My Cat Has Worms, How Do I Clean My House?
Worms and internal parasites are a lot more common in cats than many people realize. You can be the best cat parent out there but worms and other parasites will always be a possibility.
This is especially true for outdoor cats. Indoor cats are at a lower risk, but aren’t fully immune to cat worms! Indoor cats can also get worms from the litter box of another infected cat.
Internal parasites and cat worms are typically picked up whenever cats are outside. This is why they’re far-less common with indoor cats. (This is one of the MANY reasons that we suggest you keep your cat indoors.)
If you have an indoor cat then please consider keeping them indoors. Outdoor cats have a much shorter lifespan than indoor cats. And this is a perfect reason why!
If you’re in a panic screaming “My cat has worms! How do I clean my house?!” then let’s take a deep breath, relax, and get to work! (At least your cat doesn’t have MonkeyPox!)
If your cat has worms then don’t panic. Getting rid of your cat’s worms is the easy part. Cleaning up after a worm infestation is the not-so easy part! Worms, larvae, and worm eggs can often be treated with simple, routine deworming medication.
If your cat has worms then they’re going to be pretty sick and will have some accidents. Every accident they have can lead to another infected animal should they come in contact with it. Even litter trained cats will have a lot of accidents.
A cat that has worms can be a nightmare to clean up after. But you need to remove all worms and worm eggs from essentially every surface that they could potentially be on. Worm eggs can linger on surfaces. Especially roundworm eggs and tapeworm eggs.
Certain worm eggs, such as tapeworm eggs and roundworm eggs, can live outside of a host body for 1-3 weeks. This is why it’s super important to perform a deep clean when trying to rid a worm infestation. Cat worms can live in your cat’s body for up to 16 months.
Can you imagine having 16 months of pure terror living inside of you, causing you to be sick day in and day out? Intestinal parasites can be detrimental to your cat, and can lead to death.
Get Your Cat Dewormed Immediately
If your cat has worms then the first step is to get them dewormed ASAP! These worm infections are wreaking havoc on your poor little cat’s body.
Thankfully the deworming process is very routine. Your vet will administer deworming medicine and within 3 days or so all of the worms and worms eggs should be dead! More serious infections of parasitic worms might take another round (or couple of rounds) of treatment.
Once your vet administers the anthelmintic (AKA medicine used to kill parasites), the deworming process inside of your kitty will get started within a matter of hours!
Hookworms and Whipworms are paralyzed and killed by the medicine. Tapeworms are killed and broken up into smaller segments. Typically these worms are pretty small (except for tapeworms) so you’ll never notice them being expelled.
“My cat has worms! How do I clean my house?!” Well, let’s dive in!
My Cat Has Tapeworms, How Do I Clean My House?
Tapeworms are so long that their bodies actually have multiple segments. These long and flat worms will discharge some of the more mature segments through your cat’s feces.
These mature segments contain parasite eggs!
This means that if you have any other cats in the house then they are likely to get infected as well, unless they have their own litter box.
What Do Tapeworms Look Like?
Tapeworms are long, flat parasites. As we mentioned above, they’re “broken” up into segments. Since the more mature segments get passed through cat feces, it’s easy to identify them.
These egg-filled segments of tapeworms look like little grains of rice. These little rice-grain-looking segments can be seen in the fur around your kitty’s butt. You can also find them in your cat’s bedding. (If your cat doesn’t have bedding then just check the places they typically sleep.)
How Do Cats Get Tapeworms?
Cats get tapeworms by ingesting fleas. It doesn’t matter if you haven’t noticed any fleas around your house or on your cat, ingesting a flea is the only way to get tapeworms.
This is contrary to other types of cat worms and parasites as another cat cannot get infected simply by being exposed to the litter box of an infected cat. Tapeworm eggs can be found in litter boxes, but without a host flea, the life cycle will not ever be completed.
A flea infestation isn’t necessary to get tapeworms. All it takes is one tiny, tapeworm-infected flea to get eaten. While grooming, or as a response to a flea bite, cats will inadvertently ingest a flea.
Side note: Indoor-only cats can still get fleas. It wouldn’t hurt to use a flea comb on your cat once a week just to make sure there’s none hiding in your cat’s fur!
As the flea goes through the cat’s digestive system, a tapeworm egg gets released, hatches, and then it secures itself to the intestinal lining of your cat.
How To Clean Your House If Your Cat Has Tapeworms
The first thing you’ll need to do is to try and figure out where the tapeworm eggs came from. This means looking for a spot where fleas may be hiding.
If you are 100% certain that there are no fleas in your house, then you might want to treat your yard, garage, or any areas where the fleas may be hiding.
Even though tapeworms require a flea to complete the life cycle and infect cats, you’ll still want to clean all surface areas that your cat has been on with a bleach solution when available, all bedding that your cat uses should be washed on the hot water cycle, and your cat’s litter box should be thoroughly disinfected (or tossed out completely).
If it’s in your budget to use a steam cleaner then that’s always a great option as well. Deep cleaning is a good practice to get in after any infection or infestation of any type, especially in households with multiple pets.
