Tapeworms are among the most common internal parasites found in cats. Read this article and learn about how long do tapeworms live and associated issues.

How Long Do Tapeworms Live

Throughout their lifetime, the average cats often get infected with various types of internal parasites and tapeworms are notable examples. While tapeworms in cats could be easily treated in any veterinary clinic, many people fail to realize that their adorable pets are suffering from tapeworms. Some first-time cat owners don't know about how long do tapeworms live or methods to detect the parasites. As a result, the health of tapeworm-infected cats tends to deteriorate considerably before someone near them feel that there is a problem going on. So if you own a cat, it's of utmost importance that you know basic knowledge about parasites like tapeworms. 

Suspecting that your cat is currently infected with tapeworms and wish to acquire all relevant information regarding the parasite characteristics? If that happens to be the case, this article got some cat tips that you could use.

Down below, you would be shown virtually everything you should keep in mind while dealing with tapeworm infections in cats. A couple of tips and tricks to prevent the tapeworm from choosing your cat as a host are also included. Once you get a good grip on the fundamentals, tapeworms would no longer bother you as well as your cats.

Tapeworm: A Troublesome Internal Parasite

As the name suggests, tapeworms are thin, flat and whitish which resemble ribbons or tapes. Anchored to the wall of the cat intestine using their hook-like mouth, tapeworms casually rob nutrients from your pet.  As they grown, tapeworm continuously cast off body segments that contain numerous eggs, such segments often end up right around the anus of the host. The segments look like grains and in most of the case, you could conclude that your cat got tapeworms once you detect grain-like spots. At that point, the only thing left for you to do is to schedule an examination with the local vet.  

The Effects Of Tapeworm Infection

The Effects Of Tapeworm Infection

For most of the time, people consider tapeworms to be more annoying than life-threatening. All it takes to get rid of tapeworms in cats are some oral medications and that is pretty much it. Nonetheless, without being treated properly, how long do tapeworms live? Well, tapeworms could easily live for years inside the intestine of your cat and cause a good deal of health-related problems in the process. For instance, as portions of the host nutrients got consumed by tapeworms day by day, malnutrition is a common outcome. In addition to that, the presence of tapeworm tends to disrupt the operation of the digestive system and cause diarrhea. 

Why Your Cat Get Tapeworms

There are a lot of ways that tapeworm eggs could get into the cat body. In some cases, cats happen to step on egg-filled matters and then accidentally ingest the eggs while grooming themselves. Aside from that, eggs of tapeworms often find their way into fleas and as you cat eat the fleas, he/she also eat the eggs. No matter what, once the eggs enter the host body, the eggs/the immature form of tapeworms would proceed to develop to the adult form. After that, the reproductive organ of the tapeworms would kick in and the detaching of egg-filled segments should begin.

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Treating Tapeworms And Prevention Methods

At the veterinary clinic, the vet would write a prescription for a dewormer like Droncit and Drontal that target tapeworms. Depending on the weight of the host, the size of the dosage varies from case to case but at the very least, 2 doses are required. The first dose would eliminate all adult worms in the digestive system and they should come out in the feces. After 2 to 3 weeks, your cat would receive the second dose that takes care of larval tapeworms that still stick around. In the case you spot signs of tapeworm eggs in the weeks after the second dose treatment, the vet would give additional doses of dewormer. The vet should stop giving your cat dewormer once the fecal check comes out “clean”. 

  Treating Tapeworms And Prevention Methods

While tapeworm treatment seems straightforward, "Prevention is better than treatment" remain the rule of thumb. Here are a couple of things you could do in order to prevent your cat from getting infected with tapeworms. Just put them into practice and you should be able to minimize the chance of tapeworm infection without much difficulty.

Eliminate Fleas In The Surrounding

Fleas held important roles in the life cycle of tapeworms so as long as there are fleas, tapeworms could flourish. Nowadays, you should have an easy time obtaining proper flea control products on the market. Depending on the situation, you might need to treat your house and the yard to avoid the resurgence of fleas. In the case you let your cat roam the outdoor freely, make sure that you keep up his/her hygiene.   

Remove Feces Promptly And Regularly

Tapeworms eggs find hosts through the feces so it's essential that you dispose of feces in a proper manner. From public parks to play yards, remove feces as soon as you spot them in order to avoid tapeworm infection. You already know how long do tapeworms live and the life expectancy of tapeworm egg is not that far behind. To be on the safe side, you should handle feces/litter box using gloves and teach children in the house to wash their hand frequently.

Give Your Cat Dewormer Periodically

Generally speaking, it's hard to keep an eye on your pet all the time and something bad could always slip through without your knowledge. That is why it's a good idea for cat owners to simply give their cat dewormer every once in a while just in case. Periodic tapeworm treatment is often used by people that raise outdoor cats as to take care of any undetected infection. For most of the time, dewormer medications carry no substantial side effects so you could use them as you please. That being said, certain dewormer drugs should not be used for kittens so pick wisely.

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Cattybox team.

Write a comment
  • LInda FReed
    Created on: September 26, 2019

    Can a cat with worms (tapeworms) spread them to a human is the eggs drop on the bed or something of that nature..? Thanks

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