What Kills Tapeworms In Cats?

Pesky parasites known as tapeworms can wreak havoc on our feline friends, causing symptoms such as weight loss, vomiting, and diarrhea. As a responsible cat owner, it’s crucial to understand the potential harm that these freeloaders can cause and how to prevent and treat them effectively.

If you’re reading this blog post, then you’re probably wondering what kills tapeworms in cats. Fortunately, there are many effective treatments available, including over-the-counter medications and natural remedies. In this post, we’ll delve into the most common and effective treatments for tapeworms in cats.

But that’s not all – we’ll also discuss preventive measures you can take to keep your cat healthy and free from tapeworms. From maintaining proper hygiene to feeding your cat a balanced diet, we’ve got you covered.

So whether you’re dealing with a current bout of tapeworms or simply want to be prepared in case they pop up in the future, this post has everything you need to know about keeping your feline friend healthy and happy. Let’s dive in together and discover what kills tapeworms in cats.

What Are Tapeworms?

These parasitic flatworms are a common problem for cats and can cause discomfort and other health issues if left untreated. But what exactly are tapeworms and how do they infect cats?

Tapeworms are long, segmented parasites that can be shed in your cat’s feces. Each segment contains both male and female reproductive organs, making them self-sufficient. These segments can often be seen as small white or tan pieces resembling grains of rice. The most common type of tapeworm that infects cats is called Dipylidium caninum. This type of tapeworm is usually transmitted through the ingestion of fleas that have been infected with the tapeworm larvae. Your cat may inadvertently consume these fleas while grooming themselves or may acquire tapeworm from ingesting infected rodents or other small animals.

If your cat has tapeworms, you might notice some symptoms such as weight loss, vomiting, diarrhea, or an itchy anus. These symptoms are caused by the tapeworms taking nutrients from your cat’s body. It’s essential to take your cat to a veterinarian for diagnosis and treatment if you suspect they have tapeworms.

The good news is that treating tapeworms in cats is relatively easy. One of the most common treatments for tapeworms in cats is a medication called praziquantel, which dissolves the tapeworms inside the cat’s intestines. Praziquantel is available in several forms, including tablets and injections, and can be administered by a veterinarian or at home. Another effective treatment for tapeworms in cats is fenbendazole, which interferes with the tapeworm’s ability to absorb nutrients, leading to its death.

In addition to medication, addressing underlying flea or rodent infestations is crucial in preventing future tapeworm infections. There are also natural remedies like pumpkin seeds, garlic, and diatomaceous earth that can help kill tapeworms in cats, although they may not be as effective as medications.

Symptoms of Tapeworms In Cats

Unfortunately, tapeworms are pesky parasites that can infect your cat and cause discomfort and health issues if left untreated. But don’t worry – by being aware of the symptoms of tapeworms in cats, you can identify and treat this issue before it becomes a severe health problem for your furry friend.

The most common symptom of tapeworms in cats is the appearance of small, white, rice-like segments in your cat’s feces or around its anus. These segments are actually tapeworm egg sacs and may even be seen crawling on the fur around your cat’s anus. It’s not a pleasant sight, but it’s important to take note of this symptom. Another symptom of tapeworms is vomiting, as your cat may vomit up tapeworm segments or whole tapeworms due to blockages in their digestive system.

In addition to these symptoms, weight loss, diarrhea, and lethargy are also indicators of tapeworm infestation in cats. These symptoms can be severe if left untreated, which is why it’s crucial to take your cat to the vet if you suspect that they may have tapeworms.

It’s worth noting that tapeworms are usually transmitted to cats through the ingestion of fleas or rodents that are infected with tapeworm larvae. Therefore, preventing future infestations by addressing underlying flea or rodent problems is equally important. You can do this by keeping your house clean and using flea treatment products recommended by your vet.

How Do Cats Get Tapeworms?

The most prevalent way that cats get tapeworms is through fleas. Yes, fleas. These tiny insects can carry tapeworm eggs, and when a cat grooms itself and ingests a flea, it can become infected with tapeworms. To prevent this from happening, it’s crucial to keep your cat flea-free by grooming them regularly and administering flea prevention treatments.

However, fleas aren’t the only culprits. If your cat has a natural hunting instinct and is an outdoor cat, they may eat rodents that are infected with tapeworm larvae. Therefore, it’s essential to keep an eye on their outdoor activities and ensure they’re not consuming any rodents.

In rare cases, cats can also get tapeworms by ingesting contaminated food or water. That’s why cleanliness is vital when it comes to their food and water bowls. Always make sure they’re clean and free from any contamination.

Prevention is the key to protecting your cat from tapeworms. Regular grooming, flea prevention treatments, and monitoring their outdoor activities are all essential in keeping them safe from these sneaky parasites.

Treating Tapeworms in Cats with Medications

Unfortunately, tapeworms are a common problem for cats that can cause a variety of health issues such as weight loss, vomiting, and diarrhea. But don’t worry. There are several medications available that can effectively treat tapeworms in cats.

