As adventurous as your cat can be, there is a chance that it can pick up infections and viruses that can stay hidden on many surfaces and get into contact with your cat, especially ringworm, which can be highly contagious.
For this, you’ll need to quarantine them for around 2 to 4 weeks, and here you need to isolate them to prevent spreading the infection, which can travel in spores.
Read further below to find out how ringworm is treated and the measures you can take to prevent the spread.
Why A Quarantine Is Necessary
Once your cat has become infected, the spores that come from this can survive up to 20 months, so during this time, this can pose a threat to you and other animals in your household and cause hair loss and scarring in your pets.
You also don’t want it to spread to yourself, which can cause unwanted rashes or a scattering of bumps that can be unpleasant to have and deal with, and in cases where the nail and scalp are affected, treatments like uni-fungal creams will need to be applied.
This fungus is most common in kittens and older cats as they have weaker immune systems, so if you have either, be sure to be vigilant if you notice any changes in their skin or fur.
How To Treat Your Cat For Ringworm
You can use anti-fungal treatments that work as remedies for fungal and bacterial issues your cat has so that you can get a cotton swab or ball and apply it to the affected areas, and you’ll need to do this 2-3 times a day which can take up to 6 weeks to disappear.
You can use disposable gloves and spare clothes so that after you apply the treatment, you can disinfect your clothes immediately in hot water and dry them on the highest setting to remove any spores that may have spread to them.
During this time, you want to wash your hands thoroughly and use medicated shampoos for your other pets, so the ringworm doesn’t spread to them, and these won’t dry out their skin or cause any discomfort if you’re worried about the prolonged use of it.
How To Prevent It from Spreading
The first thing you can do is separate the cat and keep it in one area, like a playpen, so it can move around but be less a risk of spreading the ringworm, so every time you enter the area, you can clean and disinfect the area easier, which you can do daily.
Make sure toys, bowls, and brushes are separated and can be cleaned daily if your cat still uses these. Below are more specific ways you can reduce the risk of it spreading.
Clean The Area Around You Any rugs, pillows, throws, or sheets that your cat may have come into contact with should be cleaned, and this applies to any cloths you use to clean out the area your infected cat is in, so anything that cannot be cleaned, you may want to throw away.
If you do this daily, there won’t be many places for the fungus to hide and spread even further, and it is even more essential if you have young children in the house who could pick it up from any untreated areas.
Be Careful When Using Disinfectant
When cleaning the pen your cat is in, it might be tempting to use bleach, Lysol, or any products containing ammonia, or benzalkonium chloride, as these can irritate your cat’s paws while in heavy use. Some of these disinfectants can be toxic.
When looking for anti-bacterial sprays, find ones that are pet friendly and if you do have to use bleach, make sure you rinse the area with plenty of water and let it dry before your cat goes near it.
You may be able to dilute the mixture of your disinfectant, and for others, you may have to put the cat in another room and let the treated area completely dry before putting them back.
This is especially the case for disinfectants that have a strong-smelling odor.
Give Your Cat Medicated Baths
You’ll want to do this twice a week, and you can use lime sulfur or anti-fungal shampoo, and even though the lime solution is usually the most popular way to treat ringworm, it can dry out your cat’s skin and leave areas irritated.
Whichever method you choose, you could use a spray bottle to apply it easier, and you want to make sure this covers all the areas of the cat, but avoid spraying the head, and for this area, you can use a small sponge and gently dab the ears and face.
When you finish the bath, you want to return the cat to fresh bedding and a sanitized area that is completely dry, and if you’re treating a kitten, make sure you use a heating pad, as letting them dry off naturally can cause their body temperature can drop quickly.
Use Other Treatments
If you contact a veterinarian, they can point you to over-the-counter medications you can use after their baths, usually topical ointments.
On other days you can clean any areas and apply the ointment as required.
As for the frequency, this can depend on the severity of the ringworm, and you may be given a prescription that deals with the inflammation and allow the skin to heal.
Some of these medications are based on the cat’s weight, so make sure you use the optimal amount.
This might sound like a hassle, but to ensure the safety of your cat and others around you, these measures can prevent the spread of ringworm and allow for a much easier and, hopefully, speedier recovery, which is the best outcome for your cat.
At Love4Cats, our practice involves consistent collaboration with licensed veterinarians and reputable industry experts. However, it's important to note that the content provided on Excited Cats is not intended as veterinary advice. While we strive to enhance your understanding of feline care, the information presented on this blog should not replace professional veterinary guidance.