Helping Kittens with Ringworm!

Helping Kittens with Ringworm!


Wanna hear a spooky story? My kittens have… ringwooooorm! Noooooo! The horrooooorrr! Hi guys. [laughing] Ooh, that’s creepy. Okay, but in all seriousness, ringworm sounds a lot scarier than it actually is. HANNAH: She’s got ringworm. ANDREW: Gross. HANNAH: She’s glowing! [makes club music beat sound effects] [Andrew joins in] [Andrew singing, Hannah laughing] HANNAH (singing): It’s a ringworm paaaarty! [laughs] HANNAH: Sorry! [still laughing, Andrew keeps singing] It is a ringworm party. Ringworm is a fungal infection of the skin, and it’s a totally treatable condition. So that’s not scary at all. What is scary, however, is the fact that ringworm can be a death sentence for kittens in shelters because they need extra support while they’re going through treatment. Because of the extra support they need, they typically rely on the availability of a foster home in order to survive. And a lot of people are very scared to foster ringworm kittens. That means they can be euthanized for a condition that’s totally treatable. So in this video, we’re going to break down what ringworm is and talk about how to stop it in its tracks. Maybe we need a kitten. You wanna be in the video? You have ringworm on your head? Poor Will. You look like a grandpa and you’re only a month old. How’s that work? I wanna start by saying if you learn how to care for ringworm kittens and you volunteer as a ringworm foster parent, your skills are going to be absolutely life-saving for little guys like Will. Shelters desperately need people who are willing to foster ringworm kittens. So if that’s you, you are a superhero! if you haven’t fostered a kitten with ringworm before, watch this video and consider giving it a try! I wish I could kiss you, but I can’t! I can’t! Okay. So what is ringworm? Despite its name, ringworm is not a worm at all. Ringworm is a fungal infection that affects the skin, fur, and claws. This fungus is contagious to humans, cats, dogs, and other animals. When an animal has ringworm, it’s common to see a round ring of red, patchy skin. Sometimes the skin will appear flaky, sometimes the skin may appear thickened, and other times, the kitten may have fur loss resulting in bald patches. This is because the fungi eat the keratin that’s present in skin and fur, causing ringworm lesions. How do kittens get ringworm? Ringworm is contagious via direct contact with fungal spores, which are microscopic and can live in your environment on items like blankets and bowls, or can travel from the infected animal to another animal. Kittens are especially susceptible to ringworm in a high-volume environment like a cat colony or an animal shelter. If exposed to ringworm, it can take several days or even weeks for signs of the disease to occur. Once the fungus is in the environment it can linger there for months, continuing to infect others who come into contact with it. While humans can get ringworm, healthy adults are typically resistant to infection. Young children, seniors, and people who are immunocompromised are more likely to get ringworm when working with cats who have it. In humans, it’s most commonly spread by kids in settings like elementary schools or daycares. I’m happy to say that having worked with a lot of ringworm kittens myself, I’ve never personally had it. But that doesn’t mean it can’t happen, so always be cautious. It’s important to know that when working with ringworm kittens, sanitation is key to protecting both yourself and the kitten from further outbreak. How will you know if a kitten has ringworm? If you can see any signs of hair loss or skin irritation, it’s good to talk to a vet to rule out this funky fungus. With my kittens, it started with just a few patches of skin that looked a little bit dry. So I thought maybe they were just a little bit dirty. But as they started to lose their hair and look like a bunch of grandpas, I knew something was wrong and that I needed to test them for ringworm. If you suspect that a kitten has ringworm, the very best thing to do is go to a veterinarian. A vet can do a skin scrape and culture it to confirm presence of the fungus. In some cases, these confirmatory tests can take a long time, so it’s often good to go ahead and get started with your treatment if the vet does suspect ringworm. The other common method for diagnosing ringworm is a black light or a woods lamp. Certain strands of ringworm will glow under a black light, so when you shine it on them, you may see that their patchy parts look bright purple. Just be careful using this method because not all strands of ringworm will glow, and there are things that will glow that are not ringworm, like certain fibers, or food residue, or my hair… My eyes. My teeth. Fungus mooouth! That better not be ringworm in there. Okay, but seriously, once you know your kittens have ringworm, it’s time to take action immediately to stop it from spreading. In general, ringworm treatment is going to have four components. 1: Quarantine and sanitizing. 2: Medicated dip or bath. 3: Topical ointments. And 4: Oral medication. So let’s start with quarantine and sanitation. When you have ringworm kittens, you want to protect your environment, your stuff, and yourself. You’ll want to put the kittens in a contained space that you can sanitize daily. My kittens are in a small pen with blankets, bedding, toys, and a litter box, all of which needs to either be able to be totally disinfected or thrown away after each use. All kennels, cages, food dishes, and other items need to be sanitized frequently. Wash all bedding in the washing machine using bleach to kill the spores. Be very mindful not to let the exposed items touch other things in your home, like your furniture or your personal laundry. At least once daily, you want to completely refresh all of your blankets and bedding and spray down the space using a disinfectant. Just wash it using your disinfectant and then it’s safe to use again. What kind of disinfectant should you use? In general, people will use one of two things. Either they’ll use bleach at a ratio of 1 to 32 diluted