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S. August Abbott, CAS
S. August Abbott, CAS, Own Animal Care/Rescue Org.
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 7532
Experience:  Up to 300 cats saved each year; Animal Care author; Behavior & Nutrition Consults
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Crusty reddish sores on cats neck area

Resolved Question:

My cat is about 5 years old and is a strictly indoor cat. He has not been in contact with any new animals. He has developed crusty red sores with the biggest one being about the size of a small pea on his neck area. When he was a kitten he had ringworm. We treated it for 3 months and the vet confirmed it was gone? Could this be ringworm again or might there be another explaination? Please Help!
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  S. August Abbott, CAS replied 8 years ago.
It's probably the ringworm again. Your first instincts are good ones!

Cats are the most common source of ringworm in pets.

Be careful, you can catch it! Though humans have a ringworm that's all their own, it's pretty easy to pick up the pet's version too. Ringworm in humans is often known as ‘Athlete's foot' or ‘Jock itch'.

You can try to treat your pet with the same medication you'd use to treat yourself. Just be sure it says it treats "ringworm" on the label.


If this doesn't begin to resolve the problem in about a week, or if you notice that it's worsening, there are other symptoms such as pain, severe itching, going off their food/water, diarrhea or constipation, etc. - don't take chances - take them to the vet.

Two of the most usual meds veterinary dermatologists recommend are Itraconazole (Sporonox) and Griseofulvin (Fulvicin). Depending on the cat, health history and even age/size, one over the other may be preferred. They are not inexpensive options, both must be given with food (they are oral meds) and absolutely must be continued for the entire length of prescription even if the problem seems resolved earlier.

For more options on environmentally treating ringworm and topical treatments, check this link:

It's nothing you're doing wrong - this stuff just happens. You're doing all the RIGHT things in noticing it early and pursuing treatment. Good job!

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Reply to TheCaretaker's Post: How could my cat come in contact with ringworm again if he has not been outside or in contact with other animals? The last time he had it was five years ago and when he was healthy I cleaned the entire house with bleach, and even bought a new vacuum to make sure I got every infected hair.
Expert:  S. August Abbott, CAS replied 8 years ago.

These things sometimes just happen. People can carry this particular fungus in on their shoes, clothes or even your own skin. It's one of the few "zoonotic" diseases we share with our cats (and dogs). You may have had a bit of ringworm yourself, without even knowing it. Sometimes we are just carriers and never break out with it. Just like not everyone who goes to the gym/health club will have athelete's foot, you know?

And seriously, cat's are the number one most common carrier of ringworm (there are three varieties by the way), so even though you may be resistent, kitty probably is more prone.

It might be a bacteria or even Feline Leukemia Virus victims may have this symptom.


Though not common in all areas of the country/world, mange is a possibility in some instances - find out more here:

Some cases are stubborn and no known cause is ever found.

You might also want to explore the possibility of it being an allergy to food. Keep in mind that manufacturers don't always use the same ingredients or supplier - as we all learned, some with tragic results, during the last recall. Take a look here for some very surprising facts about some of the most popular foods:


Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Reply to TheCaretaker's Post: You have been very helpful. Thank you. A couple more questions. The last time he had ringworm we had to isolate him from the rest of the house and dip him 3 times a week into a lime sulfur dip. Is there any alternative to the dip? I don't think I can bare that treatment again nor can the cat. Also, I do not have a room to isolate him. We have a small house with no basement. Every room is full.
Expert:  S. August Abbott, CAS replied 8 years ago.

I know that ringworm is reportedly highly contagious, but in my animal rescue I've found that just reasonable precautions work quite well.

Regular hand washing and routine vacuuming (although to me 'routine' is twice a day; once should be fine).

Washing his or mutual bedding every other day and applying ringworm med you can find in your own anti itch aisles (usually meds for Athelete's Foot treatment). Just make sure to use ointment and not spray, apply a thin layer 2-3 x's a day and it should resolve.

Particularly stubborn cases will just seem to get worse or hang on past 5-10 days, so if this happens you might want to make that trip back to the vet for more intensive treatments.

And you can ask all you need to ask with regard to this. You do not have to press "accept" again and I'll follow up as much as necessary ok?


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