Cat Lung Parasites

by Kim D
(Bloomfield, NY)

Cat Lung Parasites...anyone familiar with them? My cat was just diagnosed with lung parasites but she has been acting as though she has a kitty cold and has terrible eye infections. I am wondering if they are related? Has anyone had any experience with them? She will be starting her dewormer tomorrow but thought I would ask here too. Thanks. :)

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Nov 17, 2009
Here's some info
by: Kurt (Cat Lovers Only Admin)


A number of different parasites (lungworm is one of them) can cause lung trouble in cats. Coughing is one of the symptoms.

If left untreated, these can lead to some nasty complications, such as pneumonia. Kittens or older cats are especially susceptible to complications.

Some parasitic worms, such as roundworm, may spend some time in the lungs. They're then coughed up by the cat, and ingested.

Sometimes, however, parasites can migrate to organs they normally don't spend time in. Heartworm in dogs has been known to migrate to the eye, but I haven't found any references to cats having that problem.

I'm guessing your cat has lungworm? From the Merck Veterinary Manual...

"Aelurostrongylus abstrusus is normally transferred to cats after ingestion of a paratenic host such as a bird or rodent that has previously eaten the slug or snail."

"Capillaria aerophila in cats has a direct cycle, with infective eggs being ingested with food or water."


"Fenbendazole has been used successfully in cats for A abstrusus. C aerophila in cats is similarly difficult, but three 5-day cycles of levamisole at 9-day intervals has been reported to be successful."

Here's a page devoted to lungworms from the Companion Animal Parasite Council.

Here's an answer from a Justanswer expert on treatment for lungworms in cats.

That answer references this article devoted to "lungworms in cats" at Petplace.

This article lists reasons for coughing in dogs and cats and includes:

Heartworm disease, Lungworm, Hookworm, and Roundworms, with symptoms of "Non-productive cough, with or without labored breathing."

"If diagnosed early prognosis is good."

I couldn't find any connection between lungworm and eye infections, or that this parasite migrates to the eye. If it were my cat, I would ask my veterinarian a few questions:

1. Should we (or did we) test for other parasites as well?

2. Is the eye infection due to complications from the lung parasite?

3. Could there possibly be another parasite that has migrated to the eye?

4. Since parasites sometimes attack weaker animals, and given that we have both a lung parasite and what appears to be some sort of eye problem, is there anything else we should be looking for that would explain these health problems?

I hope that helps and good luck with her. Please let us know how she gets along.


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