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Worms are a common type of parasite that your cat can get by interacting with infected fecal matter or by encountering an infested host. There are several types of worms a cat can get such as intestinal worms like roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms, or whipworms. There are also pulmonary worms such as heartworms, or ringworms caused by a fungal infection. Roundworms and tapeworms are the most common in cats, but it is recommended to educate yourself on the different types of worms to best treat them. If you suspect your pet may have worms, visit a veterinarian as soon as possible for a diagnosis and to start deworming treatments for cats.
Does Deworming a Cat Include All Types of Worms?
Deworming medications are prescribed by your veterinarian as an effective way to rid cats of parasitic worms. Many products can treat and prevent multiple types of worms, but it is still important to know what kind of worms your cat has since not all medications are created equal. These medications dissolve the parasites over time. The treatment process should take an average of 2-4 weeks depending on the severity of the infestation. To prevent re-infection, there are deworming treatments for cats you can give periodically depending on their age and lifestyle.
What Causes your Kittens to have Worms?
There are many ways a cat can get worms. Mosquitoes carrying heartworm larvae can infect a cat with a bite. Worms may be congenital at birth which usually affects kittens born from outdoor or feral cats, and the mothers can also pass on worms through nursing. Outdoor cats are more likely to get worms by interacting with contaminated soil and touching infected feces. Consuming infected prey like birds and rodents or ingesting infected ticks and fleas while grooming can also transmit worms.
Signs and Symptoms
Cats may show no signs of illness until the worm is mature and becomes active. The most common symptoms of worms in cats are diarrhea and vomiting which can lead to poor growth, especially in kittens. Young cats may show signs of anemia like a bony chest and bloated stomach. If your cat is scrawny-looking, lethargic, has trouble breathing, and their fur starts looking dull and brittle, bring them to a vet right away. The vet will perform tests and if worms are diagnosed, treatment will start immediately in order to prevent further internal damage.
Top Deworming Medication for Cats
Depending on the type of worms your cat has, as well as their age and activity level, the vet may prescribe a narrow-spectrum medication to treat a specific kind of worm. If your cat is infected with multiple types of worms, your vet can prescribe a broad-spectrum medication to deal with all of them at once. However, a preventative treatment is still the best kind of treatment for any worms. Here are our recommendations for the best deworming treatments for cats on the market:
Drontal Cat All Wormer
Safe for both kittens and cats, Drontal Cat All Wormer is a broad-spectrum dewormer with powerful active ingredients able to get rid of worms quickly and easily. Ideal for roundworms, hookworms and tapeworms. Side effects may include but are not limited to loss of appetite, vomiting, and diarrhea. Benefits include:
- Easy single-dose administration tablets
- Can be mixed into food
- Suitable for very young and small cats over a month old and that weight at least 1.5lbs
An effective topical spot treatment, Revolution can treat cats with fleas, heartworm, hookworms, roundworms and ear mites. Revolution is also a safe and simple monthly preventative treatment. Potential side effects include skin irritation and hair loss, clumping or discoloration. Benefits include:
- Roundworm and hookworm preventative measures
- Fights both internal worms and external parasites
- Non-greasy and quick drying
Profender Cat Dewormer
Specifically formulated for intestinal worms, Profender Cat Dewormer only requires a single dose. Safe to use on cats as young as 8 weeks and weighing at least 2.2lbs. Potential side effects include excessive grooming and scratching where the treatment was applied, lethargy, fur loss, nervousness, eye and respiratory irritation, vomiting, and diarrhea. Benefits include:
- Fast-acting one-time application
- Convenient and easy to apply
- Kills hookworms, tapeworms and roundworms
It is important to maintain monthly deworming treatments for cats, especially for pets who have had worms in the past. These deworming treatments for cats will help prevent new worms from forming if your pet encounters infected material. Use any deworming treatments for cats as directed by your veterinarian. When administering treatment, keep the cat calm and bundle them up if necessary. Stop treatment immediately and seek medical attention for your cat if an allergic reaction occurs or any other serious side effects.
To learn more about deworming treatments for cats and dogs, please visit our blog for advice and the latest product news for your pets.
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