All cats can get worms but if your kitty loves to hunt and roam around outdoors, they are at a higher risk. Worms can cause a lot of misery for cats and can leave them malnourished and anemic. They also present a risk to humans. It is important that you regularly treat your kitty with the best wormer for cats that you can find.
Cat dewormer medication contains active ingredients that make life very unpleasant for intestinal worms and rids your cat of the infestation. The active ingredients can be chemical or natural. To help you choose which cat wormer would be best for your kitty, check out our useful guide.
The Best Cat Dewormer
An effective treatment for tapeworm that requires no prescription from a vet and very little effort. You can use this for all cats aged over six weeks. The active ingredient is Prazquantel which is an effective dewormer for tapeworm.
All you need is a single dose of this tapeworm medicine for cats but your kitty can be re-infected if they have fleas so use a flea treatment at the same time. The tablets can be crushed in food for easy administration or you can place them directly in the mouth.
Effective dewormer for cats
Active ingredient is Prazquantel
Flea treatment may be needed to stop re-infection
Can be crushed in food
- BrandBayer Animal Health
- Weight0.8 ounces
A treatment for large roundworms in cats that is both safe and effective. The active ingredient is Piperazine which is effective against ascarids in the intestinal tract of cats.
This worm medicine for cats comes as a liquid and a single dose is a quarter of a teaspoon per 2.5 pounds of body weight. Because it tastes great, you can administer it directly into your cat’s mouth or mix it in with their food. It comes in a four-ounce bottle so it can be used again if re-infection occurs. This dewormer is suitable for cats over six weeks old but not for pregnant or nursing cats. A negative heartworm blood test should also be obtained before treatment.
For the treatment of large roundworm
Not for kittens under six weeks of age
Provided in a four-ounce bottle
Active ingredient is Piperazine
- Weight5.6 ounces
A natural blend of herbs that create an environment that is not favorable for pinworms, whipworms, tapeworms and roundworms. The ingredients include wormwood, sage leaf and fennel seed but there are no harsh drugs or synthetic chemicals. It is also effective at relaxing and soothing the lining of the gut which helps ease out gas.
This cat wormer is completely free of allergens, gluten and artificial additives so it can be used by cats of all ages and even those that are ill or have allergies. This kitten dewormer comes with a handy dropper so that you can measure out the correct dose into your cat’s food.
Natural blend of herbs
No harsh chemicals
Relaxes the gut
Suitable for cats of all ages
- Weight7.7 ounces
A veterinarian approved and GMO-free product to treat whipworm, hookworm, roundworm and tapeworm in cats. It also treats Strongyloides, threadwоrm, pinwоrm, and seatwоrm. It contains black walnut, orange peel and walnut as well as wormwood and chamomile.
You can place it directly in your pet’s mouth or add it to their food or water. It’s highly effective at eliminating worms and eggs but gentle on your cat’s gut and perfectly safe.
Made from totally natural ingredients
Gentle on the gut
- BrandVetaHelp Labs
- Weight4 ounces
A highly effective dewormer that will get to work on eradicating worms and nematodes, trematodes and cestodes from your pet’s gut. It comes with a handy dropper so you can easily select the right dose for your cat’s weight.
This GMO-free product has no side effects and contains all natural ingredients such as pumpkin seed, marshmallow root and black pepper. It works in harmony with your cat’s body and is gentle on the gut.
Eradicates nematodes, trematodes and cestodes
All natural ingredients
- Weight4.3 ounces
Suitable for all ages of cat, this ringworm treatment is safe and highly effective. You use it by mixing it with water in a spray bottle. Then you spray the solution onto a clean cloth and use it to wipe your kitty all over including around the eyes if they have ringworm sores. You can spray crusted areas directly if your kitty allows you to. This is done twice a day.
It contains phosphoric acid as the active ingredient which is a powerful anti-fungicide and anti-septic because it alters the pH of the skin. This works better than alternative fungicides but is gentler than a lime sulfur dip.
You can also use the spray on bedding and it is safe for use on kittens.
Mix it in a spray bottle
Anti-fungal and anti-septic
Lowers the skin pH
Suitable for kittens
- BrandVet Recommended
- Weight5.6 ounces
A GMO-free natural dewormer made here in the US. It’s effective against hookworm, tapeworm, whipworm and roundworm in cats. This broad-spectrum treatment contains no chemicals and does not disturb the gut. It also protects your cat’s immune system and is completely safe.
