How to Get Rid of Worms in Cats: A Comprehensive Guide

Cats are wonderful pets that bring joy and companionship to our lives. However, as responsible pet owners, we also need to make sure that our feline friends stay healthy and free from any illnesses or infections. One common problem that cats face is worm infestations. These internal parasites can cause a range of health issues and discomfort for your cat if left untreated. Did you know that more than 45% of cats suffer from worms at some point in their life? The good news is that there are ways to prevent and treat worm infestations in cats. In this article, we will provide you with a comprehensive guide on how to get rid of worms in cats so that you can keep your furry friend healthy and happy.


Internal parasites, such as worms, are a common problem in cats. These feline companions are susceptible to a variety of worm infestations, some of which can lead to serious health issues if left untreated. A cat worm infestation can cause discomfort and pain for your pet, and it can also have an impact on their overall well-being.

Cats can contract worms from a variety of sources, including contaminated soil, infected prey, or even person-to-animal transmission. Some types of worms can be passed from mother cats to their kittens. Once a cat has been infected with worms, the internal parasites can lay eggs or larvae in the animal’s digestive system, leading to further infection and spreading.

It is important for cat owners to be aware of the signs and symptoms of a worm infestation. These may include vomiting, diarrhea, changes in appetite, or a swollen abdomen. If you suspect that your cat has worms, it is important to seek veterinary care right away.

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the different types of worms that can infect cats, their symptoms, and how to treat them. We will also discuss preventative measures that can help keep your feline friend healthy and free from internal parasites.

Types of Cat Worms



Roundworms are one of the most common types of internal parasites found in cats. These spaghetti-like worms can grow up to several inches long and are typically white or light brown in color. While roundworms may not always cause obvious symptoms, it is important to treat them promptly to prevent potentially serious health complications.

Symptoms of Roundworms

Some common signs that your cat may have a roundworm infestation include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Weight loss
  • Distended abdomen
  • Dull coat
  • Lethargy
  • Worms in feces or vomit

If left untreated, roundworms can cause a blockage in the intestines or migrate to other organs such as the liver or lungs, which can be life-threatening.

Treatment for Roundworms

The good news is that roundworms are relatively easy to treat with medication prescribed by a veterinarian. Commonly used dewormers include pyrantel pamoate, fenbendazole, and milbemycin oxime. Your vet will determine the appropriate dosage based on your cat’s age, weight, and overall health.

To prevent reinfection, it is important to administer the full course of treatment as directed by your veterinarian. Additionally, it is recommended to have your cat tested regularly for internal parasites and to practice good sanitation habits, such as cleaning litter boxes frequently and washing your hands after handling your cat.

In some severe cases, surgery may be necessary to remove a blockage caused by a large number of worms.

By being vigilant about your cat’s health and seeking prompt treatment when necessary, you can help prevent complications from roundworms and keep your feline friend healthy and happy.



Tapeworms are a common type of intestinal parasite that can infect cats. These long, flat worms live in the cat’s intestines and feed off of the nutrients in their food. Tapeworms are usually transmitted to cats through the ingestion of infected fleas or rodents.

Symptoms of Tapeworms

One of the most common signs of tapeworms in cats is the presence of small, white segments in their feces or around their anus. These segments, which look like grains of rice, are actually pieces of the tapeworm’s body that break off and are excreted from the cat’s body. Other symptoms of tapeworms in cats may include lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, and weight loss.

Treatment for Tapeworms

If your cat has been diagnosed with tapeworms, there are several treatment options available. Your veterinarian may prescribe medication that will kill the tapeworms and help them pass out of your cat’s body. It’s important to note that not all deworming medications are effective against tapeworms, so be sure to consult with your vet before administering any treatments.

In addition to medication, it’s also important to keep your cat’s environment clean and free from fleas and other parasites. Regularly vacuuming carpets, washing bedding, and treating your cat with a flea preventative can all help prevent tapeworm infestations.

Overall, tapeworms can be an unpleasant and potentially dangerous condition for your cat. By keeping a watchful eye on their symptoms and following your vet’s recommended treatment plan, you can help ensure your furry friend stays healthy and happy.



Hookworms are a type of internal parasite that can infect cats and lead to serious health problems if left untreated. These parasites live in the small intestine of cats and feed on their blood, which can result in anemia and other complications. Here’s what you need to know about the symptoms and treatment of hookworms in cats.

