Best Cat Dewormer
Before we go too far on the question of what the best cat dewormer is, we should try to be clear on what exactly we mean when we use the term ‘worm’. In this context, the word is used to refer to a class of parasites found in your intestines. Perhaps interestingly enough, all of these worms have the suffix ‘worm’ in their names. Common worms in cats are hookworms, roundworms, and tapeworms. They all have some distinct symptoms you’re likely to see manifested in your cat if it carries any of these nasty parasites.
- 1 Common Worms in Cats
- 2 Hookworms
- 3 Roundworms
- 4 Tapeworms
- 5 1. Bayer Drontal Broad Spectrum Dewormer
- 6 2. Bayer Tapeworm Cat De-Wormer
- 7 3. PetArmor Worm-Away Caps
- 8 4. Naturpet D Wormer
- 9 5. Pro-Sense Liquid Cat Dewormer
- 10 How do You Know Which Worm Your Cat Has?
- 11 The Different Types of Dewormers Out There
- 12 Other Natural Dewormers
Worms are about as commonplace in cats as fleas. As long as your cat is likely to spend a lot of its time outdoors, play with other cats, some of which may have worms, or has fleas, it’s likely to have worms.
Common Worms in Cats
Hookworms are pretty short at less than an inch long. Of the 3 types of worms we’re going to look at, they are by far the shortest.
Hookworms are a particularly nasty lot. They attach themselves to the walls of your cat’s intestines. That’s where the ‘hook’ part of their name came from as they hook themselves onto the intestinal walls. Once there they suck the blood from the walls.
Hookworms are particularly dangerous because the fact that they are bloodsuckers puts an infected cat at the risk of getting anaemic and even possibly dying.
You certainly don’t want your kitten getting a hookworm infection because they are even more susceptible to anaemia. Cats can get hookworms by ingesting the meat of an infected animal. The worms can also directly burrow into their bodies via their skin. Directly ingesting the worm’s eggs also puts your cat at risk.
What are the Symptoms?
If the hookworm burrowed into your cat’s skin, say through the paws, you’ll see welts or lesions in the skin. You’ll also notice certain other things such as lethargy, loss of weight and appetite, paleness of the skin, diarrhoea and/or constipation, as well as very dark stool.
Roundworms have surprising longevity and versatility, to their advantage. They are passed through the stool of an infected host and will remain dormant for several years before they find their next host. Like hookworms, they can also be transmitted when your cat ingests the meat of an infected animal.
Kittens are particularly prone to them because the mother could easily pass them on to her litter through her breastmilk. If she’s infected, there will be dormant larvae in her milk which will pass on to her kittens and become activated.
It’s a safe assumption that if your cat just gave birth, her entire litter is infected and should be dewormed. To make matters worse, roundworms aren’t only a problem for cats; they can infect humans too.
What are the Symptoms?
Symptoms of roundworms include gastrointestinal upsets, nausea, diarrhoea, a large belly, particularly in kittens, and the tendency to be hungry ceaselessly.
Tapeworms are by far the largest worms on this list, especially in terms of length. They’re called tapeworms because of their resemblance to a tape. They are both long and flat, ranging from 4” to 28”. Their bodies are divided into several segments, called proglottids, each of which is basically an egg storage container.
I like to think of a tapeworm as a long cargo train with each carriage containing the seeds of many other cargo trains. In other words, a tapeworm’s entire body is dedicated to the furtherance of its own species. The segments themselves can have different shapes and sizes. However, most of them resemble little rice grains.
A cat with tapeworms won’t readily show symptoms of the infection, so you’ll have to be very keen if you’re going to notice early enough.
The first obvious sign that your cat’s infected will be the segments themselves. You’ll find them in the cat’s litter box or under its tail, buried in the fur.
The primary mode of transmission is when a cat consumes an animal which has itself consumed tapeworm eggs. Think birds, small rodents, and rabbits. Fleas also pose a significant risk as they carry dormant tapeworm eggs in them.
What are the Symptoms?
As mentioned before, there are typically no obvious symptoms of tapeworm infections. You should be suspicious if you see your cat vomiting a lot. However, this is a common symptom of many other conditions and is therefore not reliable.
One of the major draws about tapeworms is that, if allowed to flourish, the symptoms only start to show in advanced infections where the tapeworm has sucked off most of the cat’s nutrients. This is when you start to notice you cat is losing both its weight and appetite. It will also likely have a patchy or rough coat of fur.
Drontal is a multipurpose dewormer that is quite often recommended by many vets. It attacks all the most common worms to infect cats and contains Praziquantel and Pyrantel Pamoate as its active ingredients.
