Is ringworm fatal in cats?

Author: Orie Runolfsson  |  Last update: Saturday, November 20, 2021

While ringworm is not lethal in and of itself, it can be a death sentence for kittens in some shelters. Because ringworm is quite contagious in a high-volume setting, kittens with ringworm are at risk of euthanasia without a foster home that is willing to take them home.

Can ringworm kill a cat?

Ringworm is often seen in cats, even indoor cats. But despite the name, it doesn't involve any worms. Thankfully, this highly contagious and non-life-threatening infection is avoidable and treatable if you know what to do.

What happens if ringworm is left untreated in cats?

What Can Happen If Ringworm Is Left Untreated? If a cat with ringworm is not properly treated, the lesions can spread over large areas of the animal's body, causing hair loss and skin infections.

Is ringworm an emergency in cats?

You should know that ringworm can be spread between humans and pets, as well as other pets in your home. If you do notice ringworm in your pets and it's after hours, be sure to head to UrgentVet immediately!

Is ringworm painful for cats?

Though ringworm produces a distinctive circle on your cat's skin, you probably won't notice any behavioral changes, says the ASPCA. Ringworm looks nasty, but it's not especially painful or irritating to cats.

What happens if my cat has Ringworm?

How long is cat contagious with ringworm?

Infected pets remain contagious for about three weeks if aggressive treatment is used. The ringworm will last longer and remain contagious for an extended period of time if only minimal measures are taken or if you are not faithful with the prescribed approach.

Can I cuddle my cat with ringworm?

We recommend that you don't let children touch your cat if he or she has ringworm. When treating your cat for ringworm, wear gloves and an apron.

What should I do if my cat has ringworm?

If ringworm is diagnosed, treatment will typically involve the application of topical antifungal medications to all infected areas and, in most cases, a systemic medication as well. If the lesions are present in many areas of a cat's skin, a full-body rinse or dip may be used.

Can humans give cats ringworm?

Can my son give ringworm to our cat? A: Yes. Ringworm, a fungal infection of the skin, hair or nails, is zoonotic, which means it's a disease shared by humans, cats, dogs and other animals.

What ringworm looks like on cats?

The "ring" of ringworm looks like a small circular lesion on a cat's skin. These rings are usually accompanied by hair loss and commonly appear on the head, ears, back, or front legs of their body, although they can appear anywhere. Other noticeable signs and symptoms of ringworm include: Circular areas of hair loss.

Will ringworm in cats go away on its own?

Ringworm can go away on its own, but it may take months. During that time, your cat could spread the infection to humans and other pets in your home. Not to mention, ringworm can be very uncomfortable for your cat. Medication will more quickly treat the infection and help relieve your cat's symptoms.

Does ringworm in cats stink?

Your Pet's Skin When your pet has a skin problem, one of the first things you might notice is that they have a new unpleasant odor. This strange smell is often the result of a skin infection caused by bacteria yeast or ringworm.

Is ringworm in cats curable?

It is a zoonotic disease which means that it can spread from cats to humans. It is important to remember, however, that ringworm is treatable and that infected animals do not need to be euthanased.

Does ringworm make cats sick?

These types of cats infected with ringworm are classified as inapparent carriers -- harboring the disease-causing fungus, but presenting no visible signs of the condition. But make sure to remember even though they do not look sick, these cats are contagious to humans or other animals.

How did my cat get ringworm?

Cats become infected with ringworm when they're exposed to infective spores through contact with an infected animal, a contaminated object, or a contaminated environment. Spores are small and may also be carried on air currents and on dust particles.

What cures ringworm fast?

Over-the-counter antifungals can kill the fungus and promote healing. Effective medications include miconazole (Cruex), clotrimazole (Desenex) and terbinafine (Lamisil). After cleaning the rash, apply a thin layer of antifungal medication to the affected area 2 to 3 times per day or as directed by the package.

How do I clean my house after ringworm?

To kill ringworm spores, clean and disinfect solid surfaces. Launder bedding and other fabric, small area rugs and soft articles. Vacuum upholstered furniture and drapes, and discard the vacuum cleaner bag. Press duct tape to furniture to remove any hair the vacuum missed.

How can an indoor cat get ringworm?

It's even possible for indoor cats to get ringworm if they: Have contact with infected cats, dogs, people, or other animals. Visit a grooming or boarding care facility where ringworm spores are present. Touch furniture, carpet, or other surfaces containing ringworm spores.

How do I know if my cats ringworm is healing?

As you are treating a cat for ringworm, you will want to take the cat back in to your vet every 2-4 weeks to take a new culture. The cat is not considered fully cleared of the infection until you get two clean (negative) cultures two weeks apart.

Can you get ringworm from petting a cat?

Ringworm often spreads by direct, skin-to-skin contact with an infected person. Animal to human. You can contract ringworm by touching an animal with ringworm. Ringworm can spread while petting or grooming dogs or cats.

Can you buy ringworm medicine over the counter for cats?

Topical Ointments

The most common topical antifungal is miconazole (yes, that's the active ingredient in Monistat!) which can be easily purchased over the counter and is very effective at treating ringworm.

How much does it cost to treat ringworm in cats?

For all the annoyance it's known to cause, ringworm isn't considered a particularly expensive condition. In fact, for those with single, localized lesions that respond readily to treatment, the cost of diagnosis and treatment can come in well under $100.

How do I keep my cat from getting ringworm?

Avoid sharing clothing, towels, or other items with any individual that has ringworm. Wear sandals or slippers when in public locker rooms or shower areas. If you suspect your pet is sick, call your vet immediately.

How long does it take for ringworm to go away?

Most mild cases of ringworm usually clear up in 2 to 4 weeks. But treatment might be needed for up to 3 months if the infection is more serious, or affects the nails or the scalp.

How do I clean my carpet after ringworm?

Areas that have been contaminated should be cleaned with soap and water and rinsed with water. This process is performed at least three times weekly. For carpeting, a steam cleaner can be used. The steam is not hot enough to kill ringworm spores but should help clean the dirt and remove the contaminated particles.

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