Kittens are especially vulnerable to worms.
Even indoor cats can get worms from eggs tracked indoors on shoes. If your cat has diarrhea or worms in her feces or vomit, take samples to a veterinarian for identification. You may be one of many pet companions who are leery of chemical treatments and prefer to use natural remedies. You have several choices to treat your feline naturally.
Adult cats have enzymes in their mouths and stomach acids to destroy worm eggs like roundworms, tapeworms or hookworms, says Dr. Denice Moffat. Kittens are more vulnerable. Watch for big bellies, diarrhea and worms expelled in feces. Dr. Moffat says clove oil has been shown to penetrate and kill worm eggs while other herbs only kill adults. A veterinarian and naturopath, she has used natural remedies for common feline worms including garlic, black walnut, wormwood, cilantro, pomegranate, pumpkin seeds, diatomaceous earth, Rascal, Vermifuge and Zymex. She says most are only 20 percent effective. Natural wormers generally take longer and act slower than pharmaceutical treatments.
Natural wormers can contain a mix of minerals, herbs, vitamins, nuts, seeds and homeopathic compounds or they can also have a single ingredient: a clove of raw garlic. Some natural wormers, like wormwood, can be dangerous if too much is given, so make sure you read the label for proper dosage.
Cats in the wild eat particular plants to combat illness. Herbal wormers are based on these, using natural plants that contain compounds that act directly on the most common worms. Herbs can kill the parasites or they can cause your cat to expel them through his bowels. While natural, they are powerful drugs and it is important to follow directions and doses exactly.
Herbal wormer mixes can also have an herbal laxative added to encourage elimination of worm parasites. Check to make sure the worm treatment is safe if your cat is pregnant or lactating.
Homeopathic wormers don’t kill the parasites directly. Instead, they are used to treat your cat’s entire system to strengthen her natural immunity so she can eliminate the parasites on her own. Herbal and homeopathic wormers are natural and often used together, which increases their effectiveness.
Ringworm is often treated with homeopathic drops.