Ringworm In Cats
Ringworm in Persian Kittens
The information in this article on ringworm in cats was through online research.
Ringworm in Persian kittens/cats is a horrible condition and needs to be treated. It causes your cat or kitten to go bald in these areas of fungi.
1. What is ringworm? As the word otherwise suggests, this condition is not a worm; it is a fungal infection and is of a zoonotic nature, meaning it is highly contagious. It can be transmitted from animals to human and from human to animals. This is quite common unfortunately in Persian cats a lot because of their long coats.
2. Many people ask what causes ringworm? Ringworm does well in areas of high moisture. It seems to be a very hardy infection and actually is quite tough to get rid of. If you know the source, then measures can be taken to prevent its spread, but often the source is hard to come by and you just have to treat it until it goes away, usually 3 to 4 months if left untreated. If treated, it might last as long as a month, but it depends on the cat, the treatment, the conditions of contamination or decontamination in a home or area, and the health of the cat. Normally, if a cat is healthy with a good immune system, many times they will not contract the disease, but if a cat has a weak immune system, then it might experience this infection. Persian cats are highly susceptible to ringworm because of their long coats, so it is a good idea to feed them well and watch them for signs of this infection.
3. Is it contagious? Yes, ringworm is, as stated above, a zoonotic infection, which makes it highly contagious from animals to humans, animals to animals, and humans to animals.
4. How long does it take for my cat to get ringworm once exposed? Ringworm has an incubation period of about 10 to 14 days. If your cat has been exposed to ringworm, and the incubation period passes, then your cat probably will not get the condition or symptoms. However, she or he could be a carrier of it and still spread the spores so that another kitten or human could contract it.
5. What are the symptoms of ringworm in a cat? Ringworm will usually present itself with an area that is round, scaly, itchy, and red. However, the area does not always have to be round; it can present itself in any way, but one of the main symptoms is hair loss.
6. How do I confirm whether or not my Persian cat has ringworm? If you do suspect ringworm, the best and first thing to do would be to take the kitten or cat to a vet and have them culture the area to find out for sure. This usually takes about 2 weeks. If the test comes back positive, then your veterinarian would probably recommend treatment, either topical or oral or both, depending on the severity of the ringworm and the overall condition of the cat. At the end of treatment, or you see new growth of hair on the cat, typically 2 additional negative fungal cultures be obtained6, at least 1 week apart before you can consider your cat cured.
7. How do I treat my Persian cat for ringworm? This is a daunting task for anyone who has a cat in their home with ringworm. This is a very hardy fungus and is tough to get rid of. . There are many topical treatments for cats that have been successful such as Lamisil or Lomotil for athletics foot, antifungal shampoo 2 or 3 times a week (this can be purchased from a pet store, or you can get this via a prescription from your veterinarian). Keep in mind a prescription shampoo is quite expensive. If you do use topical ointments, it is a good idea to put your cat or kitten in a coned collar as they tend to lick the ointment off before it has a chance to do any good. You might try putting the ointment on, then placing
the collar on for an hour or so, then take the collar off, giving the medicine a chance to be absorbed into
the skin of your cat. Also, your vet can prescribe an oral medication for your cat to help fight it from the
8. How long does ringworm last? It can last up to 4 or 5 months, but ringworm will eventually resolve
itself and go away on its own, that is if the cat is not consistently re-infecting itself and starting the cycle
over. You might ask, then, how do I stop the cycle from starting again? That question will be addressed
below. Hopefully, you can get a good idea how to contain this pesky fungus. It’s not that ringworm is
serious; it’s that it is so hardy and so contagious to everyone that makes it so difficult when one of your
cats or another human gets it.
9. Okay, how do I contain this infection so that my cat can get better? You have to decontaminate
everything. For starters, you should isolate your cat or kitten to a small area of your home that can be
easily cleaned and sanitized, and an area from other animals so they can have no contact with the
afflicted cat. A bathroom is a good start because it is a small area. You will need to vacuum daily, clean
all bedding, clean and decontaminate the bathroom the cat is in daily including the litter box, change the
litter daily, clean the food bowls or decontaminate them, wash anything that has come into contact with
the cat on a daily basis, decontaminate yourself when you have treated your cat or spray yourself
thoroughly after each contact with the contact, wash hands often. You will also need to decontaminate
your other cats if they came in contact with the your afflicted cat at anytime, or the afflicted cat was
free to roam the house when the ringworm was evident. Using the fungicidal shampoo from the pet
store is a good way to get rid of the spores on your cat or kitten. Ringworm leaves thousands of spores
all over the house from its host, thus, exposing everyone and all the pets in the house, and so you will
have disinfect your entire house if that is the case including washing or spraying your curtains,
vacuuming daily your carpets, couches anything in the home that has come into contact with the
afflicted cat. This is a very daunting job, but once you get that out of the way, you only need to worry
about preventing your afflicted cat or kitten from roaming the house until he or she is cured of the
ringworm. That’s why leaving the kitten or cat in a small, isolated area from everything else is the best
to keep the spores contained and from spreading them outside to the rest of the house.
10. Decontamination of the house. Lysol is good. A 1:10 bleach mixture is very good. Keeping the floors
decontaminated is very important. Make sure your carpets are vacuumed daily and you have
decontaminated your hard floors often. Wash your hands often so as not spread any spores you may
have picked up from treating your kitten.
I have had a kitten with ringworm, and I have had to go through all of this. This is what I did:
1. Went to the vet and got my kitten tested and waited for results which took about 2 weeks.
2. Kitten was prescribed oral medication and antifungal baths 3 times a week. Do your homework on the
prescription of oral medication by your vet. The standard treatment, Griseofulvin, is no longer
recommended for routine use in cats due to its potential for bone marrow suppression when used at
the doses required to resolve dermatophytosis. The gold standard has been the use of itraconazole at
3. I used topical creams daily twice a day to the afflicted areas of my kitten. I used a collar cone to prevent my kitten from licking the ointment off. I left it on for at least an hour then removed it giving the ointment time to be absorbed into the skin.
4. I placed the kitten in our back bathroom away from all other humans and cats.
5. I daily cleaned and decontaminated everything in the bathroom the kitten was in as above. I decontaminated toys, water bowls, litter, decontaminated litter boxes, clean bedding, etc., daily.
6. Everytime I entered the bathroom, I wore shoes, and when I went out, I either sprayed myself thoroughly or put my clothing in a plastic bag to be taken to the washer to be washed. I had a soaked towel of a 1:10 solution of bleach just outside the door to step in as I was coming out of the bathroom so as not to spread spores. I always had a new change of dishes and toys each day so the kitten was kept fairly clean and not reinfecting itself repeatedly with contaminated items in the bathroom.
7. I developed patience and tolerance and just waited. This is not a fun thing to do, but if you love your kitten or cat, you will want to do everything you can do get this condition under control and get your kitten or cat better.
This is a great article on ringworm. It is very well documented, and you can tell the research that has taken place is topnotch.