Yes, the skin fungus known as ringworm can be transmitted between animals and humans – so your family members and other animals are at risk of catching it. For information on the condition – what it is, what it looks like, and how to treat it, click here.
How Serious Is Ringworm?
Most healthy cats will be able to self-cure after a period of time (typically 3-5 months). But they can be cured much faster with proper care and medication.
AND – you don’t want the infection to spread to humans and your other pets, so taking aggressive action to stop the spread of ringworm is very important.
Ringworm is more common in kittens and sometimes older cats, both of whom have weaker immune systems and have trouble fighting off this infection. Less healthy, feral cats are also susceptible for the same reasons.
How Long Is A Cat Contagious?
If you aggressively treat the infection and take steps to prevent re-infection, your cat will be contagious for about 3 weeks. Length of time depends on the overall health of your cat at the outset. The healthier your cat, the quicker will be his response time to treatment. Veterinarians recommend that you consider your cat contagious until there have been two consecutive negative fungal cultures (done by your vet) that demonstrate that the infection is gone.
Why Is A Quarantine Necessary?
Ringworm is spread via invisible fungal spores. These abound once your cat has fully-fledged ringworm, and the spores need to be eliminated to prevent re-infection and to protect your other animals and YOU.
So while cat ringworm can be treated on an out-patient basis with anti-fungal medications, isolating your cat is a key part of the treatment in order to decrease the likelihood of spreading the infection.
How Long Should Your Cat Be Quarantined?
That depends on the individual cat’s response to treatment and his overall health. Treatment usually lasts about 5-6 weeks, although this time period can be longer for some cats. In terms of quarantine, most cats that are being treated aggressively only need to be isolated from 2-4 weeks. You will be the best judge of your cat’s progress (by visually seeing, or not seeing, ringworm outbreaks). But you’ll need to continue getting ringworm cultures periodically to make sure your cat is no longer infected.
Tips For Getting Rid of Ringworm
Those ringworm spores are pesky and persistent. While they need to be on skin to live, they can lie dormant in the environment and can be viable for years if they’re not killed or removed. That’s why it’s so important to de-contaminate the environment once you’ve detected the ringworm infection. Following are some tips:
- Use a disinfectant cleaner to wipe down all surfaces. Spray the cleaner and let it sit for 10 minutes, then wipe the area clean. Apple cider vinegar or bleach, depending on what surface you are treating, are excellent for this. Note: Lysol is NOT pet friendly.
- If you can afford it, hire professional steam-cleaners to come in and clean carpets, etc. Otherwise, use carpet shampoo, let it sit, and then vacuum.
- Wash all food and water bowls with disinfectant soap, and don’t let your animals share them.
- Vacuum and clean all surfaces every few days. Dispose of the vacuum bags after use because they may harbor fungal spores.
- Get rid of all the cleaning cloths after use or immediately wash in a bleach solution.
- If appropriate, throw away all items you think may be infected and cannot be cleaned.
- Wash all towels, bedding and clothing twice with bleach.
- Wash your hands immediately (and tell everyone in your family, especially children, to do the same) after touching or petting your animals or handling their toys or grooming equipment. It’s a good idea to wear disposable gloves when cleaning the kitty litter or picking up the cat’s waste if outside.
- Wear separate clothing when coming into contact with infected animals, and wash the clothing immediately in hot water, using the highest setting on your dryer to dry them. Wear rubber footwear so you don’t pick up the ringworm spores and spread them to other surfaces.
- Don’t use the same brush to groom several cats. Buy plastic ones and wash them in hot water and disinfectant soap after each use.
- As a key to preventing the spread of ringworm in your household, bathe all your cats, kittens and other pets (even if they don’t show any symptoms of ringworm) using medicated shampoo.
Use Banixx to Treat Ringworm
As a potent anti-fungal treatment, Banixx Pet Care is a powerful way to help cats, kittens and other animal get rid of the dreaded ringworm fungus. To use it, simply soak a cotton ball with Banixx and apply it to affected area (wear disposable gloves). This may be done two to three times daily during the ringworm infection.
Banixx Medicated Shampoo can be used for all your animals to control and prevent the spread of ringworm. It’s gentle yet highly effective. Banixx will not dry out the skin, and it doesn’t burn or have an offensive odor to frighten your cat.
Not only do the anti-fungal properties in Banixx products ensure that the ringworm cannot survive, but Banixx also provides soothing relief from itching and pain, is safe to use around the eyes, and contains no toxins or steroids.