Test Your Ringworm IQ

Alan used to have ringworm. Now he's infection-free and living the good life in a home of his own!

Alan used to have ringworm. Now he’s infection-free and living the good life in a home of his own!

What comes to mind when you hear the word “Ringworm”? Did you think “Eww,” “No way!” or “Worms are gross”? If so, you aren’t the only one! But do you know the real facts? Answer the questions below to test your Ringworm IQ!


____ Ringworm really is a worm.

False. “Ringworm” is a misnomer: it’s not a worm at all! Dermatophytosis is a minor infection (similar to athlete’s foot) caused by the fungus M. Canis. It got its nickname because it often presents as a round, hairless region. Originally, people thought it looked like a worm just because of its shape.

____ Ringworm is life-threatening.

False: This condition is not fatal, or even painful. It’s also self-limiting, meaning that it won’t spread across the cat’s whole body. (It usually presents itself as hairless patches on and around the ears, paws or toes.)

Rescued kitty Jolie used to have ringworm. She's so glad she got a second chance!

Rescued kitty Jolie used to have ringworm. She’s so glad she got a second chance!

____ Cats with ringworm are often euthanized in some shelters.

True. Sadly, many shelters euthanize cats who test positive if they don’t have the resources or the space to keep them long enough. It can take several weeks—if not months—to effectively treat a feline. With time and care, though, these cats could make a full recovery and lead long, happy lives. We are committed to treating this condition: when we take in ringworm cat at Seattle Area Feline Rescue, we are giving safety to an animal who has run out of other options.

____ Humans can catch ringworm from cats.

True. It’s one of the few “zoonotic” diseases that can pass from animals to humans. If a human catches it, it’s an annoying but minor condition which can be treated with an over-the-counter anti-fungal cream.  HOWEVER… when a cat tests positive, we start an extensive treatment process including oral medication and medicated baths. The feline is not placed for adoption until it has finished treatment and tested negative for ringworm.

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Now that you know the facts, you don’t need to think “Ewww” anymore. Instead, just picture a cute little set of whiskers like Alan or Jolie! Infection is temporary; love from a feline companion is forever.

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