Can a Cat Overdose on Dewormer: What Is the Recommended Dosage?

The safety of our beloved feline friends is a paramount concern for pet owners. When it comes to administering dewormers, you need to understand the potential risks. Many cat owners wonder, can a cat overdose on dewormer?

This question highlights the importance of proper dosing and responsible pet care. In this article, I will help you to understand the main factors of overdose on Dewormer in cats. Let’s explore the factors that contribute to a cat’s safety during deworming.

Can a Cat Overdose on Dewormer


Types of Dewormers for Cats

Deworming is crucial for maintaining a cat’s health. Various types of dewormers are available, and each target specific types of worms. Some of the common ones are shared below. Let’s have a look at them.

Anthelmintic Medications: These are oral medications that kill intestinal parasites. Broad-spectrum anthelmintics, like pyrantel pamoate, target roundworms and hookworms.

Praziquantel: This medication specifically targets tapeworms. It often combined with other deworming agents. It is highly effective against these segmented parasites.

Milbemycin and Selamectin: These are used in monthly preventive treatments, and target common intestinal worms and heartworms. They come in topical or oral forms and are often found in combination products for broader protection.

Fenbendazole: Effective against various worms, fenbendazole is used for both intestinal and some lung parasites. It is available in granules, paste, or pill form.

Natural Dewormers: Some pet owners prefer natural alternatives like diatomaceous earth or herbal remedies. While these are considered milder options, their effectiveness may vary.

Prescription Medications: For severe infestations, prescription dewormers like praziquantel combined with emodepside are used. It offers comprehensive protection against multiple parasite types.

How to give dewormers to cats?

Giving dewormers to cats can be a challenging task. It happens especially if your feline friend is particularly finicky. Here are effective methods to ensure successful administration while keeping your cat comfortable.

Always consult your veterinarian for the right dewormer and dosage based on your cat’s weight and the type of worms they need treatment for. Many dewormers come in flavored forms or can be crushed and mixed with wet cat food.

Concealing the medication in a favorite treat or meal often works, and ensures your cat ingests it unknowingly. Commercially available pill pockets are soft treats with a hollow center where you can hide the pill. Place the pill inside and offer it to your cat as a treat.

Crush the pill into a fine powder and mix it with a small amount of wet cat food. Ensure your cat finishes the entire portion to guarantee they receive the full dose. A pill dispenser or pet piller is a device designed to place the pill at the back of your cat’s throat.

Be gentle and calm to avoid stressing your cat. If your cat absolutely refuses oral medications, consult your veterinarian for injectable or topical deworming options. Remember, patience and a calm demeanor are crucial. Positive reinforcement, such as treats and praise, can help your cat associate the experience with positive outcomes.

Recommended Dosage For Dewormers In Cats

Determining the correct dosage of dewormers for cats is crucial to their safety and the effectiveness of the treatment. Dosages vary based on the cat’s weight, age, and the specific deworming medication being used. Here are general guidelines for some common dewormers.

Pyrantel Pamoate: Typically, 5mg per pound of body weight is the recommended dosage for pyrantel-based dewormers. This medication is effective against roundworms and hookworms.

Praziquantel: For praziquantel-based dewormers, the dosage varies, but it is generally administered at 5-7.5mg per pound of body weight. Praziquantel targets tapeworms.

Milbemycin and Selamectin: These are often found in monthly preventive treatments and come in specific weight-based doses. Follow the product’s guidelines closely for accurate dosage.

Fenbendazole: The dosage for fenbendazole can vary, but it’s typically given at 50mg per pound of body weight for several days. It is effective against various intestinal parasites.

Signs Of Dewormer Overdose In Cats

While dewormers are essential for a cat’s health, an overdose can lead to serious complications. Recognizing the signs of dewormer overdose is crucial for prompt intervention. Common symptoms are shared underneath.

Vomiting: Cats may vomit repeatedly if they have ingested an excessive amount of dewormer. Persistent vomiting is a concerning sign.

Diarrhea: Diarrhea, often severe and persistent, can indicate an overdose. Blood in the stool may also be present, signifying a serious condition.

