are roundworms contagious in cats

Are roundworms in cats contagious for humans or other pets? Roundworms are contagious for humans and other pets. About 10,000 cases of roundworms are reported in humans each year in the United States. Most people don’t show any symptoms of roundworm infection.

How is a roundworm infection diagnosed?

A small sample of the cat’s stool is examined under a microscope to determine whether the cat has roundworm infection (fecal flotation). The distinctive eggs are easily recognized under the microscope. Although roundworm eggs are typically abundant, occasionally it may require multiple fecal examinations to detect them. Adult roundworms are occasionally observed in cats’ vomit or feces.

What are the clinical signs of roundworm infection?

While roundworms do not pose a significant threat to adult cats, their abundance can cripple older cats and cause life-threatening issues in kittens. Clinical symptoms that are frequently seen in kittens include a potbellied look, discomfort in the abdomen, decreased appetite, dull coat, vomiting, diarrhea, or slow growth. Clinical signs of infection may not appear in cats with small worm counts, either as adults or in kittens. Adult roundworms may be seen in your cat’s vomit or feces.

How do cats get roundworms?

The primary method of roundworm transmission in kittens is trans-mammary (milk-borne) infection. The mother’s mammary glands contain roundworm larvae, which are transferred to her kittens through her milk while they are nursing.

When adult cats or kittens swallow eggs containing infectious roundworm larvae, they can contract the disease. These eggs could be found in the tissues of an unintentional host or in the excrement of infected cats. The roundworm eggs in these hosts simply hatch into adults and are transferred. One of these intermediate hosts can be consumed by a cat, allowing the roundworm to finish its life cycle. Roundworms frequently inadvertently reside in earthworms, cockroaches, rodents, and birds. After being consumed, the eggs hatch in the digestive system of the cat, and the larvae move through the lungs, liver, and muscles. The larvae return to the intestine to develop into adults after a few weeks. Once the adult worms start reproducing, the parasite’s life cycle will be completed when the eggs pass into the cat’s stool.

Certain roundworm larvae may form a cyst while dormant in their host’s body during migration. When a female cat is pregnant, the cyst may rupture and release the larvae. The larvae can then be transferred to the kittens through the milk after birth or through the placenta during pregnancy.

FAQ

How contagious are roundworms between cats?

The roundworm larvae are present in the mother’s mammary glands and pass to her kittens in her milk during nursing. Both kittens and adult cats may become infected by swallowing eggs that contain infective roundworm larvae. These eggs may come from the feces of infected cats or from the tissues of an accidental host.

Should I quarantine my cat with roundworms?

Yes, it’s a good idea to quarantine a cat with worms to prevent the spread of the parasites to other pets or humans. It’s also important to consult a veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Can my cat give worms to my other cat?

Roundworms are free-living in the intestines. They do not require an intermediate host to spread from cat to cat but can be transmitted by ingesting the eggs passed in the feces of an infected cat. Hookworms are one of the most significant intestinal parasites of the cat.

Do I need to clean my house if my cat has roundworms?

Some worms can live for weeks on carpets, and their eggs can potentially survive for months. So, to prevent this never-ending cycle of your cat becoming infected again and again, you must properly clean your carpets.