Cat worms are a common problem that any cat owner has to face. However, do you know how long does dewormer take to work on cats? If not, read this article of BestLifeTips to find out the answer.
Types of cat worms?
Before getting to know how long does dewormer take to work on cats, let’s see how many types of cat worms are there.
This is the most common cat worms of all types. Roundworms grow reach 3-5” long in adulthood, and they resemble a piece of wet spaghetti.
Roundworms in cats can be transmitted via the nursing process, by feeding on an infected animal, or by contact with the infected feces of another animal.
Tapeworms have long and flat 1/8” segmented bodies that can grow to 8 inches in length.
They happen when a cat encounters or ingests a host that is carrying tapeworm eggs, like a bird or a flea.
Hookworms in cats are the smallest cat worm. They reside primarily in the small intestine. They grow to approximately one inch in length and feed on the blood.
These worms can cause life threatening anemia in cats of all ages, especially kittens. Hookworms can infect other animals and people too.
Whipworms in cats are about 1/4” long and reside in the cecum and colon. They are considered one of the most harmful cat worms in existence.
Heartworms live in the heart and pulmonary arteries. They are transmitted only from an infected mosquito’s bite, and not within or between species.
These worms are preventable and treatable, but can be fatal if not diagnosed and arrested before the advanced stages of infestation.
Ringworm, or dermatophytosis, is a skin disease caused by a fungus that results in lesions and sores on the epidermal layer.
Ringworm is not caused by a worm at all, but rather by an infection of dead layers of skin, hair and nails.
This worm type is curable, but treatment can take time and the condition can be very painful.
Of all these common types of cat worms, the two varieties that veterinarians see and treat most often are roundworms and tapeworms.
Symptoms of cat worms
Cat owners should be on the lookout for symptoms of worms, because by the time your feline friends display signs of infestation, they are usually already well along in the process.
The most common symptoms of worms in cats include:
- Weight loss accompanied by a marked increase or decrease in appetite
- Distended abdomen, or “pot-bellied” appearance
- Diarrhea/chronic soft stools
- Chronic coughing
- Dulling of coat and/or hair loss accompanied by skin irritation/inflammation
- Rubbing or dragging the hindquarters across the ground
- Visible presence of segments of tapeworms in cats attached to the skin and fur around the anus/hind quarters area
- Visible presence of roundworms in cats in infected stool, like tiny grains of rice
These symptoms of worms in cats can also indicate other illnesses. Therefore, contact your veterinarian immediately if you suspect or witness any of these symptoms of worms in your cats.
How to deworm a cat?
After your veterinarian has identified and diagnosed your cat with worms, they will have a proper treatment plan according to the type of worms your cat has been diagnosed with.
It can either be a liquid or a tablet that you will give to your cat by mouth. Some dewormers are even a topical application like many of the flea and tick medications for cats are. Also, it makes it even easier to give to your cat.
Keep reading to find out how long does dewormer take to work on cats.
Cat dewormer types
Cat worms are generally treatable as long as they are diagnosed, arrested and treated before the onset of advanced stages of infestation.
Based on the parasite and extent of infestation, your veterinarian can prescribe the proper deworming medication along with the appropriate administration protocol.
For tapeworms, the medication breaks up tapeworms inside of the intestinal tract, making them too small to see in the feces.
For roundworms, the medication detaches the worms from the intestinal tract, and excrete them into and with the stool.
For hookworms, the medication kills the adult hookworms only. We will recommend another treatment in 2-4 weeks to treat the hookworms that were babies during the first treatment.
For ringworms, we can prescribe antifungal medications, shampoos, lime-sulfur dips, and the shaving or severely affected areas.
For whipworms, we can prescribe medication in 3-4 week intervals, and then every 3-4 months to help prevent a re-infestation.
For heartworms, depending upon the severity of the infestation, we can prescribe oral and injectible medication, antibiotics, special diets, diuretics to reduce fluid accumulation, and even extended prescription of heart medication in extreme cases.
You should consult your veterinarian before purchasing or administer any over-the-counter or prescription medication for cat worms.
How long does dewormer take to work on cats?
Once the medication enters the system of your cat, it’s going to start killing the intestinal worms within 24 – 48 hours.
The most reasonable answer to the question of “How long does dewormer take to work on cats?” is “several days in optimum conditions”. With a bit of luck, the dewormer would completely expel every remnant of the parasites after a week or two.
However, you have to schedule examining session with the vet while deworming your cat to conduct comprehensive fecal checks.
Only when the result comes back empty could you stop giving your cat dewormer doses.
How to prevent cat from getting worms?
Below are some preventive measures to reduce the risk of worms in cats:
- Initial treatments given to all kittens at 3 weeks of age.
- Treating nursing females alongside their litter, in case worms in cats were not detected in a previous fecal examination.
- Monthly cat worms preventive medication, given year round as prescribed by your veterinarian.
- Fecal examinations performed between 2-3 times per year depending on lifestyle habits like hunting, and geographic location.
- Prompt detection and intervention in the form of a dewormer for cats.
- Clean up backyard feces periodically, at least 2-3 times per week.
- In public parks, playgrounds and cat parks, immediately dispose of feces with sanitary gloves and sealable bags.
- Stressing sanitary and hygienic conditions in the home, including limiting internal exposure to contaminated soil, fecal matter and/or host animals.
- Stressing hygiene in public, and especially with children, by limiting or avoiding exposure to potentially contaminated objects, locations, animals or people.
Cat worms are generally treatable as long as you treat them timely. Now you know how long does dewormer take to work on cats. Remember to consult your vet before deworm your cats. And don’t for get to come back to BestLifeTips for more information.