A good source tells me that the two most effective deworming medications are (1) praziquantel + pyrantel and (2) fenbendazole. These drugs are effective in treating ascarids, hookworms and tapeworms. They are effective broad spectrum deworming drugs. Not all deworming drugs are effective across the various species of parastic worm found in cats.
As you can buy cat dewormers online in the UK and I expect USA, and other countries, it is sensible to buy a treatment that kills the widest range of worms because you don’t know which species inhabits your cat. I am sure that you have been told that if your cat is allowed outside he/she is likely to acquire parasitic worms if they have the habit of eating mice which is to be expected of most domestic cats as they are the primary prey animal of domestic cats.
Fenbendazle also treats giardia. Some deworming drugs only kill tapeworms such as Epsiprantel. In the UK, fenbendazole is the active ingredient in Panacur granules 22.2% w/w. There are 3 per pack (£6.36) making £2.12 each. This is added to a cat’s food. Will your cat eat the food once it is added? There is a good chance that they won’t because cats are incredibly sensitive to changes in the smell of their food. However, reviews indicate that the majority of cats ate their food mixed with the granules.
One customers says that he knows the drug worked because he saw a dead ringworm in her cat’s faeces.
Praziquantel + pyrantel is active ingredient in Drontal cat worming tablets 2 per pack. The pills cost £2.58 each.
Cat owners want to know if the treatment has worked. What are the signs that it has worked? I don’t think you will see a change in your cat as often they don’t show clear signs of having worms. Most domestic cats cope with worms fairly well. You might see tapeworm segments on your cat’s bum but that is about it. So you want see any change most times. That is my guess.
But you can assume that it has worked because the vets know it works and the drug has no where to go but down the intestinal tract where the worms are. Be reassured that it has worked.
Conclusion? If you are confident in delivering a pill to your cat go for the Drontal. The general feeedback from cat owners is that delivering medications in food or pill form is often tricky at best. It’s time for the manufacturers to make a pill that tastes great to a cat.
Do they deliberately make pills that taste crappy to cats to encourage cat owners to take their cat to their veterinarian? I reckon that they do. The drug companies work closely with veterinarians. A lot of what goes on is about getting customers through the doors of veterinary clinics. Vets think that they don’t earn enough for the qualifications that they have. They consider themselves to be as qualified as human doctors but struggle to achieve the same income.
The ‘good source’ that I refer to is the Cat Owner’s Home Veterinary Handbook. An excellent standard work useful for all cat owners. It is enlightening to note that of the 9 treatments listed for deworming the 2 referred to are the only ones which kill the 3 types of worm infesting domestic cats.
The least effective in terms of broad spectrum are Praziquantel (by itself) and Epsiprantel. Both had no effect on ascarids or hookworms.