Do you really need to worry about worming an indoor cat?

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If your cat never leaves the house, is it still necessary to give him or her regular worming treatment?

Many cats are natural born roamers but others prefer to spend their time indoors. If they’re not rolling around the garden, stuffing their face with mice or brushing up against other animals, do you still need to worry about worms? Unfortunately, even the most fair-weather cat can still be exposed to parasites.

Dog and cat

It would be natural to assume that if your cat doesn’t venture into the great outdoors, you don’t need to worry about parasites.  But parasites can get everywhere, and even those cats that spend their days lounging on a comfy sofa can become infected. 

Indoor cats are still at risk from tapeworm infections.  Tapeworms are long flat worms made up of segments, that live inside the small intestine of animals.  Cats can become infected with tapeworm in a few different ways, but the most common is by eating infected fleas.  Fleas are incredibly common, and can hitch a ride into your home on your clothes, other pets or visitors to your home.  Cats will unknowingly eat fleas in their coat when they are grooming themselves, potentially infecting themselves with a tapeworm in the process. 

Roundworm is another parasite that’s hard to avoid.  Roundworms are large white spaghetti-like creatures that live in the small intestine of the gut, laying thousands of eggs at a time.

cat indoors

Roundworm eggs can be brought indoors on shoes or clothes, and if your cat accidentally eats these, she may become infected with roundworm.  Roundworms can even be passed to kittens through their mother’s milk, so a young cat might already have worms before they even arrive at your home. Both roundworms and tapeworms can be transmitted to indoor cats in raw or undercooked meat.

Roundworms and tapeworms can also be transmitted to cats when they hunt, and even indoor cats can occasionally snack on a small rodent that finds its way into the house. 

Should your cat get worms, there are simple and effective solutions. As pets are at risk of reinfection, keeping up with a regular worming protocol, at least every three months, is advisable, and will help to keep them happy and healthy – even if they are asleep on the sofa all day…

Speak to your vet to find out more about worming solutions for cats.

Want to know more?

How often you should worm your cat

Symptoms of worms in cats and kittens

How to tackle fleas on your cat

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Date of review February 2022

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