So, you have a cat who does not greet you at the door and you wonder if you have worms? No, I am not talking about the type of worm that you drink, though I do not know if it is good for you to get a little tipsy. I am talking cat worms that can infect humans
Cats are one of the most popular pets in America, and if you have a pet cat, then you know that they can be great company.
However, there is one thing that many people don’t know about cats: their poop can contain worms! When these parasites enter our bodies through contact with a cat’s feces or by ingesting it, we can experience some pretty unpleasant side effects.
What are Cat Worms?
A parasite is a creature that lives on or in another living thing. A parasite may feed on another living thing, or it may feed on dead things.
Many parasites (such as tapeworms) live in the intestines of animals. Some parasites (such as fleas) live on the skin.
The most common parasite in cats is a worm known as Toxoplasma gondii . It is found in the soil and is spread to cats by eating infected prey or by coming into contact with cat feces.
Toxoplasma gondii may cause infection in people, particularly those with weak immune systems, and pregnant women should not handle cat feces.
Can Cat Worms Infect Humans?
Yes, but it’s not likely to happen because the parasite that causes toxoplasmosis usually only spreads when cats defecate outside or eat infected prey.
It may also occur if you touch your mouth after touching a contaminated area without washing hands first. Toxoplasma gondii infection in people can be caused by:
- contact with another person who has been infected and shedding oocysts (egg-like structures containing sporozoites) from their body;
- contact with raw meat such as pork or lamb which may contain the virus if contaminated with feces of an animal carrying the disease – for example a cow.
Contact with Contaminated Soil
The cat worm is not a worm at all but a parasitic nematode that lives in the intestines of cats. When a cat excretes feces that contain the worm, this can contaminate the soil near where the cat defecates.
Humans can be exposed to cat worms by touching the contaminated soil and then touching their mouth or eyes. It is also possible to become infected by touching the infected feces of a cat and then eating or smoking without washing your hands.
Some cat worms can infect humans with a condition called toxocariasis. This can cause abdominal pain, coughing and wheezing, diarrhea, shortness of breath or pneumonia in severe cases.
The symptoms are similar to other types of parasitic infections such as roundworms or ascariasis which can also be transmitted from cats to people by way of contaminated soil.
A parasite found only in the intestines of cats is not actually a worm but rather a nematode that lives inside them.
When they excrete feces containing the worm this could contaminate the soil near where they defecate. People can become exposed to these parasites by touching infected dirt then touching their mouth.
Feline roundworms can infect humans, especially children
Cats can get worms, not only from eating contaminated raw meat, but also from the eggs of the parasite. The eggs, which are passed in the feces, must remain in the environment for several weeks before hatching.
That makes it possible for people to become infected by coming into direct contact with them, by accidentally ingesting them, or by consuming undercooked meat.
You can also get the disease by picking up the eggs on your hands after touching your pet and then touching your mouth.
Another way to get infected is by coming into contact with a person’s stool who has been previously diagnosed as having feline roundworm infection – known medically as toxocarosis.
Feline tapeworms can be transmitted when ingested
Feline tapeworms can be transmitted when ingested by humans. Ingestion of cat feces containing larvae could lead to infection with parasitic worms.
The eggs in the cats’ intestines develop into larvae and are then excreted through a cat’s stool as it defecates, where they may survive for months or even years if given a suitable environment (such as moist soil).
If an individual touches these contaminated surfaces without gloves, accidental ingestion can occur. Humans can also acquire this parasite from eating undercooked meat that has not been properly checked for evidence of contamination–and there is always the risk of transmission via contact with animal species other than cats.
Proper parasite prevention and hygiene will go a long way
As a pet owner, it’s your responsibility to keep your pet safe and healthy. One way to do this is by keeping them free of parasites, such as fleas and ticks.
These nasty creatures can have a host of nasty effects on your pet’s health, so it’s important to keep them off of your pet in the first place. When it comes to maintaining your pet’s health, it can be helpful to keep a pet journal.
By writing down some basic information about your pet’s health and behavior, you’ll be better able to determine if there are any issues. To start a pet journal, list the following:
- What the animal ate that day
- Signs of illness (e.g., vomiting, diarrhea)
If you notice any changes in your pet’s normal behavior or eating habits, promptly take him to a veterinarian. Be sure to keep all appointments and follow up on everything they recommend for maintaining good health for yourself as well as them.
You can also use this journal as a helpful reminder when it comes time to schedule vaccinations and other preventative care measures like parasite prevention treatments.
These are very important! Properly maintained pets will live healthier lives with less risk from pests such as fleas and ticks which could potentially transmit diseases like canine heartworm disease or even rarer ones like toxoplasmosis via contact.