Hi everyone, this is volunteer Robyn. We have recently had a few cats develop something called dermatophytosis, more commonly known as ringworm. Ringworm is a fungus, not a worm, and is very similar to the fungus that causes athlete’s foot and is nothing to be alarmed about. But cats are very susceptible to it and it can spread quite fast. It is easily treatable but it takes a long time to go away. Because of this, our vet Dr. Wysocki wants us to close the cattery for adoptions until we make sure no more cats come down with it.
Ringworm is a pretty interesting little spore that gets down in the hair follicle of an animal and to protect itself it creates a protein shell around the hair. This protein shell is what causes the tell-tale signs of ringworm which is a small crusty area on the skin. Though cats are most susceptible to ringworm, other animals and people can get it too. The good thing is when humans get it it usually goes away very quickly because we don’t have thick hair for it to nestle down in. With cats’ thick hair it takes much longer to resolved itself.
Ringworm will go away on its own but there are things we can do to shorten the duration of it. The main technique all shelters use for cats is dipping them in a lime-sulfur dip, which isn’t nearly as bad as it sounds and is the main job of yours truly… While our cattery is closed, I will be dipping all of the cats in the shelter twice a week — even those who do not have ringworm — as a precautionary measure. We will keep you updated on the progress and will let you know when we reopen for cat adoptions! Thanks for your patience, our cats are in great hands and we will get this pesky fungus under control!
Here are some great sites for more information on ringworm:
Further Feline Information