One aspect of cat health that often goes under the radar is ensuring that they are free of pesky parasites.
Most cats are bound to have intestinal worms in them at some point in their lives. If left untreated, these parasitic worms can pose serious health risks to your cat.
It is important to keep your cat worm free.
Drontal is a popular deworming medication for cats and can do a good job of eliminating these parasites.
In this article, I’ll give you a thorough understanding of Drontal’s effectiveness timeline in cats, so you can confidently keep your furry friend in great health.
What Is Drontal?
Drontal is an oral medication dewormer treatment that can be used to get rid of a wide range of worm infestations in both cats and dogs.
A single dose of Drontal for cats and kittens is effective in treating the following parasitic worms:
The active ingredients in Drontal are praziquantel and pyrantel pamoate. It comes in a pill and is given orally to a cat or kitten.
Drontal cat worming tablets aren’t prescription medication which means that you can buy them off the shelf at your local pet store or online.
How Drontal Works In Getting Rid Of Intestinal Parasites?
The two active ingredients in Drontal are pyrantel and praziquantel.
Pyrantel is used for killing off hookworms and roundworms. It causes seizures in these parasites that latch onto your cat’s intestines and feed off its nutrients.
This can cause your cat to lose weight even though it is eating normally.
Once these worms start to seize up, they become paralyzed and lose their grip on the intestines. Your cat will eventually pass out the worms in its feces.
Praziquantel works differently and is more effective in getting rid of tapeworms.
This chemical paralyzes the tapeworms by interfering with their central nervous system. The worms are no longer able to leech off your cat’s nutrients and start starving to death.
Their bodies are then broken down by the cat’s digestive tract and expelled in the cat’s feces as well.
How Long Does It Take For Drontal To Work In Cats?
Drontal’s effectiveness in treating intestinal parasites can be seen within a short period of time.
The Drontal tablet is broken down in the cat’s stomach and absorbed by the worms residing in your cat’s intestines.
After administering the first dosage, the worms will start to lose their grip on your cat’s intestinal walls and get expelled from the cat’s feces.
On average, it takes around 24 to 48 hours for the worms to be eliminated from your cat’s system.
Prazinquntel can work as quickly as 1-2 hours to kill off tapeworms in your cat.
However the time may vary depending on factors such as:
- Severity of infection
- Age and health of your cat
- Type of worms present
Even though the dead worms may not always be visible in your cat’s stool, this doesn’t mean the treatment was ineffective.
In many cases, the worms are digested and broken down before being expelled.
Drontal Dosage For Cats
The amount of Drontal to give your cat depends on your cat’s body weight.
Here are the recommended dosages for cats:
2 – 3 lbs: 1/4 tablet
4 – 8 lbs: 1/2 tablet
9 – 12 lbs: 1.5 tablets
13 – 16 lb: 2 tablets
The tablets are scored so that makes it easier to feed your cat half a tablet as per your cat’s body weight.
An important thing to note is that Drontal should not be given to kittens that are less than a month old or weigh less than 2 lbs.
Their bodies won’t be able to handle the deworming tablet which can lead to serious side effects.
Please consult your vet before giving Drontal to sick or pregnant animals as well.
How Do I Feed My Cat Drontal?
I would rather sit on a cactus than try and feed my cat a tablet. If all of my pill-feeding moments were to be made into a movie, it would fall under the genres of horror, drama and comedy.
Although the Drontal tablets for cats are beef flavored, your cat’s keen sense of smell will know it is not going to be tasty.
If you are able to pill your cat without issues then go for it. But if you have never done it before, it can be very challenging if your cat isn’t cooperative.
Crushing the tablet and mixing it with some food can help make it more palatable for your cat.
The downside is that praziquantel tastes bitter which can put off your cat from eating its food and wasting the tablet.
What To Expect After Deworming A Cat?
Some cats might show a few side effects after taking Drontal even though it has been proven to be safe for cats in very high dosages.
Drontal for cats contains chemicals that are strong in order to fight intestinal worms. So don’t be too alarmed if your cat shows some adverse reactions after taking it.
Some of the common side effects can include:
- Loss of appetite
- Excess salivating
- Lack of energy
These side effects are only temporary and should not last more than 1-2 days.
However, if you feel that your cat is in a pretty bad state after taking the dewormer, please call your vet to let them know.
Some cats are just more sensitive to such medication and can exhibit more severe side effects.
How Often Should I Feed My Cat Drontal?
It depends on how severe the worm infestation is in your feline friend.
Cat owners will have to check the poo in their cat’s litter boxes for any remaining evidence of intestinal parasites.
Bring a stool sample to the vet so that it can be examined more thoroughly.
The vet might recommend that you feed your cat another dose once every two weeks or three months, depending on how old your cat is.
It can take a few doses to properly kill off all the larvae and adult worms in a breeding cycle.
Otherwise, the chance of reinfection will be high.
There’s no reason to keep feeding your cat Drontal once the infestation has cleared.
Although the active ingredients are safe for cats, I don’t like putting so many chemicals in my cat on a long-term basis.
If your cat is an indoor cat, the chances of it getting intestinal worms again are very slim.
I only fed my cat a dewormer once as a kitten and that was it.
But if allow your cat outdoors, you need to be more vigilant of an infestation as it is very easy to pick up diseases and infestations when your cat is outside.
How Long Does Drontal Last In Cats?
The Drontal dose that is given to your cat isn’t meant to provide long-lasting protection like a vaccine or a slow-release tablet.
Its main job is to kill off as many of the worms as quickly and effectively as possible.
Due to the rather short effective window of such medication, follow-up doses are usually recommended by vets to completely eradicate the parasites.
How Do Our Cats Get Infected By Worms?
Most of the time, worms are more present in stray and feral cats.
Domesticated cats that live indoors stand a much lesser chance of being infected by worms as compared to outdoor cats.
These small brownish or white-colored worms live in your cat’s intestines and feed on blood. There are usually about an inch in length.
Cats can get hookworm by ingesting the eggs while grooming themselves or drinking infected water.
The larvae are also able to burrow themselves into your cat’s body.
These worm parasites look like flattened grains of rice and they feed off the nutrients in your cat’s stomach.
Tapeworms start off small and can grow as long as eight inches!
Cats can get infected with tapeworms by ingesting fleas when cats have a flea infestation or other smaller prey that carry this parasite.
These worms are the most common form of intestinal parasites found in cats. If left untreated in kittens, it can prove to be fatal.
Roundworms can grow up to six inches in length and they swim freely in the cat’s intestines.
Heartworms are not intestinal worms but there is another common parasite that lives in the hearts of cats.
Heartworms are transmitted to cats by mosquitoes.
When a cat is bitten by an infected mosquito, the eggs of the heartworms are transmitted to the cat while the mosquito is feeding on the cat.
Heartworms are dangerous and can cause a lot of respiratory issues for your cat.
Make sure to take a cat dewormer for heartworms and protect your cat from mosquito bites.
It may sound scary that our precious cats are at risk of being infected by so many different worms.
The best way to prevent these parasites from harming your cat is to keep it indoors and look out for signs of an infestation.
Once you know that your cat is clear of these parasites, the best form of prevention is to keep your cat indoors as much as possible.
The less time that they spend roaming outside, the lesser the risk of getting reinfected.