The Best Cat Dewormer in 2023
Cats get worms. It’s an unfortunate fact of life, but deworming them can be dicey. You’ll need to make sure that you have the best cat dewormer around, and that means extensive research and understanding. Fortunately, we dug right in to find out which of the over-the-counter solutions works out best for our feline friends.
So, if you’re getting ready to handle a parasite infestation in your kitty’s GI tract, you’re in the right place. We’ve picked our favorite, but there’s an almost endless variety of them out there. Read on, and we’ll guide you to the right choice for you and your pet.
|Best Overall Cat Dewormer||Bayer Drontal Broad Spectrum Dewormer||4.9|
|Best for Tapeworms||Bayer Tapeworm Dewormer||4.8|
|Best Natural Dewormer||DEW0RMER for Dogs & Cats||4.7|
|Best Cat Dewormer for Kittens||Pro-Sense Liquid Dewormer Solutions||4.6|
|Best Intestinal Cleanse for Cats||LUCICO 10 Tablet Cat Intestinal Cleanse||4.4|
Our Top Pick
Table of Contents
Top 5 Cat Dewormers
Best Overall Cat Dewormer
Bayer Drontal Broad Spectrum Dewormer
While much more expensive than the majority of dewormers available, Bayer has the advantage of a huge brand name and a large number of veterinarian recommendations. Compared to regular vet visits, the cost isn’t that high either.
This one handles minor-to-moderate infections of all tapeworms, hookworms, and roundworms. A pill given every couple of months will help keep your cat in tip-top shape. The active chemical constituent is considered by most vets to be the absolute best over-the-counter dewormer for cats around.
The biggest factor keeping most people away is going to be the price. It’s also hard to find them in smaller packages to purchase, although many veterinarians will sell them in smaller amounts. Inquire with your vet if you think this is the way to go.
It’s safe, effective, and made by a reputable company. The use is backed by veterinarians. You’ll need to choke down the price, however, and your cat will have to choke down a pretty large pill which makes it hard to recommend for kittens.
Best for Tapeworms
Bayer Tapeworm Dewormer
Tapeworms tend to show symptoms more frequently than round or hookworms. This is due to the fact that their life cycle has them stealing nutrients from their host, straight from the food which they eat. Dramatic weight loss is the most common symptom.
Because of that, it’s sometimes important to treat these worms selectively. This tapeworm medication from Bayer is the option to go for if you have to handle tapeworm infestations in your cats.
It’s safe, extremely effective, and backed by veterinarians. There’s not a whole lot more to ask for. It’s also decently priced, although it’s only effective against these particular worms.
It also dissolves readily, making it easier to give to those cats that refuse to take pills. It’s a double bonus that’s sure to make an infected feline’s life easier.
Best Natural Dewormer
DEWORMER for Dogs & Cats
Liquid dewormers are an excellent option for those cats that simply won’t take pills. This is a natural option, but it’s quite effective for the majority of infestations. You may need something stronger if your cat is truly ill, however.
The 2oz bottle is intended to be a supply for a full month for your cat. It’s also a natural option, using essential oils and plant components to handle the affair rather than harsh chemicals. That’s great for safety, but it also means that serious infestations aren’t on the menu.
The oils act as a preventative measure. This is the perfect solution for cats that are often outdoors provided that it can handle the initial infection.
Cats and dogs both seem to like the taste as well. That’s a big bonus for making life a little bit easier when applying medication to your animals. We’d note that this one isn’t highly recommended by vets, but considering the relatively innocuous ingredients, it’s something to give a shot.
Best Cat Dewormer for Kittens
Pro-Sense Liquid Dewormer Solutions
If you’ve got a new litter of kittens finding something which is both affordable and works well can be hard. Kittens need more frequent treatment than adult cats, and there are often more than one of them around in the early days when treatment is crucial.
The liquid formulation makes it easy to dose appropriately for the size of the cat, and it’s remarkably effective against the vast majority of worms. This affordable, powerful treatment is the best way to introduce your pet to the deworming process.
It also seems to work quickly in the case of formerly existing infestations, which is a double bonus since it doesn’t only act as a preventative.
It’s not the gentlest on the system, so be careful with dosage for your cats. Vomiting and diarrhea are likely, and while it passes the worms, it also makes a mess.
