Why is My Cat Pooping Rice?

Cats, Diagnosis, Parasites

Many cat owners have experienced seeing small flat “worms” associated with their cat’s bowel movement. Often described as a small piece of “rice,” these small segments are shed intermittently in the stool, and may not necessarily be in every bowel movement.

What are they? Where do they come from?

Chances are if your cat is exhibiting these symptoms, it has picked up a Tapeworm. The most common way for cats to get Tapeworms is by ingesting a mouse or ingesting fleas during their normal self-grooming. The small worms that you see excreted are just part of the entire Tapeworm and the rest of the Tapeworm is living inside your cat’s intestines. Those small segments contain many eggs from the Tapeworm which are released when the segment dries and breaks open. The tapeworm eggs are then eaten by flea larvae. The flea larvae become Tapeworm carrying adults and then infect the cat when they are swallowed, starting the whole cycle over again.

If your cat has had fleas in the past, even if it is flea-free now, the development of Tapeworms can occur inside your cat without you being aware. Tapeworms interfere with the nutrients in your cat’s digestive system and can cause intestinal irritation. Regular checking of your cat and its stool is important. If your cat doesn’t use a litter box indoors, these Tapeworm segments are also sometimes found in around your cat’s rear end.

If you are suspicious of Tapeworms in your cat, call CEDARCREST Animal Clinic at 540-943-7577 to set up a treatment plan and discuss ways to prevent re-occurrence of the problem.

CEDARCREST Animal Clinic provides medical and surgical care for every stage of your pet's life including preventive wellness care exams and vaccines, spays/neuters, and a variety of specialized care for your dog, cat, avian, or exotic. We are home to the only veterinarian practitioner in Virginia to be double Boarded in Avian and Canine/Feline care and provide care for birds, small mammals, and reptiles of all sorts! Plus, we are home to Virginia's most exclusive dog boarding resort that includes heated floors, an expansive play area, and even webcams so you can watch your pet while you're away. We're located in Fishersville, Virginia, and serve Augusta County and surrounding areas including Waynesboro, Staunton, Harrisonburg, and Charlottesville. 

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