If you’re a pet owner, you know that your pets are always by your side. They sleep with you, they play with you, and they eat with you. But do we ever stop to think about the germs and bacteria our pets bring into our homes? One of the most common questions we get is: “Can I get worms from my cat sleeping in my bed?”
Luckily, there’s no need to worry! We’ve compiled all the facts, so read on to find out more.
Can You Sleep With A Cat With Worms?
Cats with worms can be dangerous for you, so sleeping with an infected cat is not suggested as you can get infected from her. However, it is not a life-threatening disease, but you need to be careful. For humans, parasite eggs (oocytes) are harmful. With time these parasite eggs mature into worms.
Close and direct contact with your pet will contract worms. Similarly, it is very much possible that you will ingest the oocytes if your pet is too close to your face or in your bed.
Furthermore, the oocytes are also found in the cat’s feces and fur if it has worms. Hence those worms are transferred to your hands when you cuddle or pet her. And when you touch your face or foodstuffs, you can unintentionally ingest those worms.
Chances of transmission get much higher when your cat rubs against your face or sleeps with you in the bed.
Sleeping with your cat in your bed is not advised by vets. It feels nice to cuddle play with your cat in bed, but it’s all possible that you take up worms from your lovely pets when you are in bed with her.
To summarize, allowing your cat to sleep with you in your bed can cause worms and various other diseases such as asthma. Hence it would be better if you declare your bedroom a cat-free zone.
Which Worms Infect Cats?
There are many types of worms that can be harmful to your cat, each of these has its own causes and symptoms. Below are some common parasites that are dangerous, and you should look out for them in your cat:
Roundworms. Roundworms, aka ascarids, are common in cats. They are long and roundworms and resemble cooked noodles or spaghetti. However, they have a dark brown color. Mostly, these parasites are found in kittens, and kittens can be infected more often than big cats.
Tapeworms. Tapeworms are white, flat, and long worms featuring hook-shaped parts that they use to stick into the cat’s intestines. Adult tapeworms, also known as proglottids, can severely affect a cat’s intestine and result in the infected cat’s poop. The adult tapeworms or proglottids usually are as long as rice’s grains, and you can see them in the cat’s poop or at the cat’s backside if it is infected.
Furthermore, these can be spread easily in humans compared to other worms. Sometimes can break open and are released into the environment by the cats.
Hookworms. Hookworms are not that common in cats, but they are the most dangerous parasites in cats. Unlike other types of worms that eat food residues from the cat’s intestine, hookworms suck the cat’s blood, and usually, they are hooked in the cat’s intestine.
Whipworms. Whipworms are also dangerous parasites, but these are also rare than the other types of cat worms. Mostly they are found in tropical regions.
Apart from these, cats can be affected by other worms such as heartworms. These are hazardous for cats and live in the cat’s heart and lungs. Like others worms, these are also transferable to humans. Prevention of heartworms is necessary because if left untreated, results can be devastating for your feline.
Prevention Is Easier Than Treatment
Yes, you heard it right prevention in cats for worms is simpler than treatment. The best way to do so is to keep your pet on year-round precautionary medications.
The good news if you adopt preventive measures for heartworms, those will also protect your pet from other types of worms such as roundworms and hookworms, and flea.
To find the right procedure, we recommend consulting the matter with your veterinarian, as procedures can vary from pet to pet.
As a general rule, try to keep your cat indoors as much as possible. In this way, she will not be able to hunt other creatures that may be infected. Furthermore, clean the cat’s litter box daily if you want to prevent worms in your cats.
Moreover, if your cat gets wounded, don’t let it lick the affected area. If it does. Wash the spot with soapy water properly and without wasting time. In these cases, don’t touch or kiss or rub your cat, especially on her face and lips. If you want to do so due to any emergency, wear protective gloves.
Safety Tips for Sleeping with Your Cat
Below are some general safety tips to keep your cat safe from worms. These tips are essential if your cat sleeps with you in your bed:
Keep your cat clean, especially her feet and fur. At the same time, keep her litter box and surrounding area neat and tidy. Remember that your pet can easily track small poop particles and other similar on its feet and fur and then transfer them to your home.
- According to the Companion Animal Parasite Council, kittens should have fecal examinations 2-4 in the first year and a couple of times in the second year.
