If you love pets and have a cat in your home, you may have to deal with parasites frequently. You may disagree because most vets usually offer safe pills for deworming, but not all of these are effective. Besides, there is the issue of toxicity of these dewormers, and your pet does not like taking them most times. Luckily, I have gathered some rather effective natural remedies for worms in cats. You can apply these remedies to keep your cat safe from parasites and whatever symptoms that may come with the condition.
Table of Contents
You will learn the following from this post:
What Causes Worms in Cats?
Before we discuss natural remedies for worms in cats, we need to understand the different worms available in cats. We should also learn how our cats can become infected. This knowledge will help prevent a second attack after dealing with the initial problem.
Types of Worms in Cats
Cats usually become infected with the following:
The most common parasites are roundworms because they constitute up to 75 percent of all worm infestations. In most cases, kittens contract these roundworms from their mother when the mother did not receive proper deworming before giving birth.
Roundworms are between 3 and 5 inches long, and they reside in your cat’s intestines. Because of these, they usually steal your cat’s nutrients in a way that your cat does not gain weight, however much food she eats. Also, roundworms are pretty contagious because when your cat passes out wastes, she sheds infected eggs from her stool, resulting in intestinal blockage.
These kinds of worms are rare. They usually live in the large intestines, and they do not bring about any serious health conditions in cats.
These worms look like tape or a ribbon. These tapes are of segments that separate when the worm matures. These separated segments come out in the feces and resemble grains of rice. Cats get infected with tapeworms when they consume anything infected with tapeworm eggs, such as a rodent or flea.
As the name already suggests, hookworms hook themselves to your cat’s intestines and suck her blood. Since hookworm larvae reside in the soil, it is easy for your cat to ingest and swallow it when she digs outside. Hookworm infestation is a severe condition that might become anemia if not treated well.
Some worms are not common in cats but can result in serious ailments and may even result in death. These worms include:
- Liver flukes
- Bladder worms
- Stomach worms
Signs and Symptoms of Worms in Cats
I am sure that you have begun to wonder how to know if your cat has worms. Besides noticing the parasite in your cat’s feces, the following are the most common signs of worm infestation in cats:
- Skin problems
- What resembles sesame seeds or grain rice in your cat’s bedding
- Dragging the bottom along the carpet
- Vomiting (in more severe cases, the worm may appear in your cat’s vomit)
- Bloated stomach
- Weight loss even though the cat eats healthy
Symptoms of Specific Types of Worms in Cats
Roundworms can result in several severe issues like:
- Intestinal obstruction (in very serious cases)
- Unhealthy appearance/weight loss
- Distended abdomen (enlarged)
- Vomiting (which may contain worms)
- Pneumonia/coughing (if larvae are in the lungs and grow in the respiratory tract)
Whipworms can result in several severe issues like:
- Weight loss
- Large bowel diarrhea (with blood)
Tapeworms may not give your cat any symptoms, but you may notice worm segments that resemble grains of rice in the following areas:
- On/in the feces inside the litter box
- Attached to the fur at the anal area and below the tail
- Around the anus
Hookworms can result in several severe issues like:
- Pale gums and lips (secondary to anemia)
- Poor appetite
- Weight loss
- Dark tarry stool
- Diarrhea (with blood)
- Coughing (if the larvae reach the lungs)
Lungworm infestation may result in:
- Pneumonia if the infestation becomes worse and the level of symptom increases
- Difficulty breathing
Heartworm diseases in cats can result in:
- Sudden death
- Sudden collapse
- Lack of appetite
- Difficulty breathing
Bladder worm infestation may not generate any symptoms in some cats, but there may be severe cases in the long run; these cases may cause:
- Pain with urination
- Blood appearing in the urine
Serious infestation of liver flukes may result in:
- Abdominal distention (another name for this is ‘swollen belly’)
- Swelling of the liver
How to Deworm a Cat
In most cases, your vet will first examine your cat’s stool for the parasite to identify what the worms are. After this examination, he will prescribe medication for cat worming according to the results gathered from the examination.
Besides using a deworming product, you can try some natural remedies for worms in cats to deal with mild infestations. Do not hesitate to discuss with your vet if you notice that the home remedies are not working. Also, do not apply any of these remedies if your cat has other symptoms like fever.
You should deworm your cat as early as four weeks old because they are mature enough to have worms in them at that age. However, four-week-old cats are too young for natural remedies for worms in cats, so take them to the vet rather than trying to care for them at home.
8 Natural Remedies for Worms in Cats
Rather than using dewormers, consider the following natural remedies for worms in cats; they are effective and pose no threat whatsoever to your cat’s health if applied as indicated.
