The most common intestinal worms in cats are tapeworms and roundworms.
Tapeworms are long flat ribbon like in their appearance and are made up of segments.
Segments are passed in faeces and are sometimes seen looking like grains of rice in the fur around the anus, in faeces and the cats bed. Tapeworms can be transmitted to cats via fleas (immature fleas ingest the eggs of the worm which is then eaten when grooming) or by ingestion of small mammals.
Roundworms as their name suggests are much rounder in shape and are not segmented. They can be passed in faeces and then eaten by other cats or different animals that can act as a host e g small rodents.
Another type of roundworm is passed through a nursing mum via her milk to her kittens who are often infected at birth.
It it important to routinely worm cats and kittens as most cats will not have signs of infection but a major infection(or burden) will make you cat feel very ill, with vomiting, diarrhoea, weight loss, dull fur, coughing and potbelliedness. Adult worms may be seen in faeces and vomit.
Many worming treatments are now available in tablets, liquids, paste, granules and spot-ons (which can also be combined with flea treatment).
Panacur: can be used in kittens over 2 weeks of age, roundworms, lungworm and some tapeworm (veterinary, shop or online product)
Drontal: round and tapeworms (veterinary, shop or online product)
Drontal spot on: tapeworm only (veterinary, shop or online product)
Stronghold: roundworm only, need a separate tapewormer (veterinary product)
Milbemax: tape and round worms (veterinary product)
Profender: tape, round and hookworm (veterinary product)
Broadline and advocate: monthly spot on for all worms and fleas (veterinary product)
Kittens should be treated at 2,4,6,8 weeks with Panacur, monthly until 6 months of age, and then treated as an adult according to the manufacturers instructions.
It is also important to treat your cat routinely for fleas.