We spent 45 hours over a 30 day period researching and testing over 10 different types of cat wormer and found that effectiveness, range of worms eliminated, and value for the money were the most important factors for consumers who were shopping for cat dewormers. Bayer Tapeworm Dewormer for Cats scored high marks in all categories and is our overall top pick. Bayer cat dewormer takes care of the tapeworms your cat has within 24 hours of giving it to him or her. It is FDA approved and is easy to give to your cat thanks to the tablet form.
Cat Dewormer Buying Guide
The most important part of getting rid of the worms your cat has is to know what kind of worms they are dealing with in the first place. There are several types of worms that can infect cats.
Some of the dewormers on the market take care of all types of worms but others may be specific to round worms or tapeworms. Knowing what type of worms your cat has can help guide you to the right product. We have listed the different types of worms below along with information about each type including where they can get them and what symptoms to look out for.
Tapeworms – Tapeworms get their name from the way they look which is segmented and flat, like tape. If your cat drinks water that has been contaminated with tapeworm eggs or consumes animal excrement that is infected. They can also get it from ingesting fleas, birds, and rodents that have been infected with tapeworms which are the most common way for cats to get them. Tapeworms affect the cat’s intestines and can cause a problem that is known as cestodiasis. Tapeworms rob your cats of the nutrients they need and can lead to significant weight loss and other health problems. If your cat is infested with fleas there is a good chance that they will also have tapeworms. Three common symptoms of tapeworms are excessive biting or licking of the anus, seeing what looks like sesame seeds or grains of rice. You may also notice your cat dragging its rear end across the floor due to the terrible itching tapeworms cause.
Hookworms – Another type of worm that likes to inhabit the intestines of your cat. Hookworms are blood suckers and will bite and draw blood from the walls of the intestines, causing anemia, inflammation, and bleeding of the intestines. Hookworm larvae can be found in contaminated water that has infected feces in it, sand, cat litter, and soil. Kittens can get hookworms from the mother’s milk as well. Hookworms can be spread easily from one infected cat to uninfected cats via the cat box and cannot be seen by the naked eye. Hookworms are very dangerous and can cause death if left untreated especially in kittens. Symptoms that can indicate hookworm infestation include sores of the pads of the feet where infected soil or litter may be, diarrhea, loss of appetite, persistent coughing if the hookworms get into the lungs, constipation, and general illness. It is extremely important to treat hookworms immediately since failing to do so can cause the sudden death of your cat. Since they cannot be seen, they will need to be diagnosed by a vet. If you notice any of the symptoms we have listed, take your cat to the vet right away for a fecal check to rule out hookworms. (or any other kind of worms)
Roundworms – Round worms are one of the most common types of worms that cats can become infected with. A full grown roundworm can reach as long as 6” in length and start by infecting the intestines of the cat much like the other types of worms. As round worms reproduce and grow they can spread to other organs in the cat’s body including the lungs and their liver as well. Roundworms are a type of worm that humans can get from their cats, another huge reason to treat your cat right away. Some of the symptoms of roundworm infestation include severe constipation, vomiting, loss of appetite, dull coat, the appearance of the worms in the cat’s stool that looks like small strings of spaghetti. If a kitten has roundworms you may notice their bellies are hard and bloated but the rest of their body looks malnourished and thin.
What to Look for in a Cat Dewormer
There are several features that you want to look for when it comes to choosing the right dewormer. We have listed these important factors below. Ensuring that your cat dewormer has these features will also ensure that you have chosen a product that will work well and get rid of the worms your cat has.
Safety – Look for dewormers that will have little to no negative side effects. Side effects to look for that are not good include vomiting, loss of appetite, drooling, lethargy, and diarrhea. Finding the right dewormer means finding one that is the safest to give your cat without causing even more harm to their health.
Easy to Administer – Cats are not always the easiest pets to give medicine too and can be much more difficult to “convince” than dogs are. If you cat detests pills and seems to be able to find them in whatever food you hide them in, you will want to look for a dewormer that is in liquid form which can be a lot easier to administer. Many cats will take the medicine right off the spoon or syringe.
Effectiveness – A dewormer will not do your cat any good if it is not effective at killing the worms that they are infested with. You want to look for wormers that are proven to kill worms, protect the cat from re-infestation and be gentle on the cat’s system. Depending on the dewormer you could be looking at a product that takes as little as 24 hours to start working to one that takes up to two weeks to rid your cat’s system of the worms.
Worms are a common problem for cats even if your cats are indoor cats. Outdoor cats or cats that have both indoor and outdoor time are particularly prone to getting worms from what they encounter while they are outside.
Because of the danger that worms pose to your cat’s health and well-being, it is important that you diagnose your cat quickly if it has worms, start treatment right away and do the whole course of treatment to get rid of them completely.
Part of the process of treating worms in your cat is to identify, either through a vet check, or by symptoms and sight, what type of worms your cat has. If your cat has roundworms but you are only treating for tapeworms, you are not doing your cat any good at all and the dangers that worms can pose will only increase.
One of the main reasons that it is so important to treat worms as soon as you know about them is because worm infestation in cats can be fatal. It can also spread to humans, infecting children and adults that are around the cats.
Finding the right cat wormer does not necessarily have to come from an expensive vet visit. There are several dozen different kinds of cat dewormers on the market for you to choose from.
The reviews we have provided above are on three of the top-rated dewormers on the market that are safe, gentle, easy to administer, and effective in removing these annoying and potentially dangerous pests from your cat’s body.
If you are looking for a fast solution to a good product for deworming your cat, any one of these top-rated products will fit the bill perfectly. They can even be used on kittens or mother cats that are pregnant and/or nursing little kittens.
The buying guide we have included has explained about the types of worms cats can get, where and how they get them, symptoms to look for and when to go to the vet rather than trying to deal with it at home.
Home dewormers that you can do yourself are fine to use as long as the problem is caught early and not allowed to get worse. When using over the counter dewormers the main things to remember include knowing the type of worms you are dealing with, the age and weight of your cat, whether they are pregnant or not, and how bad the infestation is.
It is also important to follow the instructions exactly, get the right dosage, and administer the full course of the dewormer. If you can’t commit to giving your cat medicine three times a day, don’t purchase a dewormer that requires that kind of dosage schedule.
With all of the different forms of dewormers on the market you will be able to find one that will work for the worms you are trying to kill as well as the lifestyle you have. If you work a lot look for a once or twice per day dosage schedule that you will be able to stick to.