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Worms questions...

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Ok pardon my ignorance... (this is kind of like the ringworm thread...)

I live in a 4 apartment house. My roommate's uncle owns it and lives under us. He has a cat (Rufus) and a dog (Zach). But his dog is always up with us and his cat is always outside, rarely inside with them. In our apartment we have her cat - Jingles (always indoors) and my cat, Shiraz (always indoors, and always in my room because she doesnt like Jingles). Recently my roommate made Rufus stay inside and up here for a night because he'll cry when he's downstairs at her uncle's cuz he wants to be outside. Well he didnt like being up here but she didnt want him to freeze outside. So he had contact with Jingles, but I'm not sure how much. And Shiraz has been in my room the whole time, I don't think I've let her out on the harness since Rufus has been up here.

Well her uncle told her that he saw some kind of worms (not sure what kind, if there are different kinds)from Rufus, and that now my roommate has to bring Jingles to the vet (and Rufus) ... but my question is, how do these things spread and i'm sure they can kill a cat by eating the nutrients in the cat, right? I know nothing. I don't have to bring Shiraz to the vet, right? If so, could I just bring a stool sample??

thanks for your help!
post #2 of 7
You don't have to worry about worms killing your cat. Also, it's unlikely your cat got worms from casual contact. Different kinds of worms are spread different ways. And it takes a while for the worms to grow inside the cat and begin producing eggs, so even if you bring in a stool sample now, it's not going to tell you anything. I would say that, unless you see definite signs of worms, just wait a couple months and then have a stool sample tested.
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Oh ok thank you very much. My roommate is freaking out and my baby is always in my room so I didnt want to put her through going to the vet if I didn't have to. Rufus, the poor thing, needs to go to the vet though, seeing as her uncle doesnt care to take him. and they wont let him in the house now because they saw the worms and they have a baby... and Rufus wont come up here because he smells my cat and just hisses and screams the whole time. what a mess
post #4 of 7
It depends on the worms your cat has, as if it can harm your cat. But if worms are seen chances are it is tapeworms, and the cat needs to see a vet for the proper medication as well as flea treatment.

Roundworms will rob the cat of essential nutrients, and unchecked and untreated, they can kill a cat-

Hookworms can also kill if untreated, and humans can get hookworms accidentally

Tapeworms are really the most common worm and a bad infestation can kill a cat if left untreated. But it has to be a real intense infestation.

Heartworm is another worm that can kill.

So the rule of thumb is to be aware of the normal behavior of your cat and if he starts appearing off in any way, get him to the vet to be checked.
post #5 of 7
Christina - I responded the way I did because I didn't want you or your roommate to worry about it too much. Hissy is correct, worms can kill a cat, but it takes a severe and/or prolonged infestation that's left untreated. And heartworms aren't an intestinal parasite and are transmitted by mosquitoes, not contact. So since your cat had such brief and casual contact, unless Rufus had fleas and they jumped to your cat or Rufus shared a litterbox, the chances of Shiraz having aquired worms are just about nil. That's why I said you didn't need to worry. Even on the wild off chance that Shiraz picked up worms, there's no immediate threat to health. What you do need to do is be observant. Any signs of fleas or any signs of G-I upset (or visible worms, of course....like Rufus) and have Shiraz checked. And if you want additional reassurance, have a fecal sample checked in a couple months from now.

You sound like a good cat caretaker....I'm sure Shiraz will be just fine.
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys, you're the best!!! Very informative...
post #7 of 7

If you saw tapeworms on your cat- they look like tiny white rice segments. Then I urge you to call your vet and get the pill needed to take care of them. The vet will want to see your cat, because they have to weigh him to give him proper meds. Also, if your cat does have tapeworms than the cat also has fleas. Fleas ARE a danger to cats, and they should be taken care of immediately and safely through your vet as well.

If you saw worms that look like spaghetti noodles, those are roundworms and they too need to be taken care of by a vet.

Good luck-
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