Best Cat Dewormers

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cat dewormers

Whether your cat has tapeworms, roundworms, hookworms, or something else, the best cat dewormer targets your cat’s infestation and eradicates it. Great dewormers are safe, affordable, and effective.

Because it’s an affordable broad-spectrum dewormer that kills all of the most common intestinal worms, we recommend Bayer Drontal Broad-Spectrum Dewormer as the best on the market.

At a Glance: Top 6 Best Cat Dewormers To Buy

Before we review Drontal and the rest of our top 6 recommendations, let’s talk about how dewormers work and the art of choosing a good one.

Does your cat need a dewormer?

Particularly if he spends time exploring the outdoors and hunting wild game, it’s likely that your cat will suffer from an internal parasite infestation at some time in his life. 

As worms parasitize your cat’s body, they steal nutrients that your cat requires to stay healthy. A heavy worm burden may cause the following symptoms:

  • Dull, dry-looking coat – due to malnutrition
  • Pale gums – caused by anemia
  • Lethargy – due to malnutrition and discomfort
  • A bloated potbelly
  • Dark, tarry stool – sometimes a worm infestation causes blood in the stool
  • Diarrhea – almost all types of worms can cause diarrhea.
  • Vomiting – roundworms will sometimes appear in the vomit.
  • Worms in your cat’s stool or around their rectum
  • Weight loss – especially if the weight loss is accompanied by a distended stomach

Before you choose a dewormer, determine which type of infestation your cat has.

Tapeworms

These flat, long worms are named for their resemblance to a strip of tape. They’re segmented and may appear as wiggling grains of rice in your cat’s coat. Cats get them through contact with an infected animal, so those who eat wild prey are at a particularly high risk. Fleas are also common tapeworm carriers.

Hookworms

These are tiny worms that hook onto your cat’s intestinal walls and feed off of their blood. Because this can cause anemia, hookworms are a particularly menacing parasite for kittens and weakened cats. Cats can become infected when they eat a hookworm host or when the worms burrow through their skin.

Roundworms

Roundworms are passed through the feces of an infected animal and can survive in their host for years. Your cat can get them in a number of ways – by eating an infected animal, eating one’s eggs, or, in the case of kittens, in the uterus or through their mother’s milk. Because kittens can be infected long after the mother’s roundworm infestation cleared up, it’s safe to assume all kittens have roundworms.

Let’s take a look at the types of dewormers on the market and which types of infestations they treat.

Dewormers are available both over-the-counter and by prescription. They may be oral or topical. Oral medications come in tablets, liquids, and pastes so that you can easily administer the medication in the manner most comfortable for your cat.

But the most important factor is making sure that your dewormer is made to kill the type of worms that your cat has.

Praziquantel – for tapeworms

This drug inhibits the tapeworms’ ability to digest nutrients. Besides helping to prevent your cat from becoming malnourished, this starves the tapeworms and makes them eventually disintegrate. Praziquantel seldom causes side effects, but some cats experience excessive salivation or diarrhea after using it.

Pyrantel pamoate – for roundworms and hookworms

This chemical paralyzes worms. Since roundworms and hookworms grip onto the intestinal wall to survive, this paralysis is a death sentence. They fall off of your cat’s intestinal wall and pass out through their stool. Pyrantel pamoate is safe for cats and seldom causes side effects. Vomiting occasionally occurs, but this reaction is rare.

Piperazine – for roundworms

Like pyrantel pamoate, piperazine paralyzes roundworms, but isn’t effective against hookworms. It’s important to ensure that your cat receives the correct dose of this medication. Overdoses can cause nausea, vomiting, and muscle tremors.

Broad Spectrum Dewormers

It’s difficult to identify what type of worm is afflicting your cat, so a broad-spectrum dewormer is an appealing option. Broad-spectrum dewormers contain a mix of both praziquantel and pyrantel pamoate, allowing them to destroy all of the most common intestinal parasites. Beware that these dewormers come with a higher incidence of side effects compared to worm-specific products.

What about so-called natural dewormers?

Several natural or herbal remedies are recommended as alternatives to traditional deworming medications.

None of them are as reliable as traditional medications, but they’re worth investigating.

Diatomaceous Earth

This fine natural powder is a safe organic insecticide often used in gardens to kill ants and other pests. It’s also useful for killing fleas. Its effectiveness as an insecticide has caused some to recommend it for treating internal parasite infestations as well.