The natural ingredients include wormwood, apple cider vinegar, clove bud and black walnut. It comes with a handy dropper so that you can select the correct dose.
GMO-free natural dewormer
Broad spectrum treatment
Includes clove bud and black walnut
Supports a healthy immune system
- Weight4 ounces
A broad spectrum dewormer that will effectively treat tapeworm, roundworm and hookworm infestations in cats. It can be used on cats that are over a month in age and who weigh over 1.5 pounds. Giving the correct dosage is essential. You need to administer one tablet for every 4 8 pounds of body weight.
The tablets contain Drontal (praziquantel/pyrantel pamoate) to eradicate the following species of intestinal worms Dipylidium Caninum, Taenia taeniaeformis, Ancylostoma tubaeforme and Toxocara cati. Each tablet contains 18.2 mg praziquantel as well as 72.6 mg pyrantel base. They have been scored so that you can break them easily to get the correct dose.
Broad spectrum dewormer
Suitable for cats over one month
Provided as white tablets
Dose is dictated by body weight
- BrandBayer Animal Health
- Weight3.2 ounces
Best Cat Dewormer Buying Guide & FAQ
How to Choose the Right Cat Dewormer
There are several different types of cat dewormer. The vet can give you advice about the best one to choose for your cat. Here are some features to look out for to help you choose the right one.
- The type of worm it’s effective against: Check that the dewormer is effective against the type of worm that your cat has. Some products are termed ‘broad spectrum’ which means that they are active against many different types of worms.
- The age of your cat: Some dewormers have got powerful chemicals in them and they are not suitable for very young kittens. Some have an age limit of one month or six weeks. Others cannot be used on pregnant or nursing mothers. Sometimes, there is a weight limit and if your cat is under a certain weight you cannot use the product.
- Active ingredient: There are several different types of active ingredients that work on the worms and kill them or irritate them so they do not adhere to your cat’s gut. Some are chemicals, such as praziquantel/pyrantel pamoate. Others are natural ingredients such as black pepper.
- Natural ingredients: You may prefer to use a natural product that does not contain any artificial chemicals. These work in harmony with your cat’s body and may also support their immune system. Some examples of natural active ingredients include chamomile and orange peel.
- How it is administered: This is a matter of personal preference. Some products are provided as liquids and have a dropper so that you can put the correct dose directly into your cat’s mouth or in food. Others are in tablet form. Again, you can try to get this into your cat’s mouth (and persuade them to swallow) or you can crush it up and sprinkle it on your cat’s food.
Why You Should Use Dewormer for Cats
Worms are intestinal parasites that can infect cats of all ages. The most common type of worm that cats get are the roundworms and tapeworms. They attach themselves to the gut wall and live off the nutrients in your cat’s food. In kittens, this can result in your cat not getting enough nutrients and this can affect growth and development. In adult cats, it can affect how much nutrition they get from their meals. Worms can also damage a cat’s immune system and affect their general well-being. Some worms can be transmitted to humans.
The long term effects of a worm infestation are even more serious. A cat with a heavy worm infestation can become anemic from the loss of blood in the intestines and the worms can cause an intestinal blockage which can be fatal. For all of these reasons, it is important that you deworm your cat regularly.
Types of Intestinal Parasites
These are the common intestinal worms in cats in the US. The two species are Toxocara cati and Toxascaris leonina. Roundworm eggs are found widely in the environment. When your cat ingests the eggs (either directly or by eating a mouse that is infected) they get the infestation. Mother cats also pass them on to kittens in their milk because worm larvae live in the mammary glands.
Most cats need to be regularly treated for roundworms throughout their life.
These small roundworms are also prevalent in the US. They attach to the lining of the intestine and cause bleeding and anemia as well as weight loss. Your cat can become infected by eating eggs from the environment or by eating an infected prey animal such as a mouse. Larvae in the environment can also burrow through a cat’s skin. Common species include Ancylostoma tubaeforme and Uncinaria stenocephala.
