Worms are intestinal parasites that affect cats and other pets alike. The effects of worm infestation can be seen in the physical appearance of the cat. Worms affect the utilization of food by distorting the absorption of nutrient present in the food. The gait of the cat is also affected because worms cause weight loss when heavily present within the cat’s intestinal tract. Cat dewormers are given to expel parasite worms like roundworms, tapeworms, hookworm, etc. Worm medications are given to cats above 6 weeks for treatment and prevention of worms.
Although kittens are more vulnerable to worm infestation, pregnant queens also require special treatment for worms. Pregnant cats must be in good health condition to receive good nutrients during gestation and in preparation for lactation. The wellness of the kittens can be affected by the infestation of worms. Worms can cause death or defects in kittens when not controlled. The pregnant queen may experience extreme loss of weight and incessant diarrhea when worms are not controlled effectively. The importance of deworming pregnant cats cannot be overemphasized.
During pregnancy, it is important to use a safe, effective wormer for your cat. The worms can be transferred from the queen to the kittens via feces and body fluids. Although there are lots of cat dewormers on the market, however, not all are safe for pregnant cats. This article will highlight the safe dewormers for pregnant cats as well as other homemade alternatives that can be used as dewormers for pregnant cats. Learn possible ways to prevent worm infestation in your cats during pregnancy.
Worms That Affect Pregnant Cats & Effects
The majority of worm infestation in pregnant cats is caused by the following types of worms:
Roundworms are parasites that live in the intestines. They can be found in cats, dogs, and other mammals. Roundworms are transmitted through contact with infected feces. Cats can also pick up roundworms by eating soil or eating prey contaminated with roundworm eggs. Pregnant cats with Roundworms may experience diarrhea, weight loss, vomiting, and anemia.
Tapeworms are parasitic flatworms that will live in the intestines of infected cats. They are transmitted through ingestion of infected fleas or feeding on prey like birds or rodents. Tapeworms may not show symptoms until they have reached maturity and can be seen in the feces of an infected cat. Pregnant cats infested by tapeworms may experience severe weight loss, hair loss, vomiting, diarrhea, and anemia.
Whipworms are another intestinal parasite commonly found in the cat’s digestive system. These worms live in the large intestine and whipworm eggs are passed in the feces of infected cats. Whipworms are transmitted from cat to cat through contaminated water or food source as well as by swallowing infective whipworm eggs in the soil. Whipworms can cause severe weight loss and diarrhea as well as nausea or abdominal pain in pregnant cats.
Hookworms are worms that attach themselves to the wall of your cat’s small intestine causing irritation and inflammation of the tissue around it which leads to anemia, stomach disorder, restlessness, and diarrhea in pregnant cats. Hookworm is transmitted when the cat swallows larvae.
Signs of Worm Infestation In Pregnant Cat
Tapeworms, hookworms, and roundworms are common intestinal parasites that can affect pregnant cats. Cats with an infestation of worms may show signs such as:
- Weight loss
- Paw itching
- Birth defects
- Stunted growth
- Nutritional deficiency.
Safe Dewormers For Pregnant Cat
Using a dewormer on your cat during pregnancy can reduce the risk of birth defects and low birth weight. It is important to know exactly which medications are safe for pregnant cats.
Fenbendazole dewormer, available in brand names such as Panacur and Safe-Guard dewormer, is considered safe for pregnant cats. It is a broad-spectrum cat dewormer effective against a broad range of worms, including roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, and tapeworms. This medication can be safely administered to a cat with giardia worms. It is also effective against giardia in general, making it a safe choice for pregnant cats with giardia.
Fenbendazole dewormer works by paralyzing the worm muscles, thereby killing the worms in cats. It is safe for pregnant cats. It does not cause birth defects. A pregnant cat may also develop gastrointestinal problems, including a fecal infection. Therefore, it is important to consult a veterinarian before administering fenbendazole to your cat.
#2. Pyrantel pamoate
marketed with the brand names Nemex and Nemex 2, Pyrantel pamoate is effective in treating worms and it is not harmful to pregnant cats. Pyrantel pamoate is effective against hookworm and roundworm. This dewormer is safe for use during pregnancy and lactation, and it is frequently used to reduce worm burdens in neonatal pets. Pyrantel pamoate crushes and paralyzes all worms within the cat’s digestive system. Killed worms are expelled from the cat as feces.
Dewormers That Cannot Be Given To Pregnant Cat
Ivermectin is one popular worm medication; however, it has been restricted in usage for pregnant cats. Ivermectin has been said to cause birth defects in developing kittens, hence, it should be avoided. Additionally, deworming medications containing
Another dewormer to avoid for pregnant cats is Praziquantel. Though is it a safe dewormer for pregnant cats, praziquantel may is not effective against certain types of worms commonly found in pregnant cats. It may not give the desired treatment for worms.
Homemade Worm Killers For Pregnant Cat
Homemade dewormers for cats are often natural materials that can be prepared at home or bought in the supermarket. They serve as first-aid worm treatments for pregnant cats. Perhaps, you may be skeptical about using any of the aforementioned dewormers for pregnant cats, you can use any of these homemade cat worm killers. They are safe and usually incorporated into cat food or served with drinking water
#1. Probiotics: Probiotics like Lactobacillus acidophilus are beneficial bacteria that help your feline friend digest food better and fight off intestinal parasites like tapeworms and giardia. You can give your cat probiotics by mixing them into their food or giving them capsules containing these friendly bacteria once or twice per day.
#2. Pumpkin seeds: Pumpkin seeds are a natural, organic way to get rid of intestinal worms for cats. Pumpkin seeds contain an amino acid called cucurbitacin which has antihelminthic properties. Cucurbitacin help paralyze and expel intestinal worms from the digestive system. Pumpkin seeds can be mixed with cat food for the treatment of worms.
#3. Food-grade diatomaceous earth: Diatomaceous earth is a fine powder made from the fossilized remains of algae. It is a natural pesticide from external and internal pests like worms. The food-grade diatomaceous earth can be incorporated into cat food, upon ingestion, the food-grade diatomaceous earth dehydrates and paralyze existing intestinal parasites in the digestive tract.
#4. Apple Cider Vinegar: Apple cider vinegar can be used as a natural dewormer for cats. It contains acetic acid which kills the larvae of roundworms and hookworms. The vinegar should be diluted with water so your cat doesn’t become dehydrated after drinking it.
Deworming is a necessary part of being a responsible cat owner. The presence of worms in cats leads to an unhealthy gastrointestinal tract environment. There are concerns about the safety of dewormers for pregnant cats. You should consult with your vet about when to give dewormer, the best way to deworm your cat, and the dosage of the dewormer for effective treatment, particularly during pregnancy and lactation.