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letting cat with tapeworms inside?

MelinoeMelinoe Registered User regular
edited November 2012 in Help / Advice Forum
My boyfriend and I are in the process of adopting a cat that was abandoned by our previous owners and has been living around our apartment complex. He has been taken to the vet and has a clean bill of health aside from fleas and tapeworms. Worms were taken care of, fleas took longer, and he had been living outside/in whatever neighbor's house he could get in while we were trying to take care of the fleas because we didn't want our apartment to get infested with them.

Fleas are now taken care of but the tapeworms are back. I already called the vet about getting more medication and they should get back to me sometime tomorrow, but in the interim is it okay to let him inside the house? It's reasonably cold outside at night (mid-low 40's) and he really wants to come in, and I don't want him to be cold. Will the tapeworms be bad for the apartment in any way and if so will he be alright outside while we get the meds sorted out? I assume the answer to the latter is yes as he is furry and has probably spent plenty of nights outside and is no worse for wear, but I figured I'd ask anyway.

Melinoe on


  • Inquisitor77Inquisitor77 2 x Penny Arcade Fight Club Champion A fixed point in space and timeRegistered User regular
    Hard to say...tapeworms can be transmitted across species - they don't care what you are as long as they can latch on somewhere and they get fed. Technically I think it's possible, but realistically it's hard to know what the chances actually are of someone getting a tapeworm from the cat. I'd imagine they're pretty slim if the standard rules of hygiene are followed. You probably just want to be very careful about eating something that may have been contaminated with tapeworm larvae. For example, if the cat doesn't have a clean litter and just poops somewhere, then walks on top of the poop and climbs on a kitchen counter.

  • ElinElin Registered User regular
    edited November 2012
    So, there is more than one type of tapeworm. Some species of tapeworm are easier to catch for people types than others. Did your vet tell you the type of tapeworm? There are tapeworms you get from eating fleas, those don't transmit in poop, you need to actually eat a flea. There are tapeworms the cat gets from eating infected critters outside. Those totally transmit in poop.

    Could you let him inside but like keep him in a bathroom type area that can be bleached when he's well? I mean, even if he poops in a litter box he's walking on his poop, and then on your stuff, leaving little worm eggs just waiting for you to ingest them. And let me tell you, parasites eggs are fucking tough to kill.

    And despite my liberal use of the word poop, I assure you this is all coming out of my parasitology course. I just like to say poop. But if you want a classy word, the term for diseases that pass species barriers is zoonotic. Pretty cool huh?

    I should stop answering shit at 1 am with a fever while I wait for the Nyquil to work.

    Elin on
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  • Jam WarriorJam Warrior Registered User regular
    Cat tapeworms are very rarely given to humans as the worm is highly host specific adapted and you pretty much need to swallow an infected flea. Basic handwashing hygiene when dealing with anything poop related and before cooking/eating your own food, combined with keeping the cat off kitchen surfaces should be absolutely fine while the treatment sorts the problem.

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