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How often should you deworm your cat?

A common question is how often should you deworm your cat. This often involves the question of how to give your cat a worm cure. It is important to know that different guidelines apply to a cat than to dogs. Other worms also occur in cats. In this article, we explain what you should think about when it comes to worming a cat.

Cat on shoulder

Why do you need to deworm a cat?

You worm your cat because you do not want your cat to get health issues from worms. Worms can cause gastrointestinal complaints, such as vomiting and diarrhoea. Coughing and losing weight can also be symptoms of a heavy worm infection. What people are often unaware of is that the worms that can occur in cats can also be harmful to humans. Worming cats is therefore also important to reduce the chance of a worm infection in yourself, your children and your living environment.

Roundworms can occur in cats, just like in dogs, but hookworms can also occur. Tapeworms are also often seen in cats, especially because cats often spend a lot of time outdoors and can become infected with fleas more easily. The fox tapeworm is not relevant for cats. Heartworms and lungworms can also cause issues in cats.

Cats can easily become infected with roundworms, especially if they live outdoors and hunt regularly. These roundworms are therefore also the most dangerous for humans. The larvae migrate through the body and can end up in the eyes, brain and spinal cord where they can cause problems. Larvae that crawl through the lungs can cause bronchitis symptoms. It is therefore important to prevent this by regularly worming your cat[p]

How often a year should a cat be dewormed?

[p]How often you should give your cat a worm treatment depends on several factors. There is no standard answer to this. The main distinction is made between outdoor cats and indoor cats. This determines the risk group in which your cat is classified and thus the frequency of deworming. For indoor cats, it is often sufficient to worm once or twice a year against roundworms. Outdoor cats should be wormed at least 4 times a year against roundworms, or more often if they hunt a lot. Cats with fleas should also be treated for tapeworms.


Use our worm guide to find out how often you need to worm your cat. [p] [p]If you find it difficult to determine how often you should deworm, you should worm your cat 4 times a year. This ensures significantly fewer worm eggs in the environment and therefore a much smaller chance that other animals and people can become infected with worms. Do treat all animals in the house at the same time!

How can you tell if your cat has worms?

A worm infestation is not always visible from the outside. If your cat has tapeworms, you may see small tapeworm pieces that look like grains of rice around the anus. Your cat often also has fleas, so check carefully for this, or provide preventive flea control. Cats infected with roundworms can sometimes regurgitate them. Furthermore, you often notice little about your cat. Stool testing is then the only way to determine whether your cat is infected with worms. Your vet can do this examination.

How often should kittens be dewormed and with what?

Until a kitten is 6 months old, you should deworm it more often than an adult cat. The advice is to worm kittens (and the mother cat) from 3 weeks of age every 2 weeks until 2 weeks after weaning. Then monthly until they are 6 months old. From 6 months of age you can use the worm guide to determine how often you need to deworm your cat.

Kittens are dewormed more often because they can become infected with worms more easily and can also develop more severe health complaints. Kittens are not infected in the womb, like puppies. They can be infected during the nursing period because the larvae can be passed on through the milk.

How fast does a worm treatment work and for how long?

Worm remedies that you give through the mouth work as long as they are in the intestines. The adult worms are then killed and usually also some larvae. The youngest larvae are often not killed by these agents, so it may be necessary to repeat the treatment after 2-3 weeks.

Can my cat get sick from a wormer?

A cat can always react to a worming product, especially if it is administered through the mouth. Some cats will drool a lot because they think the taste is bad. Vomiting and diarrhoea are also always symptoms that can be seen. If a cat is hypersensitive to the active substances in the products, neurological symptoms can also occur, but this is rare.

If your cat vomited shortly after the treatment with a tablet or paste, always consult your vet. It may then be necessary to repeat the treatment, possibly with a different product.

How do I give the worm treatment to my cat?

If you opt for a paste or a tablet, you have to enter it directly into the mouth or hide it in something tasty. Usually, 1 treatment is sufficient. With some products, you have to give the treatment for 2-3 days. If you use a spot-on product, you place a drop between the fur on the skin, preferably in a place where the cat cannot lick itself. The most commonly used place is the neck as close to the base of the skull as possible. You should not touch the application site while it is wet. You should also not wash the cat for the first 24 hours after administration.

What can I do myself to prevent a worm infection?

There are several things you can do yourself, in addition to regularly deworming your cat, to reduce or even prevent the risk of a worm infection in your animal, but also in yourself, your family and your environment:

  • Empty the litter box with the residual waste. DO NOT put it in the vegetable/green waste or on the compost heap and do not flush it down the sewer. Any worm eggs could eventually return to the environment.
  • Cover a sandbox when not in use. Replace the sand in the sandbox 1-2 times a year.
  • Wash your hands regularly and teach your children this too. Be sure to wash your hands before eating.
  • Wear gloves if you work in the garden.
  • Wash fruits and vegetables before eating.

Do you have any questions about worming your cat? Please contact