Praziquantel is the most common medication used for treating tapeworms in cats and is widely available in various forms such as tablets, injections, and topical solutions. This medication works by preventing the tapeworms from absorbing nutrients, which ultimately leads to their death. It’s a highly effective treatment option that’s trusted by veterinarians worldwide.

Another medication that can be used to treat tapeworms in cats is epsiprantel. Although it works similarly to praziquantel, it’s less commonly used due to its higher cost. However, it may still be a viable option for some cats with allergies or sensitivities to praziquantel.

In some cases, a combination of medications may be necessary to effectively treat tapeworms in cats. For example, if your cat has both tapeworms and roundworms, a combination of praziquantel and pyrantel pamoate may be used. Your veterinarian will know the best approach based on your cat’s individual needs.

It’s important to note that over-the-counter deworming medications may not be effective at treating tapeworms in cats. These types of medications are designed for other types of parasites and may not contain the active ingredients necessary to kill tapeworms.

When administering medication for tapeworms in cats, it’s crucial to follow your veterinarian’s instructions carefully. Not doing so could result in the medication being ineffective or even harmful to your cat. Your veterinarian will provide clear instructions on dosages, duration of treatment, and any potential side effects to watch for.

To keep your cat healthy and happy, it’s essential to consult with your veterinarian if you suspect that they may have tapeworms. They will provide proper diagnosis and treatment options that are tailored to your cat’s specific needs. Remember, early detection and prompt treatment can help prevent more severe health issues down the road.

Treating Tapeworms in Cats with Natural Remedies

However, it’s essential to note that there is limited scientific research on the effectiveness of natural remedies for tapeworms in cats.

One popular natural remedy for tapeworms in cats is pumpkin seeds. These seeds contain an amino acid called cucurbitacin, which is toxic to tapeworms. Grind up pumpkin seeds and mix them into your cat’s food, one teaspoon per ten pounds of body weight per day.

Another option is diatomaceous earth, made from fossilized marine organisms, which dehydrates the tapeworms in your cat’s digestive system. You can sprinkle it on their food or mix it with water and give it orally. But be sure to use food-grade diatomaceous earth and not the type used in pool filters, which can harm your cat’s health.

Garlic is another natural remedy that contains compounds detrimental to parasites like tapeworms. However, garlic can be toxic to cats in large amounts, so use it sparingly and under the guidance of a veterinarian.

Other natural remedies for tapeworms in cats include apple cider vinegar, coconut oil, and probiotics. Remember to research each remedy thoroughly before using it on your cat as some may have side effects or interact with other medications.

While natural remedies may work for some cats and certain types of tapeworms, they may not be effective for all cats or types of tapeworms. If your cat’s infestation is severe or does not improve with natural remedies, consult with a veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Prevention of Tapeworms in Cats

Tapeworms are one of the most common parasitic infections in cats, causing discomfort and potentially serious health issues. However, the good news is that tapeworms are preventable. In this post, we’ll explore simple and effective ways to prevent tapeworms in cats.

Prevention is always better than cure. Practicing good hygiene habits is an excellent way to keep tapeworms at bay. Regular cleaning of your cat’s litter box and proper disposal of feces can go a long way in preventing tapeworm infestations. Additionally, make sure to wash your hands thoroughly after handling your cat or cleaning its litter box.

Fleas are one of the primary carriers of tapeworms. Therefore, it’s essential to keep your cat flea-free. There are many flea prevention products available on the market such as flea collars, topical treatments, and oral medications that can be used to prevent flea infestations. Consult with your veterinarian to determine which flea prevention product is best for your cat.

Another way to prevent tapeworms is by keeping your cat away from rodents and other animals that may carry the parasite. Outdoor cats are more prone to catching tapeworms, so it’s important to keep an eye on them and discourage them from hunting prey.

Regular visits to the veterinarian can also help prevent tapeworms in cats. A veterinarian will be able to identify any potential health issues and prescribe preventative measures that can help keep your cat healthy and free from parasites.


In conclusion, tapeworms can be a pesky and uncomfortable problem for cats. But don’t worry, there are plenty of ways to prevent and treat them effectively. Whether you opt for over-the-counter medication or natural remedies, it’s important to follow your veterinarian’s instructions carefully.

Prevention is key when it comes to tapeworms in cats. By practicing good hygiene habits and keeping your cat flea-free, you can greatly reduce the chances of an infestation. And if you do notice any symptoms of tapeworms, such as vomiting or weight loss, don’t hesitate to consult with your vet.

While natural remedies may work for some cats and certain types of tapeworms, they’re not always effective. Severe infestations require professional diagnosis and treatment from a veterinarian.

In short, staying informed about the potential harm that tapeworms can cause and taking preventive measures can help keep your furry friend healthy and happy.