My Cat Has Roundworms, How Do I Clean My House?
Roundworms are the most common intestinal parasite in cats. Roundworm eggs are excreted through your cat’s feces. The eggs can survive for multiple years, depending on the environment.
What Do Roundworms Look Like?
The best way to describe what a roundworm looks like is by comparing it to a piece of cooked spaghetti. These cylindrical worms can grow to be multiple inches long, so they’re easily seen by the naked eye.
If your cat has roundworms then you’ll probably notice them in their feces or vomit.
Roundworm eggs are invisible to the naked eye and can only be seen under a microscope.
How Did My Cat Get Roundworms?
There are two possible ways your cat got roundworms.
The first way is by ingesting something that has been exposed to infected feces of a roundworm-positive cat.
The second way is if your cat ingested another small animal that has a roundworm infection. Eating birds and mice is a very common way for any outdoor cat to get a roundworm infection.
How To Clean Your House If Your Cat Has Roundworms
A roundworm infection is one of the toughest worm/parasitic infections to clean up after. You need to take this seriously as your house is likely fully contaminated
Protect Yourself First
You need to wear disposable rubber gloves, and enough clothing to cover any exposed skin on your body. Whenever you’re cleaning your cat’s litter box you’ll also want to wear an N95 mask.
Start With The Litterbox
Clean your cat’s litter box at least once or twice each day. You’ll also want to disinfect the litter box itself with a diluted bleach solution.
If your cat has an accident anywhere outside of their litterbox then it needs to be cleaned and disinfected immediately. Solid surfaces can be cleaned using a diluted bleach solution but carpet would likely need to be steam cleaned.
Don’t forget to disinfect any tools you used to clean the litter box (or litter boxes) as well!
Next, Clean Solid Surfaces
Clean any solid surfaces outdoor with boiling water. This can be patios, decks, carports, garages, etc..
If there are any roundworm eggs laying around on those surfaces, the boiling water will kill them immediately.
Clean Your Carpets
You’ll need a steam cleaner to attack your carpets with. The carpet will be a bit moist after the steam cleaning. Whenever the carpet has fully dried, lock your pets out of the carpeted room and sprinkle salt all over the carpet.
After a day or two, vacuum up the salt. Immediately go throw away any waste from your vacuum cleaner and steam cleaner.
Any viable eggs that are still left in the carpet can be killed by spraying a little bit of diluted isopropyl alcohol.
How Long Can Roundworm Eggs Live In Carpet?
Roundworm eggs can live in carpet for several months.
Although roundworm eggs typically survive outdoors in the soil for multiple years, they have no problem surviving at least a few months in your carpet.
Thankfully roundworm eggs cannot just break open and hatch right there in your carpet. But you need to take extra precautions when cleaning to ensure they’re all dead.
Roundworm eggs can survive in your carpet through a variety of elements and hazards. Oftentimes vacuuming alone isn’t enough to get rid of them.
Do I Need To Hire A Pest Control Company If My Cat Has Worms?
Hiring a pest control company after an intestinal worm infestation is not necessary, as long as proper disinfecting steps are taken.
As we’ve outlined above, as long as you THOROUGHLY clean and disinfect all surfaces then you should be able to easily rid your house of any remnant of worms or worm eggs.
Having said that, pest control companies are professionals that deal with these kinds of things on a regular basis. Pest control companies already have all of the necessary tools and cleaning supplied needed to properly disinfect your home.
If it’s within your budget to do so, hiring a reputable professional is always the best option!
Can I Deworm My Cat At Home?
There are currently no known home remedies for deworming your cat at home.
Your cat can be treated for parasitic worms at home, but the only way to do this is with medicine that has been prescribed by your vet.
Can My Cat Give Me Worms?
Yes, certain types of intestinal worms can be transferred form cats to humans.
This is why it’s so important to properly clean and disinfect your home after a worm infestation. It’s a lot easier for humans to get roundworms than it is to get tapeworms from your cat.
It’s VERY important to kill roundworm eggs as soon as possible as they can be easily ingested or inhaled.
For example: If your cat uses the litterbox the roundworm eggs will be excreted through their feces. They then clean up in their litterbox, thus getting eggs on their paws. Your cat them rubs all over you and their paw touches your hand. You mindlessly pick something out of your teeth and now you’ve got a roundworm infection.
What Should I Do If My Cat Has Worms? How Do I Clean My House?
A parasitic worm infection in your cat is going to be scary. You’ve got tiny little parasites living in your kitty, and that’s certainly no fun for them.
You should ALWAYS start by calling your vet. They will either treat your cat there at the vet or they will prescribe a medicine to be used for at-home treatment.
These medicines will not only kill the worms in cats, but they will also help the cats expel the worms out of their bodies.
Again, there are no known home remedies for de-worming a cat. And any website or person that says otherwise should be completely ignored as they’re just spreading false and harmful information.
IF YOUR CAT HAS WORMS, SEEK VETERINARY ADVICE!
Once your kitty has been freed of worms you can relax a little bit and then get to worm following the steps in this article to start cleaning your house.