Treatment for Ringworm in Cats: Is it Curable?

You will be happy to know that the prognosis treatment for ringworm in cats is good. The conventional treatment provided by veterinarian usually respond very well.

But, getting know this news, no way to get relaxed. Because, each and every diseases cause a lot of sufferings both the affected pets along with its owner.

Moreover, in some cases, some unexpected complication could arise which can increase your treatment cost as well as more sufferings resulting more economic loss.

So creating awareness among cat parents are crucial about the disease. Specially adopting the appropriate preventive measures against the disease so that the disease can be stopped from before.

In spite of taking preventive measures, if still ringworm affect your cats, don’t make delay to start proper treatment activities by contacting your vet. Because, if you can start treatment right away after the onset of disease, you can limit its consequences.

Another thing, in order to understand if your cat is affected with ringworm or not, you need be familiar with the symptoms of ringworm.

In this article, I‘ll discuss about the treatment for ringworm in cats along other relevant issues. Let’s get started.

The treatment for ringworm in cats

Before, going to main point, let’s take some preliminary idea about ringworm. This is one of the most common disease that frequently occurs in pets like dogs and cats. From infected pets; you the pet owner can also be affected.

That’s why this is included within the zoonotic disease group. I mean, the disease can spread both from animals to human or human to animals.

Is ringworm a parasite?

As the name suggests, people initially get confused about ringworm with parasites. As you know parasites are often called as worm, like that of tape worm, round worm or lung worm, etc.

But, the fact is, the infectious agent causing ringworm is not a parasite. It is from fungal origin, belongs to dermatophytes group. For which, according to medical term, ringworm also known as dermatophytosis.

How ringworm affect cats?

The disease ringworm is highly one of highly contagious disease. It can rapidly spread from one to another individual animals after getting infection.

The transmitting process is by direct contact with infected animals or from environmental contaminants used by the infected pets such as common feeding bowls, watering materials, beddings, or any such objects.

The fungal spores can survive in the environment for as long as 18 months as an active infectious agents. As that spore is very tiny materials and microscopic in size can easily mix with your clothes or fur of susceptible animals.

Once the spore come in contact with any parts of living animals, they start to accumulate at the root of hair follicles from where they get necessary food and nutrition for their further growth and multiplication.

When your cat get infected by the fungus responsible for causing ringworm, after incubation period, the clinical signs and symptoms exposed.

However, once the causal agent ie the fungus enter into the cat’s body, disease may not be developed in all the cases. It depends on certain criteria like the body condition, immunity, age, and etc.

If the cat’s body defense mechanism fail to fight against the fungus, the disease will develop within few days. After that, the cat will show clinical symptoms gradually.

But, in milder form of ringworm, the symptoms may not be visible from outside.

However, the most common symptoms caused by ringworm is the skin lesion which is characterized by formation of a round shaped reddish zone on the skin surface of cat. Which is why, alopecia or loss of hair becomes evident in the affected areas.

I discussed about the symptoms of ringworm of cats in another post. To learn more about this, you can visit that post.

Now, the main point – the treatment of ringworm in cat on which I‘ll discuss.

What are the treatment for ringworm in cats?

The treatment of ringworm in cats has got a very good response for recovery of the disease. This completely a curable disease if you follow every instruction provided by your vets.

As the disease is so contagious to spread rapidly into other animals or even you and your family member, this is important to you to start the best possible treatment in no time.

Read more how ringworm in cat can cause disease to human.

Firstly after being confirmed that your cat got ringworm, you need to isolate the infected cat as soon as possible to prevent further disease spread.

If your cat has long hair on skin surface of the body, this is good practice to clip those hairs. This can help reduce shedding of ringworm spores from body.

At the same, once diagnosed the disease, the core treatment activities could be as follows-

  • Oral antifungal drugs
  • Lime sulfur bath
  • Environmental clean-up with antifungal disinfectants

As the treatment of ringworm in cats needs aggressive ways to tackle, you should continue those core treatment option with special importance in a regular and timely manner up to the end of the treatment course.

The best treatment option for ringworm in cat as mentioned above is to run oral antifungal drugs together with topical treatment.

Additionally, environmental disinfection is necessary to prevent future attacks of ringworm. As because, the fungal spores can survive in the environment for a considerable amount of time.

Topical treatment includes use of antifungal ointment, shampoo or cream on the affected skin areas of cat’s body. Bathing the cat with lime sulfur dip twice in a week is also recommended as a part of topical treatment.

In terms of oral antifungal medication, your vet may choose itraconazole, terbinafine, fluconazole, ketoconazole, and etc.

The side effect is rarely observed in case of using those oral drugs.

How long does it take to treat ringworm in cats?

The important thing to note that, normally duration of the treatment for ringworm in cats can last up to six weeks.

If the symptoms disappears before that time, don’t stop any part of treatment until the end. Complete the full course of treatment up to six months.

Otherwise, ringworm can again come to attack with more strength. Because, if treatment is stopped before the end of its course, the microbes are not completely killed. Then drug resistance developed within microorganisms.

How do you know your cat has ringworm?

It’s a very good and specific question to understand. Firstly, pay attention on the symptoms expressed in your cat. Then go through the clinical signs associated with ringworm.

After that, make comparison between the symptoms express by your cat and the normal signs shown with a typical case of ringworm.

If you get similarity over there, this could be a tentative diagnosis of the disease. This doesn’t represent the confirmatory diagnosis of the disease unless your vet suggest to undergo laboratory test.

One thing to remember that, the signs of ringworm in cats has got the similarity with other types skin diseases occurs in cat.

So, in order to be sure your cat has ringworm, you must consult with an expert vets.

Bottom line

The treatment for ringworm in cats – though is curable, but can be a challenge to successful complete the full course of treatment. You need to pay special attention for disinfecting the environmental contaminant as well to destroy the future source of disease occurrence. If you have any question, please put in the comment box.


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.

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