Roundworm in Cats - Symptoms, Treatment & Prevention

This article covers the important facts about feline roundworms and how to protect your cat, you and your family.

Roundworm in cats
Roundworm in cats

What are roundworms in cats?

Feline roundworms are intestinal parasites. They are the most common type of intestinal worm in cats in Australia. The adult worms live in the small intestine. There are two species of roundworms that can infest cats in Australia: Toxocara cati and Toxascaris leonina.

How do cats get roundworms?

Cats become infested with roundworm by ingesting infective eggs from a contaminated environment (e.g., the back yard or other outdoor area) or through eating an infested host such as a bird or rodent.

Symptoms of roundworms in cats

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Symptoms or signs of roundworm in cats may include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • A pot-bellied appearance
  • Coughing

Sometimes you may see roundworms in cat vomit or roundworms in cat poop. Sometimes there are no obvious signs of roundworms in cats.

What do roundworms look like in cats?

Roundworms are long, cream-coloured, spaghetti-like worms up to 10 cm in length.

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Roundworm treatment in cats

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

Roundworm prevention for cats

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Protecting cats against roundworm is essential, not only for your cat’s health, but also the health of you and your family. If roundworm eggs are accidentally ingested by a human, the parasite can migrate to internal organs, affecting muscles, eyes and the brain. Young children are considered most at risk as they are more likely to play in contaminated areas and place things in their mouths.

Monthly deworming of cats is recommended to reduce environmental contamination with roundworm eggs and minimise the risk of transmission to people.

Monthly treatment with NexGard SPECTRA® protects cats against intestinal worms, including roundworms, as well as fleas, ticks, mites, heartworm and lungworm.

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


  • Can a cat survive with roundworms?

    Roundworm infestations are not usually fatal for cats, but they can cause significant disease in both cats and people, so it’s very important to treat and control this parasite in cats.

  • How contagious are roundworms in cats?

    Cats become infested with roundworm eggs from contaminated environments or through hunting and ingesting roundworm infested hosts rather than from direct contact with an infested cat.

  • How long until roundworms are gone in cats?

    Approved roundworm treatments such as NexGard SPECTRA® Spot-On for Cats will effectively treat roundworms with a single dose. To control future roundworm infestations, on-going monthly treatment is recommended.

  • Can I get roundworms from my cat?

    People can become infected with feline roundworm, but this typically happens when people accidentally ingest roundworm eggs from a contaminated environment (e.g., a park or sand pit) and not from direct contact with cats.



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NEXGARD SPECTRA®, NEXGARD®, HEARTGARD30® and PARAGARD® are registered trademarks of the Boehringer Ingelheim Group.
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