Parasitic worms may infect your cat's gastrointestinal tract. Moreover, we all know that parasites can bring harmful effects to the host. The best way to save your kitty from parasitic worms is to get the best cat dewormer.
Successfully deworming a cat may take more than just choosing the most powerful or priciest dewormer in the market.
First, you need to know the specific type of parasitic worm your feline pet is having. Dewormer comes in different formulations utilizing different varieties of active ingredients.
There are active ingredients that work best against certain types of parasitic worms. Knowing the particular type of infection can help you pick the best cat dewormer.
However, no matter what type of worm is in your kitty, it is crucial to treat it as quickly and effectively as possible.
A feline that has intestinal worms may experience undesirable effects with the severity of
symptoms depending on the type of infection.
Of course, the degree of infestation also has something to do with the severity of symptoms.
In this article, we will present to you what dewormers are and how to do over the counter dewormers work.
Additionally, we compiled a list of our recommended deworming products to help you find the best cat dewormer for your pet.
More importantly, we are going to teach you how to choose the best cat dewormer and some other factors to consider in your buying decision.
However, first and foremost, let us educate ourselves with the different types of parasitic worms in felines.
The Most Common Types of Worms in Cats Many different types of parasitic worms can get into your pet's body.
However, here are the most common intestinal worms in felines that you need to know:
The Most Common Types of Worms
This type of parasite can enter a feline’s body as eggs (larval stage). Your furry friend can
acquire the larva from rodents and birds, their favorite preys.
Roundworm eggs can also be found in the soil and the excrements of infected animals. This makes outdoor kitties more susceptible to getting roundworms than the indoor ones.
As the larvae hatch and grow, they can reach about 3 to 6 inches long and are found mostly in the host’s intestines.
They quickly reproduce and move through the bloodstream to infect other organs such as lungs and liver.
When a host is severely infected, it tends to transfer the roundworms to other animals or people.
So, even indoor pets can get roundworms by getting in contact with an infected kitty. Kittens, in particular, can get the worms by drinking the milk of an infected mother.
Even you and other members of your household can get roundworms from an infected kitty.
That is why it is essential to diagnose and treat roundworm infestation at its source before the infestation can spread.
Symptoms of roundworms in felines include:
Kittens with roundworm have enlarged bellies that are hard to the touch. Apart from their large stomachs, the rest of their body is becoming thin due to malnourishment.
This is because their digestive tract is being invaded by worms making it incapable of absorbing essential nutrients from their food.
Like roundworms, larvae of tapeworms can also get into a kitty's body by consuming infested preys such as rodents and birds.
Alternatively, if your pet ingests soil or animal feces containing tapeworm eggs.
However, unlike roundworms, a tapeworm is characterized by their flat and segmented body.
As these worms mature, some segments of their body break off and are excreted through the host's stool.
Tapeworms initially reside in the host's intestines. However, as they reproduce and proliferate, they produce larvae that may also invade body tissues.
Severe infestation can lead to a medical condition called cestodiasis in which larvae form
lesions in infected body organs.
Symptoms of tapeworm in felines include:
Hookworm has hook-like mouthparts with which it attaches itself to the intestinal wall.
Felines can get hookworm larvae from soil, litter, or water that is contaminated by feces from an infected animal.
Kittens may also get hookworms by drinking the milk of an infected mother.
These parasitic worms are one of the most harmful parasites as they suck from the blood in the intestinal walls.
They do this by puncturing the blood vessels and feeding on the blood. As a result, hookworm infestation causes inflammation and bleeding in the intestinal area that can lead to anemia.
Hookworms are potentially fatal in kittens. That’s why it’s crucial to detect and treat hookworm infestation as soon as possible.
Symptoms of hookworms in felines include:
Hookworms can also move through the bloodstream and get into the lungs. Persistent coughing
is one of the most visible signs that hookworms may have already infected the lungs.
If left untreated, sudden death may occur.
All the previously stated parasites primarily attack the intestine of their host and later find their way to other body organs as they proliferate.
Lungworms are very much different because they typically migrate to the lungs of the host.
