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What is Fungal Infection?

Your cat can become infected three ways. The fungi can be ingested, inhaled, or absorbed through the skin. Fungal infections of the skin are more common in felines than generalized infections.

Fungal infections can affect cats as well as humans, and though there is a wide variety of fungi that exist in the environment, not all of them can affect your cat’s health. The first case of fungal infections in felines was reported in the early 1950s. These types of infections can make your cat very sick and in some cases, they can be life-threatening.

Fungal Infection Average Cost

From 535 quotes ranging from $200 - $500

Average Cost

$300

Symptoms of Fungal Infection in Cats

The symptoms associated with fungal infections in cats depend on the type of infection. Here are some of the most common symptoms seen in felines with these types of infections:

  • Weight loss
  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Lesions on the skin
  • Eye problems
  • Lung infections
  • Bladder infections
  • Cysts underneath the skin
  • Bloody discharge in the nose
  • Sneezing
  • Swelling under the bridge of the nose
  • Seizures
  • Circling
  • Blindness
  • Paralysis
  • Anemia
  • Diarrhea
  • Depression
  • Cough
  • Intolerance to physical activity

Types

While there are many different types of fungi in the environment that can affect your cat’s health, some are more often seen than others. Below is a list of some of the most commonly seen fungal infections in domestic cats:

  • Rhinosporidiosis
  • Mycetomas
  • North American Blastomycosis
  • Histoplasmosis
  • Cryptococcosis
  • Candidiasis
  • Coccidioidomycosis
  • Aspergillosis
  • Sporotrichosis
  • Phaeohyphomycosis
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Causes of Fungal Infection in Cats

Disease-causing fungi exist in many different areas of the environment. Your cat can come into contact with them in a variety of ways. The following is a list of some of the most common causes of fungal infections:

  • Exposure to animals with an existing fungal infection
  • Cats that have immunosuppressive diseases are at greater risk of fungal infections
  • Wounds on the skin provide a gateway for fungi
  • Exposure to fungi in the soil
  • Inhaling fungi
  • Exposure to fungi in the feces of infected animals
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Diagnosis of Fungal Infection in Cats

Since some fungal infections are rare, it is not always easy to diagnose them. Your veterinarian will begin by asking you some questions about your cat’s health. Be sure to include any pertinent information such as the date of symptom onset and any pre-existing medical conditions your cat may have. Your doctor will examine your cat and draw blood for laboratory tests. A complete blood count or CBC, chemical blood profile and a urinalysis will be performed. 

In some cases, your doctor may want to take a tissue sample to obtain a diagnosis. This is typically done during surgery, while your cat is under anesthesia. The tissue sample is sent to a laboratory for diagnosis.

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Treatment of Fungal Infection in Cats

The treatment of fungal infections in felines depends on the type of fungi causing the problem. Your doctor may hospitalize your cat if he finds an infection that can be transmitted to humans. This is done to reduce the risk of infection to the owner. If you take your cat home, your doctor may instruct you on how to prevent infection. This usually includes wearing gloves and a mask when handling your cat and while changing cat litter. 

Fungal infections of the skin are often treated with topical ointments and anti-fungal medications. If your cat has lesions on the skin or inside his nose, your doctor may remove them. In some cases, secondary infections accompany fungi, so your doctor will address these as necessary with medications and IV fluids if necessary. Treatment for fungal infections can take several weeks before improvement is seen. 

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Recovery of Fungal Infection in Cats

The overall outlook for your cat will depend on the type of fungal infection he has. Some infections clear up with medication, while others can have long-lasting health effects. To prevent recurrent infection and reduce the risk to yourself and other animals in your household, it is important to determine the source of fungi if possible. 

After your cat’s initial treatment, your doctor will want to examine your cat every 2 weeks for a period of time. It is important to attend all follow-up appointments to be sure your cat is not having a relapse. If your cat is on medication, your doctor may perform tests to check his liver enzymes. He may also change your cat’s medicine if no improvement is seen in a month or so. It is important to report any changes in your cat’s appearance or behavior to your doctor promptly. 

There are some fungal infections that can make your cat very sick. These infections can require long-term medications that can become expensive. Certain infections can cause lesions to develop and return even after surgical intervention. Some serious fungal infections such as North American Blastomycosis can cause severe neurological symptoms. In these cases, your doctor may recommend euthanasia as the best course of treatment. Although rare, this infection can also cause sudden death in cats. 

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Fungal Infection Average Cost

From 535 quotes ranging from $200 - $500

Average Cost

$300

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Fungal Infection Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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Ask a Vet

dog-name-icon

Moushi

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Turkish Angora

dog-age-icon

1 Year

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Serious severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Redness
Redness Itchy

My cat had a small spot of fungus but it went away before but this time it came back again and is spreading in the parts of skin where there are folds like below the neck and near his underarms the doctor said that it will take some time but I want to try apple cider vinegar for the fungus as it is spreading and not improving.

