Ringworm in Cats

Ringworm actually has nothing to do with worms. It's a fungus that grows in the cat's dead skin, claws, or hair. Ringworm on a cat looks like little circles of hair loss that mainly cluster around the head, paws, and ears. It can look very different depending on the cat, but there will obviously be something wrong - in general, it looks like a little scaly patch of skin where the hair has been lost. The problem is that if you're not a vet, you won't be able to tell for sure. It could well be some other skin condition because many other things can cause similar conditions. However, if your cat is losing hair in random places with weird looking skin underneath, you probably should be taking them to the vet regardless of what you think the cause is.


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If your cat is healthy, the ringworm will clear up on its own within a few weeks in most cases. But that's not an excuse not to take them to the vet. Treatment is recommended in ALL cases. Why? Because a lot of cats don't ever clear up without treatment, and you can't tell whether they will or not beforehand. ALSO - it's not just a cat disease. A fungus can grow on anything - that means your dogs, and that means you and other humans as well. If it spreads to you, it will look like little red, circular spots, and you may have the same skin scaling that shows up on cats. You need to decontaminate the cat, get treatment, and disinfect or burn all the cat's toys, food bowls, litter boxes, beds, etc.

Fortunately, treatment is easy for both humans and cats, so don't freak out too much. There are several drugs for cats as well as topical skin products. Treatment will probably take about six weeks for the cat. If you get the spots, you need to see a doctor, and you can get a skin product that will deal with it too (you can't use the same ones for both cats and people).


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