Does my cat have worms?

Intestinal worms in cats are common and they are also very treatable. Frequent de-worming will kill worms that are present, but it is very easy for your cat to become reinfested. Kittens sometimes arrive at their new owner’s home with worms already present. 


Signs you may see if your cat has worms

Worms or their eggs are visible in your cat's faeces

Occasionally you may see worms or worm segments in your cat’s faeces.  However, not all kinds of worms are visible to the naked eye, and most eggs are too small to be seen without a microscope, so just because you don’t see worms, it doesn’t mean they are not there.


Your cat is scratching or rubbing its bottom on the ground (scooting) or against furniture

Worms can cause irritation around the cat’s bottom, and the resulting itchiness can make your cat want to scratch the itch. Without arms, and in a hard to reach place, your cat does this by rubbing its bottom on the ground or furniture. However, this scooting behaviour can also be due to issues completely unrelated to worms, such as anal sac problems. Visit your vet if your cat shows these signs, just to be safe.


Worms are seen in your cat’s vomit

Occasionally cats with a large number of worms may have worms present in their vomit.


Bloated stomach (pot belly)

This is another common sign of worms, often seen in kittens who acquire worms from their mother in the womb or via milk, or by ingesting eggs from a contaminated environment.


Changes in appetite, constant hunger or weight loss

While adult cats can usually tolerate a small number of worms without obvious ill effects, kittens are more susceptible to the effects of worms. However, in high numbers of worms can cause serious health issues such as anaemia and even blockages of the bowel. Intestinal worms compete with your cat for nutrients so your cat may have a change in appetite or losing weight. If you notice any of these signs you should speak with your veterinarian.



Worm infestation can cause diarrhoea, however this sign may also be seen in many other conditions, some of which are potentially very serious. Contact your vet if your cat has diarrhoea, particularly if you notice blood in their faeces.


No symptoms

Sometimes there are no obvious signs that your cat has worms. In these cases the only way to diagnose a worm infestation is for a vet to conduct a faecal examination. If you see any of these signs of worm infestations, or if your cat just seems off-colour, it’s better to be safe and seek veterinary attention.


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