Just the thought of worms residing inside your beloved kitty makes you shudder. Drontal tablets for cats remove tapeworms, hookworms and ascarids, also known as roundworms. It's available over the counter, although you should always consult with your veterinarian about using deworming products on your cat.
Manufactured by Bayer Animal Health, Drontal tablets contain the dewormers praziquantel and pyrantel pamoate, with each tablet containing 18.2 milligrams of the former and 72.6 milligrams of the latter.
Have you ever seen what look like small grains of rice near your cat's behind or in his feces? Newsflash: It's not undigested rice but tapeworm segments. Kitty picked up tapeworms either from fleas or by eating infected rodents. Roundworms are equally disgusting, resembling spaghetti strands in your cat's poop or vomit. Kitty picked those up either from rodents or by swallowing roundworm eggs during his daily grooming rituals. You probably won't see actual hookworms, but their presence inside Kitty makes him look scruffy and he might experience diarrhea and weight loss. Kitty probably picked up those eggs through licking himself as well. Kitties with worms sometimes "scoot" their butts along the ground, as if to relieve discomfort. Aren't you glad Drontal can get rid of all these parasites?
Drontal dosage depends on the weight of your cat, so you'll need to weigh Kitty before drug administration. Kittens may need only a quarter of a tablet, while large cats might require two pills. Don't use it on kittens less than one month old, or who don't weigh at least 1.5 pounds. Drontal is given by mouth, but if you don't want to "pill" your cat, or if he is a real pain about pilling, you can give it with food. You don't need to keep food away from him before or after giving him the pill. Two weeks or a month after giving Kitty the medication, take a fecal sample to the vet to test for the presence of worms. If it comes back positive, you can give Kitty another dose.
If your cat suffers from tapeworms, Drontal will kill the tapes, but he can become re-infested from flea bites. To keep tapeworm infestation from recurring, use a monthly, topical flea preventative on Kitty. To prevent roundworm and hookworm re-infestation, keep Kitty indoors so he can't kill and eat rodents.
Drontal has very few side effects and is generally safe. Some cats may vomit after receiving the dewormer. Rarely, a cat might appear disoriented or wobble around for a short time after taking Drontal. If your cat exhibits any side effects, call your veterinarian.
Jane Meggitt has been a writer for more than 20 years. In addition to reporting for a major newspaper chain, she has been published in "Horse News," "Suburban Classic," "Hoof Beats," "Equine Journal" and other publications. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from New York University and an Associate of Arts from the American Academy of Dramatics Arts, New York City.