Best Cat Dewormers

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Best Cat Dewormers

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Whether your cat has tapeworms, roundworms, hookworms, or something else, the best cat dewormer targets your cat’s infestation and eradicates it. Great dewormers are safe, affordable, and effective.

Because it’s an affordable broad-spectrum dewormer that kills all of the most common intestinal worms, we recommend Bayer Drontal Broad-Spectrum Dewormer as the best on the market.

At A Glance: Top 6 Best Cat Dewormers To Buy

ImageProductFeatures

Overall Best

Bayer Drontal Broad Spectrum Dewormer
  • Safe and reliable, minimal side effects
  • Easy to dose
  • Used by veterinarians
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Best for Tapeworms

Bayer Tapeworm Cat De-Wormer
  • Safe for cats and kittens 6 weeks and older
  • Safe to take with food
  • Well-known product from a trusted brand
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Best for Roundworms

Excel Roundworm Liquid Dewormer for Cats
  • Effective against roundworms
  • Affordably priced medication
  • Side effects are uncommon
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Budget Pick

Pro-Sense Liquid Cat Dewormer
  • Easy to administer liquid formula
  • Eliminates roundworms
  • Safe for cats and kittens 6 weeks and older
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Best Natural Cat Dewormer

HomeoPet Feline WRM Clear Cat Supplement
  • Effective against four types of worms
  • All-natural formula, chemical-free
  • Easy to administer in food or by mouth
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Best Prescription Dewormer

Revolution Topical Solution for Cats
  • Kills roundworms and hookworms
  • Excellent reputation for effectiveness and safety
  • Ideal for cats who don’t like oral medications
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Before we review Drontal and the rest of our top 6 recommendations, let’s talk about how dewormers work and the art of choosing a good one.

Does Your Cat Need A Dewormer?

Does Your Cat Need A Dewormer

According to the Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine, intestinal parasites affect as many as 45% of cats. All cats are prone to parasite infestations but cats that spend a lot of time outdoors have a higher risk for infestation than indoor cats.

Worm infections are generally not life-threatening, but as the worms parasitize your cat’s body, they steal nutrients your cat requires to stay healthy.

A heavy worm infestation may cause the following symptoms:

  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Dry, dull coat
  • Pale gums
  • Coughing
  • Bloated belly
  • Dark, tarry stools
  • Weight loss
  • Diarrhea
  • Biting/licking the anus

Many of these symptoms are related to malnutrition that can develop if an intestinal parasite infection goes untreated for a long time.

Though most worm infestations are not life-threatening, they can be quite dangerous for kittens if they develop anemia from blood loss. Intestinal blockages caused by too many tapeworms can also be deadly.

Before You Choose A Dewormer, Determine Which Type Of Worms Your Cat Has.

Tapeworms

These flat, long worms are named for their resemblance to a strip of tape. They’re segmented and may appear as wiggling grains of rice in your cat’s coat. Cats get them through contact with an infected animal, so outdoor cats who eat wild prey are at a particularly high risk. Fleas are also common tapeworm carriers.

Hookworms

These are tiny worms that hook onto your cat’s intestinal walls and feed off of the blood supply. Because blood loss can cause anemia, hookworms are a particularly menacing parasite for kittens and cats with a weakened immune system. Cats can become infected when they eat a hookworm host or when the worms burrow through their skin.

Roundworms

Roundworms are passed through the feces of an infected animal and can survive in their host for years. Your cat can get them in a number of ways – by eating an infected animal, eating roundworm eggs or larvae, or (particularly in the case of kittens) in the uterus or through their mother’s milk. Because kittens can be infected long after the mother’s roundworm infestation cleared up, it’s safe to assume all kittens have roundworms.

Ringworm

Though the name may suggest otherwise, ringworm is not actually a worm infestation – it is a fungal infection. Common signs include circular patches of hair loss, scaling or crusty skin, changes in hair or skin color, inflammation, excessive grooming or scratching, and dandruff. The best way to treat ringworm is with an antifungal medication.

Let’s Take A Look At The Types Of Dewormers On The Market And Which Types Of Infestations They Treat.

Dewormers are available both over-the-counter and by prescription, and may be oral or topical.
Oral deworming medications come in tablets, liquids, and pastes so you can easily administer the medication in the manner most comfortable for your cat. Topical medications are typically applied at the base of the head, much like topical flea medications.

The most important thing you must do when shopping for dewormers is make sure the product you choose is made to kill the type of worms your cat has.

