Sporotrichosis in cats: the cause, symptoms, treatment

Sporotrichosis in cats is a very common disease in cats and unfortunately also serious. We learn to recognize the symptoms to cure it.

Despite what is said about the cat, described as an independent and strong animal, it is still normal for us to want to take care of our cat, making sure to be careful and prevent it from being infected with a disease or a virus present in another sick cat or in the environment.

However, this is a difficult task, as there are many viruses, bacteria and fungi in the environment that can affect your cat’s immune system, thus generating diseases in the body of our furry friend.

Non-sterilized adult males are the most susceptible specimens, as they have access to the outside, and can find this fungus on the ground and in gardens, as well as come into contact with infected felines.

Cause and contagion of sporotrichosis in cats

Sporotrichosis is caused by a naturally occurring soil-dwelling fungus, Sporothrix sp. Fungi are eukaryotic organisms (nucleus with cell membrane) that live in the environment and feed on dead, i.e. decaying, organic components. Fungi, in addition to feeding on dead organic matter, also tend to enter and feed on the tissues of living organisms, consuming nutrients and amino acids from the body’s cells.

And it is in this way that it can cause diseases in the body, which start with a topical infection but can also affect the internal functioning of the organs. Sporotrichosis is a fungal and zoonotic disease, that is, it can be transmitted to humans and vice versa. The presence of the fungus in the cat’s body occurs through existing wounds or wounds caused by contaminated material, such as scratches or bites from infected animals.

Sporotrichosis in cats is quite common and in these animals the fungus is present in the nails or head (especially in the nose and mouth) and enters the body. So it is likely that the animal can transmit this disease to other felines, dogs or humans, due to a scratch or direct contact with the lesion. There are three types of sporotrichosis:

  • Cutaneous: i.e. the presence of single nodules in the animal’s skin.
  • Cutaneous lymphatic: when the infection progresses and, in addition to affecting the skin, it also affects the lymphatic system of the animal.
  • Disseminated: when the disease is in such a severe state that it affects the whole body.

Symptoms of sporotrichosis in cats

If you notice a suspicious wound on the cat’s skin, with no apparent cause and with a particular location or appearance, you should take the cat to the vet, treating it with gloves and always following the doctor’s recommendations. The symptoms of sporotrichosis in cats are:

  • lack of appetite;
  • respiratory, locomotor and even gastrointestinal problems;
  • solid nodules;
  • areas of alopecia in cats ;
  • trunk, head and ear ulcers.

Thankfully, the wounds don’t itch.

Diagnosis and treatment of sporotrichosis in cats

Sporotrichosis can be easily confused with other pathologies, such as leishmaniasis in cats or feline herpesvirus and to confirm the diagnosis of sporotrichosis, diagnostic tests and complementary tests such as: cytology and skin scraping are extremely important. to rule out possible differential diagnoses.

Without a correct diagnosis, the chances of treatment being ineffective are much greater. As experts always suggest, the earlier treatment is started, the better the prognosis. The treatment used for this problem is sodium iodide and potassium. Other cat medications can be used to aid in wound healing, such as imidazoles and triazoles.


This disease is very difficult to treat and requires a lot of dedication on our part towards the animal, the prognosis of this disease is good if it is detected in time and correct treatment is carried out. Timely intervention by the vet will resolve the situation, but avoid self-medicating your cat could only increase the chance of a relapse.

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