If your tabby is a mouser, then there is a pretty good chance that he or she might have tapeworms. In fact, according to Web MD, tapeworms are the most frequent internal parasites found in adult cats. There are two common types of cat tapeworm species, Dipylidium caninum and Taenia taeniaformis. The former is acquired from fleas that have immature tapeworms within their system, while the latter is typically contracted when your cat consumes rodents, uncooked meat, raw freshwater fish, or discarded animal parts.
Tapeworms are Just Disgusting…
To put it another way, you have seen the half of the carcass that your feline friend had deposited on your pillow, so the missing half is possibly the cause of any tapeworm problems.
As they say, what goes in must come out, and when it is coming out is, generally speaking, when you will find any evidence of tapeworm activity in your cat. As noted, tapeworms come in two species, but they come in any variety of sizes. They can be smaller than an inch in length, or they can extend to several feet long within your cat’s lower intestines.
Regardless of the species, the tapeworm embeds its head into the gut wall with hooks and suckers before drawing nutrients from the host. The parasite has a segmented body that contains egg packets, and as the tapeworm grows it is these egg packets that break off and are passed in the cat’s feces.
And So is Checking to See if Your Cat has Them…
Readily evident signs that your cat may have tapeworms can be gleaned from his or her behavior. If they are biting at their anus, or dragging their butt across the carpet to relieve the itching are sure indicators. Should you suspect that this activity is caused by tapeworms then a closer exam of the cat’s stool is in order.
You will be looking to find small, dried, white or cream colored segments within your cat’s feces or attached to their fur near the anus. The segments will most closely resemble a sesame or cucumber seed in size and appearance. A sample of the feces can be tested for the parasite at the veterinarian’s office. The best way to avoid tapeworms is to ensure that your cat is not suffering from ticks or fleas. Additionally, keeping them out of trash and away from dead carcasses should be beneficial as well.