Monthly Archives: September 2017

What’s the difference between tapeworms and roundworms in cats?


Both cats and dogs are the victims of many intestinal parasites. Some are more frequent than others. For a new cat owner, it can be a challenge to keep up with all of the information that their vet might want them to keep tabs on. There are several ways of telling whether your cat has parasites or not, but unfortunately, many of these diseases go unnoticed.

Roundworms are particularly common in young cats. Many times, the infestation occurs while they are still growing in their mom’s uterus. Very severe cases can lead to the larvae being spread to organs other than the intestines, in which case the health and life of the pet is in serious danger. Treating young cats for this disease is very tricky mostly because of their age.


Unlike tapeworms, roundworms are thinner. They look different in that they are not composed of dozens of segments that can survive on their own and which contain larvae. Toxocara cati is one of the most common roundworms that can be passed from mothers to kittens. Unfortunately, Toxocara cati is also a danger to human health.

Typically, tapeworms can be found in older cats, which is to say you might find them in those who are older than six months. It is quite uncommon for a younger kitten to have tapeworms, but some cases might still exist. Many times, tapeworm larvae are transmitted by fleas, which are the common vector for the parasite.




Many cat owners will not be aware of the fact that their pet is suffering from a tapeworm infestation because there aren’t many symptoms that might be visible. Sometimes, diarrhea or constipation may be two, but they occur so rarely in some cats that they can easily go unnoticed. Besides, if your cat also spends most of his or her time outdoors, it might be even more challenging for you to tell whether the feces contain larvae or not.

Some tapeworms are resistant to dewormers, so the safest way of preventing the infestation is to keep your cat clean and make sure that he or she has zero fleas. Of course, this might be an impossible feat if you have two cats and both spend a lot of time in your yard. Keep in mind that typically, cats and dogs have different kinds of fleas.

A roundworm infestation is sometimes difficult to discover by a pet owner. By contrast, a tapeworm infestation will become visible with the cat releasing proglottid segments that look like tiny grains of rice. If you have an indoor cat, for instance, these segments might show up on any spot where your cat has spent some time sitting down.