Get Rid of Ringworm in Cats Once and For All [Full Guide]

by | Aug 4, 2023 | Cats, Health & Wellness

If you’re a worried cat owner watching your pet struggle with ringworm, you’re not alone. Many others like you have faced the same issue, and we’re here to help you get rid of it once and for all. 

This thorough guide seeks to arm you with the information and remedies required to eradicate ringworm permanently from your cat’s life. We’ve carefully selected the information in this article to help you care for your furry pet in the best possible way, from comprehending the causes of ringworm to looking at efficient treatments and probable costs. 

What Is Ringworm?

Ringworm in cats is caused by fungi called dermatophytes.


Despite their deceptive name, dermatophytes, a class of fungi, are what actually cause ringworm, not worms. These fungi multiply on a cat’s skin, causing an infection that damages the skin’s outer layers, hair, and nails. 

Due to their intimate grooming routines and contact with other diseased animals or contaminated things, cats are prone to ringworm. Circular bald patches, red blisters, flaking skin, and claw involvement are typical signs of ringworm in cats.

How Do Cats Acquire Ringworm?

Ringworm can infect cats in a number of ways. Direct contact with an infected animal or item, such as bedding, grooming equipment, or furniture, is one of the most frequent routes of infection. Additionally, ringworm fungi can grow and spread more easily in conditions with excessive humidity and inadequate ventilation. Cat owners can safeguard their pets from this problematic virus by taking preventative measures and being aware of the many ways of transmission.

What’s the Cause of Ringworm in Cats?

Specific species of fungi called Microsporum canis, Microsporum gypseum, and species in the genus Trichophyton. are primarily to blame for ringworm in cats. These fungi have distinct qualities that allow them to colonize and flourish on the skin of a cat, producing the telltale signs of ringworm. Cat owners and vets can more effectively treat the infection and stop it from spreading to other animals or people by comprehending the biology and behavior of these fungi.

How Is Ringworm Diagnosed by a Vet?

Wood's lamp examination is a diagnostic exam that helps to identify ringworm in cats.


A number of diagnostic techniques are used by veterinarians to identify ringworm in cats. For precise identification, methods include Wood’s lamp examination, a non-invasive UV light exam that identifies irregular patches on the skin. It only takes a few minutes, and your vet can give you the results immediately. 

Fungal culture and microscopic examination of hair and skin samples at the lab involve plucking or combing through your cat’s fur, and can take two weeks to generate results. These techniques provide accurate identification, lowering the danger of further spread and aggravation for the afflicted cat.

Cat Ringworm Symptoms

Recognizing the signs of ringworm is essential for prompt treatment because it can appear in many different ways. Some signs, such as circular bald patches and skin ulcers, are obvious, but others could be hidden, especially in long-haired cats. Additionally, typical ringworm symptoms include obsessive grooming and involvement of the nail bed and claw. Knowing these signs enables cat owners to quickly get the right care and ensure the well-being of their pets.

Concealed Symptoms: Challenges in Detecting Ringworm in Long-Haired Cats

Long-haired cats may conceal the circular bald patches and skin ulcers that are signs of ringworm beneath their fur, making it difficult to diagnose. This postponed diagnosis may cause the infection to worsen and the cat to feel uncomfortable. For early detection, routine grooming and close monitoring are essential.

Circular Bald Patches and Skin Sores

Cats with circular bald patches on their skin are frequently diagnosed with ringworm. The spots may appear swollen and red and frequently get bigger over time. These spots may become infected with skin ulcers, making the cat itchy and irritated.

Scaly and Flaky Skin, Red Sores, and Bumps

Ringworm can make the cat’s skin dry and scaly, which can be uncomfortable and produce obvious skin irritation. Additionally, red lumps and sores may appear, suggesting an infection.

Claw and Nail Bed Involvement

Ringworm can occasionally spread to the cat’s claws and nail beds. Brittle claws, swelling around the nail area, and discoloration are possible symptoms in infected cats.

Compulsive Grooming

Cats with ringworm may over-groom themselves in an effort to feel more comfortable. This excessive grooming can spread the virus more widely and lead to more severe hair loss.

How to Treat Ringworm in Cats?

Effective fungal eradication from ringworm demands a multifaceted approach to treatment. There are numerous treatment options, such as topical therapy, oral medication, and environmental therapy. Each technique offers a thorough approach to battling the infection and plays a significant role in healing.

