What does ringworm look like on a cat?

Here are some pictures of domestic cats with ringworm. I am fortunate to be able to refer to a recently written article by Elisa, a colleague of mine, who wanted to spread the word about a beautiful rescue boy whose name is Chauncey (a.k.a. Chance). He is at an upstate South Carolina shelter, FIV positive and looking for a special home. He’s also got ringworm which is being treated. He’ll be available for adoption on December 14 and here is his photograph:

Chauncey with his ringworm
Chauncey with his ringworm. Photo: Pickens County Humane Society.
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles:- Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

You can see ringworm on his face. This fungal condition varies in severity so sometimes you can’t see it as it is hidden by the fur. A cat that I inherited from my deceased mother, Charlie, had a small bit of ringworm at the base of his tail which was barely visible. I treated it with UVB light. I find UVB light to be a great cure for fungal infections of any kind of the skin of humans (and cats?). Check it out but only try it on humans as UVB light can harm eyes.

I am also publishing another picture of a cat with quite bad ringworm on her face which clearly shows what ringworm looks like on a cat. Please remember that it is highly contagious and therefore if you handle a cat with ringworm you might get it.

Cat Ringworm. This case is unusually clear and obvious. Sometimes you'll just see rough areas of skin under thinning fur. And the nose might be affected.
Cat Ringworm. This case is unusually clear and obvious. Sometimes you’ll just see rough areas of skin under thinning fur. And the nose might be affected. Photo in public domain.

The way it looks on the skin is described in the condition’s name, “ringworm”. It often forms the shape of a ring, a crescent, a line or just a general irregular shape. This plantlike growth invades the hair and hair follicles creating scaly skin at the centre of the circle, when fully formed, together with an advancing read ring at the margin.

I caught ringworm from my cat, Charlie, and I can confirm that it is difficult to get rid of because you can remove the symptoms with UVB light but it comes back. And it itches although it does not always itch, apparently. As mentioned it is contagious and zoonotic which means the disease can be submitted from person to person, person to cat, cat to person and animal to animal. Contact with spores in the soil, carpets, brushes, combs, toys and furniture on which the fungal spores are resting can also transmit the disease to humans

Ringworm on person's neck
Ringworm on person’s neck caught from his cat. Picture in public domain.

I have a rather gruesome picture of a cat being treated professionally for ringworm (see below and read the page). The treatment is unpleasant for cats with a generalised infection. They are dipped twice a week with an antifungal solution such as lime sulphur. Localised infections can be dealt with a cream (please don’t try a cream without full advice from your veterinarian) or in my case UVB light administered carefully. I cannot advise people to use UVB light because it is my personal treatment and I’m sure veterinarians would not recommend it. It works extremely well for humans though.

Ghastly ringworm
Ghastly ringworm spores: Cornell. Treatment picture: screenshot.
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