Ringworm symptoms in cats: How does it look like?

Ringworm in cat symptoms sounds so common among cat owners all over the world. Because, the disease is seen to frequently occur throughout the world causing harmful effects to your cats specially kittens.

Understanding the signs of ringworm in your cats may help you take early measures to reduce the scope of disease spread. Because, it’s a highly contagious disease, can easily be transmitted to healthy cats or dogs.

Even, the ringworm is zoonotic in nature for which the transmission of ringworm from cats to human is very common and frequently occurring cases. So, for your safety, this is important to take necessary precautionary measures during handling your infected cats .

So, it’s a good sign to show interest to know about the symptoms of ringworm in cat. It can help you develop awareness about the disease.

In this post, you will get an idea about the symptoms of ringworm in cat along with other relevant information.

So, keep reading until the end.

Ringworm in cat symptoms – How does it look like?

Before, going to the main topics, let’s talk about the ringworm first to have a preliminary idea about this.

Is the ringworm a parasite?

Normally what the term ‘worm’ sounds like among us – we can easily understand it. As we are familiar with the word round worm, tape worm, lung worm and etc.

So, what does it mean by the word ‘worm’ – do you know?

Yes, it means nothing but different kinds of parasites. That’s all.

But what does the word ‘worm’ mean when it is placed beside ‘ring’. Does it mean the same as above?

The answer is no. The word ‘worm’ present in ‘ringworm’ is not a parasite. It’s a kind of fungus from dermatophytes group which is why the disease ringworm is termed as dermatophytosis medically.

Now let’s talk about another parts of ‘ringworm’; that is the word ‘ring’. Where does this popular name come from?

The answer is, the symptoms of ringworm in cat or even for human are mainly characterized by a round shaped skin lesion. But this is not the condition to be always round shaped lesion for the case of ringworm infection.

However, already I talked a lot. Hope your understood the thing which I tried to talk about.

Now, you need know how the fungus cause disease once get entrance into the body surface for better understanding the ringworm symptoms in cat.

How ringworm cause disease in cats?

You need to know how cats get infected with ringworm, I mean what the mode of transmission of ringworm in cat is. I talked about the issue in another post. You can have a look on it by going there.

Anyway, in a nutshell, you know – it’s a very contagious disease. A healthy cat get ringworm infection by direct contact with an infected cats or from other animals. Even, the disease can be transmitted from the contaminated environmental sources like food bowls, beddings, combs and etc. that might have been used by any infected animals.

Not only this, the infectious fungal spores can survive anywhere in the environment up to 18 months.

Actually you can’t hide from it. You will find it in soil that thrives mostly in warm and humid environment. The presence of ringworm is not confined only within the soil. As the fungal spores are so tiny and microscopic in nature they can readily mix up with your clothing and the far of any outdoor cats. After that, they get chance to enter into your home where they can flourish for further stage as well.

However, once the fungal spores find a suitable place that is the live animals or human as their food source, they start to localize in the hair follicle.

From there they get enough food and nutrition that help them to further growth and multiplication. And, this is the time when they became a bit tricky to start developing ringworm disease in your cats.

Any cats getting contaminated with this fungus may not necessarily produce disease in all the cases.

It depends on some other factors like health condition, body immunity, the amount infectious agent received etc. This can be a good news for you as a cat owner.

Finally, these are the possible routes of spreading infection and mechanism of ringworm disease development in your cats.

Now the main point, ringworm symptoms in cats, the topic sentence on which I shall discuss.

I hope, you got a basic idea from the above content how the things of ringworm infection actually happening behind the seen.

Ringworm symptoms in cats: How is that?

This the place where the term ringworm can claim the justification of its nomenclature. Because, the lesion looks like a circular ring on the skin surface of your cats characterized by a reddish, round and a bit raised boundary on the skin surface of an infected cat.

Sometimes, in milder form of disease, ringworm symptoms in cats are not well understood. Though they don’t have any signs of infection, still they spread the disease from one to another cats.

Individual cats or even human who are immunologically suppressed can get the ringworm infection faster. And the duration of disease in that case often becomes longer.

The symptoms of ringworm in cats mostly observed in the skin surface of face, tail, ears, and feet as a round shaped infected spots.

But the disease can be confused with some other skin condition due to allergies or bacterial dermatitis. Ringworm symptoms in cats often resemble with the ringworm of dogs in terms of crusty skin, hair loss, and scaling.

However, if the infected cats display symptoms, they likely to look as follows-

  • The most frequently seen clinical symptoms associated with ringworm is alopecia or hair loss. The extent of lesion varies depending on the severity or intensity of the infection.
  • Presence of localized patches of alopecia is seen in most cases that looks like scaly or crusty with broken hair.
  • The affected skin lesion represents a circular, reddish, and inflamed zone on the skin that are a bit raised from normal skin surface.
  • Initially there might have a little or no itching sensation, but later on, you will notice the cats are moving its claws in the affected areas which means a kind of irritation or itchy developed over there.
  • In some cases, the symptoms can spread on other areas of the body such as chest, front legs, head, and spine.
  • Infectious lesion may be notice on nail in occasional manner. In that case, the cat’s nail looks like scaly or rough which can give rise to distortion of nails.

This is to remember that, the ringworm symptoms in cat may turn into a more generalized condition where the larger areas of body becomes affected. The skin lesion can look like a nodular form in more severed form which are called granulomas. In this stage there could have oozing.

Bottom line

Looking the ringworm symptom in cat does not necessarily ensure the occurrence of ringworm disease. There are some other diseases like dermatitis that resembles the ringworm symptom grossly. So, go for your nearby pet clinic for confirmation if your cat is suffering from ringworm disease or not.

A veterinarian completed Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree from Bangladesh Agricultural University. I worked for more than 12 years as a veterinary surgeon for Bangladesh Govt. During this time, I got the opportunity to work with pets. I bear a keen interest in pets by sharing my knowledge and experiences. Till now I am working in Dept. Livestock Services, Bangladesh.

Leave a Comment