A Guide to Treating Your Cat for Worms
Why does my cat need deworming?
Treating your cat for worms is crucial due to the negative effects having an infestation of worms can have on your pet. Worms in your cat can have various side effects and come in a variety of threat levels from irritation to life threatening. These dangerous side effects of worms can cause weight loss, vomiting and diarrhoea, as well as stunting growth in kittens and damaging their immune system. Humans themselves can catch worms from their cat, so it is important to treat your cat for worms for their health as well as yours, as they can cause serious human diseases.
What types of worms can cats get?
There are a few different types of worms your cat can get, with the most common in the UK being roundworms, hookworms and tapeworms.
Roundworms are one of the most common types of intestinal parasites in cats. Avoiding roundworms is a hard job as most cats will come in contact with them one time during their life, so treating your cat as soon as possible is important. These worms look like thinner versions of the normal worms we see in the garden.
Both adult cats and kittens can become infected with roundworms by swallowing the eggs of the worm from a contaminated environment. As roundworm eggs are passed in the faeces which can remain viable in the environment for several years, they are commonly around cats. Secondly, an infected animal such as a mouse or rat is able to pass on the infection to a cat if a cat preys on the infected host.
Toxocara cati which is a type of roundworm can be passed down from a mother cat to a kitten through the milk she produces. This is due to the larvae remaining dormant in tissues in the body which are then passed through the milk she produces when becoming pregnant.
Specific symptoms to roundworms can be:
- Vomiting (which may contain worms)
- Distended abdomen
- Weight loss
- Coughing and pneumonia
Hookworms are a certain type of small intestinal roundworm that are common in most countries. Hookworms can damage the lining of the intestine which is where they attach to the surface. This can result in weight loss in your cat as well as bleeding and anaemia. Hookworms have hook-like teeth and they are very thin and tiny.
Hookworm infestations are usually caused by cats eating the worm eggs, eating an infected host or by the hookworm larvae in the surrounding environment burrowing through the cat’s skin.
Specific symptoms of hookworms can be:
- Tarry and dark stool
- Weight loss
- Lack of appetite
- Skin lesions
- Pale lips
Tapeworms are quite often much longer than roundworms with sacs on the end of them which break off in segments and pass out of the back passage, these eggs resemble grains of rice. The eggs can be found in faeces, around the fur on the back end of a cat and in a cat’s bed.
Cats can become infected with tapeworms by eating the eggs from the environment. Tapeworm larvae are also found in fleas and when a flea is ingested, the tapeworm larvae begins to grow inside of the cat. Similar to roundworms, tapeworms can be passed down from mother cats to their kittens.
Specific symptoms of tapeworms can be:
- Shaggy coat
- Unpredictable behaviour
- Intestinal blockages
How do I know if my cat has worms?
Worm infestations in cats can vary from showing no symptoms to becoming severe and life-threatening, completely depending on the type of worm and severity of the infestation.
Common signs and symptoms of worms in a cat include:
- Diarrhoea (with or without blood)
- Vomiting (worms can sometimes be found within the vomit)
- Skin lesions
- Weight loss
- Tarry faeces
- Poor body condition and a dull coat
As worms in your cat and infestations worsen, symptoms may follow and progress and your cat may see symptoms such as:
- General weakness
- Low blood pressure
- Pale lips (caused by anaemia)
- In worst cases it can result in death
Where can I buy worming medicine?
Cat worming treatments should be bought from a professional business or store to make sure it is safe for the cat. Home remedies are not advised as they are a risk to your pet’s health. You’re able to buy various worming treatments from us at PharmPet Co. Our worming treatments are all different with various ways of applying the medicine, from spot on to tablets.
Spot on application for worms
For an easy application to treat your cat for worms, a spot on treatment is a go to. A spot on wormer kills every type of intestinal worm commonly found in UK cats in a fuss-free manner. We sell various spot-on treatments for worming that are easy to use with a vet strength formula. Ranging from our Dronspot Spot on Wormer for Cats or something more specific like Droncit Spot-On Tapewormer for Cats to kill which is made just to target tapeworms.
Worming tablets are able to kill intestinal worms and are easy to swallow when given with or without food. Our vet strength formula tablets can be used to kill all types of intestinal worms commonly found in UK cats. Ranging from tablets for small and medium cats to wormer tablets for large cats.
Worming granules offer protection from nematodes and are more friendly for kittens and pregnant cats. The granules have no taste and can be given with food to make the process simple. Try out Granofen Worming Granules for your pregnant cat or kitten, or Pancaur Granules for your adult cat.
Deworming oral paste
You’re able to treat cats for worms orally with Panacur Oral Paste which is a broad spectrum anthelmintic. This is for the treatment of immature and mature stages of nematodes of the gastro-intestinal and respiratory tracts in cats. It also has an ovicidal effect on nematode eggs to help keep your cat healthy.