Kittens And Intestinal Parasites : Symptoms And Causes

Caring for a kitten is a big responsibility and there are steps and routines required for their wellbeing. One of them is protecting your kitten from parasites.

This article will specifically focus on nasty intestinal parasites.

INTESTINAL PARASITES

It’s common for kittens to get infected with intestinal parasites, such as worms. Intestinal worms can be a serious problem in young kittens.

Common Intestinal Parasites in Kittens

  • Roundworm: Parasitic worm, with a long round body, that lives in the intestines
  • Tapeworm: Parasitic flatworm, with a long ribbon-like body, that lives in the intestines
  • Coccidia: Protozoan infection (parasitic disease from a one-celled organism)

Signs of Intestinal Parasites in Kittens

Different intestinal parasites have different effects on kittens, but there are a few general symptoms of worms to look out for:

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Weight loss
  • Coughing
  • Pot-bellied appearance
  • Worms in stool
  • Worms near the anus
  • Trouble breathing
  • Constipation
  • Bloody stool

Symptoms of Coccidial Infection

Main symptom: Watery, mucus-like diarrhea (may contain blood). Other symptoms:

  • Anorexia
  • Vomiting
  • Weight loss
  • Dehydration
  • Abdominal pain
  • Inflammation of the uvea (a layer of the eye)

You may also see fever, fatigue, tremors, confusion and inability to control defecation.

Note: Whether you think it is worms or not, any of the symptoms mentioned above should be checked out.

Testing Kittens for Parasites

If you suspect that your kitten has an intestinal parasite, phone your veterinarian. He or she may ask you to bring a stool sample. Follow your veterinarian’s instructions on how to safely retrieve, store and transport the sample.

How Do Kittens Get Worms?

Causes include:

  • Ingesting eggs
  • Ingesting fleas that carry worms
  • Coming into contact with eggs in the environment

How Do Kittens Get Coccidia?

Kittens usually become infected because they ingest small amounts of their mother’s faeces. Mothers can get infected by eating infected rodents or birds or simply via environmental exposure.

Treating and Preventing Worms in Kittens

You can prevent and treat common parasites in cats.

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