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What is Fungal Yeast Infection?

Fungal yeast infections are not common in domestic cats, but they do occur. These infections come from fungi, which are parasitic organisms that produce spores. Some fungi exploit a host that is sick or weak, but others can invade even the healthiest of cats. Most types of fungal yeast infections in cats affect the skin, but some can affect other parts of the body such as the respiratory tract.

While viruses and bacterial infections most likely come to mind when pet owners consider their cats becoming sick, there are types of fungi that can also cause many unpleasant symptoms in cats. 

Fungal Yeast Infection Average Cost

From 402 quotes ranging from $200 - $2,000

Average Cost

$800

Symptoms of Fungal Yeast Infection in Cats

The primary symptoms associated with yeast infections in cats depend on the type of infection present. Here are some common symptoms associated with these types of fungal infections in cats:

  • Greasy skin
  • Loss of hair
  • Redness on skin
  • Scaly skin
  • Thickening of the skin
  • Dark spots on skin
  • Smelly discharge from lesions on the skin
  • Upper respiratory infections
  • Eye problems
  • Intestinal diseases
  • Infection in the chest
  • Bladder problems
  • Fever
  • Weight loss
  • Anemia
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Coughing
  • Lameness
  • Disorientation

Types

There are several types of fungi that can cause yeast infections in cats, although they are not common. Below are a few types of fungal yeast infections that are known to affect domestic cats:

Candidiasis

Candidiasis is a yeast infection that affects primarily the skin and mucous membranes of the skin. This condition is not often seen in cats, but can occur in cats that are immunodeficient. This means that cats being treated with antibiotics or for cancer or more likely to contract this fungal yeast infection. 

Malassezia dermatitis

Malassezia dermatitis is caused by yeast that is often present in the skin and ears of domestic felines. However, an overgrowth of yeast can cause inflammation of the skin and a host of other problems. This fungal yeast infection can occur in any breed. 

Blastomycosis

Blastomycosis is caused by a soil-borne fungus. Although most common in dogs, cats can become infected upon inhaling fungal spores. While not all infected cats become sick, those that do can have a multitude of unpleasant symptoms such as skin lesions, fever and cough. 

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Causes of Fungal Yeast Infection in Cats

Fungal yeast infections can be caused by fungi naturally occurring on a cat’s body or in the environment. Fungi can enter the body in several different ways:

  • Ingested in food or water
  • Inhaled through the nose
  • Absorption through the skin
  • Flea allergies

Some conditions can make a cat more vulnerable to an overgrowth of yeast and infection:

  • Cancer of the pancreas
  • Compromised immune system
  • Diabetes
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Diagnosis of Fungal Yeast Infection in Cats

Your veterinarian will go through a series of steps to diagnose your cat's condition. He will begin by taking a thorough medical history regarding your cat's health. Be sure to include any information such as previously diagnosed medical conditions, contact with chemicals, recent illnesses and the date symptoms began. Your doctor will also take vital signs and draw blood for a biochemical profile and a CBC. He may also request a urine sample so he may check for bacteria and infection in your cat's urine. Skin cytology tests may be performed to obtain a culture which will aid in diagnosing the type of yeast infection present. 

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Treatment of Fungal Yeast Infection in Cats

After obtaining a definitive diagnosis, your doctor will decide on a treatment for your cat's fungal yeast infection. If the infection is localized on the skin, he may prescribe dips or medicated shampoos to soothe skin and eliminate odors. He may also use antibiotics or antifungal medications to bring down the number of yeast and symptom-causing bacteria. Your veterinarian may also decide to use medicated ointment or steroid injections, depending on your cat's progress. 

