Deworming is an essential element of responsible cat care, helping to maintain your pet’s health and well-being.
Left untreated, these unpleasant parasites can lead to a range of health issues.
In this comprehensive buyer’s guide, we’ll explore the best dewormers for cats, focusing on effectiveness, safety and ease of use.
We include both over-the-counter products as well as stronger formulas proscribed by pets.
Our top recommendations are based on thorough research and personal user experience.
In a Hurry? Check out These Highly-Rated Cat Dewormers
Why is Deworming Important?
Deworming cats important for several reasons. The most obvious is the potential health problems that can arise from worms.
These include weight loss, diarrhea, vomiting, anemia and poor coat quality.
Serious worm infestations can even result in malnutrition, dehydration and even death.
What’s more, certain worm species, such as roundworms and hookworms, are zoonotic, which means that they can be transmitted to humans.
This can lead to serious health problems, presenting considerable risk to young children as well as people with low immune systems.
For deworming to be truly effective, it should be combined with routine veterinary check-ups.
Common Types of Worms in Cats
Here’s a brief overview of the most common types of worms that effect cats:
Roundworms are very common in felines and grow up to several inches in length.
They’re contracted when the cat by ingests infected rodents or contaminated soil.
Infected cats will show symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, a potbelly appearance and possibly a dull coat.
Hookworms are small, thin worms that attach themselves to the cat’s intestinal lining, feeding on blood.
They’re contracted through ingestion of contaminated soil or larvae penetrating. Infected cats may suffer from anemia, weight loss and bloody diarrhea.
Tapeworms are flat, segmented worms that are typically contracted by ingesting infected fleas while grooming.
Tapeworm segments may be visible around the cat’s anus or in their feces, resembling grains of rice.
Symptom of infection include weight loss, vomiting and irritation around the anus.
Lungworm infections are less common but can cause respiratory issues in cats.
Cats usually become infected by eating infected prey, such as birds or rodents.
Lungworms cause coughing, difficulty breathing and lethargy.
Although more common in dogs, cats may also be affected by heartworms.
They’re transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito and are known to cause a range of respiratory and cardiac issues.
These include coughing, difficulty breathing, lethargy and in rare cases sudden death.
Over-the-Counter v Prescription Dewormers
Over-the-counter (OTC) dewormers for cats are useful for treating certain types of worm infestations.
This is especially the case if the product contains active ingredients such as pyrantel pamoate, praziquantel or fenbendazole.
However, their effectiveness depends on several factors such as:
- the type of worm being treated
- the severity of the infestation
- the correct administration of the product
Keep in mind that some OTC dewormers may only target specific types of worms and may not work against others.
They’re also not as potent as prescription medications.
5 of the Best Dewormers for Cats
Here’s a guide to the most popular and highly-rated cat dewormer products on the market. We’ve included both over-the-counter and vet prescribed products.
Drontal Tablets for Cats & Kittens (OTC)
Drontal is an over-the-counter deworming treatment that’s popular among owners.
It targets common worms including tapeworms, roundworms and hookworms.
The products two active ingredients, praziquantel and pyrantel pamoate can eliminate worms safely and effectively.
Drontal is available in tablet form, which can be given directly or crushed and mixed with food.
- Trusted brand
- Comprehensive worm control
- Tablet administration can be challenging
- Stronger prescription alternatives available
- Can be more expensive than other OTC dewormers
Elanco Dewormer for Tapeworms for Cats (OTC)
Elanco Dewormer is a targeted over-the-counter deworming medication designed specifically for tapeworm treatment.
It contains the active ingredient praziquantel, which is a safe and effective ingredient that helps to eliminate tapeworms from cats’ digestive systems.
- Designed specifically for treating tapeworms
- Reputable brand
- Tablet administration
- Only treats tapeworms, so it may not be suitable for other forms of infestation
- Not always as effective as prescription medication
Revolution Plus (Prescription Only)
Revolution Plus is a comprehensive, prescription-only parasite preventative and treatment for cats.
It can protect cats from a wide array of parasites including fleas, ticks, heartworms, roundworms, hookworms and ear mites.
The product contains two active ingredients: selamectin and sarolaner, which provide broad-spectrum protection.
It’s a topical solution that’s applied directly to the cat’s skin, usually at the base of the neck.
- Offers protection against a wide range of parasites
- Long-lasting, effective for up to one month.
- Trusted brand
- Prescription product
- Some cats may experience skin irritation at the application site.
- Prescription required
- More expensive than OTC products
- Not specifically targeted for tapeworms
HomeoPet WRM Clear Dewormer (OTC)
HomeoPet WRM Clear Dewormer is a unique, homeopathic, over-the-counter deworming treatment for cats and dogs.
The natural remedy is designed to help prevent and eliminate a variety of common parasitic worms.
It contains a blend of homeopathic ingredients that help to expel worms from the cat’s system without the use of harsh chemicals.
As a broad spectrum medication, HomeoPet aids in the prevention and elimination of tapeworms, roundworms and hookworms.
The liquid formula offers easy administration and can be given directly or mixed with food.
- Natural chemical-free product
- Easy to administer
- Limited efficacy
- Not as potent as conventional dewormers.
- Treatment process may take longer than traditional products
- ore potent prescription and OTC alternatives
Frequently Asked Questions about Cat Dewormers
These are some of the most common FAQs relating to cat dewormer products.
Q – How often should I deworm my cat?
A – It is recommended to deworm kittens every two weeks from 3 to 9 weeks of age, and then monthly until 6 months old. For adult cats, treatment should take place every 1 to 3 months. Be sure to consult your vet for a treatment program tailored to your cat’s needs.
Q – What types of worms can affect cats?
A – An ugly assortment of worm species are known to affect felines, among them tapeworms, roundworms, hookworms and heartworms. All of them should be treated with a dewormer product.
Q – Do vver-the-counter dewormers Work?
A – OTC cat dewormers can treat certain types of worm. But it’s really important to choose a trusted, reputable brand. Consult your vet if in doubt.
Q – Can I use a dog dewormer for my cat?
A – No, you should not use a dog dewormer for your cat. Dewormers are formulated specifically for each animal so using a product intended for canines can result in incorrect dosage or potential toxicity.
Q – How do I know if my cat has worms?
A – Symptoms of worm infestations include vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss and a pot-bellied appearance. Sometimes the actual worms or worm segments are present in the cat’s feces or around the anus.
Q – Can humans catch worms from cats?
A – Yes. Certain worm species are Zoonotic meaning that they can be transmitted to humans. To avoid this, ensure proper hygiene and regularly de-worm your cat. Regular vet check-ups are also very important.
Q – Are there any side effects to deworming medications?
A – Deworming medications sometimes cause mild side effects. More severe side effects include vomiting, diarrhea, or temporary lethargy. Consult with your veterinarian if your cat suffers from any of these after treatment.
Q – What wormer do vets recommend for cats?
A – The wormer recommended by veterinarians for cats depends on the specific type of worm infestation, the cat’s age, health, and lifestyle. Commonly prescribed wormers include Drontal, Revolution Plus, and Profender. It’s essential to consult with your veterinarian to determine the most suitable wormer for your cat’s needs.
Q – Are natural dewormers effective?
A – The effectiveness of natural dewormers varies and may depend on the specific product and the type of worm infestation. Some products such as HomeoPet WRM Clear can provide a more holistic approach and may prove helpful. However, the efficacy of these products may not be as consistent as conventional dewormers.