Cat Ring Worm Symptom List

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The classic cat ring worm symptom in cats presents as patches of hair loss which look like circular scaly areas with raised edges. After all, ring worm gets its name from the round ring-like appearance on the skin.

The most common locations for infection are the head, face, ears, tail, and paws. Early symptoms include dry, flaky skin. In addition, you may see bald areas on ears, the legs, and around the eyes. In most cases, however, ring worm is not itchy. Feline ring worm is a self-limiting disease, meaning that it can clear up by itself. If that is the case, ring worm symptoms should not last more than six to eight weeks.

In some cats, especially those who are immunosuppressed, the symptoms may persist. If left untreated, symptoms will continue to worsen and eventually develop into crusty, infected lesions that often become red and sore. If this is the case, then feline ring worm needs to be treated with medication. This is the preferred option, in any case, by most veterinarians, since the disease can be passed to other animals and humans.

So, you think your cat has ring worm. How do you know?

Each of the following is a possible cat ring worm symptom:

  • Loss of hair in circular patterns
  • Broken hair in circular patterns
  • Hair loss in irregular patterns
  • Scaly or bumpy skin
  • Red and inflamed skin
  • Itchiness (occasionally)
  • Deformed claws

The infected patches of skin heal centrally as the ring worm works its way outward from the initial point of contact on the cat's body.

The circular area expands as the skin heals in the center, and the fungus moves beyond the edge of the ring (the innermost area of the lesion is already healing, while the outermost raised area is the area where the ring worm is the most active).

The symptoms your cat may show can be very variable. Some cats infected with ring worm show little or no hair loss at all, and seem relatively unbothered by it. Others can have marked hair loss with pronounced scaly lesions which can extend to the entire body.

Only your veterinarian can tell you for sure if your cat has ring worm. Please take your cat to your veterinarian if you suspect that your cat has ring worm, or any other health issue.

Suggested Reading on Ring Worm Symptom

Cat Ring Worm

Feline Advisory Bureau's Cat Ring Worm Page

Vetinfo's Cat Ring Worm Page

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