Internal parasites – worms – can cause poor growth, serious illness and suffering, even death, in kittens. Both puppies and kittens suffer from the same gastrointestinal worms from birth (worm larvae travel across the placenta during pregnancy), and it is imperative a frequent worming program is followed in the first 6 months of life.
Roundworms and hookworms are the most serious worms in kittens. Their control is also important for human health – both can cause disease in humans, and roundworm larvae have caused brain damage, especially in children (in dogs, other important worms include whipworms and tapeworms).
Our recommended program for kittens:
- Worm weekly from 2 weeks of age until 6 weeks, using an appropriate kitten all wormer
- Worm every 2 weeks from 6 weeks to 12 weeks of age
- Worm monthly from 12 weeks of age to 6 months
- After 6 months, worm every 3 months for the remainder of your cat’s life
Most adult cats should be wormed every 3 months.
One common tapeworm of dogs and cats - Dipylidium caninum – uses the flea as an intermediate host. A special program of worming and flea control may be required to break the life cycle of this tapeworm.
There are a myriad of worming products on the market, including on the supermarket shelf. Please speak with our vets or nursing staff about the most effective worming treatments available – and the most convenient product for your pet and your situation. And make sure you cross-check with us about the flea and/or heartworm medication you’re using – some of these will also control intestinal worms.
Regardless of the product you use, always dose according to weight.