|Kittens 2 – 7 weeks||Every 2 weeks|
|Kittens 8 weeks – 6 months||Every month.|
|Adults from 6 months||Every month to every 3 months.|
|Cats in close proximity with children||Every month|
|Cats that hunt||Every month|
|Pregnant and lactating queens||Must be wormed.Please ask your vet for advice|
Does my cat have worms?
Cats may carry worms even if you haven’t seen any. Tapeworm segments can be passed in faeces and resemble grains of moving rice. You may also notice them near your cat’s bottom.
However cats can have a roundworm burden and show no outward signs, Signs of a severe burden can include vomiting, diarrhoea or constipation, pot belly, weight loss and increased appetite.
How do I protect my cat from worms?
Whilst most worming products will kill adult worms, the better wormers will kill developing worms (larvae) as well, which gives more effective control.
No wormers have residual action and if your cat swallows worm eggs or larvae the day after being wormed the larvae will develop with egg-laying adults within one month. We recommend worming your cat regularly according to the schedule above.
What Worms Can Affect My Cat In The Uk?
Roundworms and tapeworms.
Roundworms (or ascarids)
These look like short lengths of spaghetti. Roundworms are passed from cat to cat via eggs and larvae in their faeces. These eggs and larvae can live in the soil for months or even years. The cat picks them up on its coat and paws and swallows them while grooming. The two common worms are Toxocara cati and Toxascaris leonina.
Toxocara cati most frequently infects young kittens and is passed via the mother’s milk. Cats should be treated for worms while pregnant and when feeding kittens and the kittens should be wormed every two weeks. Adult cats are infected by swallowing eggs and larvae from the environment and by eating prey that have swallowed these eggs. There is a slight risk to humans by accidental swallowing of larvae, mainly from dogs and possibly from cats. The disease is called visceral larvae migrants, the larvae travel around the body and may settle in the eye and cause blindness.
Toxascaris leonina is similar to Toxocara cati but less common. It is not transmitted from mother to kittens and therefore is unlikely in cats under 6 months of age.
There are two main tapeworms in cats in the UK. These are Dipylidium caninum and Taenia taeniaeformis. These tapeworms can also infect humans.
Dipylidium caninum is a segmented tapeworm. The segments when passed look like grains of rice. They are spread by swallowing fleas that are infected with worm larvae when the cat grooms itself. To treat this tapeworm you will need to treat the flea infestation too.
Taenia taeniaeformis is another segmented tapeworm. It is larger and less common than Dipylidium caninum and is transmitted when cats eat infected rats, mice and voles. It is therefore a problem in hunters.