Praziquantel – For Tapeworms

This drug inhibits the tapeworms’ ability to digest nutrients. Besides helping prevent your cat from becoming malnourished, this starves the tapeworms to kill them. Once the worms are dead, they will eventually disintegrate and be passed in your cat’s feces. Praziquantel seldom causes side effects, but some cats experience excessive salivation or diarrhea after using it.

Pyrantel Pamoate – For Roundworms and Hookworms

This chemical paralyzes worms. Since roundworms and hookworms grip onto the intestinal wall to survive, this paralysis is a death sentence. They fall off of your cat’s intestinal wall and pass out through the digestive tract in stool. Pyrantel pamoate is safe for cats and seldom causes side effects. Some cats experience vomiting, but this reaction is rare.

Piperazine – For Roundworms

Like pyrantel pamoate, piperazine paralyzes roundworms, but isn’t effective against hookworms. It’s important to ensure your cat receives the correct dose of this medication. Too small a dose won’t be effective but overdose can cause nausea, vomiting, and muscle tremors.

Broad Spectrum Dewormers

Because it can be difficult to identify what type of worm is afflicting your cat, a broad-spectrum dewormer may be the best option. Broad-spectrum dewormers contain a mix of both praziquantel and pyrantel pamoate, enabling them to destroy all of the most common intestinal parasites.

You should be aware, however, that these dewormers come with a higher incidence of side effects compared to worm-specific products.

What About So-Called Natural Dewormers?

Any over-the-counter or prescription medication comes with a risk of side effects, so you may be wondering about natural dewormers.

While there are several natural or herbal remedies out there, none are as reliable as traditional medications, but they may be worth investigating.

Diatomaceous Earth

This fine natural powder is a safe organic insecticide often used in gardens to kill ants and other pests. It’s also useful for killing fleas. Its effectiveness as an insecticide has caused some to recommend it for treating internal parasite infestations.

If diatomaceous earth worked as well inside your cat as it does to kill insects externally, we’d have a fantastic natural dewormer on our hands. Unfortunately, there’s no indication that diatomaceous earth is an effective dewormer. The few studies on the effects of DE on internal parasites have failed to demonstrate any consistent deworming effect.

You don’t even need to read a study to understand the problem with diatomaceous earth for internal parasites. Diatomaceous earth works like tiny shards of glass to physically destroy an insect’s protective outer shell. In the moist environment of your cat’s GI tract, diatomaceous earth simply can’t do its job.

Herbal Blends

Some natural dewormers combine herbs and other ingredients purported to create an intestinal environment unfriendly to parasites. These dewormers often include ingredients like wormwood, black walnut, and cloves.

A study on the deworming effects of natural remedies including pumpkin seeds, garlic, ginger, and papaya seeds on small ruminants concluded that:

“The most promising natural/plant dewormer appears to be pumpkin seeds, especially when administered as a drench. Even though significant reductions were not observed, numerically the pumpkin seed groups had the lowest fecal egg counts and required fewer dewormings in most cases.”

Cucurbitin is an amino acid is naturally found in pumpkin seeds and can paralyze parasites. Some experts recommend grinding up pumpkin seeds and mixing them into your cat’s food as a natural dewormer.

Top 6 Best Dewormers For Cats Reviewed

Keep reading to learn more about Bayer Drontal Broad Spectrum Dewormer and six more of the best dewormers for cats money can buy.

#1 Overall Best: Bayer Drontal Broad Spectrum Dewormer

Bayer Drontal Broad Spectrum Dewormer

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Key Features

  • Format: Tablet
  • Active Ingredient: Praziquantel, Pyrantel Pamoate
  • Parasites Targeted: Tapeworms, Roundworms, Hookworms
  • Typical Price per Dose: $8.78
  • Doses per Container: 25
  • Ideal For: Those who want a broad-spectrum dewormer

Although broad spectrum dewormers are sometimes considered less-than-ideal due to the increased likelihood of side effects, Drontal is a well-respected medication that’s regularly used by veterinarians.

The medication combines praziquantel and pyrantel pamoate, which rid your cat of tapeworms, roundworms, and hookworms, which are three of the most common intestinal worms found in cats.

Compared to liquid medications, these tablets are a little bit challenging to administer. You’ll need to place the tablet into a pill pocket or directly in your cat’s mouth. Each tablet is scored into quarters to make it easy to provide the correct dose.

