Intestinal parasites are very common in kittens and adult cats.

They can cause a variety of symptoms including loose stools, bloody diarrhea, vomiting, dehydration, lack of appetite, weight loss and lethargy.

**Some parasites that infect dogs and cats can also infect & cause similar clinical signs in humans**

*Timberview Veterinary Hospital recommends removing feces from your property and litter boxes on a regular basis*

Roundworms are the most common intestinal parasite of dogs and cats. Your kitten can become infected from eating feces from an infected animal, eating rodents or birds or suckling milk from the mother after birth. Roundworms inhabit the small intestine primarily and can cause any of the symptoms discussed above. These large worms may be seen in feces or vomit. The eggs are very hardy in the soil and are extremely difficult to eliminate from your yard, garden or sandbox.

Hookworms are another common intestinal parasite. Animals become infected by ingesting the hookworm larvae or the larvae can burrow through the skin (true for humans as well!). Hookworms inhabit the small intestine primarily and can cause any of the symptoms discussed above. Hookworm larvae can last for months in the environment.

Tapeworms are segmented flukes. Your pet must ingest a flea or a rodent to acquire tapeworms. Owners may note segments like dry rice or noodles on the fur around the rectum. If seen fresh on the feces the segments undulate (wiggle) as they attempt to travel.

Coccidia are single-cell organisms that are transmitted, like many other parasites, by eating feces from an infected animal. Coccidia can cause any of the symptoms listed above. Rabbit droppings are generally infected with coccidia.

Giardia is a single-cell organism that lives in water such as stagnant ponds or puddles. Dogs and cats become infected by drinking this water. Giardia can cause vomiting and chronic diarrhea. Humans can become infected with giardia.