Worms are a common type of cat parasite that can cause serious digestive problems if left untreated. Some worm infestations require a trip to the vet, while others can be treated at home. Take care when self-treating your pet, and make sure you're using the correct medication. With a little care, you can help your cat be healthy and worm-free.
Identify the type of worms. Cat worms come in several different types, and some require special medication. In most cases, worms or parts of worms can be seen in the faeces. Tapeworms look like crawling grains of rice. Roundworms and hookworms are small, threadlike creatures. If you can't determine the type of infestation, have your vet analyse a stool sample.
Administer a deworming medication. The type you choose should be dictated by the type of worms your cat has. Common choices include Revolution, a spot on preventive and remedy for roundworm, heartworm and hookworm; Drontal, a tablet dewormer; and Felex Plus, a paste dewormer. Read the package instructions carefully, and use the medication only as indicated. Many deworming medicines are toxic in high doses.
Clean thoroughly to prevent new infestations. Good litter box hygiene and keeping your cat indoors will help you avoid a new worm problem. Keep insects and rodents under control, since some types of worms can be spread by pests. Scoop litter boxes daily, and clean them periodically with a bleach solution, especially if a cat in your home has had worms. Bleach solution can be used to treat any surface that may be contaminated with worm eggs.
Administer preventive treatment. New worm problems can be prevented by giving your cat an anti-worm medication, such as Ivermectin or Revolution, on a regular basis. These medications are usually given as a monthly dosage.
Treat pregnant cats before they give birth, to prevent worms from being passed to the kittens.
Never use an antiparasitic product that is not labelled for use in cats. Avoid using deworming medications in very young kittens.