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Cats Won’t Eat Tapeworm Medicine? (This is the Easy Way)

If your cat has tapeworms and you have some medicine you may be wondering why it’s proving so hard to give it to your cat, and if there is a simpler way you can do this.

Why won’t your cat eat the tapeworm medicine?

Tiy cat won’t eat tapeworm medicine because it is very bitter, and a cat can easily sniff out something it doesn’t like to eat. Plus, cats aren’t used to taking pills like humans are. The taste and feel of the pill are unfamiliar, so very often cats will spit out their medicine.

So, now you know why. But, how can you administer it easier? How can you be sure it’s tapeworms? Can you even deworm your cat yourself? Keep reading for these answers, and so much more…


What is tapeworm medicine?

Tapeworm medicine, otherwise known as Tapeworm Dewormer, is given in a praziquantel tablet to cats. It is a medicine that removes the common tapeworms Taenia pisiformis and Dipylidium caninum that cats sometimes are afflicted with.

The tablet can be administered directly by mouth to the cat, or it can be crumbled up and mixed with the cat’s food.

How can you get your cat to eat tapeworm medicine?

Cats won't eat tapeworm medicine.

Cats looking up at it’s owner.

Since cats don’t like taking pills, it can be tricky to get your pet to take her medicine when it’s needed. These are some tricks to getting your cat to take her pill. Try them out before heading back to the vet for help.

01. Tickle its chin

Put the pill in your cat’s mouth, then hold her jaw closed and tip her head back for a moment. Tickle her under the chin to encourage your cat to swallow.

02. Blow on its nose

Similar to tickling her chin, blowing on your cat’s nose will encourage her to lick her lips and swallow. Place the tablet in your cat’s mouth as before, and when the tablet is in the back of her throat, blow on her nose. Hopefully, she will lick her lips and swallow the pill in the process.

03. Hide the pill in wet cat food

If these methods don’t work, and your cat just spat out the tablet, you can try hiding the tablet in some food. Use a moist, strong-flavored food that is a favorite of your cats in order to mask the bitter taste of the pill.

Make sure to feed your cat only if she is hungry, and use a small amount of food to make sure that she swallows the tablet.

04. Hide the pill in canned fish

Cats love canned fish, and since the smell and flavor are so strong, they will probably not notice the bitter-tasting pill inside. Follow the same directions for hiding the pill in wet cat food.

05. Use a plastic tableting tool

If none of these methods are working, you can buy a plastic tableting tool from your local vet for very little money. It’s simple to use and is based on a syringe. It has a hollow outer tube with a plunger inside that has a rubber tip to hold the pill.

After putting the pill in the tool, tip your cat’s head back, gently open the mouth, and insert the tool into her mouth from the side, making sure it is inserted toward the back of her throat. Pop the pill in and stroke your cat’s throat to encourage her to swallow.

Why won’t hiding the medicine in their food always work?

Sometimes hiding the medicine in your cat’s food doesn’t work. This is because cats sometimes are able to detect that there is something different about their food, and are able to use their tongues with surgical precision to remove the unwanted pill from their food.

You may need two people to get the pill down, one to hold the cat, and another to hold the cat’s head and put in the pill. Always approach this task calmly and confidently to avoid scaring the cat. The calmer you are, the calmer she’ll be, and won’t think you’re trying to do her any harm.

Do tapeworms die when they come out of cats?

After the tapeworm medication goes into effect, the tapeworm dies and is most often digested into the cat’s intestine. Usually, you will not see any worm segments coming out in your cat’s stool.

How can you tell if a cat has worms?

There are several different kinds of worms that can infect cats regionally, seasonally, or specifically to a certain type of cat. They are:

  • Roundworms – these are the most common type of worms that infect cats. They are 3-4” long and look like spaghetti.
  • Hookworms – this variety is less than 1” in length and lives in a cat’s small intestines. They can be life-threatening to adult cats and kittens.
  • Tapeworms – these worms are long, flat, and resemble a strip of tape. They have segmented bodies, and can grow up to 24”. This variety causes vomiting and weight loss.

Cats can get worms from a variety of sources. They can ingest them through fleas as well as other things like snails, slugs, and rodents. If a mama cat has worms she can pass them on to her kittens when she’s nursing or cuddling them.

Sometimes cats show visible signs that they are infected with worms, but sometimes not at all. It’s important to take your pet to the vet once a year, but there are also ways to diagnose your cat at home. Some of the most common signs of worm infection are:

  • Seeing visible worms whole or in segments in your cat’s feces or around their anus
  • Bloody stools and/or diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Unexpected weight loss
  • Bloating in the belly
  • Constipation
  • Coughing constantly
  • Difficulty with breathing

If you see any of these symptoms and suspect that your cat has worms, it’s best to take her to a vet right away so she can get properly diagnosed and get started on medication. Be careful with your cat during this time, as humans can get worms too! Make sure to wash your hands and use gloves around any feces.

Can I deworm my cat myself?

You should definitely take your cat to the vet if you suspect she has worms for a proper diagnosis, but that doesn’t mean you can’t treat her at home. Your vet can treat your cat at the clinic if you don’t want to do it, but you can easily administer the treatment at home.

How long does it take for tapeworm medication to work in cats?

Deworming a cat is a pretty quick procedure. Once you administer the medication to your cat, the tapeworms in most cases die within 24 hours. It may be necessary to get a second dose in a few weeks in order to kill any remaining adults or any worms that were larva at the time you administered the first treatment.

Do cats stop eating if they have worms?

Cats don’t usually stop eating when they are infected with worms. In serious cases, cats will experience weight loss along with a poor-looking coat, weakness, diarrhea, and energy loss, but they will usually show signs of excessive hunger.

Does cat flea control help to prevent tapeworm?

Many times cats contract worms from fleas that they have ingested when they scratch or bite at them. Many fleas carry tapeworm larvae that hatch after they have been ingested by an animal. It’s very important to keep fleas under control in order to prevent worm infections in your cat.

Lindsey Browlingdon