Our feline pets can become infected with lungworms when they eat infected preys or ingest feces (in the soil) from infected animals.
Lungworm larvae travel to the lungs via bloodstream where they grow and reproduce. If left untreated, infestation in the lungs can lead damaged airways and pneumonia.
Symptoms of lungworms in felines include:
What Is A Dewormer? How Do Over the Counter Dewormers Work?
A dewormer is probably the first thing that comes to mind upon learning that parasitic worms infect your pet.
Over the counter, dewormers for cats come in different forms including tablet, liquid, and powder.
Dewormers are to be administered in cats orally. However, if your kitty refuses to take oral medicines, you can mix the dewormer into their food for easier administration.
However, how do over the counter dewormers work? Are they effective in getting rid of
How do we choose the best cat dewormer in the market?
These anti-parasitic medications make use of chemical agents that can either dissolve or
paralyze the worms.
Remember that parasites survive because they attach themselves into the intestinal wall. Once they are paralyzed, they lose their grips and fall through the intestinal tract.
Also, they eventuall get ejected from the body through the stool. However, these chemical agents only work against adult worms, and they don't kill eggs or larvae.
That is why dewormer must be continually administered until the larvae can evolve into adults and be eliminated as well.
There are different types of chemical agents being used in deworming, and they also work in a variety of ways.
Chemical deworming agents include:
An anthelmintic medication that works in three ways. First, it increases the permeability of tapeworms' cell membranes to produce a sudden influx of calcium into the cell.
As a result, the drug induces contraction of the worms similar to seizures, resulting in paralysis.
The paralyzed worms are then dislodged from the intestinal wall and get destroyed by immune system cells.
Dead parasites are then withdrawn from the body through the feces. Second, it takes after the fact that parasites maintain their firm grip on the intestinal wall by taking in adenosine.
This drug interferes with the adenosine uptake in parasites, making them flaccid and weak until they lose their grip at the site.
Third, praziquantel neutralizes the protective ability of worms to resist digestive enzymes.
Without this natural protection, the parasites become vulnerable to digestive enzymes and eventually die.
Piperazine, on the other hand, works by blocking acetylcholine at the myoneural junction of the parasite’s nerves.
In simpler words, this compound works by paralyzing the worms and allow the body to expel the invading parasites.
Works the same way as piperazine. By blocking the parasites' neuromuscular transmission at the neuromuscular junction, this medication causes a sudden contraction in parasites followed by paralysis.
After losing their grip on the intestinal wall, the parasites are then passed out of the system by natural process.
However, unlike piperazine, pyrantel pamoate is poorly absorbed by the host's intestine and may cause little to no discomfort on the part of the host.
Both piperazine and pyrantel are effective in eliminating roundworms and hookworms. For tapeworms and lungworms, you may need to use praziquantel.
It's wise to read the product label to know the active ingredients being used. Now that you know which deworming agent works best with certain parasites, you can use this knowledge to your best advantage.
To help you choose the best cat dewormer for your kitty, here are our top 10 brand picks and see what they have in store for us.
Top 10 Best Over the Counter Dewormers for Cats
When it comes to dewormers for pets, there are many available choices in the market. You may find that some of these medications require a vet’s prescription.
However, sometimes, you don't need to visit the vet to confirm that your feline friend is in dire need of an anti-parasitic medication.
If you’re looking for the best over the counter dewormer for cats that you can buy even without a prescription, check out our list of recommended brands.
Here are the top 10 brands of the best cat dewormer that you can avail:
1. Bayer Tapeworm Dewormer
This deworming product contains praziquantel which is known to be very effective against tapeworms. It comes in a tablet form wherein each tablet contains 23 mg praziquantel.
Against tapeworms, this is probably the best cat dewormer. No prescription required and it allows you to act fast in removing tapeworms from your kitty as soon as you see the signs.
You can quickly treat feline tapeworm infestation at the convenience of your home without the need to visit the vet clinic.
Convenient and easy to administer, crumble up the tablet and mix it with your kitty's food.
Bayer Tapeworm Dewormer effectively removes common tapeworms in a single dose.
