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How to Get Rid of Tapeworms in Cats – Revealing a Vet’s Secret Tip

Certified Veterinary Dr. Veronica Heller

Does your cat have tapeworms? 

Having a pet means that sometimes you have to deal with icky and gross things such as tapeworm. But, of course, it is all worth it. These white, long, flatworms are extremely common in household pets, so you were bound to come across them. 

These worms have hooked mouths and anchor themselves to your cat’s intestinal linings—absorbing nutrients from the food she eats. 

The worst part? They can grow up to be 20 inches in length! 

In this article, we will answer the question, “How to get rid of tapeworms in cats?” and help you say goodbye to them for good. 

Let’s begin.

How In the World Did My Cat Get Tapeworms in First Place!?

This is one of the most common questions we come across when someone’s kitty is diagnosed with tapeworms. 

The answer is through fleas. 

For your cat to get a tapeworm, a flea larvae must first ingest a tapeworm egg. Once this happens, the flea and the tapeworm egg keep developing until the flea becomes an adult flea, which must then bite your cat. As a natural response to the flea bite, your kitty will lick the affected area, swallowing the flea. 

As your cat’s digestive system processes the flea, the tapeworm egg survives and hatches in your cat’s intestine. The worm anchors itself to the intestinal walls, finding a perfect host in your cat. 

Yep, a flea has to jump through several hoops to infect your feline friend!

Eating tapeworm eggs won’t infect your cat. They need an intermediate host (the flea, in this case) to infect the cat. 

Other intermediate hosts include: 

  • Fish
  • Rodents such as mice, rats, etc.

Two Plus Two: A Simple Solution

Since fleas need to be around for tapeworms to infect your feline friend, it is a good idea to keep them as far away from your cat as possible. For this, you can get tick and flea medication for your cat.

You can also try home remedies if you’re looking to follow a holistic approach.

Using flea control measures during the spring and summer will also reduce your cat’s chances of coming across them.

No fleas equal no tapeworms.

Of course, this also applies to other intermediary hosts.

What to Look Out For: Signs Your Kitty Has Tapeworms

Tapeworms don’t usually cause additional medical problems, and the symptoms vary from case to case–they depend on factors such as age, physical activity, diet, etc. Some of the most common signs include: 

  • Irritability 
  • Emaciation 
  • Shaggy coat 
  • Changes in appetite 
  • Intestinal blockages 
  • Gastrointestinal issues 
  • Mild diarrhea
  • Shaggy coat 
  • Lethargy 
  • Tapeworm segments in the fecal matter 
  • Seizures

If your cat is healthy and has a healthy immune system, she won’t show most of the symptoms. However, cats with weakened immune systems show more signs as their bodies aren’t able to fight off the parasite.

Your vet will conduct a fecal examination (during which they look for proglottids and tapeworm eggs) in order to diagnose your kitty. Proper diagnosis helps with creating a laser-focused treatment plan for your kitty.

In some cases, physical evidence of tapeworms is usually not present.

Here’s How to Get rid of Tapeworms in Cats!

In this section of the article, we will answer the question, “How to treat tapeworms in cats?” in detail and help you find the right course of treatment for you and your feline friend.

Let’s get started.

Medical Intervention

Most vets agree that this is the best way to get rid of tapeworms in cats. Certain medications designed to eliminate parasites are prescribed to your cat. 

In case your cat has developed additional problems such as seizures, intestinal blockage, and gastrointestinal issues, your vet will also have to address these diseases through additional procedures, diagnostic tools, and medicine. 

Common medications include fenbendazole, epsiprantel, and praziquantel. These medications work as a cure for tapeworms. 

These medicines work by simply putting your cat’s digestive system to good use so that they dissolve the parasite and digest it. Once the process is completed, you won’t be able to see proglottids in the litter box.

These medicines, however, can have side effects.

Home Remedies

Going for home remedies is going for a holistic approach and choosing a natural way to get rid of tapeworms in cats. Let’s take a look at a few of those: 

  • Parsley Water: You’ll have to brew a tea from parsley leaves, rich in nutrients and antioxidants. The tea will work as a natural diuretic, helping normalize your kitty’s digestive system 
  • Pumpkin Seeds: These anti-parasitic seeds are an excellent source of micro-nutrients and can kill adults, as well as larval tapeworms. Give your cat a teaspoon of crushed pumpkin seeds every day for three weeks for best results 

Homeopathic Remedies: Visit a homeopath or holistic veterinarian to find safe and effective homeopathic remedies for tapeworm.

Some FAQs: The Best Way to Get Rid of Tapeworms in Cats

Let’s take a look at some of the most common questions we came across while researching this topic.

Conventional tapeworm medications and safe and effective to use, making the prognosis excellent. You can also opt for flea prevention measures to help prevent your cat from getting tapeworms in the first place. 

For that, you should go for a monthly flea pill, and you’ll be good to go!

Tapeworms can and do infect humans, but these infections are rare- unless you were planning on snacking on a flea. Tapeworms infect humans living in substandard conditions–especially children or those with a weak immune system.

Tapeworms aren’t contagious, and they cannot infect you even though your cat may be infected.

In Conclusion: The Best Way to Get Rid Of Tapeworms In Cats

Did we help you figure out how to get rid of tapeworms in cats?

In this article, we went through everything you need to know about tapeworms in cats—how they infect them, how to treat tapeworms in cats, how to prevent them, and a natural way to get rid of tapeworms in cats.

We hope that this information will help you keep your kitty as far away from tapeworms as possible!

Certified Veterinary Dr. Veronica Heller

Dr. Veronica Heller

Born and brought up in Grand Marais, Minnesota, ever since she was a little girl, Dr. Veronica Heller dreamed of becoming a vet thanks to
Sruffy, her family pet. She graduated from College of Veterinary Medicine, Minnesota and began her veterinary career in Larpenteur Animal Hospital in St. Paul as an emergency Veterinarian. Since then, she has worked with Minnesota Veterinary Hospital, Small Animal Hospital, and Blue Pearl Pet Hospital. Her interests in the field include preventive medicine, internal medicine, nutrition, and surgery. She’s also a loving pet mother to two cats and a Golden Retriever.