting are more likely prone to catching various types of worms and parasitic infections.

What are white worms in cat poop?

Tapeworms are small white worms that appear like moving rice in a cat’s poop.

You may notice these worms on the rare end of your cat’s, on their stool, or maybe on their fur as well.

Tapeworm infection is less likely harmful to cats. Sometimes, you may notice a few or maybe no clinical signs of their presence amongst the infected cat.

If a cat is suffering from a severe tapeworm infection, it may likely vomit or drag its rare end on the ground.

Can cats spread worms to humans?

Yes, cats can contract worms from and to humans and other animals. First, however, the individual has to eat (or ingest) the parasite-laden feces of the infected cat.

Pet parents who maintain good hygiene reduce the risk of getting worm infections from their cats.

The practice may include washing hands every time treating the pet and cleaning the litter box more precautiously.

What do worms that cat gets look like?

RoundwormsThey usually look like spaghetti noodles and are three to five inches long.
HookwormThey are too small that sometimes are not visible to naked eyes.
LungwormThey are dark creamish or sometimes brown in color and 2 to four inches long.
Heartworm They are 6 to 9 inches long and look like thin and long-cooked spaghetti noodles.
WhipwormsThey look thin and have a thicker end whereas a whip-like front.
Liver flukesThey look flat, kind of leaf life

Frequently asked Questions

Wrapping up…

Even if they are indoor or outdoor, Cats are always prone to worm infection. However, if you suspect them of any worm or parasitical infection, always refer to your Veterinarian.

An expert would better suggest precautions or medications. Also, always maintain hygiene in order to keep your pet safe for the most.

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