with water, or they’ll use rescue disinfectant which is what I use in my home. When working in the space with kittens, you’ll want to wear gloves. This is going to protect you from making skin contact with the fungus, and it’s going to minimize the risk of you spreading the spores to other items in your home. Put on your gloves when you begin working with the kittens and take them off as soon as you’re done, being mindful not to wear them when you’re touching other items like your phone or your doorknob. If you do touch those items, just sanitize them after. You can also wear special socks or booties while you’re in their space and take them off after you leave if you’re concerned about getting spores on your feet. If you want to be extra careful, you might consider designating a special, extra-big t-shirt to wear as a smock when you’re working with them. If you have long hair, make sure you tie it up so it doesn’t touch them. I know it’s tempting that you want to touch and kiss your kittens, but trust me. When they’re living in the fungal jungle, sanitation comes first. So limit your direct contact with them to the best of your ability. I’ll blow you a kiss, Catalina. [blows kiss] Did you catch it? You did? [small squeak] Okay! Next let’s talk about baths and dips. Twice a week, you’re going to bathe or dip your kitten in a medicated bath. There are several different kinds, but first, I’ll talk about the most commonly used method for working with ringworm kittens, which is lime sulfur dip. Lime sulfur dip is an anti microbial concentrate that kills fungi. It has a pungent smell like rotten eggs so it’s kind of gross to work with, but it’s very effective and it’s affordable. You’ll follow the instructions on the bottle to dilute the concentrate and then you’ll dip the kittens into the solution, carefully coating their body. Use a washcloth or a cotton pad to carefully apply the dip to the face avoiding the eyes. Once the kitten is dipped in the lime sulfur, that’s it. Don’t rinse them, just let them dry completely. The sulfur smell will dissipate as it dries, and that dip will get to work on killing all the spores. Now I use a different medicated bath that contains the antiseptic chlorhexidine and the antifungal ketoconazole. This shampoo is a prescription strength and you have to get it from a veterinarian. There are other similar shampoos you can get, so talk to your veterinarian about the best shampoo for your kittens. And make sure you’re using something that is specifically created for cats. Using the shampoo method, you’ll wash the kitten with the shampoo thoroughly, being very careful while washing the face using a cloth or cotton pad. Be careful not to get the shampoo into the eyes. Once the kitten is covered in the shampoo, you’ll leave the product on for 5 to 10 minutes, then thoroughly rinse it off of them and get them dry and warm as fast as possible. You should be aware that dips and baths can be very traumatic to kittens because they’re made to be wet for a period of time. So warm up a heat pad ahead of time and make sure that they are kept warm throughout the entire process. Remember that for young kittens, being cold is a big deal. So don’t skip this step. Keep them warm! After I do my shampoo bath, I always dry the kittens immediately and place them on a blanket with a heat pad underneath it. Next, let’s talk about topical treatments. There are many topical antifungal treatments and what’s important is that you’re using one that is effective and safe for cats. The topical medication my kittens are using is called Tresaderm. And it’s a prescription drug that contains an antifungal as well as a broad-spectrum antibiotic that treats inflammation. After the kittens’ bath, I put this on their active lesions. On days that the kittens don’t get their bath, I clean the lesions using a gauze pad soaked in chlorhexidine. This cleans and prepares the area to be treated using the ointment. My kittens get this ointment once a day, but other topical treatments may be used more frequently. Of course, talk to your vet before using any over-the-counter medication on your kittens and make sure it’s safe for them. When in doubt, go the prescription route. Last but not least, let’s talk about oral medications Topical treatments will work from the outside in, but oral medications will work from the inside out. The most common drug used to treat ringworm is called Itrafungol and it’s what I’m using with these little guys. This is a medication you’ll need to get from your vet and you’ll need to dose it to the kitten’s specific weight. When used in conjunction with your topical meds, this is a well-rounded approach that is sure to kick ringworm’s butt! So to recap, my routine is medicated baths two times a week, cleaning it daily, topical treatments once a day, and oral medication once a day. Be aware that recovery from ringworm can take several weeks and you should be treating them throughout the entire duration and even periodically afterwards to make sure that you kicked its butt. Of course, remember to protect yourself and your home environment during that time. Wear your gloves, sanitize your room and your laundry and your supplies, and be extra mindful about cross-contamination while working with the kittens. Once they’re fully recovered, I recommend doing a thorough deep clean before taking on any new kittens. Sanitizing the space completely so you can rest assured that your home is fungus free. So there you have it! I hope I’ve helped to put a little bit of fun in fungus. Was that funny? [crickets chirping] Tough crowd. I find it absolutely tragic that so many little kittens like Tapinga here are killed in shelters just because foster parents are scared to take them on. So if you wanna be a real hero for the kittens in your community, call your local shelter and let them know that you would like to sign up to be a foster for ringworm kittens. You’ll save their lives, you’ll help them feel better, and you’ll give them a chance to get that loving, fungus-free home that they deserve. Thanks for being a part of the solution, and thanks for watching!

