Causes, Symptoms and Treatment of Ringworm in Cats
Otherwise known as dermatophytosis, ringworm in cats is a common fungal infection that can negatively impact your feline companion’s quality of life. This contagious skin condition can affect the hair and skin of your cat, and raises ring-like abrasions on their skin or scalp. Because this condition is contagious, it’s important to recognize and diagnose it early on and prevent it from spreading to other animals or even people.
Ringworm in cats is transmitted by fungus spores in their environment, and typically can manifest in their living areas. Spores from other infected animals can survive for up to 24 months and like most other fungi, moisture and unclean conditions can promote growth. These spores can be found in bedding, play structures, brushes or even carriers, making it hard to limit growth without cleaning. Cats in particular can be asymptomatic carriers of this spore or fungus, and can harbor this infection without signs or symptoms.
What Causes Ringworm in Cats?
Your cat can contract ringworm through the contact with other infected animals or the fungal spores mentioned above. Contamination can also occur in an infected facility or cattery that doesn’t properly clean or maintain their equipment. Kittens or younger cats are typically those that are infected, as their immune system isn’t quite as developed as a healthy cat. Cats that are in proper health are typically resistant to contracting the disease. Malnourished cats or older cats are also candidates to getting ringworm because of their decreased health condition.
Ringworm in Cats Symptoms
You can spot ringworm in your cat by checking for skin lesions that appear under his or hers coat. Typically these lesions lack hair and can grow from a small spot into a larger lesion. Hair loss is commonplace with cats that have ringworm, and it can also appear in their nails. Cats can also scratch at the ears in an attempt to rid themselves of the condition, and their nails can become deformed as well
If your cat exhibits these symptoms or you fear that your feline companion may be sick, it’s best to collect the skin samples from your pet and take it to the vet. There they can perform a proper culture to determine whether or not the issues plaguing your cat are indeed ringworm. This routine culture is easy to perform and can allow you to quickly take action to prevent further spread of this disease.
How to Get Rid Of Ringworm in Cats?
To get rid of ringworm in cats, your veterinarian will provide you with a topical cream to apply to the lesions. You should also clean and disinfect the living areas of your cat, and any bedding he or she enjoys. If you have other pets in the house, it’s a good idea to keep them separated before you have an onset of ringworm in your home.
How to Treat Ringworm in Cats?
Oral treatments have also been known to limit the spread of ringworm and help the cat in question recover. However the most important step in combating ringworm in cats is to clean and properly maintain the living area of your feline friend.