Symptoms of Hookworms

The symptoms of hookworms in cats can be difficult to detect, especially in the early stages of infestation. Some common signs to watch out for include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Weight loss
  • Poor coat condition
  • Anemia
  • Coughing (in severe cases)

If your cat is experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important to take them to the vet for a check-up.

Treatment for Hookworms

Fortunately, hookworms can be treated with medication prescribed by a veterinarian. The most commonly used medications are dewormers that kill the hookworms living in the cat’s intestine. Your vet may also recommend supportive care, such as fluid therapy or iron supplements, to help your cat recover from the infection.

It’s worth noting that preventing hookworm infestations is the best way to avoid the need for treatment. This can be achieved through good hygiene practices and regular deworming.

In conclusion, hookworms are a serious threat to the health of your cat, but they can be successfully treated with the right medication and care. If you suspect that your cat may have hookworms, don’t hesitate to seek veterinary attention.



Heartworms are a type of parasite that can be fatal if left untreated in cats. These worms are transmitted through mosquito bites and can live in the heart and lungs, causing severe damage to these organs.

Symptoms of Heartworms

Symptoms of heartworms in cats can be difficult to detect, especially in the early stages of infection. However, as the infection progresses, cats may exhibit symptoms such as coughing, difficulty breathing, lethargy, and loss of appetite. In severe cases, cats may also experience fainting or collapse.

Treatment for Heartworms

Treatment for heartworms in cats can be both complex and expensive. The first step is typically to stabilize the cat’s condition with medication. Once stabilized, the cat will undergo treatment to kill the adult worms using medication such as melarsomine dihydrochloride, which is administered through injections. In some cases, surgical intervention may be necessary to remove the worms.

It is important to note that prevention is key when it comes to heartworms in cats. Regular use of prescription preventive medication, such as topical treatments or oral medications, can prevent heartworm infection from occurring in the first place.

In conclusion, heartworms can be a serious health concern for cats, and prevention is key in avoiding infection. If your cat exhibits any symptoms of heartworms, seek veterinary care immediately to ensure proper diagnosis and treatment.

Causes of Cat Worm Infestations

Contaminated soil, infected prey, and person-to-animal transmission are the primary causes of cat worm infestations. Let’s explore each of these causes in more detail:

Contaminated Soil: Cats are notorious for their love of dirt, making them prime targets for worm infections. When cats dig or play in contaminated soil, they can come into contact with various types of worms, including roundworms and hookworms. These parasites can enter the cat’s body through their skin or by ingestion.

Infected Prey: Outdoor cats who hunt for their food are at an increased risk of contracting worm infections from infected prey. When a cat eats an infected rodent or bird, they can ingest the parasites living in the animal’s digestive system. Tapeworms are the most common type of worm that cats can contract through infected prey.

Person-to-Animal Transmission: Worm infections can also spread from person to animal. For example, if an infected person handles a cat’s food or litter box, they can inadvertently transfer worm eggs to the cat. This is why it’s important to practice good hygiene when interacting with cats to prevent the spread of parasites.

It’s essential to understand the causes of cat worm infestations to take proactive measures to prevent them. Keeping your cat indoors, providing them with clean litter boxes, and regularly deworming them are all effective ways to reduce the risk of worm infections. By taking these preventative steps, cat owners can help keep their feline friends healthy and happy.

Prevention of Cat Worm Infestations

Prevention of Cat Worm Infestations

Preventing worm infestation in cats is crucial for their overall health and well-being. There are various preventive measures that cat owners can take to ensure their feline friends remain healthy and free from worm infestations. Here are some effective ways to prevent cat worm infestations:

Regular deworming

Regular deworming is an essential preventive measure against cat worm infestations. Deworming medication should be given to cats as per the vet’s recommendation. Kittens should be dewormed every two weeks until they reach 12 weeks of age and then every three months. Adult cats should be dewormed at least twice a year or as recommended by the vet.

Sanitation practices

Maintaining cleanliness and hygiene in the cat’s environment is vital to prevent worm infestations. The litter box should be cleaned regularly, and bedding should be washed frequently. Any contaminated material, such as feces, should be disposed of immediately to avoid transmission of worms.

Monitoring outdoor exposure

Cats that spend time outdoors are more likely to become infected with worms. Owners should monitor their cat’s outdoor exposure and try to limit their access to areas where there may be potential sources of infection, such as soil contaminated with the worm eggs. Additionally, owners should provide regular flea and tick prevention treatment, as these parasites can carry worms.