If diatomaceous earth worked as well inside of your cat as it does to kill insects externally, we’d have a fantastic natural dewormer on our hands. Problematically, there’s no indication that diatomaceous earth is an effective dewormer at all. The few studies on the effect of DE on internal parasites have failed to demonstrate any consistent deworming effect.

And you don’t need to look at a study to understand the problem with diatomaceous earth for internal parasites. Diatomaceous earth works like tiny shards of glass to physically destroy insects. In the moist environment of your cat’s GI tract, the diatomaceous earth can’t do its job.

Herbal Blends

Some natural dewormers combine herbs and other ingredients purported to create an intestinal environment that is unfriendly to parasites. These dewormers often include wormwood, black walnut, and cloves.

A study on the deworming effects of natural remedies including pumpkin seeds, garlic, ginger, and papaya seeds on small ruminants concluded that:

“The most promising natural/plant dewormer appears to be pumpkin seeds, especially when administered as a drench. Even though significant reductions were not observed, numerically the pumpkin seed groups had the lowest fecal egg counts and required fewer dewormings in most cases.”

Cucurbitin is an amino acid is naturally found in pumpkin seeds and can paralyze parasites. Some recommend grinding up pumpkin seeds and mixing them into your cat’s food as a natural dewormer.

Top 6 Best Dewormers for Cats Reviewed

ImageProductFeatures

Overall Best

Bayer Drontal Broad Spectrum Dewormer
  • Safe and reliable - side effects are minimal and rare
  • Easy to dose
  • Used by veterinarians
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Best for Tapeworms

Bayer Tapeworm Cat De-Wormer
  • Safe for cats and kittens 6 weeks and older
  • Safe to take with food
  • A well-known product from a trusted brand
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Best for Roundworms

Excel Roundworm Liquid Dewormer for Cats
  • Effective against roundworms
  • An affordable medication
  • Side effects are uncommon
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Budget Pick

Pro-Sense Liquid Cat Dewormer
  • Easy to administer liquid formula
  • Eliminates roundworms
  • Safe for cats and kittens 6 weeks and older
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Best Natural Cat Dewormer

Naturpet D Wormer
  • Free from chemicals
  • The ingredients used in this treatment can also soothe the digestive tract
  • A safe treatment
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Best Prescription Dewormer

Revolution Topical Solution for Cats
  • Kills roundworms and hookworms
  • Has an excellent reputation for effectiveness and safety
  • A topical medication ideal for cats who don’t like taking oral medications
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Keep reading to learn more about Bayer Drontal Broad Spectrum Dewormer and six more of the best dewormers for cats money can buy.

#1 Overall Best: Bayer Drontal Broad Spectrum Dewormer

Bayer Drontal Broad Spectrum Dewormer, 50 Tablets

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Key Features

  • Format: Tablet
  • Active Ingredient: Praziquantel, Pyrantel Pamoate
  • Parasites Targeted: Tapeworms, Roundworms, Hookworms
  • Typical Price per Dose: $8.78
  • Doses per Container: 25
  • Ideal For: Those who want a broad-spectrum dewormer

Although broad spectrum dewormers are sometimes considered less-than-ideal due to the increased likelihood of side effects, Drontal is a well-respected medication that’s regularly used by veterinarians.

The medication combines praziquantel and pyrantel pamoate, which rid your cat of tapeworms, roundworms, and hookworms, which are three of the most common intestinal worms found in cats.

Compared to liquid medications, these tablets are a little bit challenging to administer. You’ll need to place the tablet into a pill pocket or directly in your cat’s mouth. Each tablet is scored into quarters to make it easy to provide the correct dose.

What We Liked:

  • Safe and reliable – side effects are minimal and rare
  • Easy to dose
  • A broad spectrum treatment that can eliminate three different types of worms
  • Used by veterinarians

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Some may prefer a worm-specific treatment
  • The tablets may be challenging to administer

#2 Best for Tapeworms: Bayer Tapeworm Cat De-Wormer

Bayer Tapeworm Dewormer (prazquantel tablets) for Cats, 3 tablets

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Key Features

  • Format: Tablet
  • Active Ingredient: Praziquantel
  • Parasites Targeted: Tapeworms
  • Typical Price per Dose: $4.99
  • Doses per Container: 3
  • Ideal For: People who want an affordable tapeworm-specific dewormer

These trusted tablets are made with 23mg praziquantel per tablet. They’re designed to kill tapeworms. You can crush them into your cat’s food, or, if your cat doesn’t like the taste, you may prefer to administer them whole.

Praziquantel is a safe, well-known treatment for tapeworms, and according to customer reviews, these tablets are highly effective. They’re also low-priced, making them accessible to most consumers.

