How Do You Treat Worms In Your Cat?


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Tapeworms and roundworms are the most common intestinal worms that infect cats. Most of the worm infested cats do not show any external signs. However, when the worms start to multiply, it usually results in diarrhea, vomiting, weight loss and an itchy anus. Tapeworms can also be passed on to human beings, which can be quite deadly as they can remain dormant for a long time and hitch a ride to the brain.

Types of worms

  • Roundworms โ€“ They are the most common intestinal parasites and their eggs are passed through feces. They can remain dormant in the external environment for years. If your cat eats eggs from a contaminated environment or eats another contaminated animal, he/she can get infected. Once your cat is infested with roundworms, some of the larvae can remain dormant in his/her body tissues. It is especially risky in the case of female cats as the eggs can migrate to their mammary glands and get excreted through the milk they produce, infecting the kittens in the process.
  • Hookworms โ€“ They are intestinal roundworms that damage the intestinal lining and cause bleeding, weight loss and anemia. Cats can get infected by hookworms when they ingest eggs from their surroundings. This can happen if they eat an intermediary host or if the larvae present in the environment manage to burrow their way through their skin.
  • Tapeworms โ€“ These are multi-segmented worms that are long and flat. They need the mediating presence of an intermediary host to complete their life cycle. They will only get infected by eating an intermediary host. If they accidentally ingest fleas while they groom themselves or if they eat an infected rodent, they stand a good chance of contracting tapeworms.

De-worming your cat

Roundworms are very common in kittens as they can pick up the infection from their mothersโ€™ mammary glands. It is safe to assume that all newborn kittens are infected and start treating them at a very young age.

  • Treat your kittens for a roundworm infection once every 2 weeks starting from when they are three weeks old till they turn six months old.
  • Treat adult cats once a month.

Tapeworms are usually more common in senior cats. However, in rare instances, even kittens can fall prey to a flea infestation.

  • Adult cats need to be treated once every month with a product that can effectively combat both roundworms and tapeworms.
  • Kittens need to be treated once every 2 weeks.

What deworming product should you use?

There are a number of deworming products available in the market, and the availability of a drug varies between countries. If you are in doubt, seek the advice of your petโ€™s veterinarian. He/she will be able to draw up a treatment plan that is suited to your catโ€™s needs. The deworming products found on the shelves of supermarkets are not that effective and the ones sold in veterinary pharmacies are quite costly. It is better to buy them online if you want to save money without compromising on the quality. You can go for both topical creams and  pills. The topical creams are designed to enter your catโ€™s blood stream through his/her hair follicles. They are also easier to administer than a pill or an injection. If your vet gives you the go ahead, they are the easiest deworming option.

How to Treat Some Common Worms in Cats

Just like us, cats are also prone to various intestinal parasites such as worms. They are a primary health concern for cats of all ages, living in all kinds of environments. The majority of the cats that are infected by worms do not show any signs at all. These worms can cause serious health issues if they continue to remain in the catโ€™s body. Also, some of these worms are capable of infecting humans.


Cats that are infected by worms will exhibit the following symptoms.

  • Bloating or potbellied appearance at the abdomen
  • Bloody stool
  • Constipation
  • Coughing
  • Diarrhea
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Vomiting
  • Weight loss
  • Worms visible in stool or near anus

However, these symptoms depend on the location of the infestation and type of parasite inside the cat.

Common types of worms in cats

The following worms are usually found in cats.

  • RoundwormsThe most common intestinal parasite in cats is roundworms. They have a spaghetti-like appearance and can grow up to three to four inches during adulthood. Kittens usually get them if they drink their infected motherโ€™s milk. Adult cats generally get them from eating infected rodents or feces of infected felines.
  • HookwormsSmaller than roundworms, hookworms generally reside in the small intestine of cats. As they feed on the catโ€™s blood, they can cause anemia, a life-threatening problem in kittens. Their eggs can pass through feces and infect other cats either through skin contact or ingestion.TapewormsTapeworms are usually flat and have the capability to grow up to 28 inches in length. When cats are infected by tapeworms, they suffer from weight loss or vomiting. Tapeworms are acquired when cats eat infected rodents or fleas. Small segments of tapeworms are found at the rear end of the felines.

Also, there are chances of cats getting infested by lungworms. They primarily reside in the lungs of the cat. One of the symptoms of a lungworm infection is coughing although the majority of the cats do not show any symptoms. The common carriers of lungworms are slugs and snails. However, cats can get them if they eat infected rodents or birds.


Regardless of whether your feline friend is infected by roundworms or not, you have to start the deworming treatment when they are three weeks old. Deworming should be done every two weeks till they are eight weeks old. After that, you have to treat them on a monthly basis till they are six months old. For adult cats, they should be dewormed every one to three months.Tapeworms mostly infect older cats unless your kitten has fleas. To remove tapeworms in kittens, you have to use products that are effective against Dipylidium caninum. If adult cats have tapeworms, you have to treat them every one to three months with products that are effective against roundworms and tapeworms like Profender topical solution for cats..Although there are many products available in the market for deworming cats, you should always ask your vet for advice. The vet will tell you the dosage and which product is most effective.

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