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Dr. Laura Devlin, DVM, DABVP
Dr. Laura Devlin, DVM, DABVP, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 1801
Experience:  DABVP, Specialist in Canine and Feline Practice, Veterinarian since 2000
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There are little rice-like things coming out of my cats rear

Resolved Question:

There are little rice-like things coming out of my cats rear end. I don't know if it is coming from her anus or vagina. when the come out they are soft and white-ish. They fall off and eventually dry out and they are hard like rice and just lay there. What is this? There are quite a lot of them. She eats regularly and is an indoor/outdoor cat. She doesn't seem to be sick.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Dr. Laura Devlin, DVM, DABVP replied 8 years ago.
Your cat has tapeworms.

There are 2 kinds of tapeworms. The tapeworms have to be ingested for your cat to get them.

The first kind comes from eating fleas. The second comes from eating rabbits/rodents. It sounds like you are describing the flea tapeworm.

The tapeworms can be treated. I would recommend taking a sample of stool in to your vet for a stool check to make sure there are no other parasites. Different parasites require different medication to treat. The tapeworms can be treated with pills or a new topical medication called PROFENDER, which is applied like frontline for fleas.

Speaking of fleas, your cat will soon have tapeworms back unless you start treating all of your pets with monthly flea preventive. It is not unusual with cats to NEVER see the fleas because the goom and swallow them before you can see them. In addition to carrying tapeworms, fleas can cause anemia, transmit Cat Scratch Fever and Feline Infectious Anemia, and cause allergies, irritation, itching, and stress.

Information on tapeworms:

Info on flea prevention:

Info on Profender:

Please let me know if you have any other questions.
Dr. Devlin
Dr. Laura Devlin, DVM, DABVP and other Cat Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
What exactly are the little rice things? And, should I be concerned about my two dogs in the house? There aren't fleas, the dogs have been treated more often than the cat.
Expert:  Dr. Laura Devlin, DVM, DABVP replied 8 years ago.
The white things are tapeworms. The end of the long tapeworm pinches off and comes out of the rectum looking sort of like rice. It is full of eggs.

The link discusses the life cycle - its complicated in that the tapeworm HAS to go through the intermediate host of the flea to develop.

Your cat has to eat fleas to get the tapeworms. There is no other way. The tapeworms they get from eating rabbits/rats look different.

I often have clients who don't believe they have fleas because they never see them. Remember, a flea only comes onto a pet to have a meal, and then leaves to lay eggs. By the time you start to see fleas, unless you are lucky and look at just the right time, you have ALOT of fleas in the environment.

You will need to treat all the animals once monthly from now on, or your pets will continue to get tapeworms. (Dogs may have them too, but unless they have alot of tapeworms, you may never see the segments) Tapeworms are expensive to treat.

Dr. D
Dr. Laura Devlin, DVM, DABVP and other Cat Specialists are ready to help you