What We Liked:

  • Effective against tapeworms
  • Safe for cats and kittens 6 weeks and older
  • Safe to take with food
  • A well-known product from a trusted brand

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Some cats experience salivation or diarrhea after treatment

#3 Best for Roundworms: Excel Roundworm Liquid Dewormer for Cats

Excel Roundworm Liquid Cat De-Wormer, 4-Ounce

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Key Features

  • Format: Liquid
  • Active Ingredient: Piperazine
  • Parasites Targeted: Roundworms
  • Typical Price per Dose: $0.28
  • Doses per Container: 24
  • Ideal For: Cats who need a palatable, easy-to-administer solution for roundworms

For under $7 per bottle, this medication is a low-cost solution for large roundworms. Each teaspoon of this medication contains 250mg piperazine as the active ingredient.

It’s recommended that you give your cat two doses of this liquid medication two weeks apart, then once a month to prevent reinfestation.

In addition to the piperazine compound, the medication contains added flavor, color, and sugar, making it appealing to the human eye and palatable for your cat. Unfortunately, the caramel color used in the medication may have carcinogenic properties. Given in such small quantities, this shouldn’t be a concern—but it is worth thinking about before you try this medication.

What We Liked:

  • Effective against roundworms
  • An affordable medication
  • Side effects are uncommon

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Some reviewers say that their cat disliked the taste
  • Contains potentially-carcinogenic caramel color

#4 Budget Pick: Pro-Sense Liquid Cat Dewormer

 Pro-Sense Liquid Dewormer Solutions For Cats

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Key Features

  • Format: Liquid
  • Active Ingredient: Piperazine
  • Parasites Targeted: Roundworms
  • Typical Price per Dose: $0.17
  • Doses per Container: 24
  • Ideal For: An affordable, easy-to-administer solution for cats with roundworms

This low-cost piperazine-based liquid dewormer is easy to administer and effective against roundworms. Each teaspoon contains 250mg of piperazine, which paralyzes roundworms and allows them to pass through your cat’s body and into the litter box where they belong.

As with any piperazine medication, it’s important to measure out the correct dose to ensure that your cat doesn’t experience nausea, vomiting, and muscle tremors.

To make the formula appealing to cats, the liquid contains added flavor and sugar, while caramel color makes it visually appealing to humans.

What We Liked:

  • Easy to administer liquid formula
  • Eliminates roundworms
  • Safe for cats and kittens 6 weeks and older

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Contains caramel color and sugar

#5 Best Natural Cat Dewormer: Naturpet D Wormer

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Key Features

  • Format: Liquid
  • Active Ingredient: Wormwood, Black Walnut Hull, Black Seed, Fennel Seed, Sage Leaf, Papaya Leaf
  • Parasites Targeted: Pinworm, Roundworm, Tapeworm, Whipworm, Ringworm
  • Typical Price per Dose: $0.30
  • Doses per Container: 97
  • Ideal For: People who want an herbal remedy rather than a traditional dewormer.

This herbal dewormer is made from a blend of wormwood, black walnut, black seed, fennel seed, sage leaf, and papaya leaf. These plants have been used throughout history to treat fungal infections as well as parasites. They might also be able to heal the digestive tract, helping your cat to feel better during and after a parasite infestation.

If you don’t know what type of parasites your cat has, this broad-spectrum treatment may work for you. According to the company, the formula is effective against pinworm, roundworm, giardia, tapeworm, whipworm, and ringworm.

Naturpet D Wormer is a liquid deworming product. Each bottle comes with a built-in dropper to allow you to add the treatment into your cat’s food.

Remember that this product doesn’t have the safety record or history of efficacy that you’ll find in a traditional dewormer, so try it with caution.

What We Liked:

  • Purportedly encourages tapeworms and roundworms to pass through the digestive tract
  • The ingredients used in this treatment may also soothe the digestive tract

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Appears to be less effective than standard deworming treatments

#6 Best Prescription Dewormer: Revolution Topical Solution for Cats

Revolution Topical Solution for Cats, 5.1-15 lbs

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Key Features

  • Format: Topical
  • Active Ingredient: Selamectin
  • Parasites Targeted: Fleas, Heartworm, Hookworms, Roundworms, Ear Mites
  • Typical Price per Dose: $23.14
  • Doses per Container: 6
  • Ideal For: People who want to prevent and treat a wide range of parasites

In most cases, a cheap over-the-counter dewormer works just as well as a prescription product. Cats who are frequently exposed to internal parasites are the exception to that rule.

