Hookworm Infection in Cats

Hookworms are much less common in cats than in dogs.  Cats may become infected with two types of hook- worms, Ancylostoma tubaeforme and Ancyclostoma braziliense.  Adult worms live in the intestines of an infected cat.  They produce eggs which pass out in the feces.  The egg hatches into a larva that eventually hatches into a third stage larvae that is ready to infect a new host. 

The unsuspecting cat gets infected in one of three ways:  First, they eat food contaminated with larvae.  Cock- roaches are the big culprit here because many cats enjoy hunting these pests.  Second, the larvae may be ingested during grooming.  And third, these nasty larvae can penetrate the skin of cats.  Once inside, they migrate to the intestine and start the process all over again.  Hookworm larvae from dogs and cats can even penetrate human skin.  This is why people should always wear shoes when walking on dog friendly beaches. 

To prevent hookworm infections in humans and cats follow these simple rules:  Wash your hands well after handling pets and raw food.  Wear gloves when cleaning the litter box.  Keep cats indoors and have regular fecal checks performed.  And last but not least, keep cockroaches out.    

For a video clip on this topic go to eHow at:  http://www.ehow.com/video_12300344_hookworm-cats.html

Published by kristennelsondvm

Dr. Kristen Nelson grew up on a farm in Watertown, Minn., where she developed a deep love for animals of all kinds. She received a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Minnesota, College of Veterinary Medicine. Kris then completed a small-animal internship at the prestigious Animal Medical Center in New York City. In addition to writing and speaking, she cares for small and exotic animals in Scottsdale, Az. Dr. Nelson is widely quoted in the media. Her credits include Ladies’ Home Journal, USA TODAY, the Los Angeles Times and numerous radio and television interviews. Dr. Nelson has written two books, Coated With Fur: A Vet’s Life and Coated With Fur: A Blind Cat’s Love. Kris and her husband Steve share their home with rescued cats, birds and a dog.