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Best cat wormer 2023: Keep your cat happy, healthy and worm-free

Help your feline friend avoid the discomfort of worms with our guide to the best treatments on the market today

Ensuring that your cat is kept free of intestinal worms is essential to their happiness and wellbeing. Fortunately, the best cat wormers on the market are reliable and can be easily administered at home.

Wormers come in many different forms, which makes it easier to find one that a fussy cat will tolerate (and, let’s face it, most felines are fussy).

The most common intestinal worms in cats are roundworms and tapeworms, although these are not the only worms cats can be afflicted by. Not all infected cats show signs of having worms, meaning it’s vital to maintain a regular worming routine to kill any that are in residence and to prevent a recurrence. Some worms can also be passed on to humans and can cause serious disease, so it’s not only your pet you’re looking after with a worming treatment.

There’s a buying guide below with helpful hints and questions answered or, if you already know what you’re looking for, you can scroll down to view our best cat wormer recommendations.

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How to choose the best cat wormer for you

Why should you worm your cat?

It’s likely that your cat will get worms at some point during their life, so keeping up with regular treatment is vital. Early signs of worms include a dull coat, increased appetite, weight loss, bloating, blood in faeces, vomiting and diarrhoea. You may notice whole or fragments of worms in a cat’s faeces or small white fragments of worm in the fur around the bottom.

In extreme cases, worms can cause anaemia, intestinal blockages, stem blood flow to the heart and even result in death if left untreated. And worms (especially roundworms) can also infect humans, causing nasty conditions such as toxocariasis. Regular worming prevents all of this, making it an absolute necessity in the care of your pet.

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How do cats catch worms?

There are a number of ways that cats can catch worms. These include:

Prey – If your cat is an active hunter, they’re at higher risk of infection. This is because prey, such as rodents and rabbits, act as a middleman for worms such as roundworm and tapeworm.

Fleas – Regular flea treatment should go together with worming, particularly as fleas feed on the eggs and carry the larvae of tapeworms. If a cat swallows a flea while grooming or scoffing prey, they could become infected.

Food – Some types of tapeworm hibernate in cysts inside the muscle tissue of their middlemen, meaning your cat could catch worms from raw or undercooked meat.

Environment – Roundworm eggs pass out in the faeces of infected cats and mature into an infective stage in the environment. Infective larvae can cause infection if ingested. For this reason, it’s really important to pick up faeces quickly and regularly.

The mother cat – After birth, kittens can be infected by their mother’s milk. This is because roundworm larvae can find their way into the mammary ducts.

Types of worms

There are a variety of worms that can infect cats, but these are the most common:

  • Roundworms – Intestinal roundworms are the most common intestinal parasites in cats. The two most common roundworms in cats are Toxocara cati and Toxascaris leonine.
  • Tapeworms – Tapeworms are long flat worms comprising many segments. The most common tapeworms found in cats are Dipylidium caninum and Taenia taeniaeformis.
  • Hookworms – These small intestinal roundworms cause damage to the lining of the intestine by attaching themselves to the surface. Common hookworms include Ancylostoma tubaeforme and Uncinaria stenocephala.

How often should I worm my cat?

It’s recommended that you worm an adult cat every three months, unless they’re vociferous hunters, in which case your vet may recommend more regular worming. If a kitten has worms from its mother, both will need to be treated every fortnight until weaning is complete. If a cat or kitten in your care has active worms, it’s essential to consult a vet to get the right treatment for the individual animal.

What kinds of wormers are available?

Wormers generally come as pills, pastes, syrups or spot-on treatments for the back of the neck.

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The best cat wormers you can buy in 2023

1. Milbemax Tasty Cat Wormer: Best all-round cat wormer

Price when reviewed: £3.07 (single) | Check price at VetUK

Milbemax is one of the most effective cat wormers on the market, treating roundworm, tapeworm and hookworm. This broad spectrum intestinal dewormer can also offer protection against heartworm, if given monthly. It packs a serious punch, but you’ll need a prescription from your vet to order it online (which is far cheaper than buying directly from the vet).

The tiny beef-flavoured tablet is meant to be palatable to cats, although we all know how fussy cats can be! If your picky pet doesn’t want to take the pill, it’s easy to disguise it with a pill pocket or similar. Milbemax tablets are suitable for cats weighing from 2-8kg and Pet Drugs Online sells them in boxes of four and 50, as well as single tablets, which allows you to make substantial savings. Do check that your cat will take the pill before investing in bigger quantities, though!

