Small, slimy worms have been found on the fur of this woman’s poor cat a number of times over the course of a few weeks. In the picture our reader sent in, we can see a minuscule, brown worm-shaped creature, with two antennae at its head, and a tubular body that thins out at the tail. Another thing worth noticing is the obvious split in color and texture along its middle, the upper half of the creature being a lighter brown than its lower half.
In addition to this photograph of excellent quality, our reader added that it has been very hot and humid recently, and that she discovers these worms on her cat right after he has been outside. She hopes that they are merely slugs, and not something “internal.” We are pleased to say that our reader can rest assure that this creature is in fact a baby slug. If not for the great quality of the photo, this would not have been obvious, given its size, so we commend our reader for providing us with such a clear image of this little critter.
This slug in particular is the most common of them all, the garden slug. Considered a pest, this slug prefers moist, humid environments and feeds on pretty much any plant it can find, though naturally there are exceptions. This makes it lethal to one’s garden, but luckily harmless toward one’s cats, or any pets for that matter. Hence, our reader has nothing to worry about. Simply picking the slugs off the cat’s fur and putting them back outside should suffice in dealing with this problem. If the climate becomes too dry, slugs will hide underground, where it is favorably humid and dark.
When threatened, slugs will curl up into a C-shape to make themselves as compact as possible. This defense mechanism is a leftover characteristic from the snail, which curls up into its shell, and whom the slug has evolved from. Furthermore, according to AllAboutSlugs.com, another method some species of slug have of getting away from predators is to “self-amputate” a part of themselves to stun the predator and make an escape. Slugs can afford to do this as they have regenerative abilities similar to flatworms, and will grow back the body part it lost!
In conclusion, the creatures our reader found crawling on her cat’s fur were baby garden slugs! Although not the most beautiful of creatures, subjectively speaking, garden slugs are harmless to pets and humans. If our reader wishes to learn more about slugs, we can recommend reading a previous article we have written on slugs. If our reader is concerned for plants she may have outside that are at risk of being eaten by slugs, then we encourage her to write to us again, or research “how to deal with a slug-infested garden.” Otherwise, we hope that this article has sufficed in assuring our reader that her cat is not at risk.