100 thoughts on “Helping Kittens with Ringworm!

  1. Hahaha I rescued a cat once, and didn’t know what ringworm was until I saw a giant spot in my moms nose, and it spread to half the family because we gave the cat to our cousin 😂

  2. What flashlight brand are you using? I am dealing with ringworm on my cats! One kitten had it, and an epidemic broke out!

  3. what pet pen do you have? i cant seem to find one in canada very easily and as fast as id like to have it for my kitten

  4. Oh, I forgot to ask what your take is on vacuum cleaners? There is sooo much confusing info online regarding ringworm outbreaks and using your vacuum cleaners. Some people are even saying throw out your vacuum cleaner or buy one just for the outbreak.  I can't afford to throw out 900 dollars worth of vacuum cleaners too.  But I'm freaking out about whether I will cause a recontamination  of my pets and home, as ringworm spores supposedly can live up to 18 or 24 months :O  I'm feeling like I'm trapped in a Ringworm Nightmare Snowglobe, with invisible spores everywhere. :O  Ahhhhhhhh…….

  5. I got ring worm from one of my pet rats and it ISNT FUN! Taking precautions for ringworm and other diseases is very important. Thank you for making a video explaining this issue ^^

  6. I cant find lime sulfur solution. But I'm trying to bath my cat with salicylic solution which has ketoconazole property. I don't know if it will work but i hope it does. And P.S i'm also treating myself coz I was infected as well 🙁

  7. So I have rescued a 2 month old kitten that is nearly bald from ring worm (also has other health issues like eye infections and it just got de-wormed) and I took it to the vet and got the medicine. It has a little blanket in its crate that it can snuggle up on. Everyday I take the blanket out and wash it in hot water and then disinfect the crate. After I do that I wash the kittens face because it has ear mites really bad and its causing black stuff to appear all over it’s face everyday and then I give it its antifungal, antibiotics meds and eye drops. I’m waiting to see an improvement. Do you think I’m doing it right?

  8. if you get ringworm from a cat and meds aren't working, try applying white vinegar to those areas a few x/day (on yourself not the cat)
    worked for me after nothing else would!

  9. It’s surprising to me how scared people are of ringworm. It’s not that scary. I had it as a kid and once as an adult. Being careful about transmission and prompt treatment make it easy to eliminate.

  10. I remembered my cat has the worst case of rashes and at first I thought it was just an effect of fleas so I gave him a bath. But as days progresses, his rashes keeps getting worse so I tried to cure it with ointment every single day and wrap a piece of cloth around his neck (which where he had rashes) so that he won't able to lick it. The healing is a very slow process, almost a month, but inevitably he healed anyway. The turning point here is that I somehow been contaminated with these rashes on my feet and legs. It also took me a month to heal using sulfur soap and ointment. Now, stumbling upon your video, I now realized that the rashes that my cat had before was ringworm after all and yes, it was such a pain to go through them for both me and my cat. Thanks for educating about ringworms! Next time I'll be cautious