Best Intestinal Cleanse for Cats
HerbalVet 10 Tablet Cat Intestinal Cleanse
While all antiparasitics will cause some level of intestinal cleansing, HerbalVet does the best job. Just be aware that the chemicals merely cause your cat to pass the parasites rather than them being a one-stop option.
This one can be a bit explosive, but it gives your animal a great chance of passing the worms. The tablets are a one-time use as well making this a cheap option. If you notice worms? Give the cat a tablet, and the problem will be taken care of.
That said, it’s mostly used as a preventative in the early stages of the infection. It’ll cleanse, but medicines which kill the parasites as well are much more effective for the majority of people’s situations.
How Do I Know If I Need a Cat Dewormer?
Knowing when to use a cat dewormer can be hard. For the most part, minor infestations of these voracious parasites aren’t symptomatic. That certainly doesn’t mean that they’re not affecting your feline’s health, however.
Left unchecked parasitic roundworms and tapeworms can cause severe gastrointestinal problems for your cut. Runny bowels, vomiting, and generally poor health are all symptoms of a heavy infestation.
They can also be passed on to humans in some cases, where they can cause even more damage.
Most veterinarians recommend regularly treating your animals for worms.
For kittens, who are much more susceptible to these parasites, the general protocol is to treat them every two weeks starting at three weeks old. Once the kitten has reached 8 weeks old, monthly treatments should continue until they’re six months in age.
Full-grown cats should be treated once every two or three months.
In either case, consult with a veterinarian before you begin the process. Heavy infestations may require more powerful antiparasitic compounds than you’ll be able to pick up without a prescription.
So, basically, at some point, nearly every cat owner is going to need to ensure they have a dewormer around. In the end, it really boils down to which one is the best for their situation.
What to Look for in a Cat Dewormer
There are three significant factors which need to be checked when you’re looking into feline dewormers: the type of parasite affected, veterinarian recommendations, and pricing.
As long as you can break down all three to be right for your situation, you’ll be good to go before long.
For most of our feline friends, the main worms of concern fall into the following three broad categories:
These three all have a heavy presence in nature, and any outdoor cats are going to find themselves infected at one point or another. It’s just a fact of life, and that’s the reason why regular use of deworming agents is recommended.
Some worms aren’t covered by the usual broad spectrum dewormers, but these are usually present much more drastic symptoms than the above-listed worms. The most common of these are heartworms, which are quite dangerous for the animal and will require veterinary attention.
Tapeworms and roundworms are the most common of the various types of worm out there, so the usual treatments target those.
When it comes to medicine for your cat, a vet is the best person to trust. They’ve got the knowledge and experience which leads to knowing that you’ve got a product that works for you.
Those which are often recommended by vets are… well, they have a proven history of use, which makes them ideal for a medication.
This is one area where cheaping out can cost you big in the long run.
If you do opt for a budget option to deworm your pet, then you’ll need to consider the brand carefully. Try to stick with US or European brands since there are regulations in place in both of those countries. Standardization is a really good thing when it comes to any kind of medication.
On the other hand, some of the high-end dewormers can be a bit expensive. This is particularly troublesome if you have outdoor cats that require regular treatment.
Price should be weighed carefully, particularly if you’re looking at something which may have a dubious origin in the first place.
Preventing Worm Infestations in Your Pet
Almost all cats will need deworming at some point in their lives, and it’s an expensive ordeal when you work with a veterinarian to do it. While it’s needed in serious cases, most of the medications we listed also work as a preventative by catching the worms early in their lifecycle.
Broad-spectrum dewormers are the best for regular usage.
Indoor cats will always be less prone to parasite infestations than those who have a free-roaming lifestyle due to less exposure. Unfortunately, they may still pick up worms from fleas, other animals, or just by sheer coincidence. For that reason, it’s not wise to omit deworming from an indoor cat’s maintenance schedule.
While regular use of deworming medications is recommended, you also need to protect your feline friend in between doses. The following tips will get you on the right track:
- Keeping your cat indoors is the best way to help prevent parasites of any stripe. Indoor kitties also tend to live longer, although many people are uncomfortable restricting their cats in this way.
- Check your cat’s feces regularly for signs of worms. In most cases they’ll be passed as part of their normal life cycle and finding them in the litter box is proof you need a dewormer.
