I noticed a worm like thing wiggling out of my kitten's anus...

by marlene
(Orange, CA)

I just adopted a 4 month old kitten. I noticed this white little thing wiggling out of her butt. I'm really concerned because I'm wondering if it's contagious? If she's laying on our bed will the worms then come out and if we pet her etc... are they contagious...???? If I'm grooming her will the worms get under my finger nails... I'm just really grossed out!

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Jul 28, 2010
by: Ashleigh

Your kitten definitely has worms. Since you've adopted her recently, you should check her records with whoever you got her from to see if she has been de-wormed. If she hasn't, or if it's been over a month ago, she needs to be wormed now. You might also want to get her on flea prevention as soon as possible since cats can get tapeworms from eating fleas while grooming themselves.
I wouldn't worry about getting parasites yourself as long as you clean your sheets and wash your hands after scooping her litter box.

Jul 28, 2010
Take a stool sample to the vet
by: Judy (Via Email)

You should be concerned. Take a stool sample to your veterinarian immediately. The problem is treatable, but your little kitty needs professional attention.

Jul 27, 2010
by: Kurt (Admin)

There are a number of different types of worms that infect cats. It is possible for some of these worms to also infect humans, and we become an "accidental" host.

This is known as zoonotic transmission. The life cycle of worms that prefer cats is slightly different in humans than it is in the cat. If infected, people may get what's called larva migrans.

Depending upon the type of worm, either the eggs or the larvae would have to be ingested, or in the case of hookworm, the larvae can also penetrate the skin.

My guess is that you're likely seeing roundworms, as this is the most common worm to affect cats. Roundworms are whitish in appearance, tubular in shape, and sort of resemble spaghetti. Gross, I know.

These are not the infective roundworm eggs, though, and the worms will die once outside of your cat's body. Typically the eggs are released in your cat's feces and may take up to a couple of weeks to become infective.

If I were you, I would grab a fecal sample and head to the vet with my cat. Your vet can give you a proper diagnosis and recommend a course of treatment.

I would also make sure the litter box is scooped at least once a day and the feces disposed of in a sealed up plastic bag. I'm sure I don't have to tell you to vacuum and wash all bedding, and any areas of the house, carpets, furniture, and so on, especially where your cat frequents.

If it is roundworm, it's unlikely you'd get worms yourself, but possible. Children are more likely to get roundworm or hookworm infections by playing outside in soil or sandboxes, or placing their fingers in their mouths without washing their hands.

Here's a diagram of the life cycle and an explanation of how dogs, cats, and other animals can cause roundworm infection in humans (Toxocariasis).

Thanks for asking this question, Marlene, as this comes up from time to time.

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