Loss of Appetite: Cats may refuse to eat or drink, leading to dehydration. A sudden and prolonged loss of appetite is alarming.

Lethargy: Overdosed cats might display excessive lethargy, weakness, or difficulty moving. They may appear disoriented or unsteady on their feet.

Tremors or Seizures: In severe cases, tremors or seizures can occur, and indicate a significant toxic reaction to the dewormer.

Increased Heart Rate: An overdose can lead to an elevated heart rate, and visible through rapid breathing or a pounding pulse.

What to do if you suspect your cat has overdosed on dewormer?

If you suspect your cat has overdosed on dewormer, it is crucial to act swiftly to ensure their safety and well-being. Immediately call your veterinarian or the nearest emergency animal clinic. Provide them with specific details about the dewormer, the dosage you administered, and your cat’s weight.

While waiting for professional guidance, observe your cat closely. Note any changes in breathing, heart rate, or behavior. Rapid or labored breathing and abnormal heartbeats can be alarming signs. Time is of the essence in overdose situations.

Do not wait for symptoms to worsen. Transport your cat to the veterinary clinic as soon as possible. If advised, induce vomiting only under the supervision of a veterinarian. Take the dewormer packaging with you to the veterinary clinic.

Providing information on the specific product can aid the veterinarian in administering appropriate treatment. While it’s natural to feel anxious, try to remain calm. Your composure can help your cat feel less stressed during this critical time.

Listen carefully to the veterinarian’s instructions. They might administer treatments to counteract the effects of the overdose. Follow their advice diligently and administer any prescribed follow-up care at home.

Potential Health Risks Of Dewormer Overdose In Cats

Dewormers, when administered correctly, are essential for your cat’s health. However, an overdose can lead to severe health risks and complications. Overdosing on dewormers can cause toxicity, which may manifest in various harmful ways.

Gastrointestinal Distress: Overdose can lead to severe vomiting and diarrhea, and cause dehydration and electrolyte imbalances. Prolonged gastrointestinal distress can weaken your cat significantly.

Neurological Symptoms: Some dewormers can affect the nervous system, and lead to symptoms such as seizures, tremors, disorientation, or even coma. These signs indicate a severe toxic reaction.

Cardiovascular Issues: Overdosing might affect the heart rate and rhythm, leading to palpitations, rapid breathing, or irregular heartbeats. This can strain the cardiovascular system, endangering your cat’s life.

Organ Damage: Overdose can potentially damage vital organs like the liver and kidneys, impairing their normal functions. Organ damage can lead to long-term health issues or organ failure.

Respiratory Distress: In severe cases, dewormer overdose can lead to difficulty breathing, rapid or labored respiration, and low oxygen levels.

How to prevent dewormer overdose in cats?

Preventing dewormer overdose in cats involves careful handling and adherence to veterinary guidelines. Strictly adhere to the prescribed dosage and administration schedule provided by the veterinarian. Never guess the dosage based on your estimation.

Accurate dosing requires knowing your cat’s exact weight. Use a pet scale or schedule regular veterinary check-ups to monitor your cat’s weight. Only use dewormers recommended or provided by your veterinarian.

Avoid over-the-counter products without professional guidance, as they might not be suitable for your cat’s specific needs. If your cat is resistant to medication, use gentle techniques to administer it. Pill pockets, pill dispensers, or hiding medication in special treats can make the process less stressful for your cat.

Maintain a record of the deworming schedule, including the medication name, dosage, and date of administration. This helps you stay organized and ensures timely and accurate dosing. Schedule regular check-ups to monitor your cat’s health and receive professional advice on deworming schedules and preventive care.


While dewormers are crucial for a cat’s health, the risk of overdose emphasizes the significance of following veterinary guidelines meticulously. Responsible pet ownership involves consulting professionals, and accurately dosing based on your cat’s weight.

Besides, observe your cat for any adverse reactions. By prioritizing your cat’s well-being and acting with care and responsibility, you can ensure effective deworming without compromising their safety. Keep coming back for more updates shortly.

Angela Young
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