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A Brief Guide to Understanding Worming Treatments

It is quite common for cat owners to avoid worming their cat as often as they should because of the stress of administering the drug for both cat and owner. Cats pick up on your behaviour when you’re about to do something they might not like and will often respond by making themselves scarce - if you are nervous or stressed this will exacerbate the situation.

Fortunately there are many different types of cat wormers available for you to experiment with to see which one your cat objects to the least. It is also advisable to speak with your veterinarian who will be able to demonstrate the most effective way of administering worming treatments to your cat.

Nowadays there are many worming treatments available, the majority of which are available in flavoured varieties and in ‘treat’ form focused on improved palatability.

Most cats should be wormed at least every three months, but frequency should be based on how likely they are to pick up re-infestations – for example if your cat is a hunter they may pick up worms by ingesting small mammals, so should be wormed once a month. Check with your vet for the right worming schedule for your cat. Remember that oral wormers will only kill an existing worm burden and will not have a residual effect, so any new worms being picked up will not be killed until the next worming treatment.

Worming treatments are available in:

  • Flavoured and chewable tablets

  • Liquid suspension form, e.g. Panacur Suspension

  • Spot-ons: Droncit Spot On will kill tapeworms only and in non-prescription. There are now also spot-on all-worming treatments (not available for dogs), or combination flea and wormers that will kill most worms (not tapeworm). These are both only available on prescription from your vet

If you find your cat will not tolerate one specific worming method, keep trying alternatives until you find one your cat will tolerate. Alternatively there are some tricks which may aid in getting your cat to swallow the de-wormer.

Alternative worming methods

  • Crushing the worming tablet and mixing into strong smelling food, eg fish-flavoured wet food

  • Disguise the medicine in a treat such as a small piece of meat

  • Use a ‘pill giver’

  • Follow the paste or liquid suspension with a treat such as a piece of meat to encourage the cat to swallow

  • Kittens should be trained from an early age to be comfortable with swallowing tablets. Training can be achieved by using vitamin tablets.