  11. Okay, so… I have a blacklight flashlight for ringworm infection detection (arriving Thursday thank you Amazon) bleach, spray bottle, tons of extra warm blankets (my bathroom is kinda chilly) so I can change her bedding out daily to be washed in bleach, gloves, a nightlight for my windowless bathroom, flip flops I can bleach clean and long sleeve shirt/pants IDAF about and wash with bleach laundry so I can still hold her and love on her without worrying about skin to skin contamination and she can still receive shnuggles and affection throughout her month long treatment.
    I'm so proud of her! She also has actual worms and a URi. She popped today and has been making pee pees! I think she's going to make it 💖 Thank to Austin Pets Alive veterinarians providing fosters with the medicine we need to care for furr babies, IDK what I'd do because I can't afford to do things your way.
    Also, can you imagine if we euthanized every child who got athlete's foot!? Absurd!
    I'm going to save this baby's life. She is so desperate for affection 😭 it breaks my heart to isolate her.

  12. I got ringworm from my cats but they don't seem to have and of the fungus in shape of a ring a we can see so we locked them In the bathroom and they will have a special dip each friday

  13. I've gotten ringworm from a friends kittens on accident and it was very easy for me to get rid of. Its sorta spooky having stuff grow on you but no need to be scared of it!

  14. Please look on my chanel i think my kitten might die shes in very bad condition idk if ita ringworm or not but ita so bad and she isn't doing so good

  15. I foster kittens and so does my friend. When my friend took her litter of 3 to the shelter so they could provide some medical care, they took them in for a night of "observation". She never saw them again, and you could guess why. Her next litter of kittens also had ringworm. This time, instead of going to the shelter for help, she went to an independent vet to get medications for her kittens, and kept postponing the return of the kittens to the shelter until they were cured. It sucks that shelters are so afraid of ringworm, because with proper care, the kitten could be 100% rescued. Thanks for making a video on this topic!

  16. I've had ringworm and it wasn't a big deal (for people). Don't let the fear of catching it stop you from fostering these little guys! A few small dry patches on my torso that cleared right up with an anti-fungal cream, easy peasy.

  17. Ugh. My brothers were wrestlers, so they would come home with all kinds of icky stuff. Once in the 6th grade they ended up giving me impetigo.

  18. I subscribe to your channel because of your enthusiasm and love for animals AND you give us something of value.
    Can you educate us about ticks and fleas? How to identify, what to do and what danger, if any, they pose.

  19. We adopted 2 cats this June and just last week one started ringworm . The hardest part is I cant kiss her little face 🐱

  20. That was a very helpful video! My cat showed dermatitis the past couple days and I took her to the vet. He is not sure if it is ringworm or not yet, there were no glowing parts and he has a culture growing so we will have results soon but we already started a topical cream. Since it's my cat I am now stressing regarding spores in the house if it turns out to be ringworm. She has access to carpets and couches and she sleeps on our bed so how can you disinfect items like these properly? Thanks 🙂

  21. It just blows my mind how freaked out people get about ringworm, when so many other, more serious diseases can also be transmitted between kittens and people. If we are working with a kitten with coccidia and a kitten with ringworm, it is the poor ringworm kitty that gets the most flack.

  22. When I got my kitten he got ringworm and my mum almost got rid of him but decided not to because everyone loved him including her and he has no ringworm now

  23. We are adopting a Siamese from a foster who said one of her other foster kittens got ringworm and may have spread it to our little Siamese. She asked us if, because of this, we would like to change our minds about adopting him. I thought this was ridiculous and especially so after watching this video. He may not even have ringworm but even if he did, it's totally treatable, so why on earth would we suddenly abandon him? I guess it may have happened before for one of her other foster kittens.

  24. I had a cat who had ringworm so bad it passed on to me, and I had no idea what was happening. Thankfully he was an adult cat so it wasnt as bad, but yes it's very treatable and no repercussions for kitty or human. Just get to a vet, they gave me a medicated shampoo and worked like a charm for him.

  25. Eh? I treated mine and my kitten's (who i got it from) back in the day with just salicyl alcohol, for both me and it it was gone in like a week … Got the advice for both it and me from a family friend vet

  26. My sister caught ringworm right around the time my cat started losing fur on her nose. I freaked a little and bought cat antibiotics before coming to find out that the wasp sting she had obtained the day prior to me finding the supposed ringworm had gotten infected. Its safe to say her nose is okay now but that was a whirlwind week for her lol

  27. im blessed to have 2 kittens that i fostered from a shelter both are ringworm free. but i will say this a kitten that is 7 months of age have that teenage mentality. and it shows believe me. but i still love my cats more then they would ever know.

