Worms are often a concern for pet parents who have cats. Cats are at risk of developing worms if they spend time outdoors, have fleas, snack on live prey, or spend time with other cats that have worms. You will find that there are a variety of worms or intestinal parasites, but those most common among cats include hookworms, roundworms, and tapeworms.
If your cat has worms, you may notice a few signs and symptoms indicating as much. For instance, your cat may experience gastrointestinal problems, or the skin and fur can appear sickly. If you suspect your cat has worms, it is important that you purchase the best over the counter cat dewormer to take care of the problem.
Keep in mind that over the counter dewormers work for mild to moderate infestations. If your cat suffers from a more serious infestation, you may need to seek out the help of your veterinarian. When it comes to dewormers for your kitty, you need one that does what it promises for the benefit of you and your cat. Fortunately, we will discuss the five best OTC dewormers available.
In This Article...
- What is the Best Cat Dewormer?
- Features of a Good Dewormer
- It is a Viable Alternative
- It Treats the Problem
- It Eliminates Concerns
- The Five Best Over the Counter Cat Dewormers
- Final Thoughts
What is the Best Cat Dewormer?
Features of a Good Dewormer
When choosing the best over the counter cat dewormer, you may need to consider a few things. For instance, you should pay attention to the features of the dewormer. Look to see at what age it is acceptable to give the product to your cat. Make sure you also pay attention to ingredients. The ingredients of the product are perhaps the most important.
You will often find that there are several cat dewormers available on the market, but not all of them work as they should. For instance, if your cat suffers from tapeworms, you will need an OTC dewormer that specifically treats tapeworms. While there might be several options, dewormers containing Praziquantel are the only FDA-approved OTC dewormers for tapeworms.
Originally developed for vets, Praziquantel is now available to the general public as a safe and effective way to treat tapeworms in cats. It is also a cost-effective approach for people who perhaps cannot make it to their local veterinarian, especially in cases where the infestation is either mild or moderate.
You may find that each dewormer on the market is different. One dewormer may ask that you not treat cats under twelve weeks old, whereas another may say you can treat a kitten as young as six weeks. Always pay careful attention to the instructions to find out if your cat is old enough for any OTC dewormer treatments.
Also, the instructions will usually tell you that you should use the product on a healthy cat. You may find that some dewormers do not offer information as to whether the cat should be healthy or not. However, you should not give deworming medications to sick kittens. If a kitten appears weak or suffers from vomiting and diarrhea, you should not offer deworming medication.
Look for a dewormer that outlines how many doses you need to provide your cat. Typically, one dose is not enough to treat an infestation of worms. Worms lay eggs, and when those eggs hatch, the infestation starts over again. The dewormer you purchase should state how long you need to wait before delivering the second dose of dewormer so as not to overdose.
It is a Viable Alternative
Although taking your cat to the vet for problems is always recommended, it is not always possible to run to the vet each time your cat suffers a mild infestation of worms. Thankfully, the availability of over the counter dewormers for cats provides a viable alternative. Having access to a working OTC dewormer is especially useful if you have a cat prone to worm infestations.
It Treats the Problem
If you take the time to select an OTC cat dewormer that works, it can effectively treat your cat’s infestation. There are plenty of options on the market, some of which do nothing at all to treat worms in felines. However, there are plenty of dewormers that contain carefully selected ingredients known to treat a variety of infestations ranging from roundworms to tapeworms.
It Eliminates Concerns
Some people do not have a wide range of access to veterinary care. For instance, people who live in rural areas may find it difficult to travel to their local vet. Another problem rural residents face is the fact that they do not have a wide range of veterinary options. Instead, they have limited options, which may not work with their schedule.
It is not always possible to schedule time off work to visit the only local veterinarian in the area. Fortunately, over the counter dewormers eliminate concerns for people in rural areas. Rather than trying to schedule the time to visit the vet for a prescribed dewormer, pet parents can purchase a cat dewormer from their local store or online to treat their infested kitty.