Topical Therapy for Ringworm

Antifungal lotions or ointments administered directly to the cat’s skin are examples of topical therapy. These drugs aid in fungus eradication and skin irritation relief and are widely available over-the-counter at many drugstores. 

Oral Therapy for Ringworm

For severe or extensive ringworm, oral antifungal medicines are recommended. These drugs fight the illness systemically by acting within the cat’s body. 

Environmental Therapy for Ringworm 

To prevent re-infection, environmental therapy includes cleaning and disinfecting the cat’s living space and possessions. During the course of treatment, it is vital to keep the area clean and sanitary.

How Much Does It Cost To Treat Ringworm In Cats?

Costs associated with ringworm treatment include the diagnostic tests, vet expenses and treatment.


Although your pet’s happiness and health are priceless, it’s important to be informed of the potential costs of ringworm treatment. The costs involved cover prescription drugs, veterinary visits, diagnostic testing, and other necessary items. Cat owners can properly plan and budget for their pet’s treatment by being aware of the financial elements.

Ringworm Test Expenses

Diagnostic procedures for ringworm, including fungal cultures and microscopic inspections, can cost anywhere between $30 and $200. Effective therapy depends on an early diagnosis using these tests.

Veterinary Expenses

Depending on the veterinarian’s expenses, veterinary consultations and examinations for the treatment of ringworm might cost anywhere from $100 to $500, depending on the severity of your cat’s condition. If medicine or follow-up visits are necessary, additional fees can be incurred.

Additional Costs

Specialty shampoos, cleaners, and disinfectants may incur additional charges; they might range from $20 to $50 for the entire course of treatment.

Can Pet Insurance Provide Coverage for Such an Investment?

Odie's pet health insurance plans can help reimburse for expenses related to ringworm.


When it comes to protecting your cat’s health, pet insurance might be a worthwhile investment. There are many types of plans, and each offers different benefits. We will examine the three main plans from Odie to help you find one that best meets your requirements. 

Illness & Injury Plan

Averaging $25/month for cats, Odie’s Illness & Injury Plan pays for expenses like emergency vet visits, lab testing, and prescription medications. 

Accident-Only Plan

For a $250 deductible, the Accident Only Plan covers up to $10,000 of emergency expenses every year. Pet owners can get covered for injuries, wounds, emergency care, lab tests, and more. 

Wellness Plan

Odie’s Wellness Plan covers preventative care throughout the year, including flea and tick prevention, deworming, vaccinations, heartworm prevention, and more. You can purchase this plan as an add-on with any Odie insurance policy to get regular wellness checkups for your cat and prevent health issues related to ringworm. 


When Is Ringworm No Longer Contagious?

Ringworm is no longer contagious about three weeks after the full course of medication has been completed. To achieve eradication, it is necessary to finish the entire course of treatment.

How Long to Quarantine Cat with Ringworm?

It is advised to keep the infected cat separate from other animals until the ringworm is no longer contagious, which often happens after a few weeks of therapy.

Can a Human Get Ringworm from a Cat?

Yes, ringworm may spread to people from infected cats. When handling an infected cat, it’s important to take the appropriate safety measures and use excellent hygiene.

Will Ringworm in Cats Go Away by Itself?

Cat ringworm rarely goes away on its own. Treatment must be received as soon as possible to achieve a full recovery.

Are Certain Cat Breeds Prone to Ringworm?

All cat breeds are prone to ringworm, but long-haired cats may be more vulnerable since it can be challenging to identify the signs.

How Long Does It Take for Ringworm to Heal?

The time it takes for ringworm to recover varies depending on how bad the infection is and how well the therapy works. The full recovery process could take many weeks.

Can a Cat Have Ringworm Without Symptoms?

Yes, cats can harbor ringworm without showing any signs of the disease. These asymptomatic carriers nevertheless have the ability to infect both people and other animals.

Can You Use Human Ringworm Cream on Cats?

No, it’s not advisable to treat cats with human ringworm cream. Because of their sensitivities, cats may be poisonous to several human drugs.

When Does Ringworm Stop Spreading?

After starting an effective treatment, ringworm stops spreading. The risk of transmission greatly decreases when the infection heals.

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