Worms in Cats: An Introduction with Best Treatments

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Worms in Cats

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What are Worms?

Worms are parasites that can infect your cat. They usually reside (live) inside the intestines as this is where they can absorb digested nutrients. Although most cases of worms aren’t very severe, these parasites can cause harmful diseases in your cat.

How do Cats Contract Worms?

There are a few different ways your cats can contract worms. These are listed below:

  • Ingesting fleas
  • Ingesting eggs found in the environment (e.g. dirt, feces)
  • Contact with infected cats
  • Infected mother (either while in womb or physical contact once born)

What are the Most Common Worms in Cats?

The most common intestinal parasitic worms in cats are roundworms and tapeworms.

Roundworms:

Roundworms are a common parasitic worm found inside the intestines of a cat. They look like a worm should, and have a size range of around 3 to 6 inches (8 to 15 centimetres). Unlike tapeworms, roundworms do not attach to the wall of the intestine. Instead, they live freely within the intestine itself – like an eel in water. They are white to light brown in colour.

Tapeworms:

Tapeworms are long, flat, white parasitic worms that thrive in the intestine of your cat. They have a segmented body that looks like grains of rains attached to each other. Each segment has its own reproductive organs. These segments can break off and release eggs, which then pass through the rest of the cats’ digestive system and exit within its faeces.

Tapeworms cannot digest food themselves, so to survive they anchor themselves to the wall of the cats’ intestine. From here, they survive off of nutrients in the blood that they absorb through holes in their skin. Gross, right?

What are the Symptoms of Worms in Cats?

Cats affected by worms may display the symptoms listed below:

  • Vomiting (may include worm-segments)
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy (lack of energy)
  • Weight loss
  • Anal irritation (constant grooming of anal area, or dragging themselves across the carpet)
  • White, rice-like segments in stools or around anus
  • Bloody stools

What are the Treatment of Worms in Cats?

  • Specific worm treatments (deworming medication) – consult with your local veterinarian for the best advice on your particular case
  • All ages of cats can be affected – this means that regular treatment is necessary, especially for cats that roam outside
  • Flea treatment – fleas are a large cause of worms in cats, so keeping on top of regular flea treatment is an excellent approach to reducing the chance of fleas in your cat
  • Other treatments may be discussed in severe cases, although it is rare it gets to this stage, especially if you follow the steps above

Products for Worms in Cats: Deworming Medicine

Treatment for worms is known as deworming treatment. These often come in two forms:

  • Deworming tablets (most common and most effective)
  • Deworming spot-on treatment

Deworming Tablets

Deworming tablets take effect once they have been ingested by your cat. Once digested, the active ingredients will combat the intestinal worms, freeing your cat from the vile parasites. You can administer these tablets with or without food. We have listed the most effective deworming tablets below:

Drontal Worming Tablets for Cats:

Drontal worming tablets are the most recognised deworming tablet for treating worms. These tablets are suitable for all cats of 6 weeks old and above. Once ingested, these tablets take immediate effect, killing the intestinal parasites in no time. It is recommended that you administer these tablets once every 3 months to effectively combat worms. Although, lengths between re-administration may differ depending on the age of your cat.

There are two types of Drontal worming tablets: normal and XL. The dosage administered will depend on the weight of your cat.

You should always read the instructions provided with the packaging.

We have listed some stores you can purchase Drontal worming tablets from below:

US stores:

1800petmeds

Amazon: Bayer Tapeworm Dewormer (Bayer is the company who produces Drontal)

Drsfostersmith

Petrescuerx

UK stores:

Amazon: Bayer Dog and Cat Tapeworm Tablets

See also: Bayer Drontic Spot-On Cat Tapeworm Tubes

Fetch

PetShop

Petsathome

VetUK

CAUTION: You should always consult with your local veterinarian before administering any medication. This is a safety precaution. If you notice any adverse effects after administering drugs, seek medical attention as soon as possible. Your cat’s health and safety should be a top priority.

Am I at Risk If My Cat has Worms?

The chances of you contracting worms from your cats are very minimal. Despite this, you should take preventative measures to maximise yours, your families, and your cats and their family’s hygiene. Some suggestions are listed below:

  • Regularly clean and disinfect your cats’ litter tray
  • Wear protective hand wear when partaking in outdoor activities such as gardening
  • Wash your hands thoroughly after such cleaning and outdoor activities
  • Keep on top of health plans for you and your cat
  • Make sure you treat your cats regularly with anti-flea medication

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