Why do I need to worm my cat?

All cats need regular worming to ensure control of roundworm, hookworm and tapeworm. These three worm types live in the stomach or intestines and can cause vomiting and diarrhoea, though more commonly they lead to general poor condition and in kittens a poor growth rate. It is important to treat for worms preventatively rather than after you think your cat has become infested with them. Kittens need treatment more often than adult cats.

From 2 weeks of age kittens need to be wormed every 2 weeks until 12 weeks of age, then every 3 months for the rest of their lives. For the first 12 weeks you need only treat for roundworm and hookworm but from 12 weeks onwards it is important to treat for tapeworm too. The common tapeworm in cats is transmitted by fleas and so treatment for fleas is also an important part of worm control for your cat.

Worm treatments are available in tablet or pour-on formulations and some of the pour-on’s also treat fleas and ear mites at the same time. Pour-on’s are the ideal way to treat a cat that is difficult to tablet. For advice on the best treatment to use for your particular situation please contact your vet clinic.