While OTC medications kill the parasites infesting your cat now, it takes a prescription product to keep them from infecting your cat again.

If your cat eats wild animals, spends a lot of time outside, or lives with dogs, a prescription dewormer can help to kill existing parasites and prevent them from taking up residence.

Revolution is a topical medication that protects your cat against the most common parasites. It protects your cat from heartworm and fleas while treating hookworms, roundworms, and ear mites. It doesn’t treat tapeworms. By administering once a month, this medication provides round-the-clock parasite prevention, something that no cheap OTC medication can do.

Revolution is made from selamectin, an insecticide that appears to be safe for cats age six weeks and older. If your cat accidentally consumes selamectin, he might experience salivation and vomiting, but there aren’t any reports of more serious reactions.

As a broad-spectrum dewormer and parasite preventive, Revolution is one of the best. But that effectiveness comes at a price. Revolution costs over $115 and is only available with a veterinarian’s prescription.

What We Liked:

  • Kills roundworms and hookworms, two most of the most common types of intestinal worms
  • Has an excellent reputation for effectiveness and safety
  • Treats and prevents fleas and heartworms in addition to intestinal worms
  • A topical medication ideal for cats who don’t like taking oral medications

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Expensive
  • Doesn’t treat cats with tapeworms
  • Only available with a veterinarian’s prescription

The right dewormer could save your cat’s life.

If the parasites stick around for long enough, an intestinal infestation can lead to anemia and malnutrition. Particularly among small, weak kittens, it might even end in death.

Furthermore, worms don’t just affect cats and dogs. Several of the parasites that tend to attack cats are zoonotic, meaning that they can be transmitted to humans. For all of the above reasons, it’s crucial to identify and treat the worm infestation as soon as possible.

Most dewormers are free of serious side effects, are relatively easy to administer, and effective against parasites. But you have to choose one that’s right for your cat’s situation.

If you choose one that’s made to kill roundworms, it won’t do much for your cat’s tapeworm infestation. Whether you use a broad-spectrum dewormer or get a vet’s approval for a worm-specific medication, it’s vital that you choose a dewormer that’s intended for the type of worms you’re dealing with.

By choosing the appropriate dewormer and following the label instructions, you can safely eradicate your cat’s infestation and bring him back to health.

Best Cat Dewormers Comparison Chart:

Product NameFormatActive IngredientParasites TargetedTypical Price Per DoseDoses per Container
Bayer Drontal Broad-Spectrum DewormerTabletPraziquantel, Pyrantel PamoateTapeworms, Roundworms, Hookworms[amazon_textlink asin=’B013YNP1PS’ text=’Table’ template=’PriceLink’ store=’wwwallabou001-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’a7848874-57fe-4fd8-bce5-12bb72d02ac9′]Table
Bayer Tapeworm Cat DewormerTabletPraziquantelTapeworms[amazon_textlink asin=’B019CD4ZDS’ text=’Table’ template=’PriceLink’ store=’wwwallabou001-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’a7848874-57fe-4fd8-bce5-12bb72d02ac9′]Table
Excel Roundworm Liquid Dewormer for CatsLiquidPiperazineRoundworms [amazon_textlink asin=’B004LOBELU’ text=’Table’ template=’PriceLink’ store=’wwwallabou001-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’a7848874-57fe-4fd8-bce5-12bb72d02ac9′]Table
Pro-Sense Liquid Cat DewormerLiquidPiperazineRoundworms [amazon_textlink asin=’B01N19Y95P’ text=’Table’ template=’PriceLink’ store=’wwwallabou001-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’a7848874-57fe-4fd8-bce5-12bb72d02ac9′]Table
Naturpet D-WormerLiquidWormwood, Black Walnut Hull, Black Seed, Fennel Seed, Sage Leaf, Papaya LeafPinworm, Roundworm, Tapeworm, Whipworm, Ringworm [amazon_textlink asin=’B01MRRYE5A’ text=’Table’ template=’PriceLink’ store=’wwwallabou001-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’a7848874-57fe-4fd8-bce5-12bb72d02ac9′]Table
Revolution Topical Solution for CatsTopicalSelamectinFleas, Heartworm, Hookworms, Roundworms, Ear Mites ~$23.14Table

About the author


Mallory Crusta is a writer and adventurecat enthusiast on a mission to make cats’ lives extraordinary. She’s one of the founders of Wildernesscat – a site for happy, healthy, and adventurous cats who are fueled by nature. Visit Wildernesscat for radically natural cat nutrition, home remedies, and lifestyle inspiration.