Updated: August 8, 2022 by Kristen Chapple
Though ringworm sounds as if it’s one of those horrid, grotesque pesky little creatures that crawl under the skin of your cat, and who knows, maybe even yours, it’s not. Ringworm is in fact not a worm at all but a type of fungus, which infects the skin and reproduces by leaving spores around the environment.
If you’re wondering how do cats get ringworm, you should know that cats are the most common carriers of this fungal infection, and it’s found in the long-haired breeds more often than in those with short hair. Apart from that, it’s also more common for kittens and young cats to have the infection than adult ones.
What is Ringworm
Ringworm, also known as Microsporum gypseum, is a dermatophytosis, a fungus that infects the skin, claws and hair and occurs in dogs, cats and other mammals, and can be transmitted to humans as well.
In cats, the infection causes dandruff or darkened skin, hair loss and a poor hair coat, irritated skin, redness and itchiness. Though cats get ringworm, some of them don’t show any symptoms at all, making the infection harder to detect.
How Do Cats Get Ringworm
As with any other infection or disease, contracting it depends on a lot of variables such as the age, the status of the immune system, the general condition of a cat’s skin, and as well, the grooming habits of the little animal.
The usual way for your little friend to get infected with ringworm is to come in direct contact with any other infected animal or by touching the bed linen, the furniture, the grooming brushes and gear, water and meal bowls and pretty much all the things that have been contaminated with skin cells or hairs from another infected animal.
One important thing to keep in mind here is that ringworm spores can survive in the environment for a very long time, even up to 18 months. So it’s a good idea to clean every little thing that was supposedly infected.
How To Get Rid of Ringworm
Sometimes ringworm will go away on its own, but treatments are recommended. For less severe cases, an anti-fungal treatment should be enough, but for the severe cases, your veterinarian should consult your little furry friend to determine the correct treatment and anti-fungal medications.
That might be expensive and require some effort, but getting rid of ringworm is a must.
When cats get ringworm, it’s not only them that are infected, so think about the environment and clean that up as well since it can reappear or even worse, it can get to the other family members as well.
Some good helpful tips are to keep your feline friend in only one room until he gets well, wash or get rid of all your cat’s toys or linen and wash all the surfaces he’s come in contact with. And those lovely carpets your little cat loved as well, it’s better to dispose of them if you can.