How Long After Deworming A Cat Are The Worms Gone? [Explained]
Cats commonly contract worm infections. Given that worms can be spread to you or your other pets, it can be a nuisance. Deworming your pet will solve the problem, but how long should you keep your feline away from your other pets?
How Long After Deworming A Cat Are The Worms Gone? Deworming typically clears your cat of worms in three days. However, if the infection is severe, your feline’s worms may take up to nine days to clear up.
From this article, you can learn everything there is to know about cat worms and deworming.
What Are Intestinal Worms? Which Worms Are Treated In Cats?
Intestinal worms are parasites that live off of the nutrition they get from the host’s body. Your cat gets gastrointestinal symptoms, as well as lethargy, because everything it eats is taken up by these pesky worms. Given below are the different types of worms that can affect your feline:
Tapeworms are segmented worms that attach themselves to the walls of your cat’s intestine and grow off of the food your cat eats. They are generally introduced into your pet’s body by ingesting fleas while grooming itself or by exploring the outside world. While attached to your feline’s intestine, it reproduces by breaking off segments of itself that contain eggs. These segments are passed into the faeces, taken up by another animal, and the process repeats itself. The most common types are Dipylidium caninum and Taenia taeniaeformis. Additionally, a high tapeworm population can result in intestinal obstruction.
Find Out: Should I Quarantine My Cat With Tapeworms
Roundworms are the most common worms to infect cats and can infect cats of all ages. They resemble common garden worms but have a considerably smaller diameter. The two most common types of roundworms are Toxocara cati and Toxascaris leonina. These worms can also be transmitted to kittens through their mother’s milk since they are free-moving, which also means they do not attach to the gut. They produce small round eggs that are passed into the faeces.
Hookworms, like tapeworms, attach to the lining of your pet’s intestine and sucks on its blood. In contrast to tapeworms, these parasites are microscopic and difficult to notice with your bare eyes. Their eggs are also passed into the faeces. The most common types are Ancylostoma tubaeforme and Uncinaria stenocephala.
What Are The Symptoms of Worms? How Do I Know If My Cat Has Worms?
It is easy to find out if your cat has worms by noticing the symptoms your cat is exhibiting, which are the following:
- Increased appetite (as parasites take up nutrition)
- Weight loss
- Itching on the bottom, which can be noticed by your cat dragging its back end across the floor
- Abdominal bloating, especially in kittens
How Long Do Dewormers Take to Work on Cats? And Factors That Affect How Long
Deworming Medication Takes To Work
It is important to know how long dewormers take to work as this can help you determine how long to keep your cat away from other pets and how long to keep everything sanitized.
Generally speaking, cats are worm-free in three days; however, if the infection is severe, it can take up to nine days for your cat’s worms to clear up. The following factors affect how quickly your cat will deworm:
- The type of worm
- The deworming medication
- The concentration of worms in the intestine
- Worm resistance against medication
Many cat parents notice that it takes longer than three days for their pets to deworm. This is mostly because of re-infection. Worm and worm eggs spread everywhere in your feline’s surroundings, from which they are taken up again. Therefore, giving your cat a second course of deworming medication two weeks after its first course is a good idea, as it covers re-infection.
Check Out: How To Get Rid of Fleas in the House?
How Do Deworming Medications Work?
Deworming medications are anti-parasitic drugs that work in a few ways. Some drugs, such as mebendazole and albendazole, work by preventing worms from absorbing sugars. This starves them to death, and the dead worms pass through the stool.
Other drugs like praziquantel and ivermectin work by paralyzing the worms. Their inability to move detaches them from the intestinal wall and allows them to pass out of your feline’s system.
However, deworming medicines do not affect eggs, so it is vital to keep everything clean until the infection subsides. Then give a second dose of dewormer two weeks later for extra coverage.
