Nobody wants to find a parasitic worm on your kitty's tail, not even your furry friend! Unfortunately, finding a worm or worm-like segment on the tail probably means that your kitty has internal parasites. Your vet can help to rid your feline of these icky intestinal worms with medication.
What Is It?
Some types of intestinal worms, such as tapeworms and roundworms, pass in your kitty's stool and are large enough for you to see without a microscope. When these worms or pieces of them pass in the stool, they can sometimes stick to the fur of your kitty's backside and tail, where you'll be unpleasantly surprised to find them. In the case of tapeworms, small segments come off of the worms, each containing eggs, which look like little grains of rice. If you find these tapeworm segments or any roundworms on your kitty's fur, it's time to see the vet to rid your pet of these intestinal parasites.
Visiting the Vet
If you find any small worms or segments on your kitty's tail or backside, bring your furry friend to the vet for a proper diagnosis and treatment. Try to place the worms you find in a resealable plastic bag or other container to help your vet identify the parasite, recommends the Patton Veterinary Hospital. Your vet will take a stool sample to check for worms and see which ones are infecting your pet, although sometimes tapeworm segments don't show up on a fecal test, according to petMD. This is why it's so important to let your vet know if you find these icky worm segments on your kitty's tail or rear.
Your vet will recommend a medication to rid your furry feline of the specific worms that are plaguing him. These medications to kill tapeworms, roundworms or other intestinal parasites are administered either through an injection by your vet or you may need to feed them to your kitty. Oral medications come in both powder and tablet form that you can either place in a little of your kitty's canned food or place them in his mouth directly, making sure he swallows the medication. Depending on the type of worm, more than one course of treatment may be necessary. Keep in mind that broad-spectrum dewormers, available over-the-counter, don't kill all types of worms, especially tapeworms, according to the Glendale Animal Hospital.
Preventing the Worms
Cats become infected with the worm-like parasites that infect their intestines by swallowing fleas on their coats, worm eggs in soil or eating infected vermin like rodents. Keep your kitty flea-free by treating him with a monthly flea preventative and make sure he stays indoors to prevent him from finding rodents or parasite eggs. Bring him to his vet for his annual or twice-yearly checkups so that your vet can check him for parasites. Brush your kitty's fur regularly so you can look for any signs of parasitic worms on his coat. Remember to bring all of your furry residents, both canine and feline, to the vet if one of your fur babies is diagnosed with intestinal worms. These pests can quickly spread among all of your pets without treatment.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.
- petMD: Tapeworms in Cats
- petMD: Intestinal Worms in Dogs (and Cats) 101
- Felinexpress.com: Your Cat and Worms
- Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine: Gastrointestinal Parasites of Cats
- Patton Veterinary Hospital: Parasites -- Internal and External in Dogs & Cats
- The Winn Feline Foundation: Intestinal Parasites of Cats
- Oceanside Animal Clinic: Intestinal Parasites
Based in Las Vegas, Susan Paretts has been writing since 1998. She writes about many subjects including pets, finances, crafts, food, home improvement, shopping and going green. Her articles, short stories and reviews have appeared on City National Bank's website and on The Noseprint. Paretts holds a Master of Professional Writing from the University of Southern California.