Does my cat need a worming treatment?

Dewormers for cats are now available in various compositions, dosages and dosage forms. On the other hand, many rumors circulate around the topic of dewormers and the opinions about their necessity are partly divergent.

Article from
Dr. Christian Dimitriadis
Veterinary surgeon with Dr. SAM
Table of contents

As a cat owner you will sooner or later ask yourself whether your cat needs a worming treatment. How does an infestation with intestinal parasites manifest itself? Which deworming agent is best suited? Should dewormers be given prophylactically? And can indoor cats get infected with worms at all? Dr. SAM answers the most important questions.

Why do cats need worming?

Worms are endoparasites that live and reproduce in the intestinal tract of their host. A minor infestation often causes no symptoms in an adult, healthy animal; however, it regularly excretes worm eggs with its faeces, which are a source of infection for other animals and also for you as the owner. Especially children and immunocompromised persons should be protected from infection.

In addition, a worm infestation always puts a strain on the gut and the immune system. This makes the host animal more susceptible to disease and the effectiveness of vaccinations can be compromised. In times of stress or illness, parasites can take advantage of the immune deficiency and multiply to such an extent that they trigger (additional) symptoms. Here you can find Dr Sam's worming cure:

For the health of your velvet paw and for the protection of other animals and humans a good parasite prophylaxis is therefore very important.

How do cats get infected with worms?

There are several ways our pets can contract worms:

  • Contact with the faeces of infected animals
  • Preying on infected animals
  • Intake with the feed (with BARFing)
  • grooming of the coat after being on infectious soil
  • ectoparasite infestation
  • Bringing in with the shoes by the owner

The possible sources of infection clearly show that outdoor pets are particularly at risk, as they can sniff the droppings of other pets, catch mice or "pick up" worm eggs from the ground during their forays. The risk of being infected with ectoparasites such as ticks and fleas is also much higher outdoors than indoors.

But indoor cats can also become infected: As the owner, you can bring in the worm eggs unnoticed with your shoes. Finally, feeding raw meat, mostly BARF, poses a risk.

Source: Adobe Stock/olezzo

How do worming treatments for cats work?

All active substances have in common that they kill worms in the digestive tract. Their effect lasts for about 24-72 hours; namely until the active substance has been excreted again. Consequently, there is no prophylactic effect: a treated animal can theoretically become reinfected the day after deworming.

The active ingredients used in worming treatments today are very well tolerated by our pets. If you observe side effects in your pet, it is recommended to use a different active ingredient for the next worming treatment. However, some active ingredients only help against certain worms. We therefore recommend that you seek advice from a vet beforehand.

In the online shop of Dr. SAM you will find effective deworming tabletsthat reliably protect your four-legged friend from worm infestation . The best prophylaxis here is regular deworming. Deworming deworming: This primarily prevents a long-term worm infestation. Sometimes deworming can even interrupt the development cycle of the larvae and prevent them from maturing into adult worms. You can find our worming cure in our shop:

What dosage forms are available?

Dewormers are available as spot-on and for oral administration. Oral preparations are available as a paste, tablet or chewable tablet, usually with a particularly pleasant taste, so that the cats eat them voluntarily. Spot-on preparations are applied to the skin of your little furry friend after parting his hair a little. The best area for this is the back of the neck, so that the cat cannot lick up the medication before it has been absorbed by the skin.

Avoid worm infestation: How does it work?

If the vet has detected intestinal parasites in your velvet paw, there is no question that it needs a worming treatment. As already explained, a worm infestation is very often asymptomatic and a safe prophylactic protection is not possible. What can you do as an owner?

Preventive worming

Most experts recommend deworming both cats and dogs at regular intervals. So if an animal becomes infected with worms, they will be killed with the next deworming. A longer-term infestation is thus avoided.

In the case of close-meshed deworming, the so-called prepatency period is also used: This refers to the period between the infection with the worm eggs and the excretion of infectious parasite stages. After your little tiger has ingested the worm eggs, several weeks (roundworms, tapeworms and hookworms) or even months (whipworms) pass before they hatch into larvae and develop into adult, reproductive worms. If an animal is dewormed during the prepatency period, it poses no risk because the immature worm stages are already killed.

Regular faecal samples

Opponents of prophylactic worming criticise that the animal might be given unnecessary medication. They recommend regular faecal examinations as an alternative: In this way, infected cats can be treated specifically, while no worming treatment is administered in case of a negative result.

This procedure may sound plausible at first, but it also has its weaknesses: In particular, false-negative results occur when the animal is still in the prepatency stage and thus does not yet excrete eggs. The infestation is then only noticed during the next faecal examination.

In addition, even cats that are already infected do not excrete eggs permanently, but only at certain intervals. Therefore, you should always examine a bulk fecal sample, for which you must collect the stool of your cat over at least three days.

Worming versus fecal testing: which is better?

Basically, the more closely cats are dewormed, the lower the risk that they develop a manifest worm infestation. How critical such an infestation is to be considered varies from individual to individual. The following questions will help you to decide:

  • Are there immunocompromised people, children or other pets living in your household?
  • Is your velvet paw already old or chronically ill?
  • Does she have free access? Does she go on extended forays and does she spend most of her time in the garden?
  • Does she catch prey frequently?
  • Are you protecting them from ectoparasites?
  • Are you feeding him raw meat?

You are unsure which decision is the right one? Your veterinary team at Dr. SAM will be happy to advise you!

How often are worming or fecal tests advisable?

Recommendations on the intervals at which a pet should be dewormed usually depend on its individual risk of infection: for house pets, considerably longer intervals are usually recommended than for outdoor cats. According to the recommendations of ESCCAP (European Council Companion Animal Parasites), cats should be wormed once a year to once a month, depending on their individual risk group, or alternatively be tested for worms.

Nevertheless, if the intervals are too long, there is a risk that the cat will be infested with worms unnoticed for months. Dr. SAM will be happy to help you find the right interval for your cat!

If you are unsure and would like to learn more about Dr. SAM - just click on the link and you will receive further insights into our work.

Best regards,
Dr. Christian Dimitriadis
- Veterinary surgeon with Dr. SAM

Table of contents
Article from
Dr. Christian Dimitriadis
Veterinary surgeon with Dr. SAM

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