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
Is apple cider vinegar capable of killing worms in cats? Apple cider vinegar makes your pet’s stomach an acidic environment when you give it to your cat. But no scientific proof has yet indicated that apple cider vinegar is acidic enough to kill worms. Besides, giving your cat apple cider vinegar might irritate her digestive tract and stomach. Still, apple cider vinegar can effectively fight worms in your cat by eliminating fleas. Therefore, dilute apple cider vinegar with enough water and pour the solution into a squeeze bottle. Then gently spray your pet’s fur with it. Then you can remove the fleas with a flea comb. Apple cider vinegar is also effective in treating fungus and ringworm.
2. Pumpkin Seeds
You may be imagining how something as basic as pumpkin seeds can fight against parasites. You should know that pumpkin seeds contain a compound capable of paralyzing parasites and assisting the body to get rid of them. Pumpkin seeds are pretty effective against tapeworms. Besides the fact that pumpkin seeds are easy to get, they are also easy to use. All you have to do is blend, dice or grind some raw seeds and then add a quarter of a cup of it to your cat’s wet food. Ensure that you mix the pumpkin generously with the food, or your cat might not want to eat them. Do this for a week at least, and never deny your cat access to fresh water.
3. Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous earth is a kind of rock formed by organisms known as diatoms. These diatoms are fossilized. But how could a rock fight against cat worms? The earth has sharp edges – it does not matter if grounded or not, diatomaceous earth always has sharp edges. Therefore, adding diatomaceous earth to your cat’s food does not affect your cat but kills the parasites residing in your pet’s digestive system. To use diatomaceous earth, add two teaspoons of it to your cat’s wet food and feed it to your cat for at least thirty days. However, ensure that you get food-grade diatomaceous earth to be on the safe side.
You can find thyme in many gardens because it is a common herb. Thyme is a non-toxic and safe herb for cats. You can use thyme as a dewormer if you want to eliminate the parasites in your pet. Thyme is a pretty effective home remedy because it contains thymol, a compound effective against worms in cattle. Besides eliminating parasites, thyme is also good for your cat’s digestive system and can assist in getting rid of hairballs. Therefore, allow your cat to chew on thyme whenever she wants. However, keep thyme oil away from your cat unless your vet approves of it. The high concentration of thyme oil may cause your cat some problems.
5. Parsley Water
Parsley water is another effective remedy for parasites in cats. Parsley contains some anti-parasitic properties that kill the worms living in your cat. Besides, parsley has an excellent taste and many cats enjoy eating it. So, gather some fresh parsley leaves and add them to boiling water. They will steep in about 10 minutes before straining the liquid. Wait for it to cool down before adding one teaspoon to your cat’s food. Do this once a day. Desist from continuing the treatment for too many days because too much of it can harm your cat’s kidney.
6. Clean Regularly
Preventive measures are one of the natural remedies for worms in cats. Therefore, disinfect your home often and clean the litter box regularly. Always wash the water and food bowls. Also, periodically check your pet for fleas to avoid tapeworms developing in her. In addition, always try to keep your cat indoors because outdoor cats are fond of hunting rodents that may carry worms. Furthermore, outdoor pets dig in soil and gardens and put themselves at risk of contracting worms – besides; your cat may return home at the end of the day will a million fleas and ticks.
Turmeric is an old spice with great flavor, and a wide range of health benefits come with it. The Chinese have utilized turmeric for 4000 years in Ayurvedic because of its therapeutic characteristics. Turmeric is a magical spice. Curcumin is the primary active chemical contained in the roots and bulbs of turmeric. Curcumin possesses anti-cancer, healing, antiseptic, anti-coagulant, anti-fungal, antiviral, antibacterial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory properties, making it very powerful against many health problems.
Therefore, when it comes to our cats subjected to the same health challenges as humans, turmeric is effective in helping them find relief from symptoms of worms. Turmeric is superb and can help increase your cat’s vitality and general health. Turmeric also contains components that can help remove worms and repair intestinal damage.
Dried coconut can help you eliminate worms because it is a vermifuge. Just give a teaspoon of dried coconut to a tiny kitten, two teaspoons for medium cats, and a tablespoon for large breeds. Then, sprinkle the dried coconut on your cat’s food. You can also use coconut oil to deworm your cat naturally. This is because your cat’s body changes the lauric acid available in coconut oil to monolaurin, effective against giardia, tapeworm, and other parasites. Use about a teaspoon of coconut oil for 10 pounds of body weight each day.
Although many natural remedies for worms in cats can be effective, your first step should be to talk to your vet because the medical professional will be able to guide you in the right direction after correctly diagnosing your cat.
Always serve your cat only when hungry, like first thing in the morning. This will make your cat less anxious about what she eats, avoid eating unnecessary food, and even be eager to take medication.