In the recent months there has been an increase in ringworm infections in cats. Luckily, this highly contagious infection is avoidable and easy to treat if you know what to do .
What is Ringworm?
Ringworm is a type of fungal infection that can infect a wide range of animals and humans. Despite the name, this infection is not in any way related to worms. Both indoor and outdoor cats are prone to this infection as it is easily transmitted. Ringworm infections occur on the top layer of the skin when fungi or its spore make contact with your cat’s skin
Causes of Ringworm
Cats can carry the fungal spores and be asymptomatic. This makes spreading the spores easy, either directly or indirectly. Your cat can get infected directly by coming into contact with an infected animal or indirectly through touching the bedding, food or toys that the infected has come into contact with.
Symptoms of Ringworm
- Circular areas of hair loss
- Broken and stubbly hair
- Crusty skin
- Inflamed areas of skin
- Excessive self-grooming by your cat
- Round lesions appearing on the front legs, ears and other parts of a cat’s head
The ringworm fungus will fluoresce (glow) under black light.
Is Ringworm contagious to humans?
Yes. Ringworm is zoonotic and can spread from your pet to you. Ringworm can be contracted through direct touching of your pet or through contact with their belongings. People of weak immunity are more prone to contracting ringworm.
How to Treat Ringworm
Ringworm can be treated with anti-fungal oral medication prescribed by the vet such as Itraconazole which comes in the form of a capsule.
Medicated Shampoos such as Activex Anti Fungal Recovery Set can be used to treat the infection as well. They can be used conjunction with oral treatment to kill both the spores on the skin as well as suppress the infection in the cat systemically.
How to Prevent Ringworm
Similar to how we are preventing the spread of the coronavirus, washing your hands before and after handling your cat is the best way to decrease the livelihood of your and your cat from becoming afflicted with Ringworm. Avoid letting your cat play with cats from different households and maintain a clean living environment for you and your cat.
Sprays like Pet’s Activated Water Sanitizer can be used to disinfect your pet's skin, bedding, floor area, toys etc. Made from 100% electrolyte water, they are completely safe for you and your pets.