A very common fungal infection is ringworm in cats. Here is how it is transmitted and what are the symptoms and treatment.
One of the most common forms of mycosis in cats is ringworm, an infection caused by a type of fungus that grows on the skin by feeding on the tissues of the cat’s fur and nails.
The main fungus that infects the feline is Microsporum canis, which can also be transmitted to humans and dogs. Let’s see below how this fungus is transmitted and what are the symptoms of ringworm.
Ringworm in cats: transmission
Ringworm is a skin infection in cats that consists in the production of billions of spores on the cat’s fur, a source of transmission.
Furthermore, both the hair and the spores are dispersed in the environment frequented by the feline, therefore other animals or people can become infected not only through contact, but also by frequenting the environment of the cat. The dispersion of spores into the air can last for two years, so the cat can experience the infection again.
This pathology is very common in small cats, as they have low immune defenses, and in long-haired cats as it is more difficult to clean the cat in the correct way and the spores, which stick to the skin of the feline, hardly come deleted.
Ringworm in cats: symptoms
The symptoms of ringworm in cats vary from feline to feline, with severe, less severe, or any type of injury. The most common and obvious symptoms are lack of hair in the following parts of the cat’s body:
The hairs surrounding these parts of the body may be broken and the cat’s skin may be inflamed or crusted.
Ringworm in cats is very often mistaken for other pathologies, as they are similar, such as:
- Feline alopecia
- Flea allergy dermatitis
- Feline acne
To make sure your cat is suffering from ringworm, your vet will perform specific tests, which are as follows:
- Ultraviolet tests
- Analysis of infected hair (under a microscope)
- Skin analysis
- Fungal cultures
In the event that the specialist finds the pathology in the cat, it is also necessary to check the other animals, especially if the cat lives in the apartment, as they could be infected.
Treatment is necessary for the ringworm infected cat, not only for its health but also for the other animals living with it and for yourself.
As this fungus is a carrier of a zoonotic disorder and can be transmitted to humans, it is advisable for this reason to use gloves when touching the feline.
There are various medicines for the treatment of ringworm in cats, for example antifugine drugs, and the treatment must last no less than 6 weeks. Obviously it is necessary to contact the veterinarian.
It is advisable to shear the cat to facilitate the application of ointments or lotions on inflammations caused by the disease. It is very important if you have a cat suffering from ringworm to avoid transmission to other animals.
For this reason, the following steps must be performed:
– Place the infected cat in one room
– Decontaminate the environment frequented by the cat
– Disinfect or throw away any accessories used by the cat (collar, toys, blankets, etc …)
– Remove infected hair (with a vacuum cleaner)
– Disinfect the house with special products