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How Often Should You Deworm a Cat?

Orange cat

Cats are elusive and mysterious creatures, yet all cat owners wholeheartedly agree that they make the best pets. Despite being independent, cats show plenty of affection and bond with their owners. Cats usually do things their way and do not require as much maintenance as other pets. However, there are still some things that they need to keep them healthy and safe. One key is deworming.

Deworming is essential for your cat’s health, especially in the early years. It helps rid your cat of parasites that, if left unattended, can cause severe gastrointestinal issues. Keeping a cat free from worms is essential, not only for their own health, but also because these parasites can also cause problems in humans as well.

Since worms can affect cats of any age, causing them to have severe stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea and many other issues, it is crucial to make a deworming schedule. Read on to learn all about deworming, what is  it, how to know if your cat has worms, and how frequently you should deworm a cat.

What Does Deworming a Cat Do?

As its name suggests, deworming rids your cat of intestinal parasites, commonly referred to as worms.

Your cat’s digestive system is home to many parasites such as hookworms, tapeworms, roundworm and whipworm. Worms in kittens are mostly derived from the mother’s milk. Kittens can also be infected by these worms while in their mother’s uterus. 

Adult cats have several ways to contract these tapeworms, including hunting and eating infected animals like birds or rodents, licking, sniffing or rolling around in an area with infected objects, and coming into contact with an infected animal.

These parasites are common in cats, and a small amount does not translate into visible symptoms. However, if you let the worms accumulate, cats can pretty quickly have life-threatening health issues, such as gastrointestinal obstruction. 

The type of symptoms you might observe can also differ according to the type of worm in your cats. For example, hookworms can give your cat severe anemia. Frequent deworming eliminates that risk and keeps your cat healthy.

Apart from your cat, deworming also helps keep you healthy since some worms can also infect humans when they come in contact with an infected cat. Therefore, deworming is crucial for your house to remain free of infections.

Before you rush off to deworm you cat it is important to know if your kitty actually has worms. So now you are probably asking - how do I know if my cat actually has worms? The good news is that there are some very obvious signs.

How Can You Tell if Your Cat Has Worms?

Almost all cats have worms, and they do not pose a severe threat unless you neglect them and let them accumulate in your cat’s digestive system over time.

If you have missed out on deworming your cat, be on the lookout for these symptoms, which will tell you the worms are affecting your cat’s health:

  • Vomiting

  • Diarrhea, which can sometimes include blood

  • Lethargy

  • Weight loss

  • Swollen belly

  • Dull Coat

  • Increased appetite, in case of tapeworms

  • Anemia

yellow cat lying down

If you observe these symptoms in your cat, it has most likely been infected by parasites. However, sometimes infected cats do not show any symptoms, which can cause the owner to think they are fine. 

Symptoms also differ largely according to the worm infecting your cat, which means your cat does not necessarily have to show all the symptoms listed above to be infected. If you suspect your cat has worms, you can send a fecal sample to get it tested to confirm your suspicions.

What Happens if You Don’t Deworm a Cat?

While a few worms in the gastrointestinal tract cannot harm your cat, they can accumulate over time if you do not intervene. A number of worms in your cat can lead to severe health issues that even be fatal for your cat. The effects of a worm infestation can also differ in intensity depending on the cat’s age. 

Kittens and old cats are especially vulnerable to health issues from worms.

Kittens can develop an intestinal obstruction quite easily develop an intestinal obstruction due to worms and, in most cases, it can be fatal. Infected kittens are also at severe risk of developmental and physical growth issues, and deworming is needed for their healthy development.

The risks of not deworming a cat are not only limited to the cat’s health. Not only can other animals in the household get worms as well, but humans can also easily get infected by cats and develop health issues. If a house has children, they are especially at risk of getting sick from an infected cat.

How is Deworming Done?

Deworming is done by killing the parasites in your cat. This is usually done by administering an oral medication prescribed by a vet. This medication is given safely through a syringe. The most important aspect is determining the right dosage for different cats. This is why vets weigh the cats and prescribe the dosage according to their size. 

Standard deworming does not cover every parasite, so you should get your cat’s feces tested beforehand to provide it with the specific medication, if required, for the worms. If you are looking for a more natural solution to remove the worms, try the Dewomer by BestLife4Pets. This plant based holistic cat dewormer expels the worms by helping to make the cat's organism an unwelcome host for the worms, causing them to be expelled.

Can I Deworm a Cat Myself?

Deworming a cat at home is possible if you have correct information about the protocol, how to measure dosage, and the necessary steps. If you choose to use the traditional vet prescribed dewormer, note that unlike the BestLife4Pets broad spectrum cat dewormer, most vet prescribed dewormers usually only address one type of worm wo so it will be important to first identify which worms your pet has.

Apart from medication, there are also some other natural remedies to rid your cat of worms. Some people swear by coconut oil or carrots to kill intestinal worms. However, we recommend taking these remedies with a pinch of salt since they are based on anecdotal evidence and no scientific research.

How Often Do You Deworm a Cat?

Deworming a cat is a regular process since intestinal parasites are always present in cats, and the goal of deworming is to get rid of them before they affect your cat’s health. However, the frequency of deworming depends highly on your cat’s age. If you have a kitten, it is imperative to know that they are especially vulnerable to worms. Therefore, kittens need to get dewormed more frequently than adult cats. 

The deworming schedule can also depend on your cat’s activities. If your cat is not entirely an indoor cat, chances are that it frequently comes in contact with infected animals or things. This means an outdoor cat has to be dewormed more frequently than one that remains entirely indoors.

Generally, vets recommend getting cats dewormed four times a year for adult cats. If the cat is a regular hunter, monthly deworming is important since it regularly comes in contact with infected animals.

Kittens under six months old are at a higher risk of worms from their mother’s milk. They should be dewormed every two weeks until they are eight weeks old. After that, it is safe to switch them to a monthly deworming routine.

Caution should also be exercised with pregnant cats as not all dewormers on the market are safe for pregnant felines.  A safe deworming medication should be given to the cat according to its regular schedule until weaning. Deworming medications used in the United States are usually safe for pregnant cats. However, it is always important to ensure your cat’s safety and consult your vet.

vet giving medicine to kitten

One word of caution - do not deworm your cat at the same time as giving them a vaccine as it puts extra stress on the body.

How Can You Decrease the Risk of Worms?

Worms in a cat are inevitable, but there are certain steps you can take to decrease the risk of your cat getting severely infected by worms. Maintaining a standard of hygiene is essential to prevent your cat and yourself from getting sick from worms. 

Here are some steps you can take to prevent severe worm infections:

  • Disinfect the litter tray

  • Disinfect food and water bowls

  • Clean your cat’s bedding regularly

  • Dispose of feces carefully

  • Regularly wash your hands after interacting with your cat

  • Use Dewormer Supplements from BestLife4Pets to maintain your cat’s health and help them remove worms from their digestive tract.

These are some preventative measures  to avoid severe worm infestations in your cat.

The best preventative measure, however, remains to deworm your cat every three months. Deworming completely eliminates the worms, which any other method will not do.

Wrapping Up

Cats are incredible pets. However, they can suffer from severe health issues if they are not cared for properly. Deworming falls under essential care you should provide to your cat. Consult your vet and establish a deworming schedule for your cat to ensure it remains healthy and safe. 

Deworming supplements, such as those from BestLife4Pets, can also be added to your cat’s diet to prevent any major health problems and to keep the cat’s digestive system in optimal shape to get rid of the worms. The medical procedure of deworming and the supplements can help your feline friend remain safe and healthy.

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