Aug. 13, 2018

Moushi's Owner

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recommendation-ribbon

3320 Recommendations

If there is no improvement, you may need to speak with your Veterinarian about the type of topical treatment used and to get a prescription strength ointment as well as getting a systemic antifungal medication. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Aug. 13, 2018

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Zanzibar

dog-breed-icon

Bengals

dog-age-icon

10 Months

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Itchy Redness Pusey Crusty

My cat was diagnosed with fungal infection and was prescribed otizole and was directed to apply every 12 hours in the infected area for a period of 1 week. It’s been one week and the infection doesn’t look any better but has spread further in the area.

Aug. 9, 2018

Zanzibar's Owner

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recommendation-ribbon

3320 Recommendations

If there is no improvement and the infection has seemed to have spread it may be worth getting a culture and sensitivity test to determine the specific infection (fungal or bacterial) as well as a suitable treatment; also in some cases topical treatment is insufficient and systemic treatment most likely is required. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Aug. 9, 2018

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north

dog-breed-icon

tabby

dog-age-icon

6 Months

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Red Ears
Yellow Scabs

My cat recently went to the vet because she had a paw pad infection and shes had a cone on for almost a week and a half and i went to go take it off today because i noticed her paw is 96% healed but when i reached for the cone i noticed her ear was bright red and had a lot of yellowy scabs in it, I cleaned it out easily but it looks quite raw inside and I feel really bad for her. I was thinking either an ear infection/inflammation from the cone rubbing up on her ears for a week or maybe a reaction to the meds she's on? Any idea what it could be, and whether I should take her into the vet or wait to see if it heals on its own now that the cone is off? thanks!

Aug. 4, 2018

north's Owner

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3320 Recommendations

You should take North into your Veterinarian to be on the safe side, a cone shouldn’t cause this level of irritation to the ear so it would be good to check with your Veterinarian plus we don’t want North scratching her ear if the cone is off. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Aug. 4, 2018

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Bell

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Persian

dog-age-icon

2 Years

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Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Lethargy
Hair Loss
Itching
Hairloss
Browncrusty

My cat is having fungal infection determined by my Vet he has given ointment and spray to apply thrice ,but I don't find any improvement . He has following symptoms ,before showing to doctor above right ears at one patch of dandruff which I combed away but found hairball hence showed doctor ,by day 2 his conditioned worsended with complete loss of hair from right earside with brown patchy skin on side of right side of neck ,and brown crusty right ear.. before spreading I started prescribed treatment but I am paranoid with misdiagnosis as my cat is not getting healthy instead his condition seem to worsen.

May 11, 2018

Bell's Owner

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recommendation-ribbon

3320 Recommendations

Without examining Bell I cannot confirm the diagnosis, but remember that fungal infections may take some time before improvement is seen; using medicated antifungal shampoos along with topical ointments can be helpful but in severe cases systemic treatment may be required. If there is no improvement after five days or so of treatment you should return to your Veterinarian. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

May 11, 2018

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Ginger

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American Bobtail

dog-age-icon

8 Months

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Sneezing
Fungal
Loss Of Apettite

My kitten, Ginger, is 8 months old and has a severe skin infection. He started losing fur from his forehead, then the back of his ears and now even from his legs. His appetite is close to finished and now he also has black spots on his face. I am treating him with a cream, anti bacterial medicines and anti fungal medicines. When do you think he is going to recover and what can i do to prevent it? different doctors give different prescriptions and since ive started applying the cream the spots are not red anymore.

May 3, 2018

Ginger's Owner

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recommendation-ribbon

3320 Recommendations

It is good that you are seeing some improvement in the spots, but without examining Ginger I cannot give you an indication for a prognosis; continue with the treatment prescribed and speak with your Veterinarian about medicated shampoos which may be able to help along with the cream. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

May 4, 2018

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Arlo

dog-breed-icon

Orange tabby

dog-age-icon

16 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Swelling
Bleeding
Sore

My daughter's 16 year old cat has always been indoor cat. He has recently been diagnosed with diabetes as result of tumor. Diabetes can't be controlled and probably also immuno compromised. Currently has open wound on paw that has been cultured as Pseudogymnoascus destructans. I can't find anything about this fungus in cats!! Only bats!

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Yoyo

dog-breed-icon

Siamese

dog-age-icon

5 Months

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Hair Loss
Itching

My kitten suffered from fungal infection at 3 months. This infection are positively seen on blue lights. His vet recommended vaccination of Biocan M because ointment creams will just be licked by cats. At 5th month, I can see his hairs growing shinier and thicker as ever, I don't know if this is because of the vaccine. We had 2 sessions. Not sure if fungus are cleared now until the next return to vet on the next 2 months. Anyone here who has been recommended the same?

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Pheobe

dog-breed-icon

Britich

dog-age-icon

8 Months

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

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1 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Red Skin
Bold Spots
Atching

My cat has had fungus once and now it’s back again just after 3 months and i’m really worried that it might never leave her body my question is if the cat has fungus and we treat it well it came again , well it never leave her body?

Fungal Infection Average Cost

From 535 quotes ranging from $200 - $500

Average Cost

$300