What We Liked:

  • Safe and reliable – side effects are minimal and rare
  • Easy to dose
  • A broad spectrum treatment that can eliminate three different types of worms
  • Used by veterinarians

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Some may prefer a worm-specific treatment
  • The tablets may be challenging to administer

#2 Best for Tapeworms: Bayer Tapeworm Cat De-Wormer

Bayer Tapeworm Cat De-Wormer

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Key Features

  • Format: Tablet
  • Active Ingredient: Praziquantel
  • Parasites Targeted: Tapeworms
  • Typical Price per Dose: $4.99
  • Doses per Container: 3
  • Ideal For: People who want an affordable tapeworm-specific dewormer

These trusted tablets are made with 23mg praziquantel per tablet. They’re designed to kill tapeworms. You can crush them into your cat’s food, or, if your cat doesn’t like the taste, you may prefer to administer them whole.

Praziquantel is a safe, well-known treatment for tapeworms, and according to customer reviews, these tablets are highly effective. They’re also low-priced, making them accessible to most consumers.

What We Liked:

  • Effective against tapeworms
  • Safe for cats and kittens 6 weeks and older
  • Safe to take with food
  • A well-known product from a trusted brand

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Some cats experience salivation or diarrhea after treatment

#3 Best for Roundworms: Excel Roundworm Liquid Dewormer for Cats

Excel Roundworm Liquid Dewormer

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Key Features

  • Format: Liquid
  • Active Ingredient: Piperazine
  • Parasites Targeted: Roundworms
  • Typical Price per Dose: $0.28
  • Doses per Container: 24
  • Ideal For: Cats who need a palatable, easy-to-administer solution for roundworms

For under $7 per bottle, this medication is a low-cost solution for large roundworms. Each teaspoon of this medication contains 250mg piperazine as the active ingredient.

It’s recommended that you give your cat two doses of this liquid medication two weeks apart, then once a month to prevent reinfestation.

In addition to the piperazine compound, the medication contains added flavor, color, and sugar, making it appealing to the human eye and palatable for your cat. Unfortunately, the caramel color used in the medication may have carcinogenic properties. Given in such small quantities, this shouldn’t be a concern—but it is worth thinking about before you try this medication.

What We Liked:

  • Effective against roundworms
  • An affordable medication
  • Side effects are uncommon

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Some reviewers say that their cat disliked the taste
  • Contains potentially-carcinogenic caramel color

#4 Budget Pick: Pro-Sense Liquid Cat Dewormer

Pro-Sense Liquid Cat Dewormer

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Key Features

  • Format: Liquid
  • Active Ingredient: Piperazine
  • Parasites Targeted: Roundworms
  • Typical Price per Dose: $0.17
  • Doses per Container: 24
  • Ideal For: An affordable, easy-to-administer solution for cats with roundworms

This low-cost piperazine-based liquid dewormer is easy to administer and effective against roundworms. Each teaspoon contains 250mg of piperazine, which paralyzes roundworms and allows them to pass through your cat’s body and into the litter box where they belong.

As with any piperazine medication, it’s important to measure out the correct dose to ensure that your cat doesn’t experience nausea, vomiting, and muscle tremors.

To make the formula appealing to cats, the liquid contains added flavor and sugar, while caramel color makes it visually appealing to humans.

What We Liked:

  • Easy to administer liquid formula
  • Eliminates roundworms
  • Safe for cats and kittens 6 weeks and older

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Contains caramel color and sugar

#5 Best Natural Cat Dewormer: HomeoPet Feline WRM Clear Cat Supplement

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Key Features

  • Format: Liquid
  • Active Ingredients: Arsenicum Album, Chenopodium Anthelminticum, Cucurbito Pepo, Filix Mas, Kamala, Natrum Phosphoricum
  • Parasites Targeted: hookworms, roundworms, tapeworms, whipworms
  • Typical Price Per Dose: $0.22
  • Doses Per Container: 45
  • Ideal For: People who want a natural remedy

This natural dewormer is made with a homeopathic recipe featuring all-natural, chemical-free ingredients. These fast-acting dropsare registered with the FDA and made in the USA.

Effective against hookworms, roundworms, tapeworms, and whipworms, this formulation helps your cat recover from worm infestations and reduces the chance of reinfestation by suppressing egg production.

HomeoPet WRM Clear is a liquid deworming product. Each bottle contains about 450 drops and comes with a dropper that makes it easy to administer the product by mouth or in food or liquid.

