It’s every pet parent’s worst nightmare. Your poor fur baby has worms! Don’t worry though, because we’ve scoured the internet to find the best products for getting rid of your cat’s worms FAST.
We’ve also created an in-depth guide that will teach you everything that you need to know about feline worms, including how cats get them, how to get rid of them, and how to make sure that they never come back, but if you don’t have time for all that, then here’s our recommended products!
Best over the counter cat dewormers
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Before purchasing a de-wormer product, it’s important to understand that they don’t always kill all worm varieties! Many of the best cat dewormer products require a prescription, such as Drontal, but over the counter products work fine as long as you buy the right one.
If you don’t know what kind of worms you cat has, then you can try going with the Diatomaceous Earth, which is effective against most worms that your cat would have. If you need help in using this product, then we’ve done a write up for this with instructions.
Or, you can keep reading to learn how to identify the specific type of worms that your cat has.
How do cats get worms?
Your kitty cat can get worms in some surprising ways! Knowing good prevention tactics is just as important as the treatment, but the first step is identifying the type of worms that you have.
The main types of worms that cats normally get are roundworms, tapeworms and hookworms. Even indoor kitties can get worms from other animals. This includes pests that enter your home like roaches or fleas, or they can even be brought in by people sometimes!
How do I know if my cat has worms?
When trying to ascertain if your cat does in fact have a worm infestation there will be a number of tell tale signs. However, these signs will vary depending on what type of worms you have.
Below we’ve provided some profiles on the various types of worms that cats can get. Using this information you should be able to figure out what kind of pest you’re dealing with, and then choose a treatment.
Can I get worms from my cat?
Yes, it is possible. There are several varieties of worms that can be transferred to humans. However, the method by which this transfer needs to occur is fortunately not likely, as typically it would require you to ingest the eggs in order to do so.
Hookworms are a notable exception however, as they can be transferred through skin contact! If you think that you may have a hookworm problem it needs to be taken care of ASAP, and you need to take precautions to be sure you do not accidentally transfer them to yourself.
Small children are particularly at risk, because they have a bad habit of putting things in their mouths which could be dirty or contaminated.
Does your cat have a tapeworm?
If there are white worms in your cat’s poop that look like grains of rice, then this means your cat likely has a tapeworm. What you’re looking at are the eggs passing through your cat’s system. Fortunately, this is the easiest type of internal parasite to diagnose.
Cats can get these parasites from uncooked meat or prey animals like mice, but did you know that fleas cause worms too? If your cat eats some of their fleas while trying to get them off, then they can acquire a nasty tapeworm. That’s why proper flea prevention is important!
Can humans get tapeworms from cats?
It’s possible but unlikely. In order to get a tapeworm from your cat you’d need to ingest the eggs. Cats get them by accidentally eating fleas while grooming themselves. It is of course a possibility, but not a major concern.
How to get rid of tapeworms
Fortunately, tapeworms are actually pretty easy to get rid of, and Bayer makes the best over the counter cat dewormer for tapeworms! If you’ve verified that your cat does have tapeworms, then this is a great product to get rid of them.
Crush up the pill in some wet cat food or tuna. Make sure that they eat all of it, and within a couple of days you should not see any more signs of tapeworms in their litter box.
How do cats get tapeworms?
If you have used the medication but your worm problem is not going away, then it’s likely that your animal is somehow getting re-infested. Have you got another type of pest problem? Even if you have an indoor kitty, it’s possible that they have eaten some type of insect that has gotten into your home.
As a preventative measure, you should probably treat your home to protect against other pests. If you find yourself wondering ‘how do indoor cats get worms’? Then this is likely the answer. People can bring in pests with them as they come and go. In the case of tapeworms the most likely culprit is fleas.
Even if your cat does not currently have fleas or ticks it’d be a good idea to take some preventative measures. However, indoor kitties can still get fleas from their people accidentally bringing them in the house! Check out this article for flea treatment and prevention recommendations.
Does your cat have hookworms?
Hookworms can be harder to identify unfortunately, because they don’t usually have a visual cue like tapeworms do.
In some cases, your cat may have blood in their stool if they are harboring hookworms. You won’t see any actual worms though, as they are too small.
If one cat has worms, then you should treat all of your animals, otherwise it could be very hard to get rid of them.
This worm can be passed on through many ways, including through feces, skin penetration or ingestion. This means that humans can get hookworms from animals easier than other types of worms as a result.
How do you get rid of hookworms?
