How to Deworm a Cat at Home

By Tammy Dray

There's truly no home remedy to treat worms in cats. Worms, which include both intestinal and lung parasites, can be treated at home but only using medications prescribed by your vet. If you suspect your cat might have worms, take him in for an examination as soon as possible.

Symptoms of Worms

Cats don't always show signs of a worm infestation. When they do, the most common symptoms are diarrhea and vomiting. Whipworms sometime cause weight loss. You might be able to detect worms in your cat's stools. Worms can come out in feces alive -- in which case you'll see them moving -- or as tiny white fragments the size of a rice grain. With long-term serious infestations, you might notice lack of energy in your cat, as he becomes anemic and weak.

Types of Worms

The common intestinal parasites in cats are roundworms, hookworms, whipworms and tapeworms. Cats also carry lungworms, a type of parasite that resides in the lungs, instead of the intestines. Hookworms are particularly dangerous because they can cause anemia, especially in young cats. Pregnant cats can pass worms to their kittens. Another common form of infection is by ingesting the feces of an infected animal.

Detection and Tests

The most common detection test for worms is a fecal test. You might need to provide a fecal sample, which your vet will examine for the presence of worm fragments or eggs. Your vet will take into consideration any symptoms present -- such as diarrhea and vomiting -- and might order a blood test to evaluate your cat's overall health condition.

Treatment of Worms

There is no effective home treatment for worms. If you suspect your cat has worms, take him to your vet for examination and to confirm the diagnosis. Your vet will prescribe a dewormer specific to the type of worm your cat has. Dewormers come in the form of pills you will need to give your cat for up to several days, depending on the type of worm he has and the severity of the problem. If your cat has anemia or other health condition caused by the presence of worms, he also might need additional medication to address that problem.