For severe infestation, you may need to continue administering it until no signs of tapeworm remain. It should only be given to cats over six weeks of age.
2. Bayer Drontal Broad Spectrum Dewormer
Are you looking for a versatile deworming medication that can kill all types of parasitic worms? Look no further because this product will do its job regardless of the kind of infections that are invading your kitty's gut.
There’s a valid reason why this product is considered by many as the best cat dewormer.
It combines the power of praziquantel and pyrantel pamoate to kill and eliminate not just tapeworms but also roundworms and hookworms.
Of course, it is to be expected that this powerful deworming medication also comes with a hefty price. Yes, it is a bit pricey, but it would be worth your every penny.
A bottle of Bayer Drontal Broad Spectrum Dewormer comes in 50 tablets and has a shelf life of up to 2 years. This means that one bottle can go a long way as it also saves you from spending on frequent visits to the vet.
Just like any deworming medication in tablet form, you can give it to your pet by mouth or crumble it up to mix with your pet’s food.
This treatment should be given to cats over one month of age, one tablet per 4 to 8 lbs of body weight.
3. ProSense Liquid Dewormer Solutions for Cats
Sometimes, our furry friends can get finicky especially when it comes to taking medicines. That is only reasonable as we also have a hard time giving medication to our kids. What more in fastidious felines?
If your kitty refuses to take tablets, maybe it’s about time to consider using the liquid type.
Prosense Liquid Dewormer Solutions for Cats comes in a liquid form that can be easily mixed into food.
Even though tablets can be crushed and mixed into foods, it could still alter the texture of the food. Moreover, our feline companions can tell if something is added into their usual meal.
Deworming solutions in liquid form won't change the texture of their food. You can mix it into their milk or other soft foods, and they can't even tell the difference.
This product contains piperazine citrate which is known to be highly effective in killing roundworms. That is why it is one of the best cat dewormers available in the market today.
One teaspoon (5 ml) of this liquid solution contains 250 mg of piperazine citrate. Use ¼ teaspoon of this solution per 2.5 lbs of your pet’s body weight.
After the first dose, you need to wait for 14 days until you can administer again. Then after the second dose, apply every 30 days to prevent re-infestation.
Dosage may be given orally using a spoon or a dropper. However, if your kitty spits it out, you may want to consider mixing the solution into its food.
It is to be used on cats six weeks and older.
4. NaturPet D Wormer
Considered as one of the best over the counter dewormer for cats, this liquid solution uses only 100% natural ingredients.
Unlike most deworming medications, NaturPet D Wormer uses herbal extracts known for their anti-parasitic and soothing properties. These herbs include:
For pet owners who prefer all-natural ingredients, this product is indeed the best cat dewormer.
The packaging comes with a size chart to find the proper dose based on your pet’s weight. Dosage is to be administered twice a day, preferably in the morning and afternoon.
One bottle (100 ml) can be used to up to 7 treatments depending on the number of pets being treated. Sediment in the liquid may occur as it contains herbal extracts. Just shake the bottle before use to distribute the residue.
Refrigerate the product after every use, and it can last for six months. Without a doubt one of the best over the counter dewormer for cats.
5. Excel Liquid Roundworm Dewormer for Cats
Is your kitty's health is threatened by pesky roundworms? Have you tried several deworming medications but your pet refuses to take them?
Worry no more because we have the perfect solution to your problem.
Excel Liquid Roundworm Dewormer contains the active ingredient piperazine citrate, a deworming agent that works best against roundworms.
Plus, it comes in a liquid form that is specially formulated to taste better than other bitter-tasting deworming solutions in the market.
You can put the liquid medication into your pet's food and water, and your kitty may not notice the difference.
Safe to use for cats six weeks of age and older, administer ¼ teaspoon per 2.5 lbs of your pet's body weight.
After the initial dose, do not administer again for the next 14 days. Repeat initial treatment on day 14 then conduct every 30 days to prevent re-infestation.
6. PetArmor Worm-Away Caps
A deworming medication in capsule form, each capsule contains 140 mg of piperazine citrate for the effective removal of large roundworms
Packaging comes with a dosage chart to help you determine the right dose for your kitty based on its body weight.