- Use flea medication, as well. Tapeworms infect fleas as well, and an infected flea will infect your cat as it goes about its life cycle laying eggs and generally mucking about in your pet’s fur.
- Change your litter regularly and quickly. Worms in one cat can spread to other cats through the litter box, and it also gives the worms a chance to reinfect your pet once they’ve been treated.
Don’t worry too much if you catch an infection in its early stages. At any given point about half of cats tested will have some form of the parasite, it’s just a fact of life.
It’s important to take care of them before the pet becomes ill; however, so staying on top of things is just good pet ownership.
Getting Your Cat to Take the Pill
Herding cats is a stand-in for “completely futile.”
And we all know that our stubborn pets can be hard to move when they really decide to sink their feet in. Getting a cat to take a pill can be an exercise in patience and animal training… it can also be a lesson in pain depending on the cat.
Fortunately, with a few simple steps, you can get most cats to take their medication without issue:
- Try hiding the pill in a treat or wet food if they’re small enough. Use the portion of the pill recommended rather than attempting to grind it since the cat may avoid their food if you the entire thing tastes like medicine.
- If your cat doesn’t fall for the oldest trick in the book and isn’t particularly aggressive when cornered you can try restraining the cat and using your ring and pinky fingers to open their mouth before dropping the pill in. Blowing in their nose or dribbling water in their mouth from an oral syringe will usually get the feline to swallow their medication.
- If neither of the softer methods works, grab a pill popper. They’re like a long oral syringe that holds a pill, and you can get it in your cat’s mouth much more easily.
In any of these cases, the more quickly you get the process over, the better your chances of success. You should have your method thought out well beforehand for the best end result.
Cat Dewormer FAQ
Here we go: hopefully, we’ve anticipated your questions before they’ve become an issue. So, let’s hop right in to our FAQ. If we didn’t answer your question, then leave us a line below, and we’ll get back to you soon!
Can I use a dog dewormer on my cats?
Most medications used for deworming work on both canines and felines. That said, if you’re going to go entirely off-label then check the active ingredients by your vet before you decide to use something which is marketed as a dog dewormer. There’s no real price difference, so it’s not much of an advantage, they just generally come in higher doses.
What about heartworms?
Since heartworms aren’t treated by the vast majority of deworming agents, it’s important to ask your vet for the medication when you bring your cat in for their regular checkup. Heartworms are a serious issue.
How bad is it if my cat has worms?
Look, the majority of cats will have worms at one point or another. They also do harm over time, but the majority of cats will also survive a chronic infection. On the other hand, if your cat’s immune system begins to falter, then you can be looking at serious illness or death. It’s best to just keep your cat dewormed.
My cat poops outside, how can I get tell if my cat has worms?
All outdoor cats are at high risk for parasites. Fleas are a primary culprit. If a cat has access to outside, it should be treated regularly. Full stop. Otherwise, you’re needlessly risking their health. A veterinarian may be able to use a dug up stool sample if you know where your cat uses the bathroom if you want confirmation, however.
What are the differences between the types of parasitic worms?
Mostly, their shape. The effect on your cats will primarily be in the GI tract, and it’s hard to identify which type of worm is causing the problems. Tapeworms tend to be the most obvious, appearing as rice-like grains in a cat’s stool, but most have some indication. Tapeworms can be a bit more dangerous than the others, but for the most part, the symptoms are all the same, and a broad-spectrum dewormer is the way to handle things.
Can I get worms from my cat?
Yes, in fact. Deworming your cat is a health issue for both of you, especially since worms are excreted and we’re the ones who stuff their poop away with tiny shovels.
How quickly do dewormers work?
It depends on the individual product, but in general they should start to be effective within 24-48 hours. A change in appetite, usually for the better, is the first sign most cat owners should look for after applying a dewormer to a cat with a known infestation.
What side effects do cat dewormers have?
Most are relatively benign, but it depends on both the individual dewormer and the level of infestation in your pet’s body. Increased salivation and GI symptoms are the most common and will usually resolve themselves within two days, if not call a vet. Other animals are allergic; if your cat exhibits tremors, odd behavior, or strange symptoms, then you’ll want to contact a professional and bring the medication you used in with you.