  28. So Ringworm, disgusting as it sounds, is caused by a type of fungus and not actual little worm parasites?

    They should use a different name for it, as I think a lot of people can't deal with it as they're imagining it being nasty little worms and not fungi.

  29. My kitten got ringworm when she was about 3 months old. And it just spread so fast, scared the crap out of me. The hair on the top of her right ear fell out (she has sensitive skin). I had to give her a sulfur bath the very first day after her vet trip (it stank so bad), and give her oral medication. Thankfully she started getting better after the first week of treatment, and even after it cleared up I still dabbed her little ear with a cotton ball dipped in some of the sulfur bath for about a week afterwards and the area around her ear

  30. Hi, around 4:52 into the video, Kitten lady says they glow Purple. I was shocked. I thought if they glow they glow green. PLEASE explain!!

  31. The first kitten I rescued on my own as an adult gave me a tiny patch of ring worm on my stomach. I still have the picture of her napping on that exact spot 😁 Don't worry if you or a family member catch ring worm. It's about as serious as athlete's foot and treated the exact same way, with an over the counter cream. No need to fear ring worm!

  32. We adopted two cats in June they were 1 ½ one of them – Nuala – first had weeing problems and lasted 2 months which was just anxiety . A month later she had this horrible spots – which did later get bigger in to patches – on her head we took her to the vets and she had ring worm she had 2 big patches which were bright red it was awful . 1 ½ later she finally got better . Nuala is now all good and is so happy now 😻😻😻

  33. Any advice on getting rid of fleas? There arent any in the actual house anymore, just a ton on my cat. I know he needs medication for it but is there anything i can do at home to help with it?

  34. Anyone know the dose for Itraconazole using for kitten with ringworms?? Is it 5mg/ kg cat weight? How many times a day and for how long should they use it? Thank u. I been using VCO and spray medication for cats/ kitten but doesn't work since they all are herbal/ organic. Start only in one of his leg now the ringworms in his whole body

  35. I know that I had two ringworms one was there on my picture day so embarrassing……..:( I’m 8 that’s when I was 7

  36. My newly adopted kitten has ringworm–confirmed by blacklight. I had her at the vet to monitor her for illness after adopting her, but they missed seeing the lesion on the lower part of her face. Luckily, I did see it before she was allowed all over my house, so disinfecting hasn't been all that bad (still upsetting but could have been worse), but I did expose my other kitten to her (through a blanket), so now that kitten has to be isolated and checked with a blacklight daily for the next 10 days. So far, so good, but man oh man, this has SUCKED. The new kitten is still at the vet's, but I'm debating between her staying there for treatment or bringing her home and putting her in a playpen during treatment.

  37. I am new here love your work even though I'm an illustrator and a doodle artist I haves subbed and have the bell on also i just recently followed you on Instagram

  38. I love kittens so much they are so cute. I can’t get them sadly I have family who are allergic. But I love kittens so much. I am absolutely heartbroken, we can get dogs but no cats. But I really want cats because they are in need more.

  39. I've actually had ringworm myself, I got it after a camping trip when I was around 10 and being around a lot of dogs too so not from being nasty at home and i just had to put on medicated lotion so it was all good so idk why people are ap scared of it, even if you get it yourself it's very treatable

  40. I fostered for a kitten with ringworm I watched this video and now he’s all recovered and fine and I decided to keep him

  41. Please help me, i sheltered a stray kitten that followed me home nd decided to adopt him it was just two days ago in the first night i didnt notice the ringworm spot he had next to his eye (its a small spot nd he only has that one -i think-) but i let him go on my bed nd carpet for like a couple minutes we showered him in the morning with warm water and cat shampoo nd that when i noticed .. my sister smooched him once nd he just met my other cat once nd played with him but dince i noticed the ringworm i isolated him in another room on his own, do you think its dangerous to my cat that he played once with him nd to my sister nd me since we bathed nd petted him all day long , and can he get recovered in a short time since its only a small area that i noticed or is it gonna take forever ? Im scared for both him and us around him please reply

  42. i am SO glad you have this video. i just brought a kitten in and she has ringworm! now everyone in my house is being treated for it, lol.

  43. Me: sleeps with my cat every day and he lives in my room
    Discovers he may have ringworm and its extremelly contagious
    Me: guess i'll die ¯_(ツ)_/¯

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