How to Tell If a Kitten Needs Worming

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Diligence on your part keeps your kitten healthy and happy.
Diligence on your part keeps your kitten healthy and happy. (Image: Hemera Technologies/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Parasites are common in cats, especially kittens. Fleas, worms, ringworm or ear mites are frequently found in kittens. Left untreated, these parasites can cause serious complications and illness, and can often be fatal, especially to young kittens. All kittens need a regimen of worming when they are young, to kill any parasites and prevent any recurrences.

Things You'll Need

  • Litter box
  • Cat litter
  • Litter sifter
  • Diluted household bleach

Check your kitten's belly for tenderness and a pot-belly appearance. Stomach bloating occurs when the kitten has worms. Frequent diarrhea, loss of appetite, weight loss or failure to thrive, listlessness and weakness are other symptoms of worms. The kitten's coat will also look dull and unhealthy.

Careful observation is key to your kitten's health.
Careful observation is key to your kitten's health. (Image: Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Inspect your kitten's bedding and litter box on a regular basis. If you see what appears to be miniature grains of rice in the cat litter or in the bed, then your kitten has tapeworm. Check around the kitten's anus as well for the rice-like segments. If you see your kitten "scooting" across the floor dragging his bottom, then the presence of tapeworm is a strong possibility. Clean your kitten's litter box with diluted household bleach after finding any signs of parasites. Use 1/2 cup of bleach to 2 cups hot water. Rinse very thoroughly.

Keeping a clean litter box will help in staying on top of your kitten's health.
Keeping a clean litter box will help in staying on top of your kitten's health. (Image: BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images)

Watch for vomiting. A certain amount of vomiting is normal in a kitten, but an abnormal amount may signify the presence of roundworm. If your kitten's feces or vomit contains a pile of stringlike objects, then your kitten definitely has roundworm.

Roundworms are common kitten parasites.
Roundworms are common kitten parasites. (Image: Duncan Smith/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Examine your kitten's skin for unusual irritations. Unusual skin irritation occurs when the kitten has hookworms. The kitten may also experience a dark and tarry diarrhea, loss of appetite and listlessness.

Hookworms can be transmitted to people.
Hookworms can be transmitted to people. (Image: Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images)

Provide your veterinarian a stool sample from your kitten. This will identify what types of parasites that your kitten may have, and it will allow your veterinarian to properly prescribe the medication needed to get rid of and prevent parasites. Typically, every kitten from 6 to 16 weeks of age is wormed every three weeks. After 4 months, kittens should be wormed every 3 months, until they are a year old.

Regular visits to a veterinarian will keep your kitten in top shape.
Regular visits to a veterinarian will keep your kitten in top shape. (Image: Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Tips & Warnings

  • A licensed veterinarian will administer dewormer to your kitten. Do not purchase medications that claim to deworm your kitten.

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