Bayer does offer a great broad spectrum de-wormer that can get rid of hookworms, but it’s not over the counter. Though you really should not be treating your cat with over the counter medications if you think that your cat has hookworms.
Animals who have growing hookworm infestations could have unseen internal damage that can be life threatening. They need a full check up from your vet, and using over the counter treatments could be dangerous for them.
You should also be aware that most over the counter products do not kill hookworms at all.
Can humans get hookworms from cats?
Yes! This is one of the few worms that your cat can get that poses a real risk to humans. This is because hookworms don’t need to be ingested like the other worms we’ve talked about. These worms can actually be picked up through skin contact.
If you believe that you have a hookworm infestation, then you need to take precautions to keep them from being spread to the humans in your house. This is especially true if you have small children, and you should keep them away from any infected animals.
How to prevent re-infestation of hookworms
If you have a hookworm problem, then the pests were likely brought indoors somehow by an animal or even a person! Once they are there though, you will need to make sure to keep your litter box environment very clean to make sure no eggs are hanging around.
If you live in an area that is known for hookworms, then you may need to have your animals regularly tested to preserve their health and yours.
This is not something that you want taking up residence in your home. It may also be a good idea to de-worm your animals once or twice a year with a broad spectrum product.
Does your cat have round worms?
If your cat has round worms it can be hard to tell. The outward signs will not be as apparent as they are with tapeworms, but if your pet seems to be losing weight, feeling sick or not eating as well as they should be, these guys may be to blame. Sometimes your cat can get these from roaches.
If your cat is throwing up worms as shown above, then you can be pretty certain of a roundworm infestation. If your cat has been sick lately, make sure to inspect the remnants for any unwelcome guests.
Can humans get roundworms from cats?
Much like tapeworms, it’s unlikely that you will get these from your cat. It would require ingesting the eggs. Make sure to wash your hands thoroughly after handling your animals and you should be safe. If you have small children, then make sure they are doing the same.
How to get rid of round worms
There are many great products on the market for getting rid of roundworms. Just make sure that this is actually the kind of worm that your cat has, because most roundworm products only work on those worms.
Roundworm treatments typically come in liquid form. All you need to do is mix some of it in with your cat’s food. A particularly attractive treat, such as some tuna, would be a good bet here to keep them from eating around it.
Keep in mind that you may need more than one treatment to get rid of the roundworms.
How do cats get round worms?
In order to prevent re-infestation of round worms, you’ll likely need to start with the litter box. Make sure to scoop your litter box as soon as possible.
Clean the pans regularly with hot water and soap to keep eggs from being able to survive. You may even consider getting a new box entirely toward the end of your treatment cycle to make sure that they are gone!
I’m still not sure what kind of worms I have?!
If you suspect that your cat may be infested but you’re still not sure, then you have a few options.
Use a broad spectrum worm treatment
If you don’t know what kind of worms your cat has, then a broad spectrum dewormer is your best bet. Bayer makes the best broad spectrum product, but unfortunately, that one is prescription only.
If you don’t want to head to the vet, then there is another great option that you can try. Diatomaceous Earth is actually an all-natural de-wormer that you can use.
All you need to do is to add a bit to your cat’s food, and it will do the job. You can get the full instructions, including how much Diatomaceous Earth you should use by reading this article.
It’s a good idea to deworm your animals once or twice per year to make sure no infestations are growing inside them without your knowledge. It won’t hurt your cat, and some pet parents who live in areas prone to worms do this regularly.
Even if your cat does not go outside they could still get worms from a number of sources, including fleas, household pests, and dogs or humans bringing them into the house accidentally!
Go to the vet for testing
You can also go to the vet and have your animal’s stool sample tested. The vet will be able to tell you exactly what kind of worms you’re dealing with and recommend the correct treatment. Though in most cases, you should be able to take care of it yourself without a stressful trip to the vet.
The exception would be hookworms, because of the type of internal damage they can do. Your pet should still be looked at by the vet if you suspect that they have this kind of worm for their safety.
Use an at home testing kit
You can actually purchase an at home testing kit for this. Take your sample, mail it to the lab, and they will report back within 24 hours of receipt with your information. They can identify pretty much any type of worm in almost any animal, not just cats!
Worms are not fun for you or your kitty. They can cause many complications for your pet, and you should immediately seek out a treatment that can eradicate them. This article is meant to act as a guide for over the counter treatments and preventative measures.
However, if you believe your cat has been sick for some time, then they may still need to go to the vet. Especially if they are infected with hookworms, which could actually be fatal if not treated. You should consult with them if you’re not totally sure about which flea and worm treatment for cats you need.