6 Quick Tips for Fostering Cats and Kittens with Ringworm:
A cat can become infected with ringworm through any sort of contact with an infected animal or human.
Occasionally, topical therapy is used alone for treatment of ringworm, but more commonly it is used in combination with oral medication. Various creams and ointments are available to apply to localized areas of the skin affected by ringworm. If there are only one or two affected areas, shaving of the hair from these areas may be sufficient. If there is more generalized disease, or if your cat is a longhaired breed, your veterinarian may recommend clipping the pet's hair short to aid in treatment, along with bathing the cat with a medicated shampoo, typically twice a week. It is extremely important only to use preparations that have been specifically provided or recommended by your veterinarian. Topical treatment will usually be necessary for a period of several weeks to several months.
Step 1 of therapy for the infected cat is to determine whether the cat needs to have its coat clipped. When ringworm invades the hairs, they make them fragile and easily broken. When the hair shafts break, infected hair fragments and spores are shed into the environment and onto the cat’s hair coat. This shedding increases the risk of spreading the ringworm, and also increases the probability that the cat becoming re-exposed to spores in the environment. This can cause the cat to continuously test positive on fungal culture. Clipping the coat removes infected hairs and minimizes continued shedding of hair fragments and spores. It also allows for more thorough penetration of topical antifungal shampoos. Because children, elderly people, or anyone with immunosuppression is at higher risk of catching ringworm from an infected cat, any cat that lives in a household with someone who fits the above description must have its coat clipped. Otherwise, as a general rule, if a shorthaired cat has five or more discreet spots of ringworm, the entire coat should be clipped. If a shorthaired cat has less than five discreet spots, the hair around the individual spots can be clipped. If the cat is longhaired, the entire coat should be clipped regardless of how many discreet ringworm spots are visible on the coat.
Ringworm in Cats and Dogs with Dr. Andrew Jones DVM
Two forms of treatment can be used for cats with ringworm.
"The original program arose in response to a very passionate group of volunteers that wanted to be able to at least try and treat ringworm positive cats, because they had seen a number euthanized for no reason but ringworm," Rodgers said. "Without that core group of volunteers willing to take on daily care and the not-so-pleasant task of dipping cats and making sure they made it through treatment okay, the program would never have gotten off the ground."Because cats with ringworm are highly contagious, the new facility permits affected cats to be kept in complete isolation from the rest of the shelter population. "Our volunteers do not go into the main shelter, to reduce risk of transmitting ringworm from the quarantine area into the general population," Rodgers said. "We have areas where you can only enter with booties and gloves, which helps protect our cats from transmitting the spores back and forth, and prevents our volunteers from taking ringworm home with them."