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Our cats deserve to feel their best so they can make the most of all the exploring, jumping and sleeping they do! But worms such as roundworm and tapeworm can get in the way of our cats living life to the full.

It’s not just that worms are repulsive if they happen to be spotted, they are also a health concern for cats. And roundworms can cause health problems for human family members too. However, with regular treatment, worms needn’t be a big problem for our feline friends.


Our pet experts have put their heads together to share the key information cat parents need to understand, why they’re a problem, how cats get worms and how to spot the signs and treat and prevent worms in our cats.



Intestinal worms live off the food our cats eat or the blood of our cats. Worms can also cause damage to the intestinal lining, making cats feel weak and sick. Plus, to add insult to injury, worms can be irritating around the bum area.

Some worms can lay up to 300,000 eggs a day. These eggs are shed in the poop of an infected animal and can survive in the environment for several years – creating a vicious circle. 

The other issue is that humans – especially children, pregnant women, older people and people with a weaker immune system – can be vulnerable to roundworm infections from their pets. Roundworms in people can cause ill health and even blindness. 

There are some simple steps that will prevent and treat worms in cats and help our human family members stay safer too.

Cat running through a field
Cat peeping out from under a blanket
Cat being stroked

How cats get worms

  • It’s natural for our cats to hunt, and that’s how they can pick up worms from other animals. Rodents in particular can carry tapeworm. This means that when our cats sort themselves out a tasty snack, they could be swallowing more than they bargained for.

  • Cats can also get worm eggs from sniffing or walking around in infected soil where other animals have been to the loo and shed worm eggs.

  • Fleas can carry tapeworm eggs. When cats groom themselves, they can swallow both any fleas on them and the worm eggs these fleas contain.

  • Kittens can get worms through their mother’s milk and, because kittens are smaller, they’re at risk of more serious health complications from these parasites.

What worms look like

Roundworms and tapeworms are the two most common intestinal worms in cats. 

Roundworms are cylindrical – like spaghetti – and can be up to 15 cm long inside cats. 

Tapeworms are flatter – like ribbons – and segmented. They can be 50 cm or even longer inside our cats.

You might see small segments of white around your cat’s bum, in their poo or vomit, or on their bedding. These will be bits of worm that have broken off; they may be moving about if they’re still alive, or they could dry up to look like little grains of rice. It’s also possible not to see any worms at all. There are other signs that your cat may have worms but, remember, not all cats show symptoms – they may seem healthy but still have worms inside them.

Considerations when choosing a worm treatment

  • The type of worms the treatment provides protection against. Products that treat all UK intestinal worms in a single treatment might be more convenient than using multiple products, for example.
  • How the treatment is given. Some cats find taking standard tablets a stressful experience, or refuse to take them. Wormers in the form of a tasty chewable tablet that can be given by itself or with food, such as FRONTLINE® WORMER, may be an easier way of protecting them against worms – and more pleasant for the cat and their pet parent!
  • All pets in the family need to be treated against parasites with a product that’s appropriate to their species, age and body weight.
  • Regularly using a flea treatment is important too, as fleas can transmit worms.


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