Causes and treatment of fungal diseases in cats

Does your cat have a fungal infection even though you keep them clean? Want to learn about the causes and treatment of fungal diseases in cats? Let’s find out by reading the article below.

What is tinea versicolor in cats?

Causes and treatment of fungal diseases in cats: tinea versicolor in cats refers to fungal infections and is also a general term for fungal skin diseases in cats; the scientific name in English is ringworm.

There are two types of fungi that infect cats: A. Microsporum canis and B. Trichophyton mentagrophytes.

Microsporum canis causes 98% of skin fungus in cats, while Trichophyton mentagrophytes and Microsporum gypseum cause the remaining 2%.It can be seen that if you are still confused about the concept of fungi, I would like to give a few common examples of diseases caused by fungal infections:

  • Tinea pedis, also known as Hong Kong athlete’s foot,
  • Vaginitis caused by Candida albicans is the most common.
  • Nail fungus is usually caused by nail fungus.
Causes and treatment of fungal diseases in cats
Causes and treatment of fungal diseases in cats – Image from internet

All of the examples above are caused by fungi, which shows that fungi are not far from our lives but are very accessible.

The species Microsporum canis, in particular, can not only multiply in large numbers in humid environments but also survive in relatively dry environments for 1 to 1.5 days.five.

What are the characteristics of tinea versicolor in cats?

Causes and treatment of fungal diseases in cats Skin fungus in cats has the following characteristics:

Ringworm is actually not obvious in cats in the early stages, as most of them are covered with hair. At this point, it depends on how you treat the cat. For example, some parents only brush the cat once a month; when you find out, the tinea versicolor is already in the middle stage.

And some cat parents will brush their cats regularly, once a day or even twice a day. When combing your hair, you may feel the surface of the hair is uneven, have small hard lumps that swell to the touch, or see small dandruff-like lumps left on the surface of the comb after combing.

In addition, cats with tinea capitis may experience mild or severe hair loss on the body, visible patches of ringworm that shed hair (looking like cigarette butts), and greasy scales on the affected area (ulcerated skin can be seen when removed). When your cat has these skin features, it is likely to have a fungal skin infection.

Causes and treatment of fungal diseases in cats
Causes and treatment of fungal diseases in cats – Image from internet

Additionally, tinea capitis in cats is more likely to occur in the following areas:

  • Head near the neck.
  • Behind the ear
  • The bridge of the nose gradually extends to the edge of the pinna (common in kittens).
  • Limbs and hindquarters (most common).
  • In the tail (rarely).

Diagnostic method to accurately assess whether it is a skin fungus or not

Causes and treatment of fungal diseases in cats All of the above descriptions are manifestations of vitiligo, but only preliminary judgments can be made through specific manifestations.

For accurate testing, professional equipment in the hospital must be used; here we call it clinical diagnosis.


The doctor will use a razor blade to gently scrape a small amount of skin tissue in the affected area, place it on a microscope table, and observe it with the naked eye. Doing so allows one to visually see the actual condition of the skin cells and is also one of the more accurate methods of judgment.

Mushroom culture

The first step of the fungal culture process is to take a sample from the infected area and place it in a container to grow the first generation of normal fungi. The medium should be cultured at a temperature of between 28°C and 30°C for 3 to 4 weeks.

Usually, after 4 weeks of culture, if there is no fungal growth, it can be reported as negative; if a cultured fungus is found, it can be reported as positive and diagnosed as tinea capitis.

Wood’s lamp

Hospitals are basically equipped with professional wood lamps, also known as ultraviolet lamps. But what we need to pay attention to is:

Wooden lamp: daily banknote check light; disinfection and sterilization lamp
Wood’s lamp is an ultraviolet lamp with a wavelength of 340–400 nm..

The UV germicidal lamp is an ultraviolet lamp with a wavelength of 200 nm–275 nm..

In clinical medicine, dermatophytes such as Microsporum canis and Trichophyton mentagrophytes use tryptophan in animal fur for growth and metabolism.

Its metabolites can emit bright green fluorescence under ultraviolet light with a wavelength of 340–400 nm (i.e., a wood lamp). Fluorescence is hard to find in UV germicidal lamps with wavelengths from 200 nm to 275 nm.

The last thing to mention is that the lamp is best used before the ointment is applied. because the ointment for treating tinea capitis in cats will also show a similarly bright fluorescent blue under its light.

Causes and treatment of fungal diseases in cats 1
Causes and treatment of fungal diseases in cats – Image from internet

When is there a high prevalence of fungal skin disease?

According to the causes and treatment of tinea versicolor, there is no specific period of time when this fungus is abundant, and it will persist all year round. It’s just that in a humid environment, it creates more conditions for bacteria to multiply, thereby increasing the likelihood of scalp fungal infections.

Furthermore, the male return season varies by city, beginning as early as early March in some and as late as late March in others.

back to mid-April. When I return to the south, it’s usually cloudy and rainy. A sudden increase in rainfall can lead to a sudden increase in indoor humidity.

As a result, fungal skin diseases are more likely to appear all year because the weather is humid and hot, which is when scalp fungus is most common.

You can read more: Knowledge about dry cat food you should know.

In which cases are cats susceptible to fungal skin diseases?

Maybe some cat parents wonder why some cats get ringworm again and again, while others never relapse after being infected once. Cats with vitiligo will have antibodies that persist for half a year to a year after being cured by the parent cat.

The existence of antibodies is not a one-time thing, but it is necessary to continue to maintain disinfection, a clean environment, and diversify the cat’s diet to ensure that the cat’s body has enough resistance.

In a nutshell, it really involves three aspects:

Habits of parent cats

Your requirements for quality of life are an important factor that directly affects your cat’s quality of life. As I mentioned above, what kind of environment and humidity are suitable for fungi to reproduce and survive?

Then consider the following minor details and see if you notice them frequently:

1. How often do you clean your home environment?

2. Were the socks in the washing machine in time after coming home?

3. Can you regularly open windows for ventilation to keep your house clean and tidy?

4. Do you change your shoes promptly after coming home to avoid bringing bacteria home?

5. Are cat supplies regularly and thoroughly disinfected?

Causes and treatment of fungal diseases in cats
Causes and treatment of fungal diseases in cats – Image from internet

Cat’s daily diet

Dermatophytosis is common in malnourished and sick cats. When cats are deprived of essential nutrients for a long time, their resistance will continue to decline. Therefore, the likelihood of scalp fungal infections increases; in other words, cats with low resistance are not necessarily infected with tinea capitis, but cats with certain scalp fungi have poor resistance.

In particular, cats lacking vitamin B are susceptible to ringworm infections. So, as cat parents, we need to make sure that our cat’s diet is varied. Feed your cat not only a single food, but also canned food and meat (boiled chicken breast or boiled mackerel).

In addition, we also need to supplement B vitamins for cats regularly.

You don’t need to buy pet-specific, overpriced ones. My recommendation is to go straight to the pharmacy to buy a small vial of vitamin B complex for 25 yuan. Feed the dose of tablets according to the cat’s weight, and there is no need to worry about overfeeding, as the part that cannot be digested by the body will be excreted with the cat’s urine.


The above article has helped people understand the causes and treatment of fungal diseases in cats. I hope everyone gets useful information.

You can refer to more knowledge about pet cat care here: Cat care

Written By Pet Cares

Lee Ana has worked in all aspects of the veterinary field, and therefore has a deep understanding of animals. She graduated from veterinary school and has since worked in multiple countries, fostered many animals, and volunteered her time to help pets and vets alike

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