How To Deworm A Cat? How To Prevent Your Cat From Getting Worms

Anamika Balouria
Feb 29, 2024 By Anamika Balouria
Originally Published on Nov 10, 2021
Edited by Jacob Fitzbright
Fact-checked by Pradhanya Rao
Ginger cat lying on bed.
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 9.9 Min

Canines and felines, all lovable pets, can have worms and parasites at a certain stage of life.

Kittens are more prone to being infected with worms and need a dewormer to get rid of the worms. Cats and their kittens are treated with oral or topical medication which works as a dewormer for them.

There are different types of worms that can infect cats such as heartworm, tapeworm, or roundworm. These worms make the life of the feline difficult and can even be life-threatening if they are ignored for a longer period of time, even after persistent symptoms. Fleas serve as the intermediary host for the transmission of worms such as tapeworms. Some worms, such as heartworm, are truly life-threatening and necessitate surgical intervention. So, a vet consultation is always a must and should be the utmost priority of the owners, as the life of the pet can really be at risk. The vet might advise a fecal exam to know how severe the infection is and prescribe the oral and topical medication accordingly. The cats and kittens should also be dewormed at a certain time interval of eight weeks of age, especially the kittens and cats, which must be dewormed every two to six months. Pyrantel pamoate is a dewormer that is generally advised by the vet if the cat is infected with intestinal worms or parasites.

If you enjoyed reading this article intestinal parasites, intermediate host fleas, and oral dewormers, then do read out some interesting and surprising fun facts about what do chestnuts taste like, and how to clean a dog wound.

Can you deworm a cat with home remedies?

There is no specific home remedy to deworm your cat. Worms are basically intestinal parasites and lung parasites that directly infect the cats' immune systems, and most of the time only need medical treatment according to the symptoms they show. So, it is better to take your cat to a veterinarian and treat the infected cat as per their symptoms.

It should be the utmost priority of the owner if your pet has been evident with some changes in their behavior or are showing symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea. Usually, the cats do not always show symptoms if they have been infected with a worm. You might notice the symptoms if the cat has been infected severely. The worms can be seen in the stool of the cat in a small white color like a thread. If the cat has been infected for a long time, then the oral deworming medication prescribed by the veterinarian can only be fed to the cat in order to deworm them.

The cat deworming from intestinal parasites and lung parasites can only be done through specific oral medication. If you think of giving home treatment to your cat, then you are putting the life of your cat at risk. The is no home remedy for the treatment of cat deworming. Even if you notice some persistent symptoms, then an immediate diagnosis or test of the cat is required before you start the process to deworm the cat. The cat might go through weight loss, anemia, and many other symptoms if they have been infected by a worm.

In order to make the cats get rid of the worms, a vet will generally recommend or do a fecal test. This fecal test will let your veterinarian know the presence of the infected feces. Apart from that, other symptoms of the cat might be looked over by the veterinarian to know how severely the infection of parasites in cats is present. The oral medications are then prescribed accordingly. The only home remedy would be to keep the litter box clean in case your cat has been infected and is going through dewormer medications.

How to deworm a cat yourself?

There is no direct answer to the question above because there is no such scientifically proven natural way or home remedy to deworm your cat. You can just prevent your pet kitten or cat from getting infected by using a prior deworming medication or vaccination.

First of all, you need to understand what worms or parasites are and how they can infect or risk your pet. Once you have learned this you need to consult the vet about all the symptoms of the cat, such as diarrhea, vomiting, etc. Once that has been done, then a schedule must have been provided by the vet to deworm the cat by prescribing dewormer medications.

Mostly, a kitten is at more risk and needs to be dewormed. If your pet kitten or cat has worms, then certain symptoms might be evident in them. To avoid or prevent that from coming back, a kitten must be dewormed at four, six, and eight weeks of age. This needs to be done within a time interval of four to six months. Adult cats must be dewormed with dewormer medication, especially for roundworms and tapeworms, at a time interval of two to six months. The deworming of the cats should be done as per the prescription of your vet.

There are some ways which you can try out under the consultation of the veterinarian, but there would not be enough certainty that those remedies would work as dewormers for worms such as lungworms, roundworms, hookworms, or tapeworms, etc. Raw pumpkin seeds can be used to naturally deworm your cat. Grind the seeds of raw pumpkin and feed them to your pets regularly in their diet.

You can keep the cat inside and avoid letting the cat go outside. Apart from raw pumpkin seeds, you can feed minced garlic if your cat has worms. However, anything you feed your cat should be done so in small amounts and with the advice of a veterinarian as natural food can become toxic in many cases. You can add one clove of fresh, minced garlic to the food of your cat once a day. Give the cat merely a teaspoon because it might be hesitant to consume it. Garlic may treat parasites, and help your cat to disinfect.

Try not to feed your cat for 24 hours so that the worms will die due to starvation. Clean the litter box and feces of the cat in order to avoid the infection spreading to other kittens, as in the case of tapeworms, fleas are the intermediator host. Generally, a fecal test is recommended by the vet, which should never be avoided to know the severity of the infection, as the cat has worms inside its intestines and only a fecal exam, along with other tests, can be proven successful.

