A reader recently asked for guidance on a tough question: should she bring home a kitten who has ringworm? On the one hand, it would be sad to forgo getting a new member of your furry family, especially since ringworm is treatable, but on the other hand, getting rid of ringworm can be a stressful and possibly expensive process. Here are a few pros and cons of bringing home a Ragdoll kitten with ringworm:
- Ringworm treatment for kittens is easy – topical cream and pills over a 3-4 week period.
- Treating ringworm requires isolation, but it is good to initially isolate a new kitten from other cats.
- Ringworm is also fairly easy to treat in humans (no fur!) with topical cream.
- Nothing is wrong with the kitten itself – the ringworm will go away with isolation, sanitation, and treatment!
- Cats can have repeat outbreaks even after the initial ringworm.
- Medications can be expensive (especially if there are repeat breakouts).
- Treatment, isolation, and sanitation be stressful to deal with for several weeks.
- Risk of humans (especially young children) catching it.
- Ringworm can live on a contaminated object for up to 18 months.
Because ringworm can be stressful for a pet owner to deal with and there are some risks involved, a better alternative would be to see if the breeder can hold the kitten until a vet verifies that they are ringworm-free. This way you will still get to adopt your Ragdoll cat, but you do not have to deal with this ringworm treatment period. Most reasonable breeders understand that people want to adopt cats with a clean bill of health.
Would you recommend bringing home a kitten with ringworm? Why or why not? Have you had any experiences with cats and ringworm? Do you have tips for how to treat ringworm in cats naturally?