Lungworm in Cats - Symptoms, treatment and prevention

Feline lungworm can lead to severe, life-threatening respiratory disease in cats. Read on to find out more about cat lungworm and how to protect your cat.

Lungworm in cats
Lungworm in cats

What is longworm in cats?

Feline lungworm (Aelurostrongylus abstrusus) is a parasitic worm of cats. As the name suggests, the adult worms live in the cat’s lungs.

How do cats get lungworm?

To understand how cats get lungworm, we need to consider the life cycle of the worm. Eggs passed by adult female worms hatch in the lungs of an infested cat. The worm larvae then pass up the trachea (wind pipe), down the intestinal tract and out in the faeces. The larvae then infect an intermediate host (a snail or slug). Cats become infested either by ingesting an infected snail or slug, or by ingesting a rodent, lizard or bird that has eaten an infected snail or slug.

What do lungworms look like in cats?

Adult lungworms are up to 9 mm in length and live in the lungs. Lungworm larvae that are passed in the faeces of an infested cat are microscopic.

Symptoms of lungworm in cats

Feline lungworm symptoms may include:

  • Lethargy
  • Depression
  • Weight loss
  • Sneezing
  • Nasal discharge
  • Breathing difficulty

There are sometimes no obvious signs of lungworm infestation in cats.

Lungworm in cats treatment

NexGard SPECTRA® Spot-On for Cats is a highly effective lungworm treatment for cats. It can be used in all cats from 8 weeks of age and weighing at least
0.8 kg.

Lungworm prevention in cats

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Monthly treatment with NexGard SPECTRA® prevents lungworm infestations in cats, as well as providing protection against fleas, ticks, mites, heartworm and intestinal worms. It provides the most complete parasite protection, all in one easy, monthly application.

Nexgard spectra for cats - portrait Nexgard spectra for cats - portrait


  • Can humans catch lungworm from cats?

    Feline lungworm (Aelurostrongylus abstrusus) is not considered a risk to human health.

  • Can my cat pass a lungworm infection to other pets?

    Feline lungworm typically only affects cats. Cats get lungworm either by ingesting an infected snail or slug, or by ingesting a rodent, lizard or bird that has eaten an infected snail or slug.

  • Is lungworm serious in cats?

    Yes, lungworm can cause serious respiratory disease in cats. Signs of lungworm in cats may include lethargy, weight loss, sneezing, nasal discharge and breathing difficulty.



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