Cat Tapeworm Treatment Explained

Cat tapeworms are parasites known as Cestodes that attack your cat's digestive system and cause problems. Dipylidium canium is the most common type of tapeworm found in cats. Tapeworms hook onto the wall of the small intestine and take in nutrients from your cat. This causes cats to lose weight and show signs of hunger.

How Cats Get Tapeworms

Cat fleas carry tapeworm eggs. If your cat ingests a flea when she bites or chews her skin, the flea is digested and tapeworms are released. Tapeworms then anchor themselves to the intestinal wall. Once tapeworms mature, egg filled segments (proglottids) break off the tapeworm and pass out through the cat's feces. These are sometimes seen around the cat's anus. Cats can also get tapeworms if they eat rodents that contain the parasites. Such tapeworms are known as Taenia taeniaeformis.

Cat Tapeworm Diagnosis

Feline tapeworms are small and white in color. They can be easily spotted on the surface of your cat's stool. They have an appearance of tiny rice grains. You might also find segments in your cat's fur under her tail, around the anus. These segments cause irritation at the anus and you might find your cat repeatedly licking the area. Look for dried segments in your cats bedding too. They appear like small round white balls. Feline round worms can also be spotted in cat feces. However, if your cat suffers from round worms she will vomit and have chronic diarrhea.

Cat Tapeworm Treatment

Tapeworms are killed with de-worming medication or specific injections given by the vet. Flea control is very important as fleas are the main source of parasite infection in cats. There are several over the counter medicines that might work. Many are effective and safe.

Known prescription and non prescription de-worming medication:

  • Tape Worm Tabs Cat
  • Homeo Pet Wrm Clear
  • Cestex
  • Drontal
  • Droncit 23 mg

Medicines that kill parasitic worms are anthelmintics or vermicides. Most medicines contain Praziquantel, administered either by injection or as tablets. This main ingredient damages tapeworm skin and disintegrates the parasites that are then digested with cat food. It takes 3 weeks for tapeworm segments to show up in cat feces from the time they have been ingested. Often, just in a few weeks after medication you might find segments in your cat feces. This happens if you have not controlled fleas in your home and they have re-infected your cat.

Prevention Tips:

  • Remember to dispose of cat feces appropriately.
  • Children should be taught hygienic practices as they are more susceptible to infections.
  • Make sure your cat doesn't hunt rodents.
  • Humans can get infected by tapeworms only if they ingest a flea. Although tapeworms are not harmful to your cat they draw a lot of nutrients from them. If tapeworms exist in large numbers they may also cause debilitation and weight loss. Remember to carefully follow packaging instructions if you're administering a dose. Some medicines cannot be used for kittens under the age of 6 weeks. Also, do not use dog medication on cats.

Use the appropriate medication that won't compromise on your cat's well being, to successfully kill and control cat tapeworms.