Causes of worm infestation in cats

The causes of worm infestation in cats lurk everywhere. Freeloaders can easily become infected with dangerous parasites such as roundworms, tapeworms or hookworms. But cats are not immune to them either. Causes of worm infestation: Kittens are often infected before birth - Photo: Shutterstock / Stephanie Coffman

There are three ways a cat can become infected with worms: it can ingest them through food, the parasites can penetrate through the skin, or they are transmitted by the mother animal - but the type of worm is also decisive for the route of infection. Most cats first take in the eggs of the parasites, which then develop into worms in the cat's body. Food infection is particularly common with tapeworms when the cat eats infected or fled intermediate hosts such as mice or birds. Contact with the feces of infected animals is also one of the causes of worms in cats.

Infection via the skin or the mother animal

Certain worms such as hookworm can not only infect the animal through food, but can also pierce through its skin. A worm infection of young cats by the mother can even occur before the birth. In this case, the mother is usually infected with so-called resting larvae, which are located in the body tissue. These develop again during pregnancy and affect the unborn kitten. The kittens also take in worm larvae after giving birth via milk.

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Indoor cats: shoes and fleas as the cause

Most of the dangers lurk outside where the cat comes into contact with other potentially infected animals. But pure cats can also be plagued by the parasites. The worm infestation is often caused by the eggs of the worms, which you as a human carry through your shoes into your home. Or the worms reach the house cat via intermediate hosts, such as fleas. Regular check-ups by a veterinarian are therefore recommended. He will recommend a worming regimen for cats if the typical symptoms raise suspicion of parasite infestation.