The administration is super easy. Just pull the capsule apart and empty the content into your pet's regular food.
Repeat the dosage in 10 days to prevent re-infection. It should be administered to cats six weeks old and beyond.
7. Durvet WormEze Feline Liquid
Are you looking for the best cat dewormer against roundworms?
If you want a more potent deworming medication, this product is a cut above the rest.
One teaspoon of this liquid solution contains 275 mg of piperazine citrate for fast and effective removal of large roundworms.
Administer one teaspoon (5 ml) per 5 lbs of your pet's body weight. It can be applied to the pet's mouth or mix into food or water.
It should only be given to cats over six weeks of age. Repeat dosage in 10 days after first treatment.
8. HomeoPet Feline Worm Clear
This particular medication takes after homeopathic medicine in getting rid of parasitic worms from the body.
Homeopathy is based on the belief that the body has the power to cure itself. While many over the counter dewormers contain chemical ingredients, HomeoPet Worm Clear uses natural ingredients that can stimulate the healing process.
These natural ingredients don't kill the worms, but they help your pet's immune system to expel parasites from the body.
One of the best cat dewormers in the market, it works for the treatment and prevention of roundworms, hookworms, and tapeworms.
Since this product doesn’t use any chemical agents, it is safe to use for young kittens and even pregnant cats.
The liquid solution comes in a dropper bottle (15 ml) wherein you can directly apply into the mouth or mix into water.
Drops per dose are based on your pet's body weight, refer to the package label for the dosage chart.
Administer three times a day for 14 days to treat the infestation. You may need to repeat the dose for the next seven days to prevent re-infestation.
To prevent future recurrences of worm infestation, repeat treatment every 60 days.
One bottle provides 450 drops of the deforming liquid so you can use it for a more extended period.
9. GOODGROWLIES Dewormer for Cats & Dogs
Another broad spectrum deworming medication that you need to consider is the GOODGROWLIES Dewormer for Cats & Dogs.
Save and protect your kitty from tapeworms, roundworms, and hookworms by administering one tablet per 8.8 lbs of your pet's body weight.
Tablets may be taken by mouth or may be crumbled and mixed with food. Using for cats over six weeks of age is safe.
This powerful deworming tablet works quickly and takes care of worm infection within hours after the first treatment.
Repeat the dose after one month to prevent re-infection.
10. Worm Free Naturally
Here’s another all-natural deworming solution for your delicate feline pet.
Worm Free Naturally contains food grade diatomaceous earth that attaches to the worms like a magnet, slowly drying them out until they die.
Some parasitic worms tend to build up immunity against chemical agents. As a result, chemical dewormers won’t take effect against them anymore.
However, the diatomaceous earth is different, and there's no way that they can resist nor build up immunity against it.
Mix the powder thoroughly with food, adding water may be necessary to avoid potential choking.
Give one teaspoon of the powder for large cats and ½ teaspoon for small-sized kitties and kittens (after weaning). Administer this dosage to your kitty daily for 90 days, then three times a week after that for maintenance.
Additionally, it contains probiotics and organic kelp to aid digestion during the deworming process.
How Long Does a Dewormer Take to Work?
It’s only reasonable to assume that the best cat dewormer is the one that works the fastest. But not necessarily.
Chemical medications are proven to work faster in killing parasites compared to their all-natural counterparts.
Some chemical medications only take some few hours to reach their maximum potential. Also, you can immediately see the result after first treatment.
Because chemical deworming agents work fast, worms are expelled right away, and you can notice their presence in your kitty's stool.
In some occasions, your kitty may even expel parasites through their vomits.
However, expulsions of worms through the stool or vomit don’t automatically mean that infestation is over.
Follow the recommended doses and directions to use on the label to make sure that infestation is treated. You may need to continue administering the medicine until the prescribed duration to prevent outbreak from coming back.
Natural medications, on the other hand, work slowly but surely. Moreover, you don’t have to worry about side effects and over-dosage.
