Your cat is prone to internal parasites, just like other animals and humans. Although it may go unnoticed, your cat may have worms that could have severe repercussions if left untreated. In this happened, you will need cat dewormer.
If your cat goes out sometimes or you have other pets, it’s wise to consider regular deworming. That is not to mean that indoor cats don’t need deworming; they are also at risk.
But is deworming safe for your cat?
Pets advise regular deworming because it is safe for your adult cat and kitties. A cat dewormer doesn’t harm your cat, but it affects the internal parasites.
Besides, the drugs are given according to the age of your cat and type of worm. Many cats don’t show any side effects.
Can you deworm your cat by yourself?
The severity of worm infestation determines the kind of treatment. There are over the counter drugs that you can use to deworm your cat yourself.
However, you’ll have to know the signs and symptoms to tell if your cat is severely infected.
Routine deworming at home ensures your pet is free from worms, but it’s best to consult your vet if you notice worrying signs.
How frequently do you need to deworm your feline pet?
After three months, deworming may suffice for indoor cats, but outdoor cats, especially the unrestricted ones, may need monthly deworming.
Kittens and new cats you may have adopted or are fostering need to follow a monthly routine for a period, which your vet will recommend.
Confirming that your feline pet is not pregnant before giving the cat dewormer drugs can save you and your cat a lot of trouble because the medicine may have a severe effect on the kittens. It’s best to avoid or deworm later in pregnancy and during lactation using nursing friendly dewormers.
You may need to brace yourself for the cat parenting journey because cat deworming is a continuous affair. While deworming may kill your cat’s internal parasites, there is a likelihood that your cat may get exposed to worms again the following day.
What are the Signs and Symptoms of Worm Infestation in Your Cat?
You can tell that your cat needs deworming when they show some of the following symptoms:
- Full worms or tiny white pieces in cat litter
- Pale gums because of anemia caused by worms
- Sores on the skin or feet bottom.
- Loss of appetite or constant hunger
- Weight loss
- Extended belly
- Continuous coughing
- Rubbing its behind against hard surfaces
Testing at a vet is a sure way to confirm that your cat has worms and not another illness. You can carry a litter sample or vomit but be sure to use gloves to avoid contaminating yourself.
Best Cat Dewormer Reviewed
- Best broad-spectrum dewormer – Drontal Spectrum Dewormer
- Best for Tapeworm – Bayer Tapeworm Dewormer
- Best Syrup- Excel Liquid Roundworm
- Best for Roundworm – Pet amor Liquid Wormer
Types of Worms that Infest Cats
Tapeworm, hookworm, and roundworm are the most common worms that affect cats. They are spread through contaminated food, soil and litter, and prey.
Hookworms are tiny and cause anemia, while tapeworm is thin, long, and segmented.
Roundworms grow to about five inches in length and look like cooked spaghetti.
Contaminated mosquitoes spread heartworms. They stay in the major arteries of your cat, which is dangerous.
Whipworms are rare but harmful because they damage the colon of your cat.
Causes of Cat Worm Infestation
How does your cat get worms? Both your indoor and outdoor cats are at risk of getting worms.
Kittens can get contamination by their mother during lactation or by playing with contaminated soil. They can carry worm eggs in their fur, which might end up in their mouths.
Food is a common culprit for spreading worms, mostly if your cat does some hunting.
Insects like fleas, mosquitoes, and bugs also carry eggs of worms.
The sharing of a litter box among various pets is the reason your cat gets recurrent worm infestation.
Treatment and Management
Over the counter cat, dewormers are effective in getting rid of worms. However, in severe infestation cases, your vet may prescribe some dewormers to tackle specific worms together with an antibiotic.
The vet may also advise a diet change to a special one till the worms and symptoms clear.
After some two weeks, repeating the deworming is best to eliminate any larvae that may have hatched from eggs.
The cat dewormers range from broad-spectrum, which treats all kinds of worms, to drugs that target a particular type of worm.
Deworming is safe for your cat. Cat deworming medication is available in tablet and liquid form, which your cat can take orally.
Deworming habitually after three months keeps worms at bay. For new cats, kittens, and pregnant cats, it’s best to visit a vet.
Cat dewormers work within hours. A day is enough to eradicate adult worms. It may be challenging to do away with worm eggs, so it’s wise to repeat the treatment after two weeks.
Failing to deworm your feline pet puts it’s life at risk because the worms can result in anemia. Besides, the worms can spread from the cat to yourself or other persons that stay in your home.
Keeping your cat enclosed in a playpen when outdoors is a great way to prevent your cat from licking contaminated soil, mingling with other infected cats or animals, or hunting a contaminated prey.
Regular deworming and routine testing for worms will help you keep the internal parasites under control before they get out of hand.
You can also prevent worms by keeping fleas, mosquitoes, and bugs at bay since they may carry worms’ eggs.
Although it may be challenging to maintain high hygiene standards at places outside your home, keeping the litter box clean, regular grooming of your cat and cleaning surfaces at home helps prevent worms.
Cat grass can also eliminate worms because it induces vomiting, which expels any contaminated food and worms. Checking the vomit for signs of worms will help you to know if there is an infestation.
Tips for Administering Cat Dewormer
Most cat dewormers are administered orally, which may be challenging if your cat is stubborn and fierce. Some medicine can mix with food, making it easier to give your cat the dewormer. Alternatively, you can use a pill gun to provide the medication.
Some cat owners vouch for pill guns, but it needs some practice. It helps avoid accidents like your cat biting you or wastage of the drug.
Other tips that might help you give the cat dewormer:
- Keep your cat calm using a diffuser.
- Cover your cat with a blanket
- Hold and support your cat’s head for oral medication
- Give treats and affection after taking the drug