If you've got a cat, you're going to have to deal with parasites. I'm not saying it's inevitable - but if you don't believe me, just look at my two month old kittens who had worms. It was quite a shock for me when I saw those wiggly things under their tail.
I know that vets can offer deworming pills that are safe and effective- but there is always the concern about toxicity of cat dewormer and how much your pet will like taking them each day. Luckily, I am here today to offer 6 homemade cat remedies for dealing with parasites!
What causes worms in cats?
Before we talk about home remedies for cat parasites, let's learn more about the different types of worms in cats and how cats get infected. That's going to help you prevent a second infestation once you deal with the imminent crisis.
So, cats often get infected with:
Roundworms are the most common parasites in cats, and they are responsible for almost 75% of all worm infestations. Often kittens get roundworms from their mother when the mother cat hasn't been dewormed properly before the birth.
Roundworms are 3-5 inches long, and they live in your cat's intestines. As such, these worms steal your cat's nutrients so that no matter how much your cat eats, she doesn't put on weight. In addition to this, roundworms are highly contagious because your cat sheds infected eggs with her stool and could lead to intestinal blockage.
Tapeworms resemble a ribbon or a tape, and they are made of segments that break off when the worm matures. These segments are shed in the feces and look like grains of rice. Cats get tapeworms when they eat a host infected with tapeworm eggs such as a flea or a rodent.
Hookworms, as the name suggests, attach themselves to your cat's intestines and feed off her blood. Since the larvae live in the soil, your cat might swallow it easily when she digs outside. Hookworm infestation is very serious since it might lead to anemia.
Whipworms, on the other hand, are relatively rare. They live in the large intestines and don't cause any major health problems in cats.
Signs and symptoms of worms in cats
I'm sure that by now you're wondering how you can tell if your cat has worms. Besides seeing the nasty parasites in your cat's stool, here are the most common signs of worm infestation in cats:
How Do you deworm a cat?
Usually, your vet will test your cat's stool for parasites to determine what the worms are. Then he will give medication for cat worming based on the results.
Besides a deworming product, you can use some home remedies to deal with mild worm infestations. However, you should consult your vet if you notice that the treatment is not working. In addition to this, do not try these remedies if your cat is exhibiting additional symptoms such as fever.
Kittens should be dewormed as young as four weeks old since they could already be infected with worms. They are too young for home remedies and should be taken to the vet.
1. Apple Cider Vinegar Is Effective Against Fleas
Will apple cider vinegar kill worms in cats? Well, when ingested apple cider vinegar creates an acidic environment in your pet's stomach. But there is little scientific proof that apple cider vinegar strong enough to kill worms. Besides, giving apple cider vinegar, even diluted with water to your cat, might irritate her stomach and digestive tract.
Nevertheless, apple cider vinegar can help you in your fight with worms by getting rid of fleas. As you remember, the flea carries tapeworms and is a source of great discomfort for your pet.
So, mix apple cider vinegar with water and pour the solution into a squeeze bottle. Then spray your pet's fur gently with the mixture. After that, take a flea comb and use it to remove the fleas.
In addition to this, you can also use apple cider vinegar to treat ringworm and fungus. It's also suitable for your dog.
2. Pumpkin Seeds Destroy Tapeworms
I'm sure you're wondering how something as simple as pumpkin seeds can be effective against parasites. As it turns out, pumpkin seeds contain a compound that paralyzes parasites and helps the body to eliminate them. They are especially effective against tapeworms.
Pumpkin seeds are also very easy to use. You just have to grind some raw pumpkin seeds and then add 1/4 of a cup to your cat's wet food. Make sure that you mix them well with the food, or your kitty might not be tempted to eat them. Continue this for at least a week and ensure that your cat has access to fresh water.
3. Diatomaceous Earth Kills Worms
Do you know what diatomaceous earth is? It's a type of rock formed by the fossilized remains of organisms called diatoms. But how could some rock be an effective cat worms treatment?
Well, diatomaceous earth has sharp edges even when grounded. As such, when you add it to your cat's food, it cuts into the parasites living in your cat's digestive system.
To use diatomaceous earth for killing worms, you should add two teaspoons of it into wet food and give it to your cat. Feed your cat wet mixed with diatomaceous earth for at least 30 days. However, make sure that you get food-grade diatomaceous earth.
4. Thyme Improves Digestion
Thyme is a common herb found in most gardens. It's also one herb that is recognized as safe and non-toxic for cats.
But more importantly, thyme can be a useful dewormer when you want to get rid of parasites in cats. Why? Because thyme contains thymol, which has proven its efficacy against worms in cattle.
In addition to killing parasites, thyme is also beneficial for your cat's digestive system and can help them get rid of hairballs.
So, grow some thyme in a planter and let your cat chew on it whenever she wants. Do not give your cat thyme oil without your vet's approval. Thyme oil is very concentrated and might harm your cat.
5. Parsley water Is a Natural Dewormer
Another home remedy for parasites in cats is parsley water. Parsley is a herb that has some anti-parasitic properties that will kill the worms inside your cat. Moreover, parsley has a pleasant taste, and most cats don't mind it.
So, get some fresh parsley leaves and boiling water. Add the leaves to the water, and then let them steep for 10 minutes. After that, you should strain the liquid and wait for it to cool. Then add one teaspoon to your cat's food and feed it once a day.
Do not continue the treatment for too many days because too much parsley water can harm your cat's kidneys.
6. Clean Regularly to Keep Worms Away
Preventive measures are one of the best cures for any disease. So, disinfect your house often, clean the litter box regularly, and wash the water and food bowls. Moreover, you should check your cat for fleas regularly to prevent tapeworms.
Furthermore, you should try to keep your cat indoors. Outdoors cats hunt rodents that could be infected with worms. In addition to this, outdoor pets dig in gardens and soil, and the risk of contracting worms is greater. Not to mention that your kitty might come home full of fleas and ticks.
Can A Cat Die From Having Worms?
The short answer is - yes, your cat can die from having worms. However, the likelihood of that depends on your cat's overall health and the severity of infestation. Too many roundworms could block your cat's intestines, or hookworms can cause severe anemia and blood loss.
Kittens, for example, are far more likely to die from intestinal parasites because the worms are feeding off your kitty's nutrients in her stomach. As such, there is not much left for the little young, even if you feed your kitten a high-quality food. That's why you must deal with worms in your kitten as soon as possible by speaking to your veterinarian.
Can humans get worms from cats?
When you're dealing with parasites in animals, you can't but get worried about yourself. Well, an adult person can get worms from a cat, but the chances are very slim if you keep good hygiene and regularly deworm your pet.
Since roundworm eggs live in the soil and feces, you can eat them unknowingly if you don't wash vegetables well or your hands after you've cleaned the litter box.
Tapeworms are harder to catch because you'll have to swallow a flea infected with a tapeworm egg. You're far more likely to get tapeworms from uncooked, infected meat. However, it's not impossible, especially for young children who put everything in their mouths.
All this means that worms in cats should not be ignored. They can be dangerous to you as well as your kitty. To keep your animal happy and healthy, you should take care of any parasites on time. Speak with your vet how often you should deworm your cats and dogs and keep an eye for signs of infestation.
What do you think about these six home remedies for parasites in cats? How do you treat worms in your cat? Tell us your story in the comment section.