My Cat Has Worms How Do I Clean My House?

Worms are a common parasite found in cats. After deworming your cat, use this guide to clean your house and reduce the chance of a reoccurring infestation.

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Last Updated: March 1, 2023 | 4 min read

Vacuuming animal hair from sofa with cat sitting on the sofa

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If you’re reading this article, you’ve likely come to the unfortunate conclusion that your cat has worms. What’s about to happen next is not going to be fun, but it is an essential step in caring for yourself and your cat. Follow this step-by-step guide on how to clean your house when your cat has worms. 

How Did My Cat Get Worms?

Outdoor cats have a higher chance of getting worms than indoor cats, so if your feline frequents the backyard, the most probable explanation is that they came in contact with something outside and became infested. 

Outdoor cats that hunt small rodents can become infected if their prey has worms. Some cats can become infested through other animal feces that contains eggs from hookworms or roundworms. Tapeworms can develop after your cat gets fleas. Fleas can jump from animal to animal and, when ingested, can cause tapeworms in cats.

Indoor cats are more likely to get worms if they live in a multi-cat home, especially if they share the same litterbox. 

What Are The Symptoms Of Worms?

While various worms will cause different symptoms, the most common signs of worms are as follows:

  • vomiting (including vomiting the worms)
  • diarrhea (might have blood)
  • dull coat
  • skin problems
  • swollen/bloated abdomen
  • weight loss

If untreated, a worm infestation can lead to serious health problems, including dehydration, weakness, shock, and death. If you suspect your feline has worms, contact your veterinarian as soon as possible. 

How Are Worms Usually Treated?

Before deep-cleaning your home, you should have your cat treated for worms. This treatment will vary based on the type of worm—hookworm, roundworm, tapeworm, or heartworm—but your vet will likely prescribe a deworming medication. 

Should I Quarantine My Cat If He Has Worms?

As you will find out, worms can be easily spread and even transmitted to humans. It is a good idea to quarantine your cat in a specific room while being treated for worms. Quarantining is especially important if you have multiple cats or other pets. Provide your cat with everything he will need to be comfortable: bedding, food, water, and a litter box. 

How Do I Clean My Home If My Cat Has Worms?

It’s crucial to thoroughly clean your house if your cat has worms because if you don’t clean well, there’s a high likelihood that your cat will pick up the worm eggs again, and the cycle will start all over. 

1. Protect Yourself 

Because several types of worms can be transmitted to you, protective gear is vital. Choose disposable items that can be tossed in an outside garbage can. Always wear rubber gloves and boots while cleaning. Ideally, you’ll also have a disposable apron and mask to wear while cleaning so you can toss everything in the trash when you’re done cleaning. You don’t want to ingest or inhale one of the eggs, so protecting yourself is always step one.

2. Clean The Litter Box

Since you’ll likely find worm eggs in feces, clean your cat’s litter box daily while they are still infected. Empty the litter box and use a bleach disinfectant spray to clean the tray. Wipe the tray with paper towels and toss before adding fresh litter. Remember to wear your rubber gloves and mask while cleaning the litter box and dispose of them immediately after cleaning into an outdoor trash can.

3. Clean Up Any Accidents

If your kitty is sick, they’ll likely be experiencing vomiting and diarrhea, so you’ll need to quickly clean up any accidents to prevent the spread of the parasite. Accidents on hard surfaces can be cleaned with a disinfectant spray to remove any trace of worms or their eggs. Use paper towels first to clean up the mess, followed by disinfectant spray. Use an enzyme cleaner as a spot treatment on carpet messes. Enzymatic cleaners can be especially effective in breaking down stains and odors from diarrhea and vomiting. 

4. Clean All Hard Surfaces

Because cat hair flies everywhere, parasite eggs can be on any surface of your house. Clean up all hard surfaces in your home, concentrating on areas where you know your cat has been using a disinfectant cleaner. You can also use bleach and boiling water.

5. Treat Carpets And Rugs

To stop the never-ending cycle of your cat becoming infected again and again, you should fully clean all carpets and rugs. Consider investing in or renting a steam cleaner for carpets and other soft surfaces, as heat is the best way to get rid of eggs. To ensure all eggs have been destroyed, you can use a small amount of food-grade diatomaceous earth on your carpets and other soft surfaces. This fine, chalky powder has microscopic sharp edges that are safe for you and your furry friends but are deadly to parasites. 

While wearing a mask, sprinkle a light film of diatomaceous earth on carpets, rugs, and furniture. After three to four days, vacuum the powder from all surfaces and reapply as needed. 

6. Clean Everything Else

Clean anything your cat has come in contact with: bedding, blankets, pillows, and more. If you can’t throw the item in the washing machine, thoroughly stream the item with the steam cleaner, a disinfectant, or diatomaceous earth. 

7. Clean Outside

If your cat goes outside, you’ll likely need to treat your outdoor space. Avoid using a hose or power washer, as this can spread the parasite further. Mix hot water with bleach to treat your patio or concrete outdoor spaces. Spread diatomaceous earth all over your yard to maintain a pest-free area. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Touch My Cat If He Has Worms?

Yes, you can touch your cat; however, it is possible to become infected by your cat if you keep close contact. Avoid sleeping in the same bed as your cat to prevent the transmission of parasites.

Should I Wash My Sheets If My Cat Has Worms?

Yes, wash your sheets. Anything that can fit in the washing machine should be cleaned. You should also try to clean all other soft surfaces, paying attention to nooks and crannies where pests can hide.

How Do I Avoid Worm Infestations?

One of the best ways to avoid worms is to keep your cat indoors. If this isn’t possible, set up a contained space for your cat while they’re outside. Keep your cat away from birds and rodents that can carry parasites. 

You can also prevent worms by giving your cat regular preventative medications and keeping up good grooming habits. 

Final Thoughts

Cleaning up after a worm infestation is tough work but absolutely necessary to avoid reoccurring parasites. To keep worms at bay, regularly clean your house, your kitty’s bedding, and your cat’s litter box. If you’re concerned that your cat has worms, speak with your vet. Your veterinarian is the best option to diagnosing and effectively treating your cat.

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