Roundworms: These can be passed from mother to kitten in the milk, or cats can ingest eggs or larvae from their environment.
Tapeworms: These can be transmitted by fleas, or through eating small rodents. So kittens, cats that hunt, and cats with fleas will almost certainly have worms.
Recognising the signs
It’s not always easy to spot cats with worms - adult worms live in the intestine, so you can’t always see signs of worms in the faeces.
If your cat has tapeworms, you may see small white rice segments around the bottom or in the faeces. Occasionally, whole tapeworms may be passed in the faeces.
A roundworm infestation may result in your cat vomiting up roundworms, or passing them in their faeces.
Heavy infestations of either worm can also cause diarrhoea, a pot-bellied appearance, and failure to gain weight.
Treating your cat’s worms
The best way to reduce worm numbers is to carry out cat worming treatment regularly. Before embarking on cat or kitten worming treatment, weigh your pet and dose accordingly.
Kittens should be wormed from two weeks of age, every two weeks, until they are twelve weeks old. They should then be treated monthly until they are six months old. The most popular kitten worming treatment is Panacur. However, Bob Martin easy-to-use granules contain the same ingredients as Panacur kitten wormer, and can be used in kittens over 2.2kg. Both treatments need to be given daily for three days. If your kitten has fleas, a broad-spectrum treatment - such as Drontal or Milbemax cat wormer – should be used.
Adult cats should be wormed every three months. If they are keen hunters, however, monthly worming treatment may be needed.
Pregnant cats should be wormed at least twice during their pregnancy, to reduce the number or worms transmitted to the kittens through milk. Consult your vet to make sure the cat worming tablets you’re using are safe for pregnant queens. Both Panacur and Milbemax can be used safely.
Our useful how-to video may help if your pet struggles to take cat worming tablets, or you could try using a spot on cat wormer. Do make sure, however, that they kill the worm that you’re targeting.
There are a variety of spot on cat wormers available:
- Droncit for cats – kills tapeworms
- Bob Martin – kills tapeworms
- Profender cat wormer – kills tapeworms and roundworms
- Broadline – kills tapeworms, roundworms, and fleas
- Advocate – kills roundworms and fleas
- Stronghold – kills roundworms and fleas