While a cat may not show any symptoms until the worms have matured, some people who are in close contact with a worm-infected cat should consult a physician. If the cat has worms, they should be treated as soon as possible, but treatment for human worms may be more complicated. Antiparasitic medication is often necessary to kill the worms.
Cats are hosts to a variety of parasitic worms, most notably hookworms and roundworms. In order for humans to catch these worms, you must come into contact with the infected cat’s stool and soil. Accidental ingestion can occur if you do not wash your hands properly after cleaning the litter box or cat vomit. Also, you can contract worms by preparing food with a cat’s feces. Keeping your hands clean when preparing food will prevent the transmission of worms from your cat to your body.
Although cats can infect humans, only some species of these parasites are dangerous to humans. These parasites can migrate to different organs and cause symptoms in humans. Worms that enter the eye are called ocular larva migrans and can cause coughing and asthma-like symptoms. Some people show no symptoms at all. However, infection is most likely to affect children and young people, who are more likely to engage in dirty play habits and not wash their hands before eating.
If you’re concerned about worms and your pet’s health, it’s best to keep your cat indoors. Living in an unsanitary environment is one of the biggest reasons to avoid cats. Hookworms live primarily in the soil and are easy to pick up through the skin or by accident. They will grow to maturity in the intestines within two to three weeks. Although most people do not know their cat has hookedworm until several weeks later, you can easily contract them from a contaminated environment.