You may be wondering what type of parasites do cats get? There are quite a few actually. Some parasites are shed from Mother to kitten through the milk or at birth. Exposure to parasites from certain aspects of their environment such as contaminated water or another afflicted cat is how others are contracted. I’ve compiled a simple list of all known parasites, internal and external, that I’m aware of and have had the disgusting pleasure dealing with personally.


External Parasite

  • Flea

The flea is a highly common external parasite. They live on your cat and chow down on his or her blood. You can learn more about the flea from my article Can Fleas Make Cats Sick – What You Need To Know

  • Ear Mite

The second most common external parasite is ear mites. They burrow down into the cat’s ear canal and feed off the dead skin debris – gross!

  • Scabies

Also known as (Notoedric Mange or Cat Scabies/Mange). This skin parasite is more common than people realize. The main reason is incorrect prognosis as this is so similar and symptomatic of an allergy.

Image by Skeeze on Pixabay

Internal Parasite

  • Roundworm

Roundworms grow in the cat’s digestive tract. These are the most common internal parasite. They proceed to eat the food your cat eats. All the nutrients meant and needed for your cat is taken by the roundworm. At least 75% or more of all cats are likely to have roundworms.

  • Hookworm

A hookworm is not as common as the roundworm but a close runner-up. Hookworms begin in the cat’s lungs, by maturity they move to the intestines and feed off your cat’s blood. This parasite can infect 10% up to 60% of the cat population.

  • Tapeworm

A tapeworm is common for a cat infested with fleas. If your cat has fleas most likely he or she has tapeworms or the contrary.

  • Whipworm

A whipworm basically resides in the cat’s large intestines not doing much harm. These worms are very rare in North America.

  • Heartworm

The heartworm was once thought to be uncommon or non-existent among cats. This has changed over the years with more cases being diagnosed. The heartworm is a type of parasitic roundworm. These parasites cause severe damage to the heart and lungs. At this time there is no known treatment for heartworm in cats only preventative measures.

Prevent and Eliminate

That wraps up this short but informative post. I hope this has clarified parasite issues a cat might face. The best practice is using preventative medication or solutions to eliminate parasites altogether. When in doubt always talk with your vet about preventatives and solutions to ensure your kitty is free of parasites and healthy.

Image by Skeeze on Pixabay


Have you had a run-in with any of these nasty parasites? If you did I hope your cat is feeling much better and on a good preventative schedule.

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