What Are Symptoms of Worms in Cats?

symptoms-worms-cats Credit: Lindsey Turner/CC-BY 2.0

Signs of worms in cats include visible worms or worm segments viewable in the stool or near the anus, diarrhea, bloody stool, and vomiting, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. A round, pot-bellied appearance and bloating are also symptoms of worms.

Instead of diarrhea, some cats with worms experience constipation. Weight loss may also occur, and the cat may have trouble breathing. The exact symptoms experienced depend on the location of the worms and the type, such as roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms or lungworms. For example, cats with lungworms, which are worms that reside in a cat’s lungs, may experience cough and trouble breathing.

Some cats with worms develop no clinical symptoms, according to the ASPCA. For this reason, preventative health care is necessary for cats, including regular visits to the vet and treatment for common parasites. Because not all cats infected with worms are symptomatic and pet owners may not be able to determine which types of worms are present in cats with obvious symptoms, a vet should evaluate any suspected case of worms. Vets have the ability to readily establish the presence and type of worm and prescribe the right deworming medication for that particular parasite.