Black and White Tuxedo Cat.

How long does it take to deworm a cat?

It depends on how severe the infection is in your cat. If your cat is severely infected with worms for a prolonged period and without symptoms, then it might take more time to recover after the diagnosis.

Apart from roundworms, hookworms, and tapeworms, cats can be infected with lungworms and heartworms. If the heartworms have infected the cats, then symptoms such as coughing, vomiting, weight loss, and asthma can be evident in the host. Seizures and drowsiness with difficulty in walking can also be symptoms of heartworms in kittens and adults. Treatment can be very prolonged as, generally, these worms are known to live in the host cats for around two to three years.

Generally, the treatment is prolonged because there is no dewormer medication found in regard to deworming these cats from these worms. Only surgical operations can be done to deworm the parasite, heartworm. The worm or parasite lungworm is known to infect the cat's lung. The eggs of lungworms are laid in small airways, and once the eggs hatch, they create trouble for the cat breathing. They might get short of breath along with coughing. 

How long do you wait to deworm a cat again?

It depends and varies on the types of worm a cat has been affected by and how severely the damage has been done.

Different worms infect different parts of the body, such as lungworms infecting the lungs, heartworms infecting the heart, and intestinal worms infecting the stomach. A regular visit to the vet is a must if you want your cat to recover soon from such a worm infection. Roundworms can take up to two to three weeks after the oral prescription of medication such as Sentry worm away for cats and Excel roundworm dewormer.

Heartworms are known to be spread by mosquitoes, and generally require an operation to remove the worms. So, it is believed that the heartworm can survive up to two to three years of age and can even be life-threatening as it affects the right side of the heart of a cat. This type of treatment can take a long time for a cat to recover from the infection of worms.

Tapeworms can generally be cured in two to three weeks. These worms often spread from fleas and a vet might prescribe oral medication named Drontal and Bayer tapeworm dewormer for cats. Often worm treatment may require a second dose or round of medication depending upon the severity of the worm infection in the cat. Once cats are dewormed, it is not a compulsion that they will poop out worms because the dewormers kill the worms internally and they dissolve on their own. 

Did You Know.....

Generally, there are different types of worms or intestinal parasites found in cats are hookworms, roundworms, tapeworms, heartworms, and whipworms. Apart from the above, the presence of worms is also evident in the lungs, called lungworms.

Hookworms are basically intestinal parasites that are commonly found in cats. The hookworms generally attach themselves to the small intestines of the cats, which makes their digestion troublesome. Hookworms make use of their small teeth to live on the blood of cats. For this reason, hookworms are considered to be one of the severe infections which can infect both adult cats and kittens.

The parasite hookworms cause anemia in cats, as well as, their litter. Pregnant adult cats are known to infect their kittens with hookworms. Hookworms are also known to infect kittens through the feces of the animal that is infected with parasite hookworms. Roundworms will infect cats once in their lifespan, and kittens are likely to be hosts to roundworms. Roundworms are known to swim freely in the intestines of the cat. If the cat is infected with roundworms, then the disease is called ascariasis.

Roundworm parasites are generally not harmful to adult cats, but they can make life difficult for small kittens and elderly cats. In kittens, both roundworms and hookworms cause life-threatening problems. In roundworms' case, the kitten might show symptoms of loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, poor development, and upset stomach, etc. Roundworms are known to infect even the mother's milk. The eggs of the parasite roundworms can be seen in the feces of the cat. 

Tapeworms are segmented and flat intestinal parasites that infect most pets. The tapeworms observed in the cat species are Dipylidium caninum. The tapeworms usually infect the cats through flea larvae. The cats eat those particular flea larvae either outdoors or indoors and are infected with the tapeworms. The flea is known to be the host of the tapeworm. The tapeworms' life cycle is completely dependent on the flea.

If you ever spot a flea around your cat, then there might be a high chance that your cat is infected with a tapeworm. A tapeworm may also cause weight loss if it is present in large numbers. Once the dewormers' oral medication or injection has been ingested, the cats are naturally dewormed and tapeworms will not even come out of the cat's stool. 

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions forhow to deworm a cat, then why not take a look at where do artichokes grow, or York chocolate cat facts.

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Written by Anamika Balouria

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English, Bachelor of Education specializing in Secondary Education and Teaching, Master of Arts specializing in English

Anamika Balouria picture

Anamika BalouriaBachelor of Arts specializing in English, Bachelor of Education specializing in Secondary Education and Teaching, Master of Arts specializing in English

A dedicated and enthusiastic learner, Anamika is committed to the growth and development of her team and organization. She holds undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in English from Daulat Ram University and Indira Gandhi Institute for Open Learning respectively, as well as a Bachelor of Education from Amity University, Noida. Anamika is a skilled writer and editor with a passion for continual learning and development.
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