Ringworm in Cats
How Is Ringworm Treated?
Treatment of ringworm depends on the severity of the infection. A veterinarian may prescribe a shampoo or ointment that contains a special medication to kill the fungus. In some cases, oral medications are necessary. In order to ensure that you’ve eradicated this resistant and hardy fungus, treatment may have to be given for several months or more and fungal cultures rechecked periodically. It’s also important to treat the cat’s environment, too, to prevent infection from recurring.
How Can I Prevent Ringworm from Spreading?
If your veterinarian has diagnosed your cat with ringworm, he or she will explain what you must do to prevent the fungus from spreading to your other pets-and to the human members of the household. But keep in mind that if you have other pets, it’s likely that most of them have been exposed as well. Your veterinarian may recommend that you do the following:
- Bathe all pets in the household with a medicated rinse or shampoo.
- Wash the infected animals’ bedding and toys with a disinfectant that kills ringworm spores.
- Discard items that are impossible to thoroughly disinfect (carpeted cat trees, etc.)
- Frequently vacuum to rid the house of infected hairs and skin cells. (Yes, the fungus can survive on hair and skin that your cat sheds!)
As a commonsense precaution, it is a smart idea to thoroughly wash your hands after you bathe or touch your cat.
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.