Tapeworm Treatment for Multi-Cat Home

CatChannel veterinary expert Arnold Plotnick, DVM, offers advice on preventing and treating tapeworms.

Q: We have several cats, and I think one of them has tapeworms. Do all of the cats need to be treated? We have some Advantage, and I’m wondering if I should apply it on all of them even though I never see any fleas on them.

A: You do not have to treat all of the cats in the house for tapeworms – only the affected cat needs to be treated. Tapeworms are not spread from cat to cat. Cats get tapeworms from eating a flea that is infected with tapeworm eggs, so for your cat to have gotten tapeworms, he must have swallowed a flea.

If you don’t see fleas on your cats, then the flea problem must be very minor. But there has to have been at least one flea, since that’s how tapeworm infections are acquired. I’d play it safe and treat all of the cats in the house with a topical flea treatment.

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