The tablets themselves don’t taste very good. This in itself, makes it particularly difficult to administer them to your cat when they are whole, knowing how picky cats can be with what they allow themselves to eat.
However, you can easily break them up into smaller piece and them up in with the cat’s food. That way, your cat will be the none the wiser and will ingest them along with the rest of its food. This drug has a very good reputation for being both effective and safe.
Bayer is a renowned drug company with a reputation for selling high quality pet medicine, including dewormers. Their cat dewormer is one of the best in the market. This drug, as the name suggests, is optimized to kill tapeworms. Each tablet contains 23 mg of Praziquantel.
Depending on how receptive your cat is to the medication, you can either feed it the tablets whole or crush them and mix them with its food. To be on the safe side, however, it’s best to crush them so your cat doesn’t fuss about and also to reduce the chances of it vomiting them out later on.
The drug also happens to be safe for cats that don’t actually have tapeworms, just in case you misdiagnose your cat’s condition. So you don’t have to be afraid to give it to the cat in fear of unwanted side effects.
PetArmor has high quality standards and has maintained its popularity in the market despite being up against much larger competitors due to this.
The Worm-Away Caps are a highly effective roundworm dewormer with Piperazine as the key ingredient. This ingredient makes the drug particularly effective against roundworms, removing all traces of the parasite from your cat’s gastrointestinal tract.
It comes in the form of capsules, which can easily be administered as all you have to do is open them and sprinkle the medication in your cat’s food. Your feline companion will eat them up heartily.
Naturpet is the little guy on this list. However, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t deliver. It is certainly known for offering some of the best organic dewormers on the market.
This one’s for those who want an all-natural treatment for their cat’s worm infestation. The Naturpet D Wormer is the epitome of organic deworming products with its focus on using only natural ingredients.
Naturpet D Wormer combines a variety of natural substances that are popularly known to work on parasites, fungal infections and gastrointestinal infections. The pack also includes a dropper to help you determine the correct dosage.
Pro-Sense Liquid Cat Dewormer actually has a pleasant taste and is in liquid form, making administration particularly easy. There’s no need to convince your kitty to take this drug using undercover methods.
This dewormer works specifically on roundworms and is highly effective, with each teaspoon of the drug containing 250mg of Piperazine. As the main ingredient might have already hinted, this dewormer was made specifically to act against round worms.
Be careful not to overdose your cat, as an overdose could result in seizures and vomiting. If you mistakenly overdose your cat, please do not panic. The side effects, while uncomfortable, are not fatal. However, it is always advisable to stick to the recommended dosage.
You need to Act Quickly
If you don’t act on a case of worm infestation, your cat will probably suffer some serious health consequences. These include anemia, an unhealthy coat of fur, and gastrointestinal issues. Fear not, however, these dastardly villains can be stopped. All you need is a good dewormer.
Sometimes, your vet will give you a straight recommendation. In fact, if and when you suspect your cat is suffering from a case of worm infection, it’s a good idea to visit your vet immediately to figure out what kind of worm is ailing your cat. However, you don’t always need the vet’s recommendation for what dewormer to use in most common situations.
There are plenty of pretty good cat dewormers on the market that you can choose from. This article is to show you the best ones so you don’t have to deal with the headache of too many options.
How do You Know Which Worm Your Cat Has?
There is no easy answer to this question. Considering the overlap in the symptoms, it’s quite difficult to figure out exactly what your cat might be suffering from.
On the one hand, there are dewormers that kill all the worms mentioned above indiscriminately. However, these dewormers tend to have more severe side effects for your cat. On the other hand, there are drugs that focus on only one type of worm and act without any severe side effect.
However, if you don’t know which worm your cat has, they’re not any good. It’s probably best to first consult your vet and find out exactly what type of worm your cat has before going out and buying your cat a dewormer.
The Different Types of Dewormers Out There
Different dewormers work in a variety of ways. Some of them will get straight to the point and kill the worms. Others are a little gentler and simple strongly encourage the parasite to leave your body. It all depends on what the active ingredient in the dewormer is. We’re going to go over some of these ingredients and see how they work.
Piperazine works specifically on round worms and acts by paralyzing the parasite. Once this is done, the parasite becomes incapacitated and detaches from the host. It can then safely pass right through in the stool of the host.
There are very rare cases of side effects with this chemical. However, in the rare case of an overdose, your cat will likely experience a seizure and vomiting.
Praziquantel is made especially for tapeworms. The way this ingredient acts reads like something out of a gripping thriller. It basically starves the tapeworm by inhibiting its ability to leech nutrients from the host. Kind of like sewing its mouth shut so it can’t eat.
