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Pyrantel Pamoate for Cats

By | Last Updated: 23rd February 2023

What is pyrantel pamoate

Pyrantel pamoate is an oral medication used for the treatment of infections caused by intestinal parasites like roundworm, hookworm, and pinworm [1]. It has been included in the Model List of Essential Medicines by the World Health Organization [2], though this listing is meant only for human use.

Can cats take pyrantel

Although it is approved by the FDA for use in dogs and puppies only, it is commonly prescribed by vets for deworming cats [3].

The medication is well-tolerated by most dogs and cats [1, 3] and is also considered safe for use in kittens (2-12 weeks of age), [10] as well as in pregnant and lactating cats [1].

As a single agent, pyrantel is not that effective in controlling certain types of parasitic infections, but when combined with other dewormers like praziquantel and febantel, it helps in eradicating whipworms, tapeworms, hookworms, and roundworms [1].

Never give your cat Pyrantel without first talking to a veterinarian.

Quick Information

Pyrantel Pamoate for Cats

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Generic name: Pyrantel pamoate [1]

Brand names: Nemex, Strongid, Pin-X, Pin-Rid [1, 4]

Type: Anthelmintic class of drugs [5]

Active Ingredients: Pyrantel

Is it approved by FDA: Yes, only for dogs [1]

Availability: Over the counter [1, 3]

Who can take it: Cats, dogs, humans [1]

Forms: Tablet, suspension [5]

How does pyrantel pamoate work in cats

Pyrantel works like a depolarizing neuromuscular blocker (a drug that blocks transmission of motor signals to muscle fibers), causing sudden muscle contraction and paralysis of the internal parasite, which is then passed out of your cat’s body along with its feces. Since the medicine is poorly absorbed by the host’s gastrointestinal tract, your cat remains unaffected by it [1, 7].

Dosage: How much pyrantel to give to your cat

Make sure you give the exact dose as directed by the vet. The dosage usually varies between 2.5 mg/lb and 5 mg/lb (5 mg/kg and 10 mg/kg) given once, and your vet may recommend repeating the treatment again in 2-3 weeks [1, 3]. If you are using the liquid form of the medicine, shake it well before each use [1, 9].

Kittens between 2 to 12 weeks of age are sometimes routinely treated with pyrantel every 2-3 weeks, especially if they have a high infection risk [1].

When giving it to a nursing cat, make sure at least 2-3 weeks have passed since it has given birth, as this eliminates the chances of passing the parasitic worms on to its young ones [1].

It usually starts working within 24 hours of administering the initial dose. Follow-up deworming is sometimes needed to get rid of any remaining worms and their larva [8].

What to do if you miss giving a dose

Give the dose as soon as you remember unless it is nearly time for the next usual dose. It is never recommended to give two doses at the same time [9].

Pyrantel pamoate side effects

Although pyrantel rarely causes any side effects in cats, some individuals may experience vomiting [1, 3].

Signs of overdose

Taking pyrantel pamoate in excess may result in the following:

  • Faster breathing [9]
  • Unsteady movement or loss of balance [9]
  • Excessive sweating (damp footprints) [9]

If you suspect an overdose, call your veterinarian or the Poison Control Center Helpline at 1-888-426-4435.

Contraindications: When not to give pyrantel to your cat

Consult with your vet regarding any health conditions your cat has. It should not be used in pets that are:

  • Hypersensitive to pyrantel pamoate or drugs of the same class [9]
  • Severely debilitated by age or other medical conditions [9]

Giving it with the following drugs is also not recommended due to the risk of interaction:

  • Levamisole [1]
  • Morantel [1]
  • Organophosphates [9]
  • Diethylcarbamazine [9]
  • Piperazine [1]


    1. Pyrantel Pamoate for Dogs and Cats – Petmd.com
    2. WHO Model List of Essential Medicines – Who.int
    3. Pyrantel Pamoate (Nemex®, Strongid® T) for Dogs and Cats – Petplace.com
    4. Pyrantel Pamoate (Rx) – Medscape.com
    5. Pyrantel (Oral Route) – Mayoclinic.org
    6. Pyrantel Pamoate for Cats – Vetinfo.com
    7. Aspects of the pharmacology of a new anthelmintic: pyrantel – Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
    8. Ask a Vet Archive – Banfield.com
    9. Pyrantel pamoate – Drsfostersmith.com
    10. Evaluation of the efficacy and safety of two formulations of pyrantel pamoate in cats – Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

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