The most common forms of intestinal worms are roundworms and tapeworms, but there are in fact 8 different types which can infect your cat, and in some cases spread to humans.
In small numbers, worms are not very harmful and cats often show no symptoms of having them. However, in large numbers worms can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, weight loss and even death.
For these reasons, cat owners should regularly treat their cats and kittens to help prevent or eliminate worms. In this guide we explore the different worming treatments available and review the best cat wormers in the UK that will help keep your cats and kittens healthy.
How often should you worm your cat?
Worming kittens should start from 3 weeks old. Kittens should be treated once per fortnight up until they are 6 months old, then every 1-3 months after that.
For Older cats (over 6 months old) cats should be regularly wormed (for roundworm & tapeworm) every 1-3 months. We treat our own cats once every 10 weeks or so.
Our Top Picks
We have picked out our top three wormers for cats and kittens from our reviews further down this guide.
Best Cat & Kitten Wormer Reviews
There are a number of different types of wormer available for cats including Spot Ons, tablets, granules & syrup/liquids. We have tried many types and find tablets to be the most effective on our cats.
We have included all wormer types in our reviews below, and have picked out the best wormers for cats available in the UK.
Best Worming Tablets for Cats & Kittens: Beaphar WORMclear for Cats
Beaphar Worming tablets can be given to cats and kittens from 6 weeks old and effective on your cat in one dose. The tablets are proven to kill roundworms and tapeworms (which encompasses the 8 common types of intestinal worms).
The box comes with two meaty flavoured tablets (film coated) which will last you between 1 month and 6 months depending on the age of your cat. Kittens should be treated every fortnight until 2-3 weeks after they have been weaned. For adult cats to remain worm free they should be treated once every 3 months.
The tablets measure approximately 1cm in diameter, but can be easily cut using the ridge on the tablet. When cut, they maintain their shape but can be easily crushed using the side of a knife if you wanted to add them to your cats food (we did this as our cats refuse to swallow!).
For the money, these tablets are exceptionally cheap, and make worming your cat affordable and efficient.
Best Kitten Wormer: Beaphar Worming Syrup for Kittens
Beaphar Worming syrup is designed to treat roundworm only (which is the main worm found in kittens under 6 months, tapeworm typically is only found in cats 6 months+) which makes this the perfect wormer for kittens. The syrup is suitable for kittens from 2 weeks old. The bottle comes with a pump dispenser which makes measuring the correct dose and applying it into the corner of your kittens mouth a breeze.
The pump cleverly measures exactly 1.1ml per pump, and comes with a simple table to determine how many pumps per dose are required for your cat. We used this syrup on both kittens and puppies and found it an excellent way of worming.
Given how difficult it can be to worm kittens this syrup solves those worries with the syrup able to be put straight into their mouth, or mixed with milk or food. Given that most tablets aren’t suitable for kittens under 6 weeks, we think this syrup is the best fit for very kittens.
Best Spot On Wormer for Cats: Spot on Tubes for Cats
If you have a fussy cat that would rather die than take tablets, this is the best option for you. This cat wormer is meant for topical application on the skin, and it is very affordable. It works within a short duration of time, and you will be able to see the difference within 24 hours.
There are 4 tubes in the pack, and each tube of this cat wormer is meant for a 2.5kg cat. So if your cat is above the required kgs or you have several cats, you should calculate how many tubes you will need. The tube also allows for easy application so you won’t have to fight with your cats.
Once you have popped the tube out of the foil packaging, you simply unscrew the lid from the top, and pierce the cap using the top of the lid. Once pierced, you simply apply it to the neck of your cat with no fuss and dispose of the tube in your bin. This is an incredibly simple and stress free way of protecting your cat against tapeworm.
Bob Martin Clear Wormer Tablets
These cat dewormer tablets are the best for dealing with tapeworm and roundworm infestations. It is suitable for cats and kittens that are above three months of age. The tablets are large and oval in size and for the kittens you will need to break them into half so they don’t choke on them.
There are two tablets in the box, and one dose can last the cats for up to 10 weeks. One tablet is administered every five weeks and if you have several cats, it is advisable to buy for them separate doses. Each cat should have its dose to make it easier for you to keep track of the deworming regimen.
The tablets are very affordable, so it will not cost you a lot of money in case you need to deworm several cats. Don’t forget to do a test first to assess if your cat will react with the dewormer.
Bob Martin Clear spot on wormer
Tapeworm infestation is the major problem for most cats. This cat wormer is specially formulated to combat the tapeworm menace. It is affordable, and the active ingredient that kills the worms is praziquantel.
It’s straightforward to use since you only apply on the cat’s neck, however, some cats may react with it. Therefore, it is advisable that you apply a small amount on the neck and observe for any reactions over a period of 24 hours. If your cat doesn’t react, then you can safely apply the remaining treatment without any worries. It is ideal for cats over 1kg in weight.
Bob Martin Spot on dewormer
This wormer for cats is a great option as it gives you value for your money and quality at the same time. It is very cheap (who doesn’t love cheap things?) and efficient at the same time. The fancy tube allows for easy application, and the best part is that the low price is for two tubes, not one.
If you are tight on cash and you can’t afford to go to the vet for deworming tablets, this cat dewormer will work just fine. You will not need a prescription to purchase it and as usual, do a small test first to see if your cat will react to it.
Bayer – Droncit Dog & Cat Tapeworm Tablets
If your cat doesn’t have a problem with taking tablets, you can purchase this cat wormer for them. It is ideal for all species of tapeworms, and it is much cheaper than tablets from your vet.
The box has ten tablets in it, and they will last you for up to 3 months. Before administering the recommended dose, you should first take a small piece of the tablet and feed it to the cat to test for any reactions.
Just like humans, cats also have drug allergies too. In case your cat reacts to it, you should buy a different cat dewormer, and if they don’t react, you can go ahead and administer the recommended dose.
Make sure your cats have enough water supplies to help their bodies disintegrate the tablets so they can work faster.
Where do cats get the worms from?
There are different sources of worms, and it depends on the type of worms. For example;
- Heartworms are transferred by mosquitos,
- Tapeworms are obtained by eating contaminated food,
- Lungworms are acquired by ingesting a host infected with the worm, and they live in the lungs,
- Hookworms live in the intestines and are obtained by eating contaminated food or through skin contact with an infected animal,
- Roundworms are acquired through ingestion of contaminated food and for kittens, they get the worms through the mother’s milk when they breastfeed.
Deworming cats is a crucial step in ensuring your cats remain healthy. Worms can significantly affect your cat’s health since they compete with your cat for food. Therefore, if your cats are not dewormed regularly, they will start to lose weight.
Some worms like hookworms accumulate in the small intestines and block the intestines. This is a harrowing experience for any cat due to constant abdominal pains, bloating and constipation. The intestinal obstruction will require your cat to be operated on to remove the worms. As a cat lover, this is the last thing you want your cat to go through.
As a cat owner there are a number of things to remember to do if you believe your cat is showing signs of worms:
- Find out the type of worms your cat is likely to have depending on the source of the worms
- Look for the best medication that is effective and cost efficient at the same time
- Identify the best route for administering the cat wormer. It can either be tablets or topical skin applications, depending on what your cat likes
- Look for other ways of preventing future worm infestations. For example, ensure your house and bowls are clean so your cat won’t have a chance of ingesting contaminated food