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Recovery of Fungal Yeast Infection in Cats

Your cat's recovery will depend on the severity of the yeast infection and treatment used. If there are any secondary problems associated with the primary infection, they will need to be addressed and treated. In most cases, medicated shampoos reduce the smell and scaly skin in 1 to 2 weeks after treatment begins. Your doctor will want to recheck your cat every few weeks or so until symptoms resolve. He may perform a skin cytology test at each of these visits, until yeast overgrowth is reduced to normal levels. Once infected with fungal yeast infections, your cat may suffer a flare-up of symptoms on occasion. While this is completely normal, it is necessary to communicate with your doctor before symptoms escalate. Prompt treatment is key to keeping fungal yeast infections in cats at bay.

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Fungal Yeast Infection Average Cost

From 402 quotes ranging from $200 - $2,000

Average Cost

$800

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Fungal Yeast Infection Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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Ask a Vet

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Siamese

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14 Weeks

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Flaky Ears W/ Dark Buildup

I rescued a flame point female kitten on July 5th. On July 6th, I took her to the vet to treat an Upper Respiratory Infection. Within days of treatment, I noticed a dark buildup contained within her ears. I assumed that it was ear mites and applied a single dose of Revolution. When things did not seem to improve, we returned to the vet. She was diagnosed with a yeast infection in her ears. Now, the buildup is not as bad, but her ears are VERY flaky. I am curious as to what could have caused this series of events. If we have an immune comprised kitty on our hands, what should be our next steps?

July 27, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Ellen M. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Hello, thank you for your question. I am sorry to hear that your cat's ears are bothering her! Without examining your cat, I cannot know for sure what might be going on, but I would not be too concerned about her being immune compromised at this point. It is not unusual for kittens in rescue situations to have upper respiratory infections when they are young. Ear infections also are not uncommon. The flakiness could be due to the medication itself drying on the ears, it could be due to skin irritation from itching... it's hard to say without seeing them. As long as she heals up well and doesn't have recurring upper respiratory infections and ear infections, I wouldn't worry too much! I hope that your kitty starts feeling better soon!

July 27, 2020

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domestic short hair

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Four Years

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Unknown severity

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1 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Sneezing, Coughing, Runny Nose

My cat has been put on Tresaderm for a yeast infection in her ears. Since giving the medication, she has started sneezing, coughing and has a very runnny nose. Is this a side effect of fighting off an infection or is she having an adverse reaction to the medication? Thanks

July 24, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. That is not a common reaction to tresaderm, no. Without being able to see her, it is hard to say, but I would suspect she is fighting off an infection more than having a reaction. If she continues to have problems, it would be a good idea to call your veterinarian, let them know what's going on, and see if they think she needs for their treatment since they have seen her recently. I hope that all goes well for her.

July 24, 2020

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Kitty

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short hair

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10 Years

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Mild severity

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0 found helpful

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

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Shaking Head
Ear Folded/Down
Very Light Brown/Clear Discharge

My cat, Kitty, was taking antibiotics for 14 days for a bladder infection and I think it may have caused a fungus in one of her ears. She doesn't appear to be in pain or that irritated.

June 25, 2018

Kitty's Owner

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3320 Recommendations

Ear infections may occur for a variety of different reasons; if you’re seeing some discharge from the ears, try to keep them clean using an over the counter ear cleaning product. If there is no improvement you should return to your Veterinarian for an examination to determine if they medical therapy is required. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

June 26, 2018

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Loki

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British Shorthair

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4 Years

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Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

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Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Scabs On Tail Only,
Red Open Sore On One Foot
Throwing Up Fur Balls D

We moved house last week and my cat hasn’t been right since, he was panting and sick in the cat box on moving day and pooped in the box too, he seemed fine after I washed him in warm water and he settled in fine, however I’ve since noticed scabs on just his tail from bottom to top and he has a sore between his toes on his rear foot, he is grooming more than usual and keeps throwing up fur balls he’s regularly deflead and is indoor only, the house was treated before moving in to eradicate any fleas he’s eating drinking and using litter box normally

April 27, 2018

Loki's Owner

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3320 Recommendations

This may be due to the stress of the move, due to allergens in the new environment, infections among other causes; you should bathe any sores and prevent Loki from licking or biting at himself. I would recommend visiting your Veterinarian to be on the safe side since I cannot examine Loki myself. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

