We just heard from an alarmed reader who found a suspicious creature outside her home. Specifically, she found this worm in her feral cat’s pen where he typically uses the bathroom. She wants to know what it is! Before we dive into identifying this specimen, we want to remind our reader that we are not veterinary professionals, and therefore cannot administer advice about the health of her cat. If she thinks her cat is sick or in danger because of this worm, we encourage her to take the cat to the vet as soon as possible! That being said, we aren’t exactly sure about the reader’s relation to this cat. Usually when a cat is described as “feral”, that signifies that the cat is self sufficient and has limited, if any, contact with humans. Perhaps our reader is just asking about a cat she sees around her yard, and this isn’t a feline she would take to the vet if she suspected it was ill.
Anyways, back to the worm! From the photo we noticed that this creature is several inches long, flat with round edges, and shiny. It is a caramel color with a single dark brown stripe lining its back. We believe this is a land planarian, or a terrestrial flatworms! These worms belong to the Geoplanidae family and are sometimes confused with slugs or leeches. There are many species of land planarians. Flatworms aren’t harmful to cats, as they survive by eating invertebrates.
ATTENTION: GET PARASITE HELP NOW! At All About Worms we get a lot of questions about skin parasites, blood parasites, and intestinal parasites in humans. Because we can't diagnose you, we have put together this list of doctors and labs who understand and specialize in dealing with parasites in humans! That resource is HERE
To summarize, a reader asked us to identify a worm she discovered in her feral cat’s territory. We believe the worm is a terrestrial flatworm and that it is not harmful to her or her cat. However, if she is worried about the cat’s well-being she should take it to visit the vet.
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