Which dewormers for cats are best?
Worms and other parasites are a common problem for pet owners, even if the pet is kept indoors. While kittens are more prone to getting worms, adult cats can end up infected, too.
If you suspect your cat has worms, you should get a dewormer and start treating the problem immediately. There are several options, each with its specific purpose and application method. But if you’re looking for a convenient over-the-counter option, Revolution Topical Solution For Kittens And Puppies is the best.
What to know before you buy dewormer for cats
Reasons to deworm cats
There are several reasons why you should deworm your cat. Depending on the severity of the infestation, worms can be mildly annoying or life-threatening to your pet, especially to kittens. These parasites can cause anything from anemia to severe dehydration, vomiting or diarrhea. In kittens, they can also cause problems in the digestive system and result in intestinal blockage, which can be fatal.
Beyond that, worms — especially roundworms — can be transmitted to humans through bedding, furniture, your cat’s fur or the litter box. However, this can usually be prevented by having good hygiene habits such as by washing your hands regularly and using gloves when cleaning the litter box. Worms aren’t generally harmful to humans, but they can be annoying.
Over-the-counter vs. prescription vs. natural
Prescription, over-the-counter and natural medications are all effective at treating worms in both cats and dogs. Before purchasing anything, make sure the product will treat the right types of worms and that it’s right for your pet’s age and weight.
If you need a strong formula, such as if your pet has a major infestation, go with a prescription dewormer from a qualified veterinarian. However, if you’re simply using it for preventative care, an over-the-counter dewormer should be enough.
Natural dewormers for cats also work, but they’re not as effective at treating worms as chemical-based treatments. Only go with one of these if you’re using it as a preventative measure, not for an active infestation.
Cat’s age and weight
Select a dewormer based on your cat’s age and weight. Some treatments are made for adult cats or those 6months old and above, while others are meant for kittens or smaller cats. There are also dewormers that only work for cats of a specific weight. Check the label or online product description to make sure you’re getting the right medication for your pet.
What to look for in quality dewormers for cats
Types of parasites
If your cat already has worms, make sure you know what type they have. Here are three main ones:
- Tapeworms: Highly common in pets, tapeworms are segmented, long and flat, making them look similar to a grain of white rice. Most cats get tapeworms by swallowing flea larvae when grooming.
- Roundworms: Somewhat cylindrical in shape, roundworms are pale and smooth. They’re usually seen in a cat’s vomit or feces. Kittens usually get infected when drinking their mother’s milk, while adult cats get roundworms by consuming roundworm larvae or eggs from infected prey.
- Hookworms: Mostly found in outdoor cats that walk on dirt, hookworms are invisible to the naked eye but often cause anemia or a dull coat in cats.
Some dewormers only target one type of parasite, while others can prevent and kill several types as well as fleas or ear mites. If your pet doesn’t have parasites and is indoors only, consider switching between treatments that focus on tapeworms and roundworms every so often to prevent them all.
Dewormers come in many forms, including:
- Liquid drops with a spot-on applicator
Some cats willingly eat chewables, especially if they’re mixed in with wet or dry food. The same goes for tablets, but if your pet won’t ingest the tablet on its own, consider wrapping it in something your cat likes, such as Greenies Pill Pockets.
If that doesn’t work, you might need to use a spot-on treatment. As with tablets and chewables, this type of treatment usually comes pre-measured, meaning you can use the entire thing in one sitting. The best place to apply anything topical is between the cat’s shoulder blades, where it can’t reach. Apply the treatment directly to the cat’s skin for the best results.
There are also liquid dewormers, which you can mix in with the cat’s food. However, if you have multiple pets, you’ll need to monitor them to make sure the right cat ingests the treated food.
Frequency of application
Deworm kittens every two weeks for the first eight weeks of life. After that, treat them once a month until they’re 6 months old. From there, it’s usually recommended to treat them every three months or so. However, if you have an outdoor cat or if they get worms often, more frequent medication might be required.
How much you can expect to spend on dewormers for cats
Prescription dewormers usually cost more than over-the-counter options. In general, costs range from $10-$200. For preventative options, you can find a three-month supply for $30-$60.
Dewormers for cats FAQ
What are some side effects of cat dewormers?
A. Some treatments cause diarrhea or vomiting. If these symptoms occur, contact a veterinarian at once.
How can you tell if your cat has worms?
A. Many cats never show any symptoms of having worms. However, if your cat is suddenly vomiting, coughing or has white pieces in its feces, it might have worms. Other signs of an infestation are a dull coat, extreme changes in appetite or a potbelly. When in doubt, speak with a vet.
What are the best dewormers to buy for cats?
Top dewormer for cats
What you need to know: This box includes three doses of dewormer for kittens under 5 pounds and 8 weeks or older.
What you’ll love: Each tube is pre-measured for precise topical application. The medication is meant to treat and prevent heartworms, ear mites and fleas, but also helps prevent other worms.
What you should consider: It requires regular monthly application and is not suitable for adult cats.
Where to buy: Sold by PetSmart
Top dewormer for cats for the money
What you need to know: Formulated for cats older than 6 weeks, this treats and prevents tapeworms and works quickly.
What you’ll love: Available in tablet form, this is easy to administer and can be crushed up in a cat’s food. It’s safe for cats and only rarely has side effects.
What you should consider: It doesn’t help with other types of worms.
Worth checking out
What you need to know: Best for treating roundworms, hookworms, whipworms and tapeworms, this liquid medication is fast-acting and safe for kittens and adult cats.
What you’ll love: It comes in a small bottle and is easy to administer. It’s also formulated with all natural ingredients.
What you should consider: It’s not as effective at treating existing or more serious infestations as chemical-based dewormers.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Angela Watson writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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