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My cat is leaving what look like sesame seeds where he sleeps

By: Dr. Jon Rappaport

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Our question this week was:

I have a 3-year-old indoor cat and have recently noticed what look like sesame seeds around the house where he sleeps. I have looked through his fur and cannot find any but I still notice them everyday. I haven't changed the type of cat litter and can't find anything that looks like sesame seeds in it. I have looked through my whole house and can't find a source of them. Do you have any idea what this might be?

Thank you for your time

Matt St. Clair


Answer

Hi Matt– thanks for your email. It sounds to me like your cat could have tapeworms. Tapeworm segments when dried look like little kernels of rice or sesame seeds.

If your cat is indoor only – he may gave gotten them from having fleas. Check him carefully for fleas. Part his hair and look closely at his skin. Concentrate on his back – just in front of his tail. You may see what looks like cracked pepper on his skin (or live fleas). The black debris is often the bowel movement of the flea.

The other way cats can get tapeworms if from ingesting a rodent which is less common in indoor cats.

In general, tapeworms are not dangerous for cats but I'd recommend that you have them treated. Call your vet and have him evaluated. If he has fleas, I'd recommend a flea treatment and preventative and treatment for the tape worms.

An couple articles that might be helpful to you are Flea Infestation in Cats and Tapeworm Infection in Cats.


Best of luck!


Dr. Jon



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