Domestic cats can be traced back to ancient Egypt, maybe further, becoming a sacred creature for the Egyptians and cat lovers. This lovely pet was first domesticated in the East to protect crops by reducing diseases and rodent attacks, but now, they are more than just a beneficial tool; they are family. Therefore, same as family, we must do everything possible to keep them well and protect them from anything harmful. Tapeworms are one of those things we would like to protect cats from.
These are some home-based remedies that can help you get rid of tapeworms in cats without going to the vet: pumpkin seeds and garlic powder. Also, giving your fur baby regular flea treatment every three months and keeping their litter box clean will lower the chances of getting tapeworms.
Prevention is the best cure for any type of infection; however, this will not guarantee that our feline will not become infected at some point with internal parasites. Cats that are regularly outdoors are more susceptible to getting infected, but it doesn’t mean that the ones that are mostly indoors would not. It is crucial to know about common infections and diseases to be on the lookout for any possible symptoms. Understanding and knowing the signs will guide you in determining how to help your pet feel well and if it requires an immediate professional check.
What Are Tapeworms?
Tapeworms, also known as flat or white segmented worms, are intestinal parasites that attach themselves to the intestine wall of dogs and cats. This type of parasite infection can lead to a medical condition known as cestodiasis. We can list different ways that tapeworms can get inside the cat, but the most frequent is drinking infected water or consuming infected fleas, birds, and rodents. The parasite can be seen moving on the surface of feces or the hair around the anus. Most are about 8 inches long but can reach up to 20 inches, and they are white or golden colored. They grow in segments, and each of those segments carries out eggs. Tapeworms will not murder your cat, but they will deteriorate your pets’ life if it is not treated on time like any infection.
Same as humans, a cat’s body will give you red flags that something is going wrong inside or outside. The body is designed to defend itself from intruders such as parasites. Below I will list some of those red flags that appear when cats get tapeworm infected:
- The appearance of white segments on the hair around the anus.
- Licking excessively.
- Anxiety and biting of the anus.
- Dragging their bottom around the floor.
- Vomiting segments of the tapeworms.
- Unexplained weight loss.
- Cat’s fur has a rough appearance.
- Some diarrhea.
How To Treat Tapeworms In Cats?
Reaching out to a professional is always the best option for taking care of health complications. A veterinarian is a doctor whose specialty focuses on diagnosing and treating animal’s health conditions. The vet will determine the appropriate treatment for your cat breed and situation. Most of those treatments are oral dewormers but can also be pills and injections if preferred. Some of the best dewormers are Bayer Tapeworm Dewormer, Drontal Broad Spectrum Dewormer, ProSense Liquid Dewormer Solutions For Cats, and NaturPet D Wormer. Be aware that most commercial medications will require a veterinarian’s approval; however, you can find some soft dewormers in pet shops that will not require a prescription. Although taking your cat to the vet can be very expensive and time-consuming, it is the best way to get the right help for your pet if they are presenting any symptoms.
You can find various articles showing resistance to home-based remedies when it comes to treating tapeworm infections. Nevertheless, there are some natural remedies that you can use at home to treat this infection. The first to be done is to keep a clean environment for the pet and have flea control treatments every three months. Cats with little exposure to the outside and contact with other pets that might be infected reduce the chances of tapeworms. Below you’ll find the top home-based remedy to treat tapeworm:
It is found that pumpkins seeds are beneficial for animals. They seem to be excellent agents to kill worms and treat digestive health problems. They also contain valuable nutrients for your cat: Vitamin Z, Iron, Magnesium, Zinc, and more. Feeding your cat pumpkin seeds in moderation can supply your pet with antioxidants that will support their health and prevent them from diseases and infections. It will kill intestinal worms by dispelling the infestation and eject it from the cat’s system. One teaspoon per day, maximum twice a day, can do the trick. Note that home-based remedies should never substitute a doctor’s criteria.
It is not as common as pumpkin seeds, but garlic powder is a natural alternative to treat tapeworms partially. There have been few investigations that show some effectiveness of garlic powder but can not approve the clinical use. Based on the research, garlic powder does not cure intestinal parasites, but they found a reduction and faster recovery of symptoms in cats. The idea is to mix small pieces of garlic powder with the cat’s food and serve it once a day. Mixing too much garlic can make the cat dislike the food and cause intoxication, the reason why it is not recommended to choose this alternative.
Also Read: Are Tortoiseshell Cats Good Pets?
Can You Get Infected If Your Cat Has Tapeworms?
It is a very slight possibility to get infected from tapeworms, but there is still a chance. If your cat is infected, it would be shedding thousands of eggs in its feces. If by accident a human touches it and inherits it, they will be infected with the Dipylidium. It is recommended to keep the cat’s litter box in an area not frequently in contact with adults or kids and maintain couches, rugs, and tables disinfected constantly. Please go to the doctor if you believe you have been infected with tapeworms to get the proper medical care. Do not use home-based remedies or pet medication to treat the condition. A doctor needs to evaluate the damage and eggs spreading to get the proper treatment and get rid of the infection.
Facts About Tapeworms
Parasites might fill all of us with disgust due to their looks and way of living but, here are some interesting facts:
- Tapeworms’ heads have suction cups, and that is how they attach themselves to the intestine’s wall.
- Their stomach is on the outside to absorb the nutrients.
- They have a segmented body, and each segment carries tapeworm eggs.
- Animals with larger intestines can carry bigger tapeworms.
- There is evidence that shows parasites have been on earth way before dinosaurs.
- If humans get infected, most of the time, they would not feel sick.
In summary, pumpkin seeds seem to be the best and most popular option for getting rid of tapeworms without going to the vet and, with moderation, garlic powder. Cats will always be susceptible to tapeworms, but every pet owner’s responsibility is to prevent this from happening. Just like humans that require routine analyses, doctor check-ups, and preventive treatment, booking an appointment at least once every three months for your pet should be a must. Getting your fur baby checked at least every three months will result in less cost than what it would be if an infection or disease doesn’t get treated with time. Noticing symptoms and recurring to help on time can be decisive when it comes to your pet’s life.
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Shawn Manaher is a serial entrepreneur but when he isn’t working, he loves dogs. He’s owned different pets over the years, and always gives a part of his heart to each pet.