cat with worm in mouth

Can Cats Eat Worms? Are There Any Health Risks?

Last Updated on January 31, 2023 by admin

Did your cat just eat a worm? Cats are attracted to anything that moves whether it’s bugs or worms. It’s not unusual to see cats hunt these creatures for fun and even eat it up. Aside from the horrific image of seeing your cat eat a worm are there any drawbacks or health hazards?

While worms are technically edible, your cat can get parasites from eating worms. If you want to keep your cat healthy you’ll want to keep them away from worms. If your cat spends a lot of time outdoors you might want to consult your vet about parasite treatment and establish some kind of regular checkup schedule. It is also important to remember that cat owners can have their own health negatively impacted if their cat is infected by parasites.


What Kind of Parasites Can Cats Get from Eating Worms?

Cats can get several types of internal parasites from eating worms, such as roundworms, tapeworms, heartworms, and hookworms. Roundworms are the most common type of intestinal worms cats get, and they can be spread from the mother to her kittens. Cats can also acquire these parasites by eating other animals or insects that are already infected. Additionally, cats can also pick up roundworms by coming into contact with contaminated soil. In some cases, cats may not show any signs of having these parasites, but humans should still be aware that certain types of roundworms can be passed to them.

How Do Cats Get Parasites?

Aside from eating worms, cats can become infected by parasites through a variety of sources. One of the most common is through the ingestion of food or water contaminated with parasites or larvae. They can also be infected through contact with an infected animal, a bite from a mosquito or tick, or even cleaning their paws after being outdoors. Furthermore, cats are the only animals in which the parasite Toxoplasma gondii can complete its life cycle, making them particularly vulnerable to this type of infection. Cats can also become infected by larvae that penetrate their skin or enter their mouth. The larvae migrate to the lungs and intestines, where they develop into adult worms. Cats can also contract worms from other infected animals and by eating prey such as birds or mice which might carry worms. Cats can even become infected by coming in contact with eggs or infected pieces of feces. Even though there are more opportunities for parasite infection if your cat is allowed outdoors, indoor cats also need parasite prevention since there are many ways parasites can enter the home, such as via air, shoes, or on a person’s clothing.

What If Your Cat Gets Parasites?

Treating a cat’s parasites can be done with deworming medication, which will kill both the larvae and the adult worms within the cat’s intestines. The best way to determine the correct medication is to get a positive fecal exam result from your veterinarian. Depending on the type of worm, dewormers may need to be given in multiple doses to interrupt the life cycle of the parasite. A regular schedule for preventative medications is another way to keep your cat safe from parasites.

Your Cats Parasites Can Also Cause Problems for You

Owners of cats with parasites should be aware of health risks that may be posed to them. Many pet owners are completely unaware of the risks to human health from canine and feline intestinal parasites. Humans can become infected with these parasites, which can cause a number of health issues in cats, such as a simple irritation or even a life-threatening illness. They can also be dangerous or even fatal in those with weakened immune systems. In addition, the toxoplasma parasite may infect tissues of the inner eye, which could occur in people with healthy immune systems. It is therefore important for owners to be aware of the potential risks and seek treatment from a veterinarian to ensure their pet’s health and safety but may also want to see a doctor themselves if the issue is serious.


While cats can eat worms there are health risks associated with it since it’s a common source of parasites. It can be confusing since many of these parasites are also known as “worms”. Roundworms and tapeworms are the most common types of worms found in cats. These parasites spend their adult life in the cat’s bowels, but if present in high numbers can cause vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss and an overall unwell appearance. Feline roundworms can also pose a risk to human health if contact with cat faeces or contaminated soil occurs. There is also a risk of infection from eating carcases or raw meat. All types of worms are associated with lifetime exposure risk to both pets and humans so it’s important to take preventative measures such as regular worming treatment, flea treatments and good hygiene practices around pets.

Why Do Cats Eat Worms?

Cats are natural predators and they have a voracious appetite for worms and other small insects. Unfortunately cats are unable to understand the risk of parasites to their health by consuming worms. Although worms are technically high in protein parasites will not only rob the host of nutrients but can lead to a variety of health problems. The best way to minimize the chance of your cat from getting parasites is to keep your cat indoors. Even though indoor cats can also get parasites they will likely have less of a parasite load that can cause serious disease.

Is It Safe for a Cat to Eat a Worm?

It is generally not safe for cats to eat worms. While worms themselves are not toxic to cats, they can carry parasites that can be harmful if ingested. By eating an infected bird or rodent, a cat can contract tapeworms and other potentially dangerous parasites. Worm infestations that go untreated can be dangerous, even fatal, for cats. The most common types of worms found in cats are roundworms and tapeworms, both of which can cause serious health problems if left untreated. It is important to keep your cat up to date on regular deworming treatments to reduce the risk of them contracting a worm infestation. If you suspect your cat may have worms, it is best to take them to the vet for diagnosis and treatment as soon as possible.

What Should You Do If Your Cat Eats a Worm?

If your cat has eaten a worm, it is important to take them to the vet for examination. Worms can cause weight loss, a bad hair coat, fatigue, and extreme appetite loss in cats. Your vet may recommend starting your cat on a monthly topical or oral flea prevention, since tapeworm infections can recur. Cats infected with roundworms are typically given a deworming medication by mouth which will immediately start killing the worms. Kittens can have so many worms that they can not pass through the GI tract which can be fatal, so it is important to contact your vet if you think your cat has worms.

