How Do I Clean My House When My Cat Has Worms?

Worms are a common ailment found mostly in outside cats, although it can affect indoor cats as well. If you have other pets that go outdoors and acquire fleas, they can pass them on to cats.

Fleas are known to transmit tapeworms which can be ingested by cats through self-grooming.

Even though cats make some of the best companions, the accidents they sometimes have inside the house are not always pleasant, especially if they have fallen ill.

If you suspect your cat has developed worms, you will need to clean all areas frequented properly. 

Signs and Symptoms Of Worms

Even though worms are a nuisance, they seldom cause detrimental health issues if treated early. It rarely takes long to discover that your cat has these nasty parasites.

Here are a few signs and symptoms to take into consideration.

Lethargy

It’s normal for cats to sleep for long periods of time. However, if you find your cat is sleeping excessively, has no energy, and no interest in playtime, make check his feces for worms or consult with a veterinarian.

Weight Loss

If you find your cat is eating well and losing weight, it could be a sign of a parasitic infection. Other conditions can cause weight loss, so it’s important to monitor your cat’s weight and overall health. 

Hair Loss

Cats normally shed, but if they shed excessively to the point of bald patches, it’s a good indicator that worms may be present.

The worms absorb the nutrients that the cat eats, leaving it deficient in vitamins and minerals that its own body would normally use to function properly.

Gastrointestinal Issues

Constant diarrhea can be a cause for concern. It’s normal for a cat to have the occasional bout of diarrhea. That usually happens from a change in food, or part of a toy they may have ingested.

Excessive diarrhea and not being able to get to the litter box in time need to be investigated.

Vomiting is also a sign of worms, and the worms may be present in the vomit. This shows that the cat is heavily infested as the worms have now moved from the intestines to the stomach.

Bulging belly

 A swollen stomach can occur in cats with worms, depending on how high the infestation is.

Types Of Intestinal Worms To Look For

If you are unsure whether your cat may have worms, but they present with one or most of the above symptoms, consult with a veterinarian.

Worms can still be present without being detected, in which case an examination by a veterinarian would be needed. 

Roundworms

These are the most common worms found in cats. They can measure up to five inches, are white in color, and have a noodle-like appearance. 

Tapeworms

Another common worm found in cats. These worms are white and flat. They can grow up to several inches and break off into segments.

Hookworms

 If you are unsure that your cat has worms, but it has symptoms, then consult with your veterinarian.

Hookworms are undetectable to the human eye, but under a microscope, they appear as thin as a strand of hair. 

How Do I Clean My House?

Now that you have read the above description on signs, symptoms, and types of worms, you might wonder what is the proper way to clean your home during this time. Read on for some significant information. 

Washing Your Cat’s Bedding

It’s important to wash all of your cat’s bedding, including its bed and any blankets. Wash with hot soapy water in your washing machine and follow on high heat for drying.

The washing may have to be done daily until the threat of worms is gone, and could take anywhere between two to three weeks.

Restricting your cat to one area is always recommended if possible during this time.

Your veterinarian may suggest a follow-up appointment. 

Cleaning The Food Bowls

Use hot, soapy water followed by a hot rinse to clean your cat’s water and food bowls.

To disinfect, you can use either a small amount of vinegar or hydrogen peroxide. Let it sit for approximately five minutes and rinse thoroughly with hot water.

Litter Box

Dump the box of existing litter into a trash bag and dispose of it properly.

Wash the litter box with hot soapy water and rinse it well with hot water. Disinfect with hydrogen peroxide, let it sit for approximately fifteen minutes, and rinse with hot water.

You can also purchase pet disinfectants from your local pet store. Let the box dry before adding fresh litter. Scoop the litter box multiple times throughout the day, adding fresh litter when needed. 

Carpeted Areas

If you have carpeted areas in your home, you will need to shampoo them as soon as you suspect your cats have worms, during and then again after your cat has been given the all-clear.

Cleaning your carpeted areas will ensure the riddance of any eggs left behind by the worms. Vacuum your carpet thoroughly and then shampoo as you normally would.

Once the regular shampooing has been completed, you can then disinfect your carpet by using accelerated hydrogen peroxide.

Accelerated hydrogen peroxide is hydrogen peroxide mixed with other compounds making it more effective to use as a disinfectant. Test in an inconspicuous area first before cleaning your whole carpet.

You can also visit your pet store for recommendations if you don’t feel comfortable while using this hydrogen peroxide. However, note that it has been tested on multiple surfaces including carpets with significant results. 

http://www.virox.com/msds/pdf/A.PDF (yy.net)

Other Surfaces

All other surfaces, such as furniture, hard flooring, and cat perches will need to be cleaned as well.

Pretty much everywhere your cat frequents will need to be cleaned. So if you let your cat on your bed, you will need to wash your bedding as well.

For hard surface floors, vacuum first and wash with hot soapy water, followed by a disinfectant. 

Final Thought

Owning a cat is a tremendous responsibility. Cats rely on their owners to look after them when they are ill.

When a cat falls ill because of a parasitic infection, it’s important that the cleaning is done properly the first time. It can seem time-consuming and daunting but is so worth it to avoid reinfection.

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