How often to deworm cats
I live on a horse ranch, and I have both indoor and outdoor cats. One of the major considerations when looking after animals of any kind including horses and cats it worming. How often do we need to deworm cats?
According to a collection of research indoor cats should be dewormed every 3-6 months based on a number of factors. Outdoor cats should definitely be wormed every 3 months at a minimum. Kittens and young cats have an increased chance of contracting worms so more frequency is required.
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- How often to deworm cats
- Can you get cat wormer over the counter?
- Worming Schedule
- Where do Worms Come From?
- Do Worms in Cats Come From Insects?
- What are worms in cats?
- Do Indoor Cats still need to be dewormed?
- How do these worms influence the feline?
- Diagnose worms in cats
- How to deworm your cat
- what to expect after deworming a cat
- How Long After Deworming a Cat Are the Worms Gone
- Can cat worms affect humans?
- Conclusion on how often to deworm cats
We also have another article called what is the best cat wormer medicine that you can check out too!
Can you get cat wormer over the counter?
There are some cat dewormers that are available over the counter, and they work as part of a regular worming schedule.
However, if your cat has been diagnosed with a worm infestation it is likely that you will need a prescription dewormer.
Kittens and adult cats have different needs. Here is a list of ages and worming needs.
- Newborn kitten – Kittens should be dewormed every two weeks until they are 12 weeks old.
- 12 Weeks – 6 Months old – At this age, they should get wormed every month.
- After 6 months – Adult cats need to be wormed every three months.
During the summer months, cats have a higher chance of contracting worms. Primarily this is because, during the warmer months, there are more insects and parasites which can pass the worms onto the cat.
Cats can also get worms from mice and other rodents. It is especially important during the summer months to deworm your cats. In winter you can put more time in between wormings.
Where do Worms Come From?
As mentioned above primarily worms come from other sources that come into contact with your cat. So other cats, bugs, fleas, mice, rodents and parasites. The parasites (worms) can be passed to the cat because it ingests it directly or it ingests something that has the worms in it.
Do Worms in Cats Come From Insects?
Yes. As mentioned above insects act as a carrier and transmitter of worms. The worst culprits are fleas. It is suggested that any cat with fleas also has worms and visa-Versa, so care and attention should be given to these kinds of situations.
If your cat has access to a lot of bugs or insects they should be dewormed regularly.
What are worms in cats?
There are three main kinds of worms in cats.
- Roundworms. Intestinal roundworms are the most common type of worm in a cat. Typically worm eggs are ingested by the cat and then the worms become active. They can remain dormant however for a number of years. Mother cats can also pass these on to their kittens through the milk. These types of worms are primarily handled through routine deworming. Fecal matter can be tested to see for sure if your cat has roundworms.
- Hookworms – These are a small type of intestinal worms like roundworms that attach to the intestine and could bleeding, weight loss and anemia. They are also contracted in the same way as roundworms and treated with deworming.
- Tapeworms. Passed onto the cat by fleas and mice. These are longer and more dangerous parasites and need to be dealt with accordingly.
Do Indoor Cats still need to be dewormed?
Indoor cats can incidentally show up with intestinal parasites, for example, roundworms, tapeworms or hookworms and once in a while with an intense malady – heartworms – which is frequently deadly.
Tapeworms are quite often obtained from insects. if there are bugs, and the bugs go untreated, there is a probability for steady re-infection with tapeworms, in which case you could deworm at regular intervals.
There are some great safe products for this including a topical drug called Profender.
However, it is most likely best to manage insects. In the event that you utilize a topical product monthly, for example, a product like Revolution, you can avert bugs, heartworms, and some intestinal parasites all with one monthly topical application. Cats can get roundworms in different ways – despite the fact that they are entirely indoors.
Mice and different critters can convey the roundworm inside them, and when cats eat them, the transfer takes place. Likewise, some fertilized soils are sullied with roundworm eggs.
Flies, cockroaches and different creepy crawlies can likewise convey them – so they can defile the house with them, or spread them if cats eat these bugs. You can deworm cats with exceptionally safe meds, for example, pyrantel pamoate; however, it bodes well to acquire a fecal example to your vet a few times per year and have it checked.
In the event that there are no parasites, there isn’t a need to treat for them (albeit admittedly, these fecal tests are not 100% precise, and every so often will miss parasites).
How do these worms influence the feline?
Worms can have a variety of effects on cats.
- It can cause their stool to be bloody
- Unexplained weight loss
- Bloated or round belly
- Constant coughing
Diagnose worms in cats
Typically you would see the signs listed above. From there you can inspect their stool to see if there is in fact blood or wormholes or the worms themselves. Also, you can inspect vomit to see if there are worms in the vomit.
Most importantly you should take your cat to the vet if you suspect that you have a significant worm problem in your cat. As with all things health-related to your cat, a vet consultation is the best thing.
Characteristic indications of a pervasion incorporate a pot-stomach, hindered development or weight reduction and gastrointestinal signs, for example, retching and looseness of the bowels. Overwhelming weights of relocating worm hatchlings in kittens might be related to liver or lung illness, and substantial weights of developed worms in the gut can cause intestinal blockage.
How to deworm your cat
Obviously, the best way to make sure you worm properly is to take your cat to the vet. Most vets for small animals will know the common worms for your area and be able to make sure your cat is on a regular schedule for worming.
If you choose to do it your self you can purchase dewormer from your vet, and make sure that you get instructions on how to use the medicine.
There are pills and drops. With the pill, you just need to make sure that the cat swallows the pill. With the drops, you apply the drop to the back of the neck on the skin.
Some wormers are available over the counter and some are only available through a prescription through a vet.
what to expect after deworming a cat
The worming medicine can take a couple of days to pass through your cat’s system, and during this time appetite may not be normal. If after a number of days appetite has not returned you should consult your vet.
the worming medicine should take effect within 24-48 hours and you should notice a change in your cat. I wormed Louis on my own, it was an easy process and he was much healthier after that.
My indoor ragdoll cats also have been wormed and when they are kept in a regular routine their weight doesn’t fluctuate much at all.
How Long After Deworming a Cat Are the Worms Gone
As mentioned above typically the worming medicine does its job within 24-48 hours of application. Some wormers work faster and each cat will be a little different. There are cases where another dose will need to be applied in 3-4 weeks because at the time of worming those worms were in larvae form and were not killed.
In extreme cases, cats will receive a three-dose application. One dose and then two more, one at 7 days and one at 14 days. This will be a more effective way to remove worms, especially tapeworms.
Can cat worms affect humans?
Yes. People can get worms from cats and from dogs because the larva lives in the stool of the animal and or in the insects and can travel to us. Kids that play with pets a lot can be exposed to worms, it is best to just keep an eye out and consult your doctor if you think there is a problem.
Conclusion on how often to deworm cats
So as you can see worms can be a significant issue for cats, they are for horses and dogs too. You should have your cat on a regular schedule for worm management and make sure to watch for signs. every three months is the best.
Note – I am not a vet and not trying to play one on the internet. This is a collection of research and personal discovery in consultation with my own vet. Make sure you consult your vet. Do not make decisions on your own in regards to this matter.