How to Choose the Best Over the Counter Dewormer for Cats?
Here are the things to consider in choosing the best cat dewormer for your kitty:
Do over the counter dewormers work?
The effectiveness of a deworming medication will also rely on your decision. A deworming agent that targets explicitly roundworms may not work well against tapeworms. Moreover, an active ingredient known to be effective against tapeworms may not be as effective against hookworms.
You know what they say, ‘know thy enemy.' Understanding the different types of parasitic worms in felines can help you choose the best cat dewormer in the market.
Different products are using different anti-parasitic ingredients working in different ways. Furthermore, these different active ingredients have their specializations when it comes to the types of worms to deal with.
Read the label of the product carefully and evaluate what the ingredients are best for. Besides, that’s what ‘over the counter’ medication is all about.
Remember that you are buying them without any prescription and it will be up to you to assess whether they're useful or not.
Again, the safety of the product will depend on how you administered the medicine.
Over-dosage is the most common safety issue when it comes to drug administration. Side effects usually occur when you give the wrong dosage or when you go beyond the prescribed duration.
Different products offer different amounts of active ingredients. Whether it’s a tablet, capsule, liquid or powder, it’s always wise to read the directions and the proper dosage.
Most chemical medications are not recommended for kittens and pregnant cats. You can opt for an all-natural alternative to ensure the safety of your delicate pets.
Also, always follow the dosage chart being provided on the product label.
Ease of administration
Now this one depends entirely on your preference. Some pet owners do not like the idea of breaking a tablet into two or crumbling it into pieces.
There are also those who find powder medications messy and hard to administer. Liquid forms seem to be a better alternative, but some people often find it difficult to measure the accurate dose.
Choose the best cat dewormer that is easiest for you to administer. Because no matter how strong the medicine is, it's useless if your kitty won't take it.
How to Prevent Worms in the First Place
Prevention is better than cure. Moreover, there are ways to protect your kitty from possible parasite infestation.
Let us give you some tips to prevent worms from invading your kitty’s body::
Don’t let your feline pet eat wild animals.
Birds and rodents are the most common carriers of parasites. So when your kitty eats these animals, they also ingest worms and larvae residing in them.
This explains why outdoor felines are at higher risk of getting worms. However, even indoor felines would hunt their prey if they had the chance in the outdoors.
Keep a watchful eye if ever you need to take your furry friend outside your house. Never allow your pet to eat wild animals or scavenge on dead animals.
Get rid of fleas.
Did you know that fleas also carry tapeworm larvae with them?
Yes, and these larvae can be transmitted into your pet when they happen to ingest the fleas by licking their fur.
You can help reduce the risk of tapeworm infestation by eliminating the fleas on your feline pet first.
Keep your pet’s surroundings clean.
Parasites commonly dwell and survive in an unclean environment. So, give them an unpleasant situation by keeping your surroundings clean and sanitized.
Regularly clean their litter boxes, toys, bedding, food dishes, and any other objects that they usually use.
In handling their feces, wear gloves and face mask to protect yourself from getting in contact with the parasites.
Conclusion: Best Cat Dewormer
Parasite infestations are quite common among felines especially if they spend most of their times in the outdoors.
The most effective way to prevent your kitty from getting worms is to keep them indoors. However, confining them inside the house all the time may not be suitable for their well-being. Just like us, our feline buddies also need to explore the outdoors.
If worm infestation is inevitable, you can opt for an effective deworming medication that is specially formulated for felines.
Choosing the best cat dewormer can be a challenge. However, as long as you're aware of the different types of parasitic worms and how different deworming agents work, you should be fine.
Having all of these factors in mind, it would be easier for you to decide which particular product to buy.
Deworming becomes more complicated if it involves young kittens and pregnant cats. However, there are over the counter dewormer for kittens that are safe even for pregnant and lactating kitties.
Nevertheless, do over the counter dewormers work?
You will also play an essential role in determining the effectiveness and safety of specific deworming medication.
Keep in mind to always follow the proper dosage and the right method of administration. This is the only way to treat an infestation in your kitty and prevent it from happening again.