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Your Cat and the Dreaded Ringworm

Apr 21, 2008
Ringworm, a very common form of skin disease, can affect both dogs and cats. Although its name implies otherwise, this skin disease isn't caused by any type of worm at all.

Ringworm is actually caused by fungi known as Dermatophytes. This fungus feeds on dead tissues found in the surface of the skin, spreading them around the skin of the cat.

With cats, there is a certain type of fungi known as M Canis that is found with nearly 95% of all ringworm cases. Normally, cats will get the ringworm disease from contaminated objects like bedding, clippers, or another animal that already has the disease. If there are animals in your home or around your house that have the ringworm disease, your cat could very easily contract it this way.

If you have kittens or cats that are under a year old in your home, you should always exercise caution, as they are more susceptible to the ringworm fungus. Kittens can easily contract the disease, especially if you allow them to go outside. They can easily come in contact with a contaminated object or another animal that has the disease.

Kittens take a long time to build their immune system up, and in the meantime they are more apt to get common disease such as ringworm.

Symptoms of ringworm in cats include broken hairs or hair loss around the head or the paws. It can easily be identified by a patch rough, scaly skin on the body that appears itchy, red and inflamed. The can be broken hairs around the patch of scaly skin as well. These areas can be very sensitive and you should never touch the area as it can pain to your animal.

If you notice any of the above symptoms with your pet, you should immediately schedule an appointment with your vet. If the vet diagnosis your cat with ringworm, he may prescribe ointment or tablets. What he describes however, will determine how serious the ringworm is.

If he prescribes tablets for your cat, you should give them with meals. Ointment on the other hand, is normally spread into the coat, topically. You should always use what your vet prescribes on a daily basis, to ensure that your cat heals properly. The healing process will take time, normally around six weeks or more.

Cats that have ringworm are very infectious. If you have children in the house, you should keep them away from your pet. Whenever you handle your cat, always use gloves. Ringworm is very contagious, and you should always use caution.

Even though it's a mild disease, ringworm can result in serious problems due to the slow recovery time and fact that it's contagious.
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