The Five Best Over the Counter Cat Dewormers
Quick Look : Best OTC Cat Dewormers in 2023
|Elanco Tapeworm Cat De-Wormer||$||
|Pro-Sense Liquid Dewormer||$||
|Elanco Drontal Broad Spectrum Dewormer||$$$||
|Excel Roundworm Liquid Cat De-Wormer||$||
Elanco Tapeworm Cat De-Wormer
Elanco Tapeworm Cat De-Wormer is an effective form of treatment for cats who suffer from a tapeworm infestation. The product contains Praziquantel, which is the only form of OTC tapeworm treatment currently approved by the FDA. The product contains three tablets, each containing 23mg of Praziquantel.
Part of what makes this product so great is that you can use it on cats as young as six weeks of age. Make sure your cat is healthy before providing a dose of dewormer to avoid any concerning health issues. Since cats are finicky, they may not willingly take a dose of the dewormer. Fortunately, you can crumble it up and mix it in with their food.
You can use this product to safely and effectively remove two forms of tapeworms, which includes taenia pisiformis and dipylidium caninum tapeworms. You do not need a prescription to administer this treatment to your cat. After administering a dose, you may notice your cat suffers from somewhat runny stools. However, severe or persistent diarrhea or salvation should be addressed with your veterinarian.
- Affordable price range
- Effective form of OTC treatment
- Results in a little as a few days
- Can be crushed and mixed into cat food
- May provide at least 2 doses depending on the size of the affected cat (only 1 dose per package for cats over 11 lbs.)
- Pill is somewhat large, making it difficult for cats to swallow whole (approximately ⅜ of an inch)
- Intelligent cats may turn away from food containing the tablet
- Does not offer any appealing scent or flavor, which is a turn off for some cats
Pro-Sense Liquid Dewormer
Pro-Sense Liquid Dewormer is a great choice for cats that currently suffer an infestation of roundworms. The product contains 250 mg of Piperazine. Although you may find information about other ingredients that effectively treat roundworm, Piperazine is currently the most effective OTC roundworm treatment you can buy.
Part of what makes the dewormer so great is that you can use it on a kitten starting at six weeks of age. Of course, as with any other dewormer, you must make sure your cat is healthy before administering a dose. Make sure you avoid dosing a cat that is pregnant or nursing. Similarly, if you have a cat that is over a year old, you should request a heartworm test before offering a dewormer.
Currently, Piperazine is one of the safest ingredients found in a dewormer for roundworms. In fact, negative side effects are minimal. Still, you should always keep your eyes peeled in the event any negative interactions occur. Occasionally, cats may develop symptoms such as vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea. Follow up with your vet if side effects appear severe or persistent.
- Liquid form makes it easy to deliver to your cat in comparison with tablets
- Improvement in as little as 24 hours from the time you deliver the first dose
- Product contains enough to dose cats a second time two weeks after first dose (as recommended)
- Effective form of treatment known to get rid of mild to moderate infestations of roundworms
- Flavored so that it mixes with food inconspicuously
- May not work for all cats
- May have trouble getting finicky cats to consume all of the medication when mixed with food (better to deliver directly)
- Does not treat severe cases of roundworms (severe cases require veterinary care)
Elanco Drontal Broad Spectrum Dewormer
Elanco Drontal Broad Spectrum Dewormer contains Praziquantel and Pyrantel base so that it can target roundworms, tapeworms, and hookworms. The product targets two forms of tapeworms, which includes dipylidium caninum and taenia taeniaeformis. Make sure to confirm the presence of parasites in your cat’s feces before administering treatment.
Part of the reason cat parents love Bayer Drontal Broad Spectrum Dewormer is that it is safe for cats that are as young as a month old that weighs 1.5 pounds. The bottle contains fifty tablets. Depending on the size of your cat, the bottle can give you approximately fifty doses, which is great if you have multiple cats.
Make sure you only provide your cat with one tablet for every four to eight pounds in body weight. Since Drontal is a broad spectrum dewormer, it takes the guesswork out of figuring out which type of worm currently infests your cat. Make sure you do not give a dewormer dose to a cat that is either sick, pregnant, or nursing without consulting a veterinarian, first.
