Whipworms are a common parasite in cats. Scientifically, whipworms are known as Trichuris vulpis. A nematode that feed on blood, they are found in the intestinal tract of kittens and cats. The worms attach to and feed on the feline intestinal wall, often causing watery and sometimes bloody diarrhea.
The most common victims of whipworms are cats and other canids such as foxes and coyotes. The parasites are transferred through direct contact with an infected animal or the ingestion of an embryonated egg in contaminated feces or soil.
Whipworms most commonly affect kittens and adult cats that hunt. They are transferred through direct contact and ingestion of an embryonated egg in contaminated feces or soil, eating a contaminated animal, or where another animal has shed the eggs of a whipworm.
Transmission to humans is very rare and whipworms are not considered zoonotic (contagious between people and animals). Proper hand washing techniques is always advised for anyone that has or thinks they may have come into contact with an infected pet.
What to Look For in Your Cat
Veterinary Care For Whipworms in Cats
Care from your personal veterinarian should be sought out for diagnostic testing and treatment. Home care is not advised.
You will not be able to see whipworms in your pet's stool with the naked eye. Bringing a small fecal sample into your veterinarian and having them perform a zinc sulfate fecal float is the best means of diagnosis.
There are many whipworm treatments including one or more of the following medications:
Some treatments may be chosen over others based on concurrent parasite infections.
Home Care for Cats with Whipworms
There are many things you can do at home to keep your cat protected from whipworms:
I hope this article helps you know more about the diagnosis and treatment of whipworm (Trichuris vulpis) in cats.