Once the tapeworm starves to death, its body falls apart and is digested by the cat’s body. It’s a highly effective drug with little in the way of side effects. However, depending on the breed of your cat, you might notice it producing excess saliva and experiencing a little diarrhoea.
Pyrantel Pamoate is at once both the most potent and the most versatile ingredient on this list. This chemical acts on both hookworms and round worms. It works in pretty much a similar way to Piperazine: by paralyzing the parasites.
Hookworms and roundworms have one thing in common: They hook or latch themselves onto the intestinal walls of your cat and stick there for the duration of their lifespan. Pyrantel Pamoate paralyzes them and causes them to lose their grip and detach themselves from the walls. They then pass out of your cat’s body via the stool.
Pyrantel Pamoate comes in both liquid and solid forms. The liquid forms actually taste pleasant for cats, which means they’re much easier to give to your cat. The drug has very few side effects that rarely occur. One of these is a little vomiting.
- Diatomaceous Earth
This one’s a little ambiguous for reasons which will be explained shortly. Diatomaceous earth comes in the form of a very fine powder and is an effective natural pesticide.
It is highly recommended as a pesticide because it has two of the most important qualities farmers look for: it’s organic and it’s safe. It is highly effective on pests and fleas and acts by dehydrating them to death.
So, how does the above information relate to cats? Well, diatomaceous earth is recommended as an effective organic dewormer for cats. It’s believed to work on internal parasites the same way it works on external ones: by dehydrating them.
Despite this widespread belief, however, there isn’t much evidence that diatomaceous earth actually works. Very few studies have actually been done on its effectiveness when it comes to internal parasites.
However, the few peer reviewed scientific studies that have been done conclude that it does nothing to either reduce or eliminate internal parasites in any species of animal.
If you think about it, this kind of makes some sense. It’s okay that diatomaceous earth dehydrates insects and other pests in the outside world, where moisture concentrations are relatively low.
However, the internal intestinal environment is very wet. How will diatomaceous earth effectively dehydrate a tapeworm’s body in this kind of environment?
Other Natural Dewormers
There are many other natural dewormers on the market. These are mostly a blend of ingredients, including:
- black walnut
They all claim to be able to effectively deworm your cats by making the internal environment unconducive for worms.
A natural ingredient worth mentioning at this point is cucurbitin. Cucurbitin is an amino acid that is commonly found in pumpkin seeds. It is known to paralyze worms and force them to pass out of your cat’s body in the stool.
Natural dewormers seem like an excellent alternative to chemical ingredients for the more conscientious among us. The important question to ask here, though, is if they really work or not. I personally am yet to find a natural dewormer that works as effectively and consistently as a chemical dewormer.
On the one hand, natural dewormers have no side effects and are perfectly safe for your cat. On the other, chemical dewormers are guaranteed to completely rid your cat’s body of parasites.
When looking through various dewormers, you should have a checklist of qualities that the perfect dewormer should have. Here are 3 things to look out for:
- Safety for Your Cat
Safety should be right up there on your list of priorities when choosing the right dewormer for your cat. You have to be particularly careful that your cat doesn’t harbor any allergies to the ingredients used in the dewormer.
A good thing to do is consult your vet and getting their opinion on the kind of dewormer you’re getting for your cat. You should also avoid giving dewormers to cats that have other illnesses as this might bring on some unwanted consequences. All the dewormers on our list are safe for cats.
- The Dewormer Should be Potent and Effective
The whole point of getting a dewormer is that it rids your cat of worms. If it doesn’t effectively do its job, then it’s not worth buying. All the dewormers on our list are highly effective.
- Ease of Administration
Most of the dewormers on the market can either be administered orally or topically. The oral varieties are pastes, tablets, or liquids. The mode of administration really doesn’t affect the potency.
However, your cat will likely be more receptive to certain modes of administration than others. Not only should the dewormer be in a palatable form for your cat, but it should also be convenient for you to administer.
Of course, price will always matter. It doesn’t matter how good the dewormer is; if it’s out of your budget, you probably won’t look at it twice. We mixed it up in our list and got a variety of dewormers at different price points to fit everyone’s budget.
Prevention is Still Better than Cure
Cat dewormers work. However, there are measures you can take to reduce the probability of your cat getting infected with worms. For starters, keep your cat in a clean environment and as far away from other infected cats as possible.
You should also keep your cat free of fleas and don’t allow it to eat wild animals as they are very common carriers of worm eggs. Simple acts like these will go a long way in keeping your cat happy and healthy.