- Broad-spectrum dewormer that targets multiple parasites (tapeworms, roundworms, and hookworms)
- Bottle contains 50 tablets, which is great for multiple cats or if your cat is prone to worm infestations (more common among cats that spend a lot of time outdoors)
- You can smash them and mix them into food for an easier method of delivery
- Pills are rather large, making it hard to deliver them to your cat unless smashed and mixed with food
- Tablets do not offer scent or flavor, which means highly intelligent cats may not eat it even when mixed into food
Excel Roundworm Liquid Cat De-Wormer
Excel Roundworm Liquid Cat De-Wormer is a powerful and effective OTC dewormer used to treat large roundworms. The 4-ounce bottle provides enough liquid for more than one dose, which is ideal since you typically need to dose your cat twice to effectively remove worm infestations.
You may provide a dose to cats that are at least six weeks of age. However, it is important that you make sure your cat is at least 2.5 pounds before offering a dose. Also, you should not dose a cat that is pregnant, nursing, or sick as it may cause additional health concerns. The liquid form makes it easy for your cat to swallow, as does the tasty flavor and scent.
You can mix a dose in with your cat’s food, or you can provide a dose by hand. The dosage amount is easy to follow as long as you know how much your cat weighs. You should provide ¼ of a teaspoon per every 2.5 pounds of body weight. If you are unsure how much your cat weighs, consult your veterinarian for proper weight and dosage amounts.
- Contains multiple doses, which is great for at least two treatments or as a way of treating multiple cats
- Liquid form provides easy delivery of a dose
- Tasty flavor and appealing scent means you can hide a dose in your cat’s food
- Effectively treats roundworms in cats as young as six weeks of age
- Affordable price point for people looking to treat their cats on a budget
- Some cats do not prefer the taste, hard to fool highly intelligent cats
- May not work on all cats depending on the severity of the infestation
- May cause some mild side effects, including diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting
Granny’s Best Herbal Wormer & Immunity Builder
Granny’s Best Herbal Wormer & Immunity Builder differs from most other dewormers in that it uses a holistic approach to treat worm infestations. The product is safe to use on most indoor and outdoor animals, including cats. It uses a specific and carefully selected blend of herbs that expel worms from the body and prevent re-infestation.
Pet parents who prefer an all-natural approach will appreciate that this product does not contain artificial fillers or chemicals. It is also non-toxic, which makes it safe to use on young kittens. Unlike a variety of other dewormers, you can use this all-natural approach to treat worms in pregnant or nursing cats, too.
Rather than providing a dose that treats the problem, you must give your cat a weekly dose and use the product year round to repel further infestations effectively. The product does not have a resistance build up, meaning worms cannot develop a resistance and reinfest your cat at a later point. In addition to treating infestations, the product also heals any damage caused by the infestation.
- Non-toxic formula that is free of fillers and artificial chemicals
- Holistic approach to healing and treatment that boosts your cat’s immune system
- Safe for use on pregnant and nursing cats as well as very young kittens
- Safe for use in multiple indoor and outdoor animals, including cats, dogs, goats, chickens, horses, cattle, and sheep
- Immune to resistance build up, which prevents future infestations
- Some cats may refuse to take their dose willingly because of issues with taste and smell
- May not work for all infestation issues depending on the severity and type of infestation
Overall, the best cat dewormer is the one that you feel is best for you and your situation. Obviously, a dewormer that treats roundworms is not going to work if your cat has tapeworms. Your choice will depend on which brand your cat prefers, too. Cats are picky creatures. They are not easily fooled by flavored or scented doses of medication.
You need a dewormer that your cat is willing to take or something that is easy for you to deliver in the event your cat struggles to take a dose. You should also base your decision on the age and weight of your cat. If you need to treat a young kitten, make sure you select a product that provides doses kittens of a certain age. Many products will allow you to treat a kitten that is at least six weeks old.
Most importantly, try to choose a product with proven ingredients. Whether you opt for a holistic approach or a proven medical approach is entirely up to you, as long as the ingredients target your cat’s infestation. If you opt for a broad spectrum product, make sure it contains the proper ingredients to target multiple worm strains rather than just one or two.
Once you find the best over the counter cat dewormer, you will find that life as a cat parent is much simpler. You can relieve your worries and treat your cat’s problem safely and more effectively.