Hi stranger! Signing up for MypetMD is easy, free and puts the most relevant content at your fingertips.

Get Instant Access To

  • 24/7 alerts for pet-related recalls

  • Your own library of articles, blogs, and favorite pet names

  • Tools designed to keep your pets happy and healthy



or Connect with Facebook

By joining petMD, you agree to the Privacy Policy.

PetMD Seal

Tapeworms in Cats

ADVERTISEMENT

Cestodiasis in Cats

 

Tapeworm infection can affect cats (as well as many other mammals), typically settling in the small intestine. Invasion by the Cestoda tapeworm results in a medical condition that is referred to as cestodiasis. The tapeworm species can include Taenia, Dipylidium Caninum, Echinococcus, and Mesocestoides. Treatment to destroy tapeworms is a critical step in preventing transmission to humans (typically children), and for averting damage to the cat's body. When treated promptly, prognosis is positive.

 

Symptoms

 

As the tapeworm grows, pieces of it break off into segments and pass into the intestines. You may see dried, white to cream colored segments, or pieces of tapeworm in your cat's feces or stuck to the fur under the tail. Some tapeworm species will break off into segments that are too small to see, while the segments of other tapeworm species will resemble sesame or cucumber seeds in size and appearance. Still other species of worms will pass directly into the feces, where they can be readily seen. Cats may bite or lick the anus, or drag their hind quarters across the floor in response to the itching.

 

Causes

 

Tapeworms are acquired by ingesting the larvae. Tapeworm eggs are frequently ingested through adult fleas. Other sources that are potential transmitters, and that a cat is likely to ingest, include rabbits, birds, and rodents. Scavenging may also lead to an infestation of tapeworms.

 

Diagnosis

 

Your veterinarian will perform a thorough physical examination on your cat. If tapeworms are present, they will be found in the anal sac or in the feces. A fecal sample can be used to review for the presence of tapeworms. False negatives do occur, but most test results are conclusive.

 

 

Related Articles

Leukemia Virus Infection (FeLV) in Cats
Feline leukemia virus (FeLV) is a disease that impairs the cat's immune system and...
READ MORE
Heartworm Disease in Cats
Heartworm in cats is caused by infestation of the organism Dirofilaria immitis, a...
READ MORE
  • Lifetime Credits:
  • Today's Credits:
Hurry Before All Seats are Taken!
Enroll
Be an A++ Pet Parent! Take fun & free courses to earn badges & certifications. Choose a course»
Search cat Articles

 

 

Around the Web
MORE FROM PETMD.COM