Ringworm is a fungal infection that affects the skin, hair and nails. It is highly contagious to not only other cats, but dogs and even humans! It is not an uncommon condition and any animal showing symptoms should be seen by a vet immediately to begin treatment.
If Ringworm is Suspected, What Should You Do?
Step 1: Diagnosis by a Veterinarian
In order to determine is a cat is positive for ringworm, a veterinarian may use the following tests: Wood’s Lamp, Cultures, and/or Microscopic Examination. More than one test is usually recommended and a diagnosis may not be possible right away.
Step 2: Treatment
Once diagnosed, treatment is important to prevent the spread of the infection to other pets and humans. Your veterinarian will prescribe a recommended treatment based off of the severity of the infection, as well as taking into consideration any other skin conditions. Treatment may include oral medication, and/or topical treatment such as skin ointment or medicated shampoo.
Step 3: Cleaning House
The infected pet should be isolated in a small area or room to ease cleaning and prevent spreading the infection to other pets or humans in the home. A thorough cleaning should be done of the cat’s entire environment, it should also be repeated as the cat is going through treatment.
Ringworm spores can remain infectious for up to 2 years in the environment!
Cleaning and disinfecting products should be used that kill the spores, including products like All Stop or a 1:10 bleach and water solution. Make sure to read directions as most of these types of products must be left to sit on the surface for at least 5-10 minutes to be effective. Remember, bleach may cause discoloration or damage to some surfaces or fabrics (do not use chlorine-free bleach).
Bedding and Toys: Should be thoroughly cleaned or thrown away
Discard any item that is difficult or impossible to clean (i.e. carpeted cat trees)
Frequently vacuum the furniture, floors, vents, etc. and throw away the bag
Wear gloves and/or wash hands thoroughly after cleaning or handling pets
Damp mopping or electrostatic cleaners (like Swiffer) will help clean floors
**Think of spores like “dust particles” they can get into nooks, corners, filters, etc.** Treatment should continue on the recommendation of your veterinarian. Typically 2 negative cultures indicate that your cat has been successfully treated
The above content is intended to be informational. We do not assume responsibility or liability for patient care or outcome.