Does My Cat Still Have Worms After Deworming? / How to tell Cat Still has Worms After Deworming
It can be especially difficult to get rid of all your cat’s worms if it has a severe infection, so multiple treatments may be required. The following symptoms will be present if this is the case:
- Vomiting and diarrhoea
- Difficulty breathing
- Loss of appetite
- Weakness and lethargy
- Abdominal bloating
- An unkept and dull coat
- Sudden collapse
Take your cat to the vet if you notice these symptoms a few days after completing the deworming course. Your vet will most probably prescribe a second course of dewormer. However, do not start the second dose too quickly or give high doses, as dewormers can become toxic to cats and cause symptoms such as ataxia, mydriasis and seizures. This is why it’s critical to see your veterinarian if the initial deworming treatment was ineffective.
What Are the Side Effects of Dewormers?/ How Long Do Deworming Side Effects Last?
Like all medications, dewormers have side effects, too, although they are rare in cats. The side effects are primarily gastrointestinal, so your pet will experience vomiting, diarrhoea, loss of appetite or excessive salivation. These side effects are more common in extreme age groups of cats, meaning kittens and elderly cats. Kittens might also develop abdominal bloating.
However, there is nothing to worry about as these unwanted effects only last a couple of days.
How Do I Stop Worm Reinfections? Tips to Minimize Risks of Re-infection in Cats
Re-infections are the most annoying part of a worm infection. Dewormers effectively kill worms inside your cat’s intestine. However, eggs and worms in their surroundings are picked up again and swallowed via grooming, causing re-infection. Reducing re-infection chances is the only way your pet can be truly free from worms. The following are ways to reduce the chances of re-infection:
Also Check Out: My Cat Has Worms How Do I Clean My House?
1. Thoroughly Clean Your House
During your cat’s deworming, it will pass dead worms and eggs through its faeces. It also might be experiencing diarrhoea and vomiting, so your house is bound to be a complete mess.
- You need to clean up accidents as soon as possible and change the litter often, as most re-infections happen through the litter box.
- Wipe surfaces and vacuum carpets where your cat has been, as your feline’s paws can be carrying eggs.
- If you let your cat sleep in your bed, you must also change the bedsheets.
2. Get Rid of Fleas
Fleas are pesky parasites. Not only do they cause itching and scabbing, but they also carry worms. Ingested fleas while grooming will cause re-infection. Therefore, getting rid of any fleas your furry friend has is vital. You can ask your vet to prescribe topical flea medication, then use it in your pet’s coat as prescribed. You may need to put your cat in an Elezebethen cone, so it does not lick the medicine. A flea comb used once weekly can also help eliminate fleas. Also, keeping your feline inside helps prevent both flea and worm infections.
Also Read: Why My Cat Has Scabs on Its Neck But No Fleas?
Can I Use Dewormers As Preventative Treatment?
Dewormers can definitely be used as a preventative treatment. The following is a general guideline of how to administer dewormer to your pet, although you also discuss this with your vet:
Roundworms: Roundworms are common in kittens as they can be passed from their mother’s milk, so you should start deworming your kitten at three weeks and repeat the dosage every two weeks up to the age of eight weeks. After eight weeks, you can decrease this frequency to once per month. After the age of 6 months, cats only need deworming every one to three months.
For Tapeworms: Kittens cannot get tapeworm infections as they do not groom themselves, and tapeworms cannot pass through their mother’s milk, so cats older than 6 months need to be dewormed every one to three months. It is wise to ask the vet to prescribe a medication that covers both tapeworms and roundworms.
Frequently Asked Questions
The Bottom Line on How Long After Deworming A Cat Are The Worms Gone
Worms are a nuisance, but they are relatively common in cats. Deworming is essential for ensuring their long-term health and happiness. Dewormers take three days to work but can take up to nine days in case of severe infections. It is necessary to keep everything clean to prevent re-infection. Consult your vet if you think your feline has worms. They will diagnose the specific worm that has infected your cat, the medication to use against it and the dose according to your cat’s age and body weight.
Who Is Isabella?
My name is Isabella, and I am a dedicated and knowledgeable cat enthusiast. With years of experience caring for cats and a deep love for felines, I made a mission to help other cat lovers navigate the challenges of cat ownership.