If you’re new to cats, you might think this condition involves worms, but actually, nothing could be farther from the truth – it’s a common skin infection caused by a fungus that lives on the dead tissues of skin and hair. This dead tissue is completely normal and happens all the time in animals as well as humans.
Ringworm is highly contagious and can be passed from animals to humans. You can catch it by touching an infected person or animal. You can also catch it by touching objects or surfaces that had contact with the infected animal such as towels, blankets, carpets and grooming supplies. So the answer to the question, “Can I get ringworm from my cat?” is a resounding “YES!”
Ringworm in cats is usually seen on the skin around the face, ears, chest, forelegs and along the ridge of the back. It results in itchy, scaly and reddened skin, as well as bald spots, and often looks like a red, hairless patch in the form of a ring (hence the name).
Cat Ringworm Facts
- Ringworm can affect all kind of animals, including dogs, cats, cows, goats, pigs, rabbits, birds, guinea pigs and horses. But cats tend to get ringworm more often than dogs do, possibly because cats carry the spores for a longer time than dogs do and that enables the infection to take hold.
- Studies have shown that up to 13% of human ringworm infections are triggered by an organism that commonly causes ringworm in cats. And in as many as 70% of households, where a cat has ringworm, at least one person will probably catch the infection. Children and elderly people tend to be most susceptible due to weaker or compromised immune systems.
- Itchy skin is a first symptom. Once you get infected it often takes from 4-14 days to start itching.
- Ringworm spores can survive in the environment for up to 18 months – so you’ll need to clean everything thoroughly if you get a case in your home.
How To Identify Cat Ringworm
While ringworm usually causes raised, circular areas that are crusted over and hairless, or simply, round hairless areas, quite often infected cats (especially long-haired cats) don’t reveal any such symptoms. That makes it harder to detect.
But look for scaly dandruff, darkened or red, irritated skin, poor hair coat or hair loss, and itchiness. You may also see raised or rounded lesions or boils that can ooze. And there may also be inflammation of the folds of skin around the nail, or a whitish, opaque appearance of the claw.
Cat Ringworm Treatment Options
The fungus infection sometimes goes away on its own – but, who wants to take the chance of spreading it?
If you suspect your cat or ANYONE in your household has ringworm, get it properly diagnosed by a vet (for your animals) or a doctor (for your family members). The medical professional will provide recommendations for treatment, which is normally done with anti-fungal cream or pills.
How To Deal With Ringworm
- Clean up the environment as thoroughly as you can. Wash all surfaces, linens, cat toys; disinfect grooming brushes/combs and bedding, etc. Use bleach as much as possible but for areas such as carpet or furniture, a solution of apple cider vinegar does a fine job.
- Keep her isolated in a room if possible until the infection is gone.
Banixx Pet Care has tremendous anti-fungal properties and has been used successfully in treating ringworm in cats and kittens. It creates an environment that kills the ringworm fungus, while providing soothing relief for any itchiness or secondary infections caused by excessive scratching, and it does not stain or discolor fur, fabric or skin.
How To Use Banixx To Treat Cat Ringworm
- Use disposable gloves while you’re applying Banixx so that you don’t get infected.
- Using very light pressure, gently pat Banixx on the affected area of your kitten or cat’s ringworm. A cotton ball soaked (but not dripping) in Banixx is generally a good approach. This may be done two to three times daily for the duration of the infection.
- To prevent the spread of this infection, immediately dispose of the gloves.