Worm Treatments for Cats
If you have Cats you will no doubt want to get them free of worms also. Several of the worms that cats get infected with can also be passed on to Humans, so protecting your cats will also help to protect all members of your family.
When treating humans for worms it is best to wait until you actually observe the symptoms within yourself or your children. However, with cats they won't necessarily look sick when they are carrying (and passing on) worm infections. Therefore you should give your cats regular worm treatments to keep them and your family healthy.
What worms can Cats get?
Gastrointestinal worms that can effect your cats as well as humans include roundworm and hookworm. Roundworms are common in young kittens and they live in the intestine where they will eat up some of your cats meals. These can actually be quite harmful to humans (can cause blindness), especially children so care must be taken to eradicate them. Hookworms emerge from eggs in your cats faeces and then can infect cats and humans by penetrating the skin. Once they get into the intestine they will feed on blood and in heavy infections this can lead to severe blood loss. This highlights the importance of good hygiene around the home.
Heartworm is the next worm that can harm your cat. They are transmitted by mosquito bites and the disease can be fatal for them. It is very rare for humans to be infected and the consequences aren't so serious. These worms live in the vessels of the host cat's heart and eventually block them. Cats can experience coughing and shortness of breath when they are infected.
Tapeworms are caught when cats ingest fleas, lizards, frogs and other creatures. They can grow large in the intestine and cause itchiness around the bottom and diarrhea.
Lungworm is the last worm on our list, infections can occur after cats eat infected mice, rats or birds. Symptoms include coughing, a racing heart, weight loss and they can permanently scar the lung.
What Worm Treatments can I use?
As there are a number of different worms, it is best to choose a broad-spectrum worm treatment. There are several different products made specifically for cats and they often protect not only against worms but against other nuisances such as fleas and ear mites.
We are going to summarize 3 popular products; Drontal for Cats, Advocate for Cats, and Profender.
- Drontal for Cats - Tablets
Worms Treated: Roundworm, Hookworm and Tapeworm
This offers gentle yet effective control of all the gastrointestinal worms. They may be given to all cats including old animals, young kittens, pregnant queens and show animals.
- Advocate for Cats
Worms Treated: Roundworm, Hookworm, Heartworm, Lungworm
Advocate can be used to treat the above worms as well as fleas and ear mites. Simply apply the dose to the back of your cat's neck and from there it spreads across the skin and through the coat, where it is effective for 1 month.
Worms Treated: Roundworm, Hookworm, Tapeworm, Lungworm
Profender is the only spot-on treatment that kills intestinal worms at all stages of their life cycle. It is also registered for the control of lungworm in cats. Treat your cat every 3 months with this product.
What else can I do to Protect my Cats and Family?
Once you have chosen a worm treatment and given it to your cats, it is a good idea to remember the following tips...
- Clean your cat's sleeping area regularly.
- Do your best to control pests that transmit worms e.g.mice, rats and fleas.
- Remove cat litter from your environment.
- Don't feed your cats raw meat or offal and prevent them from eating rodents.
- Wash your hands thoroughly after playing with your cat and teach your children to do the same. Try not to let your cat lick your face.
- Treat your cat for worms regularly, they are always at risk of re-infection.