Do Indoor Cats Need to be Dewormed?

Here’s a handy myth-busting guide to help you keep your beloved cat parasite-free!

It’s a very popular myth that indoor cats are never exposed to parasites, and that therefore, there is no need to deworm them. This assumption is incorrect. The possibility of getting worms is a lot smaller in indoor cats compared to that of outdoor cats. However, most veterinarians suggest that indoor cats should be wormed almost as frequently as outdoor cats.

The reason is that it’s not possible to tell when your cat will be exposed to worm eggs or larvae again. It could happen the minute after the dewormer has stopped working, and therefore, you must give preventive medicine on a regular basis.

Here is a list of four most probable ways that your indoor cat can get worms.

  1. Fleas. They are one of the most common carriers of worms. Your cat can get worms by eating a flea or if a flea bites him. Fleas are often brought indoors by us. We may not notice a single flea we may have brought inside, but that one flea will probably find your cat once it gets inside.

(Image Courtesy- Cranach-Shutterstock)


  1. Worm eggs. They are usually brought indoors on our shoes or clothes. Is your cat sniffing around your street-wear to check where you’ve been? Most cats do, as they are curious animals. Unfortunately, this is where they may come in contact with worm eggs. Keep your house clean and store outdoor wear out of your cat’s reach.

(Image Courtesy- Yury Puzanov-Shutterstock)


  1. Other pets. Do you have any other pet that is allowed both indoors and outdoors, such as a dog? Whether that pet is a friend or an enemy of your cat, it will come in contact with your cat, and your cat is highly likely to get worms if that other pet is infected. For this reason, you should worm all your pets simultaneously. And probably yourself, too.

(Image Courtesy- Vasek Rak-Shutterstock)


  1. Food. Are you feeding your cat anything raw in their diet? While raw diets are great for cats, it’s also a way for indoor cats to get worms. The good thing is, it’s easily avoidable if you select sources of ingredients carefully and comply with good hygiene during the preparation process.

(Image Courtesy- Master-L-Shutterstock)

So, how often should you worm a cat? It depends on several factors, such as where you live, what medicine is used, and whether your cat has been infected for quite some time. You may need to give your cat worming medicine as frequently as every three months. 

Remember: keeping your cat indoors does not eliminate her risk of getting parasites. We have listed the four most common ways that indoor cats get worms, but there may be more depending on your situation. Worming your indoor cat regularly is the only sure way that you can make sure your pet stays parasite free.

Indrakshi Banerji

Indrakshi Banerji

Jeevoka member since Sep 2019

As a senior vet at RESQ Charitable Trust, I am fulfilling my childhood dream of healing animals in distress. When my schedule permits, I try my hand at writing given my long found inspiration in James Herriot. I am obsessed with the colour purple and I enjoy hiking and baking on my rare days off. Last but definitely not the least, I am Mom to a grumpy tripod cat named Akhrot.