Earthworms in cats: what can I do if mine has?


Earthworms in cats are a very common parasite that can affect your health at different levels. To prevent your cat from becoming infected, the most important thing is prevention through regular and periodic deworming

Do you know how you should act in the presence of intestinal parasites in your cat? In this article we explain different types of worms in cats and how you can act in each case.


It is possible that worms in cats occur at least once in their life, quite safely. It is a problem that can be considered minor, but you have to be alert and treat it on time because it can cause your cat does not enjoy adequate digestive health, thus preventing the absorption of the nutrients it needs.

  • Earthworms in cats usually affect puppies that come from the street or shelter.
  • They can also affect cats in contact with other animals or with access to the outside.


If we talk about technical names of worms in cats, we can highlight the ones that are most found in these animals:

  • Round-shaped worms (Toxocara cati or Toxascaris leonina)
  • Flat-shaped worms (tapeworm type)
  • Whip-shaped worms (Trichuris vulpis)
  • Earthworms with hook (strontile like Ancylostoma)


The visible symptoms of worms in cats are of different types and with different levels of virulence depending on various agents at play. The age of your cat is one of the factors that determines the degree to which it can be affected. The amount of parasites as well as the type of worm that lives in your cat will also cause us to see one or the other symptoms.

Among the symptoms that indicate that we are facing a case of worms in cats we can observe diarrhea, vomiting, lack of desire to eat, belly with swelling and poor physical and apathetic fitness. The sharpest pictures occur in very young cats or very old cats.

Why it is important that your cat does not have parasites in the intestine

The parasites that lodge in the intestines of the animals are nutrient thieves that make the digestion process not fulfill its function. If your cat does not absorb the substances he needs, his health is affected and anemia and other more serious effects appear. Do not overlook the fact that your cat has worms and treat infestations as appropriate, going to your veterinary center.


The best way to avoid worms in cats is prevention. To do this, consult with the veterinarian about which internal antiparasitic is the most appropriate and how often do we have to supply it. Normally the internal antiparasitic tablets are in the form of a tablet, so if you find it difficult to give your cat a pill, you can consult the veterinarian for other forms of supply.

If you detect or believe that your cat has worms, go to the veterinarian for evaluation. And if other animals live with your cat, think that although they are of different species, it is equally important that they are also dewormed.

The prevention It is the key and the best advice when we talk about avoiding and controlling worms in cats. If you suspect that your cat may have intestinal worms or any other parasite, go to the vet for a review. Parasites can be the trigger of serious health problems: it is your responsibility to avoid them.

What does it mean that my cat has worms?

In the first place, we must specify that when we say that a cat has worms, these worms are not the ones we usually see on earth. Earthworms in cats are intestinal parasites that belong to the families of roundworms, hooked worms and flat worms:

  • Roundworms. They receive the generic scientific name of Nematodes. There are several species, two of the most common are Toxocara cati Y Toxascaris leonina. The kittens they can become infected even during breastfeeding, if the mother is infected.
  • Hooked worms. They also belong to the group of Nematodes. Two important species are Ancylostoma tubaeforme Y Stenocephala. They are called "hooks" because they have hooks in what we could call their head to attach to the intestine of the cat and feed on the blood of the parasitized animal. These can still be spread before the previous ones: if the mother is infected, she can transmit worms to their fetuses, still inside the uterus.
  • Flat worms. These are very different from the previous ones, they are tapeworms, which belong to the group of Cestodes. Taenia taeniaeformis, Echinococcus granulosus (very rare in cats but that must be taken into account since it produces hydatid cyst in people) or Dipilydium caninum They are three species of this group that affect domestic cats.

Cats infected by these parasites may seem completely healthy or find themselves obviously ill and the symptoms that you will see in your feline companion are not usually too revealing: vomiting, diarrhea, lack of grooming, poor condition of the coat ... They could be symptoms of many diseases in addition of a sign that you have intestinal worms. So in case of any suspicion, the best is visit the vet to examine our pet and make an accurate diagnosis of what happens.

Earthworms in cats can be of several large groups: round worms, hooked worms and flat worms. Creative Commons license.

Preventing is the most important thing to avoid the appearance of worms in cats

The intestinal worms of cats are harmful to them and more during the stages puppy and senior and / or geriatric, when animals are more fragile. But it is also can be transmitted to people and cause very serious problems.

The only way to make sure that the cats that live with us are free of intestinal parasites is by respecting the deworming protocols prescribed by the veterinarian. Typically, puppies up to six months are dewormed every four weeks or every month, while adult cats receive their dose of antiparasitic every three months.

In pregnant cats, to prevent them from transmitting parasites to their fetuses as can happen with hooked worms, it is a good strategy to deworm them shortly before delivery (about 10 days before the expected date).

It is very important that after deworming your cat you observe their feces for a few days: if you do not see worms, everything is fine and the next deworming will be when you touch according to the prescription of your veterinarian, but if you see that there are worms the worming must be done before , because it means that the cat is infected (perhaps he vomited the pill of the previous deworming without you noticing or has been infected almost at the end of the quarterly period between deworming) and if we wait three months we are giving time to the surviving parasites that stay inside the cat to reproduce. In this second case, it is necessary to return to the veterinarian as soon as possible and tell him what happened, so that he decides when and with what product to deworm again.