It is also important to be aware of the common signs of worms in cats so that you can take them to the vet for treatment sooner rather than later. Common signs of worms include stomach upsets and diarrhea. The two most common types of intestinal worms cats get are tapeworms and roundworms. If left untreated these parasites can cause serious problems for your pet, so it is important to get them treated as soon as possible.

Signs of Intestinal Parasites in Cats

Intestinal parasites can be a serious problem for cats, often causing them to become weak and ill. Symptoms of intestinal parasites in cats include a dull coat, coughing, vomiting, diarrhea, anemia and dehydration. These symptoms can be caused by a variety of wormlike or one-celled protozoan organisms that live in the intestines. The most common worms found in cats are roundworms and tapeworms. Roundworms look like cooked spaghetti and can cause everything from lethargy to a change in appetite if left untreated. Tapeworms are flat and segmented and appear as small white rice grains around the cat’s anus or in its feces. If a growing kitten is infected with roundworms, it may experience stunted growth, digestive upset and malnutrition. Cats can also develop anemia due to worms feeding on their nutrients or blood supply. It is important to take your cat to the vet for diagnosis and treatment if you suspect they have intestinal parasites.

Treatment Options for Intestinal Parasites in Cats

Intestinal parasites are a common problem for cats, which can cause a range of unpleasant symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, and weight loss. Fortunately, there are various treatment options available to help cats fight off these parasites. The most common type of intestinal parasites in cats are roundworms, hookworms and tapeworms. To treat these intestinal worms, it is important to use deworming medications that kill both the larvae and adult worms within the intestines. These medications come in a variety of forms such as tablets, liquids or injections. Prevention is also key in preventing your cat from becoming infected with worms; keeping your cat on year-round preventative medications is recommended by many veterinarians. In addition to medical treatments, there are some “home” remedies that may be effective in treating or preventing worms in cats including garlic, apple cider vinegar and diatomaceous earth. While these home remedies may provide some relief for your cat’s symptoms associated with worms, they should not take the place of professional medical advice or treatment. If you suspect that your cat may have worms it is important to seek veterinary care immediately so that proper diagnosis and treatment can be administered as soon as possible to ensure the health of your pet.

Prevention Strategies for Intestinal Parasites in Cats

Intestinal parasites are a common health concern for cats, but with proper prevention and treatment, they can be easily managed. The most common types of intestinal parasites in cats are roundworms, tapeworms, and hookworms. These parasites can cause anemia, poor growth and development in kittens, and even death. To prevent your cat from contracting these worms, make sure to keep them on year-round preventative medications from your veterinarian. Also be sure to regularly check your cat for worms or signs of infection such as vomiting or diarrhea. If too much blood is lost due to the presence of worms, the cat may become anemic and require immediate medical attention. Cats that live outdoors and hunt small rodents are at a higher risk of contracting intestinal parasites due to the presence of the larvae in their prey. Lastly, always practice good hygiene when handling infected cats or their feces to avoid passing on any disease-causing bacteria or viruses to other pets or humans. With proper prevention strategies you can keep your feline healthy and free from intestinal parasites!

How Can You Discourage Your Cat from Eating Worms?

Discouraging your cat from eating worms is important for their health, so it’s best to start by taking preventive measures. You can discourage your cat from eating worms by:

  • Feeding your cat a high-quality diet and making sure they get plenty of exercise; this will help maintain a healthy weight, which can reduce their chances of picking up worms.
  • Keeping them up to date on flea prevention; fleas can carry tapeworms, which cats may ingest if they groom themselves after coming into contact with an infected flea.
  • Keeping litter boxes clean and regularly changing the litter; this will reduce the risk of them coming into contact with roundworm eggs in dirty litter boxes.
  • Regularly deworming your cat as recommended by your vet; this will help prevent parasites like roundworms and tapeworms from taking hold in the first place.
  • Supervising outdoor activities; if you keep an eye on what they’re doing outdoors, you can intervene if you spot them trying to eat something suspicious or potentially contaminated.
  • Providing plenty of mental stimulation indoors; a bored cat is more likely to seek out alternative sources of entertainment, like eating worms! Giving them lots of interactive toys and activities to keep them occupied will help distract them from any potential worm-eating temptations.

Can Cats Eat Mealworms?

Mealworms are considered a protein-rich snack that can provide many health benefits. However, this does not make them suitable for cats as they can still transmit parasites. There isn’t much regulatory oversight on keeping mealworms designed for animal consumption free from parasites and doing so would increase the cost. Mealworms are more suitable for pets such as reptiles, fish, wild birds, and chickens.


In conclusion, cats can eat worms but there can be serious health risks associated with them since they can get infected by parasites as a result. Tapeworms and roundworms are the most common parasites found in cats and can cause a range of symptoms including diarrhea, weight loss, vomiting and tiredness. Kittens may have so many worms that they cannot pass them through their GI tract which could lead to an intestinal blockage. Infection of humans is also possible through accidentally ingesting infective eggs or eating undercooked meat containing larvae. It is important to follow good hygiene practices when dealing with cat feces and to seek veterinary treatment if you suspect your cat has a worm infestation. All considered cat owners should not let their cats eat worms of any kind. Also if your cat spends a lot of time outdoors make sure to get regular checkups for parasites and other infections to keep them healthy.

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