Cats do have worms in their life span. If not now, then maybe later. Curing your cats’ worms is essential not only for their survival but also for your own health.
Worms in cats is not an odd thing to see. Though they are very common, we still need to take them seriously, any negligence could prove fatal even.
Cat worms can’t be left unattended and they have to be killed as soon as possible.
This article is going to provide you with all the necessary information you come to need when asking “How to deworm a cat?”
Worms could be inborn. They could be inherited from the mother cat and can be observed within 3 months after a kitten is born.
It is recommended that you start taking treatment when she is 3 months old. Every kitten should get treatment at least for 4 to 6 months and a constant visit to the vet should be your routine.
“How to deworm a cat?” is only as much individual a question as your pretty pet. Cats’ health condition, weather, facilities available, all are considered while answering this all-important question.
Generally, it’s a long process and demands a consistent and organized effort to get your cat rid of worms.
How are worms formed and what are the types?
There are many reasons behind the creation of certain worms, of which intestinal worms are the most common.
When a cat is considerably avoiding going out and playing, these could be life-threatening intestinal worms.
Worms are also formed when cats sniff, lick and play with filthy mud of streets. When a mother cat feeds a child on contaminated milk, roundworms are formed.
When mosquito bites, heartworms, by ingesting an infected insect or animal, tapeworms are formed.
Close contact with wormed cousin cats is another major reason.
Learning what type, and if there are some.
Well, if she has worms, cat would have gone weak and frail. A very common reason is diarrhoea. Weight loss, sickness might confirm their presence as well.
The easiest way to see if your cat has worms or not is a microscopic examination of her stools. A blood test is also worthy in this regard.
Take her to vet for treatment
Your vet can suggest treatment depending on the type of worm and health of your cat, even if the signs of worm’s presence have not shown up yet.
Most of the times, medicine is given by oral medication and your vet is an expert in that for sure.
Taking her to vet is mandatory for fecal test, even if you want to deworm her at home, you have to consult the vet.
She would suggest you the best deworming product and timely instructions as well. When mother-cat, if she is still nursing the infected cat, needs some checkup and medication, vet helps.
Go for the all-important treatment process
Before you start deworming your cat, make sure she is not about to give birth to a kitten, the weather is not too warm and she is not so sick already.
Have medicine prescribed by the vet and start medication. “How much and when?”, only vet has the authority to answer this question.
You don’t need to preempt in this sensitive matter. For example, you don’t know if certain medicine needs to be given on an empty stomach or just after lunch.
Most of the times, medication is done in the form of ingestible pills which are placed as far back on the tongue as viable.
There are certain treatment methods for certain worms, so never take this process for granted. General-purpose dewormers might also be used but only on vet’s recommendation.
Pyrantel Pamoate, an oral medication that makes it so much tough for worms to move on their own. So the body has a fair chance to remove them in stools and heal itself.
Milbemycin Oxime is also an oral medication but available only on authorized vet’s prescription. It is an FDA approved medication for prevention of heartworm in dogs and cats.
In mature cats, the deworming process could stretch as long as 2 months. Whereas, in kittens, the duration stretches from minimum of 4 months to a max of 8 months.
Follow the instructions regularly and keep visiting your vet for a weekly or monthly checkup. Frequent fecal tests are required to how much impact has certain medicine created on worms.
Be prepared for that as well. For your little convenience, let me enhance your knowledge i.e. more worms in the poop means more worms killed and cat is rushing towards better health.
Precautions for Oral Medication
You have to switch to forced oral medication if she does not volunteer by taking complementary medicine with a meal.
Oral medication means you will ingest pills, capsules etc. into her stomach through her mouth. You can use special-purpose devices as well.
You have to try your best to avoid any closer contact with her as it happens while touching her tongue and inner mouth.
The most important part is the proper assessment of the amount of the medication needed. As far as, the technique is concerned, the easier way is: grab her in your arms, apply gentle pressure on her head and open her mouth, drop the pills in the far back portion of the mouth and provide her with fresh water right after that.
This process appears a little selfish but cats are actually habitual of ingesting without chewing something.
So, they wouldn’t probably mind that. Choose a well-lighted place where cat feels comfortable, to make your cat behave better next time, reward her if she cooperates. It will make her create better harmony with this technique.
Be prepared for Side Effects
If you have used specialized deworming products, if taken in adequate quantity, they have very few mild side effects.
But if the quantity exceeds a safe limit, their side effects could include diarrhea with bloody stools, excessive salivation, vomiting and loss of appetite.
For some touchy cats, there are also some special odourless dewormers available. If needed, medicine could be injected in the body as well.
Is my family also threatened by cat worms?
Yes, human contract worms from animals.
And cats are the closest if they are tamed in the home. You avoid worms by making sure you wash your hands after making a contact with wormed cats.
Humans can develop tapeworms as well but it’s very rare as devouring an infected flea is a must for that.
Most vulnerable are the children living in unprivileged and unhealthy conditions.
How to make precautions for future?
Constant deworming is necessary for the cats habitual of hanging out and hunting little animals. But apart from that, there are some precautions to avoid worms in any case.
You have to regularly dispose of the faeces. Make sure your cat doesn’t make any contact with any infected animal from outside. She gets worms by devouring an already wormed host say mice or rat.
Don’t let your cat hang out in grassy grounds. Cats like to sniff grass very often. Infected hosts larvae could be lying out there on the grass.
Cat might devour some of those microscopic larvae and become infected itself. You should also refrain from feeding her on raw meat for some days.
Specific wormers are used for specific cats and conditions. Worms don’t harm your cat at once. Even after 2 weeks of their formation, cats may survive to their best. Extra water along with medicine should help you avoid any potential damage.
So we have seen that “How to deworm a cat?” is not a question of uncertainty anymore. Many health spoiling habits are kicked out and many healthy routines are adopted in the process. So, in a way, deworming your cat not only prevents your cat from a life-threatening disease but also does a lot to get her life back on track.
- How Worms In Cats Are Contracted, Prestige Animal Hospital
- How to Treat Your Cat for Intestinal Parasites, The Hartz Mountain Corporation
- Cat Dewormer Side Effects, Vetinfo
- The Vomiting Cat, Vetbase.co.uk
- Jason W. Stull, Small animal deworming protocols, client education, and veterinarian perception of zoonotic parasites in western Canada, doi: 10.4141/cjas68-037
Dinu Sri Madusanka
Hi, I’m a researcher who is currently pursuing a PhD degree in Nanotechnology. In my free time, I gives my contribution to Walk with Cat by writing, reviewing and analyzing information.