Ringworm Treatment for Cats

Ringworm treatment is not necessary in every case of ringworm that your cat experiences. However, if the ringworm infection is larger than just a small spot, or if your cat is young or otherwise compromised by other health concerns, you'll need to treat the ringworm with medicines and other methods. Ringworm is caused by a fungal infection on the surface of the skin, and most treatments combine a method of eliminating the fungus with a way of helping to ease your pet's symptoms so that the area is not as uncomfortable.


Itraconazole is one of the most commonly prescribed drugs to fight ringworm in pets. This medicine is given orally and can be combined with your pet's food or given along with a treat in many cases. It is a popular choice because it is potent and able to eliminate most cases of ringworm. Additionally, it has fewer side effects and potential risks than many other types of ringworm medicine as well. The duration of the treatment is typically between one and two weeks, and the dosage and administration that you'll give to your pet will depend upon the severity of the infection and also on your pet's age and other health considerations.


Griseofulvin is another popular choice for the treatment of your pet's ringworm. Griseofulvin was previously the most often prescribed medicine for use in the treatment of ringworm. However, it has fallen somewhat out of favor since the development of new drugs like itraconazole. This is because griseofulvin tends to not react as well with cat's bodies as these newer medicines. It's not uncommon for cats taking griseofulvin to experience certain side effects, including:

  • Stomach upset
  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Bone marrow damage

Still, this medicine is effective at eliminating most cases of ringworm and is a worthy consideration, particularly if there is a contraindication for the itraconazole or any other medicine that you might potentially give to your cat.

Topical Treatments for Cat Ringworm

In recent years, a number of topical ointments have been developed to treat ringworm cases in cats as well. These are great alternatives if you have a cat that refuses to eat the medicine that you're trying to give him. In the case of a topical treatment, you'll need to shave off the fur in the area surrounding the ringworm infection itself. You'll likely need to apply the topical ointment to your pet's skin multiple times a day for several days in order to stop the ringworm fungus from continuing to reproduce. The most common ointments include Conofite, Tresaderm and Lotrimin.

Finally, for severe cases of ringworm or when the condition has spread to multiple parts of your cat's body, a treatment involving a lime sulfur dip can help to quickly eliminate the problem. These treatments are more labor intensive and expensive, however, and many cats do not cooperate well.

Ask your vet about which treatment method is appropriate for your cat's case of ringworm.