A client of mine remarked that her cat may have tapeworm as a result of a summer infestation of fleas. That piqued my interest so I did some research.
While fleas do not produce tapeworm per se, they can host this troublesome parasite. As the cat tries to get rid itself of these pests through grooming, s/he may inadvertently swallow one.
While more bothersome than dangerous, they can rob your cat of important nutrients. They attach themselves to the cats intestine, where they mature and release eggs in two or three weeks.
Grains resembling rice, around your cat’s butt or in the litter box, are a tell tale sign. It can also be confirmed through a stool sample. Your vet will prescribe a medication to target the tapeworm. The first dose will kill the adult worms and the second will extinguish the larvae. Be sure to check back with your vet for an all-clear.
And in case you’re wondering, yes it is possible for humans to contract tapeworms by ingesting an infected flea. So it is especially important to keep children away from infected dirt or feces. Also using good hygiene, such as washing hands, after handing an animal will go a long way to prevent this.
For more information click: http://animal.discovery.com/healthy-pets/cat-health-101/how-to-deal-with-tapeworms-in-cats-02.html