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Tapeworm contagious?

Species: Cat
Breed: Siamese
Age: 2-5 years
I have a 3-4 yr old Siamese cat named Vincent....I got him from a shelter as a kitten. He is an outdoor/indoor cat...so he roams freely....he is sweet and loving, but I have noticed, on and off, the presence of tapeworms....they are small white, rice or sesame like pieces from his behind....when I find then, I clean them off him so it doesn\'t get on me or the furniture.....I want to self deworm him and I want to know if he needs to be confined while I do this.....I worry about finding worms all around my house.....I have anew kitten, 4weedks old, and indoors right now...but will take him to the vet for shots and deworming....I can\'t afford to do both cats...
Thank you

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Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Tapeworm can only be transmitted to a cat through some type of intermediate host. The cat has to eat either a flea or a mouse that is carrying tapeworm. The segments that you find are not contagious to other cats or to people at all.

There's no need to confine Vincent while he is being treated.

If he is repeatedly getting tapeworms, you may want to make sure he is also on a prescription flea product (as well as all of the other cats in the house.) Or, if you think he is getting them from eating mice, then you may need to deworm him every couple of months.



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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

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