Types of Worms and Their Symptoms

Most people have heard of the different worms that can affect their pet, though their varied behaviour from cat to cat can make it hard to diagnose them. With this in mind, professional advice must always be sought; if there is any doubt about your pet’s health, speak with your vet.


Roundworms are perhaps the most common worms found in cats. Traditionally resembling spaghetti, fully-grown adult worms can be as long as three or four inches, and are milky white or light brown in colour; their ends also taper slightly.

Symptoms of roundworms include:

  • Signs of worms in stool
  • Diarrhoea
  • Vomiting, with or without roundworms present;
  • Weight loss, or inability to gain weight
  • Pot-bellied appearance
  • A dull coat
  • Possible coughing, if worms migrate to the lungs


Tapeworms are long, flat and segmented worms that can range between 12cm and over one metre in length. They will fasten themselves to the wall of the intestines using hooks and suckers; as such, the head must be destroyed in order to kill the infestation outright. The body itself is composed of rice-shaped segments that contain egg packets, which result in more worms if left untreated. Similar variants can affect humans as well as other pets, though cat tapeworms are only spread to humans in very exceptional circumstances.

Symptoms of tapeworms include::

  • Vomiting
  • Weight loss
  • Constant hunger
  • Rice-like worm segments in stool
  • Worm segments found around a cat’s rear