April 28, 2018

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baby

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indian stray

dog-age-icon

2 Years

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Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

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Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Redness,Hair Loss,Irritation
Redness,Hair Loss,Irritation,Gas

sir i have 2 year old cat.he is having fungal infection since june 2017.we tried several creams but none work effectevely now his most of the body part in infected(we live in very small city where cat's skin testing center is not available.can we use hydrogen paraxside in infected area pls help

Jan. 9, 2018

baby's Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1611 Recommendations

Thank you for your email. WIthout examining Baby, I can't really comment on what might be goign on with his skin, but possible causes might be parasites, bacterial or fungal infections, or allergies. It would be best to have him examined by a veterinarian to detemine how best to treat his skin - if it is a fungal infection, there are oral medications that might work better than a cream, especially if it is affecting his whole body. Hydrogen peroxide isn't very effective for bacteria or fungal infections, can dry out his skin and slow healing. I hope that he does well.

Jan. 9, 2018

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Kuro

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Bombay

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2 Years

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Fair severity

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

Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Shaking Head
Scratching Ears
Black Crumblee Dirt In Ear

He has been scratching ears for nine days now . And shaking his head randomly . I checked his ears it was full of dark black substance I cleaned them using a cotton bud following youtube video instruction and also used olive oil after . I think it is ear mites . Is it enough or should I take him to a vet.

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Stitch

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domestic short hair

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5 Years

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Moderate severity

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

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Flaky Skin
Pus
Biting
Brittle Nails
Crusty Skin
Crud Build Up
Picking
Nail Bitting

I took my cat into the vest for what I thought was a nail disorder or build up of ear wax idk. The vet just said the clean it with Chlorhex. Make sure he doesn’t lick it because he’ll get an yeast infection and gave him an antibiotic shot. And apply antibiotic cream after I clean it. It seemed to clear up for about a week and now I notice it back on one nail instead of 4 but my year old kitten has a build up of black/brown crud under his paw deep within his under claws, and fur seems to be shedding. I did my best to clean it with Chlorhex then applied the same antibiotic cream but it wouldn’t come off and he seems to be in pain.

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George

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Male cat

dog-age-icon

7 Years

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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

Swollen, Hard Ear/Jaw.
Swollen, Hard Ear/Jaw. Hole In Neck

I have a stay cat that I took to vet because his ear/ jaws where very swollen. The vet said it was a bad yeast infection, and he gave me drops to put in them. I have done that for about 2 weeks. The side that wasn't so bad went down, but the really bad side is the same. The other day I noticed a mass on his neck same side as swollen jaw/ear. He also seemed to have a fever, he stopped eating his solid food also. After about 2 days the mass exploded and I was able to expel the infection out of it. I also flushed it out with warm water. He now has a hole about the size of a quarter in the side of his neck. What do you think I should do from here. I just don't have the money to keep taking him to vet, but I do want to help him the best I can. Also I have started him on some antibiotics that I had at home.

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Mako

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Domestic shorthair

dog-age-icon

7 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

Runny Poop, Diarrhea, Noisy Poop

My cat has runny poop. Its rarely ever solid and he farts alot when he uses the litter box. Other than that he is fine, no other symptoms. I dont know if a yeast infection could cause that or not but its been going on for months now. Maybe 10-12 months. He doesnt seem to be in any other way, sick. Please help. Thank you for your time.

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Ashlee & Stitches

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British Shorthair

dog-age-icon

3 Years

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

Mild severity

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0 found helpful

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

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Smelly Ears

My two cats both love to go out onto our small covered, screened-in, elevated porch. They always come back inside and smell sorta like a wet dog. But today I noticed an unpleasant smell coming from their ears. No visible discharge. Seemingly no other symptoms, either. Help?

Fungal Yeast Infection Average Cost

From 402 quotes ranging from $200 - $2,000

Average Cost

$800