How to tell if my cat has parasites

By Max. D Gray. Updated: January 16, 2017
How to tell if my cat has parasites

Cats infected with parasites can have a thousand symptoms or no symptoms at all. The most common include vomiting, diarrhoea, weight loss or loss in the shine of its coat. this will vary according to the type of parasite nesting in its body. Sometimes it is difficult to be sure whether your pet is actually infected, although it is advisable that you take it twice a year to be dewormed, especially if it goes out often. At OneHowTo we give you the clues about how to tell if your cat has parasites.

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Worms or tapeworms

Worms or tapeworms are the most common internal parasites. Its scientific name is Dipylidium and its symptoms can go unnoticed, though these can sometimes appear in the cat's stool as they live in its intestinal tract. If the infestation is severe, it can cause weight loss, vomiting, irritation of the anus or stunted growth.


Hookworms (Ancylostoma) are blood sucking parasites that live in the small intestine of cats. They can cause many illnesses and even the animal's death through severe anaemia and low protein.

Cats affected by Anquilosomas presented lethargy, black stools or diarrhoea, weakness and vomiting. In severe cases anaemia appears, which can be fatal for young or elderly pets. Additionally, it is possible that small skin lesions appear caused by the larvae in the paw pads.


Roundworms are more common in young cats, and have a double complication: they are very resistant to treatment and are easily spread to people. Their larvae can cause serious illness if young children are infected, so it is advisable to take your pet to the vet a few times a year to make sure your it is clean of parasites.

The most common symptoms in kittens infected with roundworm are abdominal distension and diarrhoea and some may lose weight and sleep more than the usual. Sometimes, though it is not very common, the number of parasites is so high that it can obstruct the intestines.

In addition to complications in the digestive tract of animals affected by roundworms they may suffer a cough, fever and even pneumonia as larvae spread into the respiratory tract.


The Coccidia is not strictly a parasite, but a protozoan parasite affecting mainly dogs and cats.

Symptoms are usually presented in new born animals or those in their first weeks of life and include diarrhoea and tummy ache. There is the added complication of suffering life threatening severe dehydration in some cases.


This is another protozoan parasite affecting cats and dogs but in this case it often produces no symptoms. In any case, it may cause diarrhoea and bloody stools in very young kittens that are weakened by infection with other parasites.

Worming cats

If your cat has parasites or simply as a preventive measure, you should have it dewormed to finish off these small enemies. You can also take a look at our article How to know if my cat is sick if you're not quite sure what your cat may have.

If you want to read similar articles to How to tell if my cat has parasites, we recommend you visit our Pets category.

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How to tell if my cat has parasites
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