It is not always easy to determine whether your cat has ringworm. This fungus has several potential causes, including contact with infected objects, animals, and spores. This article will discuss some possible causes of ringworm in cats and how to tell if your cat is infected. However, you should not assume your cat has ringworm if you are unsure of what it is.
While the most common way to catch ringworm is through contact with infected items, cats can also contract the infection by coming into contact with the fungus in other animals. Ringworm spores are shed off the infected hair and remain infectious for up to 18 months. These spores are also difficult to kill, so keeping infected items away from cats is essential for their health.
A veterinary examination will be required if your cat has signs of ringworm. The symptoms may vary from cat to cat, and they may be due to another condition. To get a definitive diagnosis, your vet will perform several tests, including fluorescence under a special UV lamp, taking a sample of the cat’s fur, and a blood test. If the symptoms are persistent, the veterinarian may recommend a course of treatment.
Contact with spores
Cats that are infected with ringworm will display symptoms of skin inflammation and flaky, red skin. This condition is similar to dandruff in humans, where inflamed skin and flakes of hair fall off the body. Symptoms of ringworm in cats will also include excessive grooming and scaly or crusty skin. Cats may have an asymptomatic form of ringworm that you may not notice until your pet starts to itch and drool excessively.
Contact with infected pets
Cats are also at risk for contracting ringworm because pocket pets often carry the infection. The most common organisms that cause ringworm infection differ between cats and dogs. This infection is not sex-related, although studies of cats and dogs indicate that Persian, Himalayan and Yorkshire terriers have higher rates of ringworm than other breeds. The presence of the feline leukemia virus does not increase the risk for ringworm disease.
Contact with infected bedding
While the immune system will eventually fight the infection, you can try to prevent the spread by using topical antifungal drugs. Antifungal shampoos can also help to heal the skin. Consult a veterinarian before using any vitamins or topical treatments. Your cat’s health is at risk. You should always wash your hands frequently when handling your cat, especially if you have a weak immune system.
Contact with infected carpet
Although it is hard to prevent cats from getting ringworm, you can help them avoid it by cleaning infected surfaces, furniture, and bedding regularly. After cleaning the infected surfaces, wash all bedding, blankets, and cloth materials thoroughly. Use a disinfectant such as lime sulfur solution to wipe down your carpeting and furniture. The solution is not hot enough to kill the ringworm spores, but it is effective in removing contaminated particles and dirt.
Contact with infected furniture
During a visit to a veterinarian, you should ask about possible causes of ringworm. This can be a difficult diagnosis to make unless you know the exact cause. However, you can use one of two methods to make a diagnosis – fungal culture or PCR. While the former is faster and less expensive, the latter may produce false positive results. Nevertheless, it is the more reliable way to make the correct diagnosis.