By taking these preventive measures, cat owners can significantly reduce the risk of worm infestations in their pets. However, it is essential to note that even with the best prevention methods, cats can still become infected with worms. Therefore, it is crucial to remain vigilant and seek veterinary care if any signs of worm infestation are detected.

Diagnosing Cat Worm Infestations

Diagnosing Cat Worm Infestations

If you suspect that your cat has worms, it is important to get a proper diagnosis in order to start treatment as soon as possible. Here are the three main ways of diagnosing cat worm infestations:

Fecal Tests

The most common way to diagnose cat worm infestations is through a fecal test. This involves taking a small sample of your cat’s stool and sending it to a veterinary laboratory to be examined under a microscope. The lab technician will look for the presence of eggs or larvae of various types of worms. If any are found, your vet can recommend appropriate treatment.

Blood Tests

In some cases, blood tests may be necessary to diagnose cat worm infestations. This is particularly true for heartworms, which are not always detectable through fecal tests. A blood test can reveal the presence of heartworm antigens, which are produced by adult female heartworms.

Examination of Physical Symptoms

Finally, a physical exam by your veterinarian can also help diagnose cat worm infestations. During the exam, your vet will look for signs of worms, such as a distended abdomen, diarrhea, vomiting, or lethargy. They may also feel for lumps or bumps in your cat’s abdomen, which could indicate the presence of tapeworms.

It is important to note that sometimes cats with worm infestations may not show any symptoms at all. In these cases, a fecal test is the only way to know for sure whether or not there are worms present.

Overall, if you suspect that your cat has worms, it is best to see your veterinarian right away for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

Treating Cat Worm Infestations

Treating Cat Worm Infestations

Treating cat worm infestations should always be done under the guidance of a veterinarian, as different types of worms require different treatment approaches. There are several options for treating cat worm infestations, including prescription medications, natural remedies, and surgery in severe cases.

Prescription Medications

Prescription medications are the most common form of treatment for cat worm infestations. These medications come in either pill or liquid form and work by killing the parasites inside the cat’s body. The type of medication prescribed will depend on the type of worm infection, so it’s important to consult with a veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Natural Remedies

Some owners prefer to use natural remedies to treat their cats’ worm infestations. While these remedies may be effective for mild cases, they are not as reliable as prescription medications. Some natural remedies that have been suggested include pumpkin seeds, garlic, and diatomaceous earth. However, it’s important to note that the effectiveness of these remedies has not been scientifically proven, and they may even cause harm to your cat if used improperly.


In severe cases, surgery may be required to remove worms from a cat’s digestive tract. This is typically only necessary when the infestation is advanced and causing blockages or other serious health problems. Surgery for cat worm infestations is considered a last resort and should only be performed by a qualified veterinarian.

In conclusion, treating cat worm infestations requires a tailored approach depending on the severity of the infestation. Prescription medications are generally the preferred method, but natural remedies can be used in mild cases. Surgery should only be performed in severe cases under the direction of a veterinarian. It’s important to seek professional advice and follow treatment plans carefully to ensure the best outcome for your furry friend.



In conclusion, preventing worm infestations in cats is crucial for their overall health and well-being. As a responsible owner, it is important to understand the signs and symptoms of worm infestations and take necessary precautions to prevent them.

Regular deworming, sanitation practices, and monitoring outdoor exposure are some of the key steps that can be taken to prevent cat worm infestations. While there are many prescription medications available to treat worms in cats, natural remedies can also be effective in keeping your feline friend healthy.

As an owner, it’s important to keep a close eye on your cat’s behavior and watch out for any signs of illness or discomfort. Early detection and treatment of worm infestations can prevent serious health complications and even save your cat’s life.

In summary, the role of owners is vital in keeping their cats healthy and free from worm infestations. By taking preventive measures and staying vigilant, you can ensure a long and happy life for your feline companion.
The health and well-being of our feline friends are crucial to us as pet owners, and cat worm infestations can be a significant concern. Understanding the types of worms, their causes, and symptoms is essential in preventing an infestation or treating it early on. Regular deworming, good hygiene practices, and monitoring outdoor exposure are key preventative measures that can help keep cats healthy. If you suspect your cat may have worms, diagnostic tests and prompt treatment with prescription medications or natural remedies can help resolve the issue. Remember, the role of cat owners is vital in ensuring the overall health of their pets. Keep a watchful eye for signs of infestation, and consult a veterinarian if necessary. With this comprehensive guide, we hope to have provided valuable insights into how to get rid of worms in cats and how to keep them healthy and happy for years to come.

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