Key details – Format: Pill; Flavour: Beef; Active ingredients: Milbemycin oxime, Praziquantel; Suitable for: Cats 2-8kg

Check price at VetUK

2. Profender Spot-On Wormer for cats: Best spot-on cat wormer

Price when reviewed: £18 (two pipettes) | Check price at VioVet

Profender is a spot-on treatment for worms and is one of the easiest ways to treat your cat. Simply part the fur on your cat’s neck at the base of the skull and apply the pipette directly to the skin. Applying to the back of the skull makes it extremely difficult for the cat to lick the product off.

Spot-on wormers aren’t quite as powerful as a pill, but they are a great preventative for cats who don’t have worms as their regular treatment programme. Like Milbemax, Profender will need a prescription from your vet before purchase.

Profender comes in three different sizes: small (for cats up to 2.5kg), medium (for cats weighing 2.5–5kg) and large (for cats weighing 5-8kg). We’ve linked to the medium size above, but all three sizes are available on Pet Drugs Online.

Key details – Format: Spot-on; Flavour: N/A; Active ingredients: Emodepside, Praziquantel; Suitable for: Cats 0.5-8kg

Check price at VioVet

3. Advantage Flea Treatment with Dronspot Spot-On Wormer: Best combination cat wormer

Price when reviewed: £12 (two pipettes) | Check price at Pet Supermarket

Worms aren’t the only nasty little critters that your cat can pick up on its travels. Fleas are big fans of cats, causing discomfort, itching, sores and even anaemia in serious cases. Worse still, fleas can infest your home if your cat is left untreated. This combination of an Advantage flea treatment and Dronspot wormer from Pets at Home covers all eventualities.

Pets at Home offers a subscribe and save option with these products, where both products are delivered at regular intervals when your cat needs them. Treatments are tailored to your cat’s weight, with options for cats of 2.51-4kg, 4-5kg and 5-8kg.

Dronspot is a non-prescription wormer that attacks both roundworms and tapeworms with a single application. It’s another spot-on treatment, as is the Advantage flea treatment, so we would recommend leaving a week between applying each one.

Key details – Format: Spot-on; Flavour: N/A; Active ingredients: Emodepside, Praziquantel; Suitable for: Cats 2.51-8kg

Check price at Pet Supermarket

4. Panacur Worming Syrup: Best cat wormer for kittens

Price when reviewed: £26 (100ml bottle) | Check price at Pets at Home

Kittens are delicate and can’t just be treated with standard adult cat wormers, as they could cause damage to their systems. But of course, if your kittens have caught worms from their mother, it’s vital that they’re treated. Worms could be fatal to a tiny kitten.

Panacur Worming Syrup is gentle enough for use on kittens and can also be used for adult cats (as well as puppies and dogs). As well as treating roundworms and tapeworms, Panacur also effectively treats lungworms.

Panacur isn’t the easiest wormer to administer as you need to know your pet’s exact weight to give the right dosage. You can buy scales to use at home, or ask your vet to weigh your cat. Dosage is 0.5ml suspension per kg of bodyweight for kittens under six months of age and 1ml suspension per kg bodyweight for older animals. With 100ml in a bottle, Panacur is excellent value.

Treatment should be repeated two to four times per year, although if your kitten has worms, they will need treating more often. Consult with your vet for exact dosages in this case.

Key details – Format: Syrup; Flavour: N/A; Active ingredients: Fenbendazole; Suitable for: Cats and kittens of all weights

Check price at VioVet

5. Dronspot Spot-On Wormer: Best budget cat wormer

Price when reviewed: £11 (1 pipette) | Check price at Amazon

Dronspot is a non-prescription cat wormer that’s available in different sizes for small (0.5-2.5kg), medium (2.5-5kg) and large (5-8kg) cats. Treating roundworms and tapeworms, it’s a spot-on treatment that’s easy to apply and is effective at preventing worms.

This is one of the cheapest options for worming – remember that Milbemax and Profender both require prescriptions, which will increase the overall cost of treatment. As with other spot-on wormers, Dronspot must be applied to the back of the neck at the base of the skull, so that your cat can’t lick the product off. Make sure that your cat is accurately weighed prior to treatment, particularly if they might be on the cusp of different sizes of Dronspot.

Key details – Format: Spot-on; Flavour: N/A; Active ingredients: Emodepside, Praziquantel; Suitable for: Cats 2.51-8kg

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