These are long flat worms that have many body segments and the most common species are Dipylidium caninum and Taenia taeniaeformis.. As the worm matures, segments full of eggs are passed out with poop. The most common route of transmission is for eggs to enter an intermediate host which is the cat flea, or rather the immature cat flea larvae. When a cat grooms itself, it often swallows fleas and so the infection starts all over again.
If your cat has fleas, you should assume that they also have tapeworm. Taenia taeniaeformis can also be passed on with small rodents acting as the intermediate host. This is common in cats that hunt outdoors.
- Other worms
As well as intestinal worms, there are some other worms that you may have heard of. Cats can get worms in other parts of their body. Dirofilaria immitis is a heartworm, Aelurostrongylus abstrusus is a lungworm and ringworm is a fungal infection of the skin.
What Are the Symptoms of Worms in Cats?
How can you tell that your cat has worms? There are a few telltale symptoms that you should look out for.
- Weight loss: A cat with worms often has a good appetite but will struggle to put on weight or may lose weight.
- Distended stomach: You may notice that your cat’s stomach is distended so that they look bloated.
- Coarse fur: A cat with worms does not usually have a healthy coat. You may notice that their fur becomes coarse and rough and does not shine in the way that it used to.
- Change in their poop: The bowel habits of cats with worms will change. It is common for a cat to have diarrhea.
- Visible worms in poop: You may be able to see adult worms, or parts of their bodies, in your cat’s poop. You may also see them around your cat’s anus and in their bedding. Worms can grow up to 10cm in length but it is unusual to see one that big. They are usually white in color. A single section of a tapeworm can look like a small grain.
Best Cat Dewormer FAQ:
Q: What is a dewormer for cat and how does it work?
A: Cat dewormers are medical preparations that are designed to combat the worms that commonly infect domestic cats. They are available as tablets or as liquids and are generally administered by mouth. Roundworm is different – it is a fungus that lives on the skin and the medication needs to be applied to the affected area.
Dewormer medication works by directly attacking the worm and killing it so that it passes out with your cat’s poop. It can also work by making the environment of the intestines so unpleasant for the worms that they do not want to live there. Pyrantel pamoate is an active ingredient in many cat dewormers for roundworms and hookworms. It works by paralyzing them. Praziquantel is used for tapeworms and works by starving them and Piperazine works on roundworms and paralyzes them.
Q: How long does kitten dewormer take to work?
A: This varies by the product that you buy so always read the label. Most dewormers start to work within 24 hours and carry on working for up to three weeks. You may need to give another dose of some medications after a few weeks have passed. Don’t forget that your cat can get re-infected with worms especially if they go outside a lot. Therefore, it is recommended that you use a cat dewormer every two to six months.
Q: How do I prevent worms in the first place?
A: Cats pick up worms from other infected animals, from eating larvae or eggs deposited in poop or on grass and from eating raw meat, infected prey animals and infected parasites. If your kitty has an outdoor lifestyle, you may be thinking that it is impossible to protect them! However, there is plenty that you can do. Here are some top tips for avoiding worm infestations.
- Consider a change of lifestyle: Cats who live exclusively indoors are not exposed to rodents, birds or any other animals that can carry worms. Of course, there are disadvantages to this sort of lifestyle and your cat may prefer the outdoor life.
- Regularly test their poop: If your cat does roam outside, you will need to take a sample of their poop to the vet twice a year so that it can be tested for parasites.
- Control fleas: Cat fleas carry intestinal worm eggs so if your cat has fleas, they are at a higher risk of getting worms. The longer your cat has fleas, the more likely they are to have worms as well. Use a regular, effective flea treatment once a month.
- Cleanliness: Keep the areas used by your cat scrupulously clean. The litter tray must be changed regularly and their food and water bowls must be washed every day.
- Overall health: A healthy cat has a strong immune system and is less likely to succumb to a parasite infestation. Give your kitty a premium cat food and check with your vet to see if they need any additional vitamins or supplements.
Our Top Pick
Our top pick of the best dewormers for cats is a tapeworm treatment that can be used on cats over six weeks of age. The active ingredient is Prazquantel and you need a single dose to treat your cat. Remember that they can be re-infected if your cat has fleas so use a flea treatment at the same time. The tablets can be crushed in food for easy administration or you can place them directly in the mouth