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.
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.
|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|
Primary source material for Cat Deworming: The Cat, Its Behavior, Nutrition & Health by Linda P Case.
Cat Deworming – Original photo on Flickr