Deworming your cat: why and when?

Worms, a lot of people get uncomfortable just thinking of them. And yet it is important to keep an eye on these parasites, especially if you are a cat owner. A kitten may experience growth retardation and deficiency symptoms as a result of worms. Adult cats aren’t as greatly affected, but enough to say: deworming your cat is a must.

Why deworm my cat?

Worms are parasites that can infect a kitten through the mother’s milk and an adult cat can get infected through flea eggs or contact with other animals. Roundworms and tapeworms are the most frequently occurring varieties in cats. An infected kitten may suffer from growth retardation and a damaged immune system because it can’t absorb all the necessary nutrients from its food. Worms are also contagious to humans. This makes deworming your cat very important.

How do I know whether my cat has worms?

Infected cats do not tend to have any visible symptoms. Sometimes you may spot some white ‘worms’ in the faeces or vomit, these are segments of a tapeworm that are filled with eggs. These segments look like white rice grains. A severe infection may cause all kinds of symptoms: this includes excessive vomiting, diarrhoea, weight loss and a sensitive anus. A kitten may suffer growth retardation or a swollen abdomen. When in doubt, always consult your vet.

When should I deworm my cat?

Seeing as almost all kittens are infected with roundworm, it is important to deworm your cat at a young age. Deworm a kitten at the age of 4, 6 and 8 weeks. It is recommended to repeat treatment at the age of 4 and 6 months. Adult cats are less affected by worms than kittens, but they still need to be dewormed. It is recommended to deworm your adult cat every 2 to 6 months with an agent that eliminates both roundworm and tapeworm. This depends on whether or not your cat goes outside on a regular basis. Ask your vet for a personalised recommendation for your cat.

Deworming schedule

Kitten

• 4 – 6 – 8 weeks
• 4 – 6 months

Adult cat

• 1 year
• 1.5 years
• 2 years
• Etc.

 

Fleas and worms

Because a cat can contract worms due to infected flea eggs, it is important to treat your cat against fleas (preventively) on a regular basis in addition to deworming. If you fail to do so, fleas and worms will keep facilitating each other which leaves your cat exposed to both parasites. Deworm and deflea your dog on a regular basis as well, otherwise your dog will keep infecting your cat and vice versa.

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comments on this article

  1. Busi says:

    Hi my cat eats alot and doesn’t gain weight does this mean she has worms.

    1. Team Yarrah says:

      Dear Busi, the situation of your cat could have different reasons. Please check with your vet.

  2. Manuel Cortez says:

    I have read online that fecal exams tend to be unreliable. I have found white worms near my cats anus (including movement of those same worms), yet when I took her feces to the vet, they did not find anything.
    Just recently I found a worm moving on my carpet, although I’m not sure if this came from my cat because it was small, red, and had two tails on it. Should I ask for deworming treatment just incase, even if it does not show up in the feces just to be safe?

    1. Team Yarrah says:

      Dear Manuel, often worms cannot be seen in the feces, but they can still be there. If you have found worms around your cats anus and on the carpet, there is a high chance your cat has worms. Please consult with your vet, but a deworming treatment seems to be the right thing to do.

  3. Amanda Loechler says:

    How soon may I deworm my kitten she has worms that r white and coming out of her, we have dewormed her several times in the 14 day order but is it ok to administer it weekly ?

    1. Team Yarrah says:

      A kitten is dewormed at 4, 6 and 8 weeks, and after that at 4 and 6 months. If you feel the deworming doesn’t work properly, please consult your vet to see how to move forward.

  4. Carmen Pita says:

    If you use dewormer max by CLEARMAX and your cat is less than 20 lbs. For how long should my adult cat take it how many times a week and what would be the amount one dropper or half a dropper or even less than half??

    1. Team Yarrah says:

      Dear Carmen, the package leaflet that comes with the product should give you more information about this. If not, I recommend contacting your vet.

  5. Zeenath says:

    Even after giving deworming to my cat again roundworms are coming in his stool.after talking to vet dr he asked me to give deworming again. In a week I have given 3 times still today in the morning in my cat stool they are so many roundworms. due to lockdown I can’t take him to clinic and one thing he eat chicken meat. can you help me what I have to do?

    1. Team Yarrah says:

      Dear Zeenath, I am sorry but it is better to contact your vet. Perhaps you can explain the situation by phone?
      We do wish your cat all the best.

  6. Dr Niranjan Panda says:

    Excellent

  7. Mehreen says:

    Hey! My kitten is 6-9 weeks, he do his feces in 5 days or in a week, he do black feces but i didn’t see any worm..

  8. Gail Heydon says:

    I have had my stray for 5 months now. We live in a rural community, closest town is 70 mi. This stray looked to be about a 1-1/2 years old then. This kitty has had diarrhea since I’ve received him. I have given him de-wormer, got him a flea collar and did the chicken and rice meal and it seems as if nothing is helping. I clean his litter box daily, and give him fresh water daily. I have checked in his box for worms, his butt, his butt is very sore. He is pulling the hair off his tail and butt. I see no worms at all. He still has a playful mood, and plays with his toys. I have seen every now and again, a white scale in the litter box. He does act hungry and thirsty all the time but yet doesn’t eat to much of his food. Now it seems like he is losing some of his ability to control the diarrhea. It is light in color and he goes quite often. Also very stinky. Did talk to a vet and they said he probably has worms. My boy is extremely sensitive to food and water or so it seems. It has been 14 days and so should I give him a other dose of de-wormer? I feel so bad for him as we live so far away from a vet that handles domestic animals and am scared I’m going to lose him. How can I help him more at home. Yes, iij do his and my laundry and we have wood floors.

    1. Team Yarrah says:

      Dear Gail, we advise you to contact your vet (again) regarding your kitten. If your kitten has worms and is very sensitive, they should be able to help you with a solution. Maybe you can start with having a call with your vet instead of driving there directly. Sometimes a vet can already help you via a phone call. Good luck!

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