Cat Tapeworm Medication Side Effects

The cat tapeworm is an intestinal parasite that’s transmitted to cats through flea bites. Dipylidium caninum is the most common type of adult tapeworm that exists in cats. Adult tapeworms are capable of reproduction, and release tapeworm segments that pass through cat feces. Tapeworms attach themselves to the cat’s intestinal lining and feed on essential nutrients. Pet owners should first conduct a fecal examination to determine if the cat is infected with tapeworms.

Tapeworm Medication

It’s best to obtain prescribed medication to treat tapeworm infections, as over the counter products might not be suitable for all pets, especially kittens. Some cats are also prescribed other drugs for varying conditions which could cause a reaction with certain ingredients in tapeworm tablets. Tapeworm infections often go undetected during a fecal examination and hence a repeat exam may be necessary.

Commercially Available Tapeworm Medication:

  • Tape Worm Tabs Cat
  • Drontal
  • Droncit for cats
  • Cestex

Side Effects of Tape Worm Tabs

Tape Worm Tabs are non-prescription tablets that are safe for use in cats more than 6 weeks of age. It contains the active ingredient praziquantel (23 mg) that destroys tapeworm skin and causes worm disintegration. Side effects are rare, but some pets can suffer from vomiting, increased salivation and loss of appetite. These side effects are also likely to occur if the cat is given an overdose of medication. Although Tape Worm Tabs don’t require a prescription, it’s necessary to establish a medical diagnosis before treating cats with any worming medication.

Side Effects of Drontal

Drontal is a broad spectrum worming medication that contains the active ingredients praziquantel and pyrantel pamoate. It’s formulated for use in cats weighing more than 1.5 pounds, and more than one month old. In addition to treating tapeworms, drontal effectively kills roundworms and hookworms. The side effects of the drug include vomiting, diarrhea, increased salivation and lack of appetite. Side effects are rare, and if they persist it’s important to seek medical help.

Droncit for Cats

Droncit is a prescription medication that contains praziquantel. This anthelmintic medication is available as a single-dose formula, safe for use in cats more than 6 weeks of age. The medication should be administered according to the given instructions unless otherwise directed by the vet. Side effects include increased salivation, loss of appetite and diarrhea. The medication shouldn’t be administered along with other worming tablets. Praziquantel is also available in injection form. Cats that are injected with the medication may also experience pain and soreness at the injection site.


Cestex is an anthelmintic drug that’s safe for use in cats more than 7 weeks of age. It contains the active ingredient espiprantel that paralyzes the tapeworm and releases its grip on the cats’ intestine. Although there aren’t any known drug interactions, pets can occasionally exhibit side effects that include vomiting and diarrhea.

Pet owners should follow appropriate feces disposal methods during the course of medication, since both tapeworm segments and disintegrated tapeworms are eliminated from the cat’s body. Fecal examinations should also be conducted twice a year to detect intestinal parasites or bacterial infections.