- The CAPC also advises deworming of cats year-round for parasite control. Deworming is effective and necessary for all cats as it prevents heartworm and others parasites, especially those with zoonotic potential.
- Use flea and tick control to protect your cat.
- Another recommendation by the CAPC is to avoid feeding your cat raw food items and meat as they are known to shed zoonotic bacteria, and these are contagious to humans. This is a severe threat for you if your cat sleeps with you in bed or you have kids and the elderly in the household.
Lastly, ensure that your cat is examined by an approved veterinarian every six months. They will prescribe the best diets and preventive measures as per your cat’s behavior, health, and lifestyle.
Can I Get Worms From My Cat When She Licks Me?
Cats try to form a social bond by licking you. Sometimes they lick other cats or other animals. This behavior is normal and usually arises from your cat’s mother when she licks the kittens to groom them and to show her affection.
But, if your cat has worms or she has any infection, they can transfer it to you through licking. Sometimes cats lick other cat’s butt, and when you sleep with them, they can spread those worms.
Common mediums of transmission can be:
- Kids playing in sandboxes or other places where cats have defecated.
- Walking barefoot on contaminated surfaces.
- Gardening in your lawn or any soil without wearing protective gloves.
When should I deworm my cat?
Kittens or cats should be dewormed at two, four, six, and eight weeks. Similarly, all cats and kittens, regardless of their age, should be taken to year-round monthly heartworm and flea preventative to protect them from hookworms and roundworms.
How do I know if my feline has worms?
In some cases, you cannot identify whether your cat has worms or not until and unless you actually feel or see them, and that’s rare. The best way to detect worms in your cat is by monitoring their routine feces. By doing so, you can identify the presence of worms and eggs in your cat.
However, below are some common signs that your cat have worms:
- Bloated stomach
- Weight loss
- Coarse fur
- Dragging or rubbing their bottoms regularly on the soil.
How is a cat dewormed?
After your vet has identified and diagnosed your cat with worms, they will have a proper treatment plan according to the type of worms your cat has been diagnosed with. Your cat will be prescribed a dewormer medication that might be a small pill, liquid, injection, or topical medicine to be administered.
Cats are wonderful, social animals that can often suffer from parasites. Your vet will help you identify the type of worms your cat has and then prescribe a dewormer medication to remove these pesky creatures. The medication can be a tablet, liquid, or injection.
Is cat deworming necessary?
A cat with worms is not a pretty sight. But the thought of your furry friend suffering from an infestation is even more disgusting to contemplate, especially when she shares a bed with you. Most importantly, worms and infections can have significant negative effects on their health. That’s why deworming your cat is necessary.
Furthermore, worms in cats can be just annoying or life-threatening. Kittens and cats with bad medical history or are medically compromised or too old are more vulnerable to health problems from worms. They can become dehydrated or might suffer from severe vomiting and diarrhea.
Sometimes, kittens can have too many worms, and they can’t exert them through the GI tract. In most severe cases, this can result in intestinal blockage. Besides, deworming of cats and kittens is also vital for their overall growth and development. Healthy cats or kittens with a proper deworming cycle rarely face health issues from worms.
Can my cat transfer worm in me?
Yes, she can transfer those pesky creatures in you; however, it is rare. Always follow the basic hygiene rules, such as washing your hands after touching the pet. If you don’t, you can get worms from your cat. So protect your cat, your family members, and yourself by deworming your cat.
How can I prevent my cat from getting worms?
As mentioned above, preventative care is vital if you want to protect your cat from worms.
Some basic things you can do are as follows:
- All kittens and cats must be dewormed by approved vets.
- Opt for heartworm and flea preventative once in a year to control hookworms and roundworms.
- Adopt routine fecal examinations.
- Clean your cat’s litter box daily.
- Try to keep your cat indoors as much as possible.
In the End:
While it’s true that most cat owners need not worry about catching worms from their pets, there are some exceptions. If you share your bed with your feline friend and she has been infected for a while, then the risk of transferring this parasite to yourself is higher.
The symptoms don’t matter; if your cat has worms in its body, they can transfer them to you at any time. So, stay alert and don’t delay the treatment if you see any symptoms of worms in your cat.