Remember this product doesn’t contain any chemical active ingredients. While this makes it incredibly safe, it doesn’t have the safety record or history of efficacy you’ll find in traditional dewormers. Use natural dewormers with caution and talk to your veterinarian before you do.

What We Liked:

  • Effective against hookworms, roundworms, tapeworms, and whipworms
  • Homeopathic formula free from chemical ingredients
  • Non-sedating formula, easy to administer in food or by mouth
  • Safe for adult cats and kittens

What We Didn’t Like:

  • May be less effective than standard deworming treatments

#6 Best Prescription Dewormer: Revolution Topical Solution for Cats

Revolution Topical Solution for Cats

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Key Features

  • Format: Topical
  • Active Ingredient: Selamectin
  • Parasites Targeted: Fleas, Heartworm, Hookworms, Roundworms, Ear Mites
  • Typical Price per Dose: $23.14
  • Doses per Container: 6
  • Ideal For: People who want to prevent and treat a wide range of parasites

In most cases, a cheap over-the-counter dewormer works just as well as a prescription product. Cats who are frequently exposed to internal parasites are the exception to that rule.

While OTC medications kill the parasites infesting your cat now, it takes a prescription product to keep them from infecting your cat again.

If your cat eats wild animals, spends a lot of time outside, or lives with dogs, a prescription dewormer can help to kill existing parasites and prevent them from taking up residence.

Revolution is a topical medication that protects your cat against the most common parasites. It protects your cat from heartworm and fleas while treating hookworms, roundworms, and ear mites. It doesn’t treat tapeworms. By administering once a month, this medication provides round-the-clock parasite prevention, something that no cheap OTC medication can do.

Revolution is made from selamectin, an insecticide that appears to be safe for cats age six weeks and older. If your cat accidentally consumes selamectin, he might experience salivation and vomiting, but there aren’t any reports of more serious reactions.

As a broad-spectrum dewormer and parasite preventive, Revolution is one of the best. But that effectiveness comes at a price. Revolution costs over $115 and is only available with a veterinarian’s prescription.

What We Liked:

  • Kills roundworms and hookworms, two most of the most common types of intestinal worms
  • Has an excellent reputation for effectiveness and safety
  • Treats and prevents fleas and heartworms in addition to intestinal worms
  • A topical medication ideal for cats who don’t like taking oral medications

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Expensive
  • Doesn’t treat cats with tapeworms
  • Only available with a veterinarian’s prescription

The Right Dewormer Could Save Your Cat’s Life

If the parasites stick around for long enough, an intestinal infestation can lead to anemia and malnutrition. Particularly among small, weak kittens, it might even end in death.

Furthermore, worms don’t just affect cats and dogs. Several of the parasites that tend to attack cats are zoonotic, meaning they can be transmitted to humans.

Most dewormers are free of serious side effects, relatively easy to administer, and effective against parasites. But you have to choose one that’s right for your cat’s situation.

Whether you use a broad-spectrum dewormer or get a vet’s approval for a worm-specific medication, it’s vital that you choose a dewormer that’s intended for the type of worms you’re dealing with. If you choose a deworming product that’s made to kill roundworms, it won’t do much for your cat’s tapeworm infestation.

For all the reasons above, it’s crucial to identify and treat a worm infestation as soon as possible.

By choosing the appropriate dewormer and following the label instructions, you can safely eradicate your cat’s infestation and bring him back to health.

Best Cat Dewormers Comparison Chart:

Product NameFormatActive IngredientParasites Targeted
Bayer Drontal Broad-Spectrum DewormerTabletPraziquantel, Pyrantel PamoateTapeworms, Roundworms, Hookworms
Bayer Tapeworm DewormerTabletPraziquantelTapeworms
Excel Roundworm Liquid Dewormer for CatsLiquidPiperazineRoundworms
Pro-Sense Liquid DewormerLiquidPiperazineRoundworms
HomeoPet Feline WRM Clear Cat SupplementLiquidAll-Natural (Chemical-Free)Tapeworms, Roundworms, Hookworms, Whipworms
Revolution Topical Solution for CatsTopicalSelamectinFleas, Heartworm, Hookworms, Roundworms, Ear Mites

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About the author


Mallory Crusta is a writer and adventurecat enthusiast on a mission to make cats’ lives extraordinary. She’s one of the founders of Wildernesscat – a site for happy, healthy, and adventurous cats who are fueled by nature. Visit Wildernesscat for radically natural cat nutrition, home remedies, and lifestyle inspiration.