Where do hookworms come from?
There are two species of hookworms that can infect cats. Infection occurs after the ingestion of food or water contaminated with larvae, or by eating an intermediate host. Infection can also occur after larval migration through the skin. The worm matures in the small intestine, and the prepatent period (between infection and demonstration of the parasite) is between 19 and 28 days. These worms attach to the wall of the small intestine, and they ingest blood. In large numbers, and in small kittens, this can cause a severe anemia.
People can also become infested with hookworms, though the most common way to be infected is with cutaneous larval migrans. This is an extremely itchy condition, often found on the feet. This is why it is important to keep your cat free of parasites, and many monthly topical flea prevention products also prevent these parasites.