Cat ringworm is a fungus called Dermaphtytes which means “plants that live on the skin.” “The fungi live on the surface of the skin and in the skin follicles and they feed on dead skin tissue and hair.”
“There are three different types of fungus that cause ringworm in animals.” ”The one that usually causes ringworm in cats and dogs is called microsporum canis.”
When a cat has ringworm it will usually appear in the form of a hairless lesion. Ringworm does not always appear as a ring on cats. This lesion will grow in size and will become irregular shaped.
The fungi cause the hair shafts to break off and this results in hairless patches. Ringworm is usually found on the face, ears, tail and paws. The lesions are scaly and may or may not itch. The skin can appear inflamed.
Ringworm can be spread by direct contact with an infected animal or person. Ringworm can spread from cats to dogs and visa versa. Ringworm will spread from pets to humans and from humans to pets.
The fungal spores can live in the environment for a long time and can be found in carpets, bedding and grooming equipment and can infect your cat when he comes in contact with them.
“The incubation period for ringworm is 10 to 12 days.” This means that following exposure to the fungus about 10 to 12 days will pass before any visible lesions will occur.
In rare cases animals can get ringworm from infected soil. The fungus can live for months in soil if everything is just right. “The spores are easily killed with a solution of bleach and water.” Use 500 mls. Of bleach to 4 liters of water.
You can get ringworm by touching an animal with ringworm. Ringworm can spread when you are petting or grooming cats or dogs. Cows, goats, pigs and horses can also get ringworm.
Healthy adult cats or dogs are usually immune to some extent to ringworm. Young cats, kittens and puppies are more susceptible because their immune system has not fully developed. There are cats and dogs that are carriers of ringworm but they do not show any symptoms. They can infect animals or humans.
To diagnose ringworm your veterinarian will need to do a couple of tests.
If the ringworm is not treated it will run its course in two to four months and the symptoms will go away. Treatment is recommended to save your cat from suffering any longer than necessary and to cut down the time they are contagious.
Your veterinarian will prescribe medication to treat your cat’s ringworm.