Cat Deworming

Caveat on cat deworming: Deworming agents are poisonous drugs that are designed to kill parasites and not hurt the cat but the cat needs to be well enough to cope with the treatment particularly if a kitten is infested. Kittens should be otherwise well and de-stressed. Kittens are commonly infested with ascarids but just treating that type of worm may be unwise as there may be other types present. A vet check is advised. Certain drugs treat certain worms.

Here’s a comprehensive list of treatments. It might be useful to first touch on some clinical signs of internal parasites. A visit to the vet is always recommended.

head of tapeworm

Signs of worms, internal parasites

Roundworm: usually restricted to cats and kittens living in an environment that is contaminated with ascarid eggs. Infestation in kittens can be a serious health problem. An infested kitten will have a pot-bellied appearance, rough coat and poor muscle development. There may be vomiting and diarrhea that may contain worms.

Hookworms: Blood loss through damage to intestine wall causing feline anemia. This leads to weakness, depression, lethargy. Chronic, dark, tary diarrhea that may contain blood and mucous. Vomiting. Diagnosis: worms in vomit and feces.

Tapeworms: Dull coat, decreased appetite, weight loss. Most cases show no signs. Diagnosis: eggs in feces and around tail and anal region.

Heartworms: persistent cough, dyspnea (shortness of breath), depression, weight loss and “sporadic vomiting”.

Lungworms: most cats show no signs (asymptomatic). Non-productive cough can be present.

Liver Flukes: Liver fluke induced liver disease signs are: vomiting, diarrhea, anorexia, icterus (jaundice).

See more: Cat Parasites

Cat Deworming Treatments

Always read the instructions and check with your vet. Some medications are not suitable for kittens. For example Piperazine (Worm Away, Wormicide – available in USA) is not recommended for kittens by one site.

Medication Worm Where Comment
Drontal “kills every type of intestinal worm commonly found in UK cats” UK Drontal available at Amazon (£1.58)
Milbemax Roundworm Tapeworm Hookworm UK Can only be prescribed by your vet
Bob Martins Cat Spot On Dewormer “effective against the most common worms” UK Works by dropping liquid on skin
Total care Worming Paste Unclear, probably general purpose UK Min age >6 weeks
Sherley’s Multi Cat Wormer Tablets Roundworm Tapeworm UK Cats over 6 months old
Worm Away Roundworm Hookworm (partial) USA Min age >6 weeks
Wormicide Roundworm Hookworm (partial) USA Min age >6 weeks
Nemex Roundworm Hookworm Tapeworm (some) USA Min age >2 weeks
ProWormer-2 Roundworm Hookworm Tapeworm (some) USA Min age >2 weeks
Panacur Roundworm Hookworm Taenia sp of tapeworm USA, UK No age limit
Droncit Tapeworm Liver flukes USA, UK Min age >6 weeks
Feline Cestocide Tapeworm Liver flukes USA Min age >6 weeks
Cestex Tapeworm USA Min age >7 weeks
Triple Wormer Roundworm Hookworm Some species of tapeworm USA Min weight >2.5 pounds
Happy Jack Roundworm Hookworm Some species of tapeworm USA Min weight >2.5 pounds
Heartgard Heartworm Hookworm (partial) USA Min age >6 weeks

From Cat Deworming to Cat Health Problems

Primary source material for Cat Deworming: The Cat, Its Behavior, Nutrition & Health by Linda P Case.

Cat Deworming – Original photo on Flickr

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