Ringworm: Bringing Home a Kitten with Ringworm?

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220px-Macroconidia_Microsporum_canis RingwormA 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:

Pros

  • 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!

Cons

  • 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?

Comments (9)

  1. Great post, Jenny! Awesome info! Personally, I would NOT bring home a kitten with ringworm. The risk of infection is to high and it’s just such a hassle to treat. In my opinion, the price I’m paying for my sweet kitten is supposed to ensure that I have a healthy kitten who has been treated and properly cared for prior to my picking her up. I have never brought home a sick kitten, luckily. Very lucky. πŸ™‚

    Big hugs & lots of love!

    Patti & Miss Pink Sugarbelle πŸ™‚ <3

    1. Thanks for sharing, Patti. When I brought home that cat on the side of the CVS Pharmacy when Charlie and Trigg were kittens – the vet warned me about ringworm, so Charlie and Trigg went to live with my parents until the rescue cat was cleared from ringworm. I didn’t know what I had actually potentially brought in my house though – and luckily, he was negative.

  2. Thanks for that important information Jenny! Didn’t know that that the pathogen can stay active for 18 months. Good grief! I wouldn’t bring a kitten home with it just for the fact that it is so contagious and could easily spread to my girls. That would be terrible and hope no one has had to go through that experience. Thanks so much for keeping us informed!
    Teresa

  3. I inadvertently brought home a stray kitty 11 years ago who had ringworm and he then passed it onto my 2 other cats (thankfully my dog did not get it from him). The meds from the vet made my oldest kitty very sick so I searched around for something non-toxic or homeopathic to get rid of it and lucked out with Goldenseal (liquid gold in a bottle). I would dab some goldenseal onto a q-tip or cotton ball and then dab the ringworm spots on my cats (they had it on the tips of their ears and at the base of their tails). It did take some time but it all went away and never came back and the best part was ZERO side effects plus the stuff is very affordable.
    I also used it on my face (where the kitty with ringworm slept) for the spot he gave me and it also worked on me! My vet refused to believe that this kitten had ringworm because he could not find it anywhere on him but I told him that he must be a carrier since he was the only cat I had at the time who was small enough to sleep on my face. I now always keep GoldenSeal in my house since I never know who might be waiting for me when I get home from work πŸ™‚
    I hope this might help someone else since I could never refuse to bring home a kitty who needed a place to stay!

    1. Allison, this is wonderful- thanks for sharing! I did a quick search on Amazon and found Goldenseal is an herb root and comes in capsules and an extract liquid – you used the extract liquid?

  4. I may take the cake for the most ringworm years of experience (going on 8). This is the first warm season that neither cat has any symptoms and the only differences are 1) I am now using Exquisite Cat Pine Litter and cleaning and bleaching the litter box weekly and 2) Zelda – the original bringer of ringworm into the household as a kitten is on 2X week prednisolone tablets for cholangiohepatitis and 3) the adult child who also was a chronic ringworm bearer finally moved out. Even as I type this, I quickly checked their ears for inflammation. I suspected the itraconazole pills that we gave to both kitties for most of the summer to treat the infection caused Zelda’s illness, although the vets all denied this. I also had a small spot of ringworm which I treated with Tea Tree Oil very effectively. WARNING – do not use Tea Tree oil on cats, it is toxic to them. So unfortunately my advice agrees with Jenny – you should require the breeder to verify the kitty is free of ringworm before you accept her.

    1. Thank you for sharing – that sounds miserable! I am glad to hear tea tree oil works on human ringworm – yes, I use tea tree oil on my face for any blemishes and they quickly go away. I know it is toxic for kitties – mine hate the smell of it, so they steer clear anyway!

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