When you first heard the term ringworm in cats, you may think this is related to intestine parasites. But in reality, this is one kind of fungal infection. Both indoor and outdoor cats can get infected with this ringworm. The question is how the felines get ringworms in the first place. Or how to treat ringworms in cats?
Usually, healthy cats get the ringworms when they come in contact with an infected feline. If your cat is infected, then do not worry. The treatment of ringworm is easy and efficient. In most cases, the vets suggest anti-fungal medications.
Read this article till the end to know more about ringworms in cats.
Ringworms in cats
Before getting into how to treat ringworms in cats, let’s learn more about this term. Basically, ringworm is a fungal infection. This can happen to any domestic animal including cats.
You will observe the infection on the superficial layers of skin, nails, or hair. Why is this condition called ringworms? Well, when the cats get infected with this fungus, you will notice a round ring of inflammatory marking. That is why people have termed it as a ringworm.
Many people have a misconception that worms are responsible for this condition. Well, this is not true. Ringworms are caused by a group of fungi called dermatophytes. In medical terms, the name of this disease is dermatophytosis.
This condition is not so severe. But ignoring the disease will harm the cat’s health. Detecting ringworms can be really tough in felines. You will need an expert opinion to be sure of the disease.
How Do Cats Get Ringworms?
I know ringworms are not severe but here is the trouble with this disease. You can not hide your felines from the fungus. This fungal infection is highly contagious and can be transmitted to your cat by direct or indirect contact.
The scary part is, the fungus responsible for the ringworms, can live anywhere in the environment. These organisms mainly live in the soil and the warm, humid environment helps them to grow the population. However, it is not only the soil that is perfect for the fungus. The ringworm organisms can stay alive for months on the blankets, clothes, or in the fur of your cats.
The fungus only needs a living source to absorb nutrition. In this case, the cats, dogs, or other domestic animals are the perfect fit for these organisms. Fortunately, the feline’s body can defend against the infection. The bacteria living on the kitty’s body may outnumber the fungal organisms and defeat them.
So, here is how a cat gets ringworms:
- Coming in direct contact with an infected animal or human begins.
- Playing with toys that are contaminated with ringworms.
- Staying on the surface where ringworms are growing.
Symptoms of Ringworms in Cats
When a feline gets the ringworm fungus, it does not show the signs immediately. Rather, it may take 7 to 14 days before the cat exhibits any symptoms. For some cats, the ringworm incubation period can last for 21 days.
So, what are the symptoms of this disease? From the name of the condition, you can assume there will be visible circles on the infected cat’s skin. What else? Here are some of the symptoms that a cat will show if it gets infected with ringworm fungus:
- Even though the ringworms do not cause much itchiness, for some cats, the situation can be the opposite. You may notice your cat itching a spot continuously.
- Hyperpigmentation can be observed in some cats. It means a certain part of the skin will turn into dark colors.
- Hair loss is another clinical sign of ringworms.
- Your feline can get ringworms in the ears. In that case, the cat will feel itchiness in the ears.
- In young cats, the ringworms may cause blackheads in the chin area.
- When the ringworms first develop, you will observe red circles in the area.
- The ringworms can attack the feline’s nails too. The nail surface will get greasy due to the disease.
- Scaling or over-grooming are some other signs of ringworms in cats.
The red circles are the only way for you to detect the disease. But if you want to be sure, you must take expert advice. The vet may suggest wood lamp testing for an immediate result.
The most exact diagnosis of the ringworms can happen by doing fungus culture in a lab. This may take a couple of days.
How to treat ringworms in cats
What happens if your cat is positive for ringworms? Some experts believe a cat can recover on its own. But if there is no progress, you need to ask for medical treatment.
There are many types of treatment available for ringworms in cats. For example,
- Oral medication
- Antifungal spray or creams
- Clipping fur
Vets suggest bathing the feline to break the cycle of infection. Do you need to continue the medication if you are bathing your cat regularly? The answer is yes. You need to bathe the cat, continue medication, and if possible, go for the clipping part. You will get the best result.
If your cat gets ringworms from any source, do not wait for the self-recovery. Rather take it to the vet for further treatments.
Home remedies for ringworms in cats:
You can try home remedies for ringworms in cats. Here are the top things that you can apply:
- Soap and water
- Apple cider vinegar
- Tea tree oil
Applying any of these elements on the infected skin can help the cat recover soon.
Transmit or ringworms from cats to humans:
Well, petting a cat with ringworm can be dangerous to you. This fungal infection is contagious and you may fall sick too. You will only get ringworms if you have a scratch or other skin conditions. If not, then most probably you are safe.
As ringworms can be transmitted to humans from cats, you need to be more careful about it.
Now you know how to treat ringworms in cats. If your cat is showing any signs, take immediate action. If you have children or sick patients in your house, they can easily get ringworms from the cat.