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Days of our Ringworm

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Okay. My boyfriend I made the long thoughtful decision to get a kitty. We decided that given the amount of kitties needing homes, we would get one from the Humane Society. We brought home a 6 month old kitten. He was in our home for 6 days, at which point he gradually became friendly enough with us for us to discover a horrible crusty rash on all four paws and a balding spot above his eye. RINGWORM! I just knew it! So I scheduled a vet appointment. Our vet told us he had TERRIBLE ringworm, that we would have to get the antifungal pills, that the dips would not suffice, that he had terrible gingivitis, that he had stomatosis...and on an on. We just couldn't afford to put all that money into the medical care that he needed right at the start. We had budgeted for the adoption fee, all the startup expenses, but not a vet bill to the tune of several hundred dollars....we ended up returning him to the humane society and cutting our losses with the initial vet bill . So. That was terrible, and it was further complicated by some other things, which I will not go into.
We still want a kitty! We would like to start with a healthy kitty, however, and we are worried about bringing a new kitty into our home where the last little guy freely roamed for over a week. We have cleaned all hard surfaces with the bleach mixture, but we understand from internet research that the fungus can live in an environment for 18 months!! We don't want to wait that long! Does anyone have experience with bringing a cat into a home where a kitty with bad ringworm used to live????
post #2 of 22
How horrible. I am sorry that happened to you. I am surprised that the shelter did not know the cat had ringworm and let it be adopted like that!
post #3 of 22
Even if you start out with a healthy cat, it can get sick.
My cat has been sick on and off ever since I got him, with one problem or the other. And every time I take the cat to the vet, it's a lot of money for the vet and the cat seems to get no results out of it. The cat isn't getting any better.
If you can't afford vet bills, maybe you should wait and save up until getting a cat. Frankly I wish I could give mine to someone as I can't afford his vet bills if he keeps on being sick.
post #4 of 22
I volunteer with the local Humane Society. We do everything possible to ensure all kitties adopted are healthy, but it is hard to do so with the sheer numbers, so few volunteers, and the fact that kittens are so susceptible to everything. We've got cats everywhere....it gets hard.

Any cat you bring in is going to be at risk for ringworm. I do suggest you consider adopting an adult as they seem less likely to contract ringworm as their immune systems are fully developed. Even if you purchase a kitten from a breeder, there is no guarantee they will be healthy, either.

Vets are ridiculously expensive in your area, IMO. You need to be sure you are prepared for an initial check-up.....and be able to afford ringworm treatment should the new kitty get ringworm. Everything in your area is expensive, actually!
post #5 of 22
Please do not consider adopting another animal, especially a cat or a dog, until you and your boyfriend are ready to properly care for it - and that includes paying for ANYTHING it may need.

Cats are members of your family, they are not curiousities, they are not returnable gifts. I would hope that you would not try to return a sick infant to the hospital that delivered it for you - you should prepare yourselves to treat a new animal in the same way.

There are many stories on this site of people who "can't afford the Vet bills..." - they make me cringe, and they frustrate me.

In all honesty, if that is the case, then you should not own a cat. These little fellas depend on you for everything - and you are obligated to provide it.

Until you can truly be committed - emotionally AND financially - to taking an animal into your home, you should get your "kitten fix" elsewhere.

I recommend volunteering at your local SPCA or Humane Society - they are always looking for people to help care for the animals, and a little bit of love goes a long way.
post #6 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shad View Post
Please do not consider adopting another animal, especially a cat or a dog, until you and your boyfriend are ready to properly care for it - and that includes paying for ANYTHING it may need.

Cats are members of your family, they are not curiousities, they are not returnable gifts. I would hope that you would not try to return a sick infant to the hospital that delivered it for you - you should prepare yourselves to treat a new animal in the same way.

There are many stories on this site of people who "can't afford the Vet bills..." - they make me cringe, and they frustrate me.

In all honesty, if that is the case, then you should not own a cat. These little fellas depend on you for everything - and you are obligated to provide it.

Until you can truly be committed - emotionally AND financially - to taking an animal into your home, you should get your "kitten fix" elsewhere.

I recommend volunteering at your local SPCA or Humane Society - they are always looking for people to help care for the animals, and a little bit of love goes a long way.
I agree. Any cat can get sick, and just to take the cat to the vet one has to be prepared to pay.
It's really expensive here in US. I go in, the vet looks at the cat, doesn't have any solution as to why cat is having these problems, and I get charged a bunch of money. Oh joy.
post #7 of 22
This is a touchy subject, but I'm going to disagree with some of what is being posted here.

Anyone adopting a kitten and paying an adoption fee whether from a shelter, rescue or breeder has a right to expect a healthy kitten. If the kitten is not completely healthy this needs to be disclosed prior to release of the kitten.

In the event the kitten/cat has an illness and it has been disclosed, should the client continue with the adoption, then it is understood and it should be expected that they are willing and able to pay for the Vet costs incurred.

Adopters shouldn't be blindsided like this. Reputable breeders all offer health guarantees and shelters should as well, or at a minimum disclose current problems.

With such a severe case of ringworm there is no way the humane society staff would not know, prior to handing over the kitten.

I would be very angry with the HS, if this had happened to me. Ringworm is highly contagious and also able to infect humans.
I'm quite sure I would have returned the kitten as well, and I can afford the Vet bills.
post #8 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kai Bengals View Post

With such a severe case of ringworm there is no way the humane society staff would not know, prior to handing over the kitten.

I would be very angry with the HS, if this had happened to me. Ringworm is highly contagious and also able to infect humans.
And yet somehow the adopter would not? Terrible cases of ringworm don't appear overnight, Caveat Emptor, the buyer is equally responsible, if not more so.

And, given the list of possible feline ailments, ring worm ranks pretty darn low on my level of seriousness - it's not fatal, it's easily and effectively treatable, and both cat and human will make a full recovery given enough time.

So you have an itchy, unsightly rash for awhile? Been there, done that, and I didn't even have a cat at the time.
post #9 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shad View Post
And yet somehow the adopter would not? Terrible cases of ringworm don't appear overnight, Caveat Emptor, the buyer is equally responsible, if not more so.

And, given the list of possible feline ailments, ring worm ranks pretty darn low on my level of seriousness - it's not fatal, it's easily and effectively treatable, and both cat and human will make a full recovery given enough time.

So you have an itchy, unsightly rash for awhile? Been there, done that, and I didn't even have a cat at the time.

IMO, it is the sole responsibilty of the agency adopting out the kitten, to ensure that the kitten is either healthy, or any known issues are fully disclosed.
They have the trained staff and the Vet on duty to fully examine the animals!

It is highly irresponsible to send out a kitten infected to that extent to a new household where the possiblity exists for it to infect other animals and humans.

In this case Caveat Emptor does not and should not apply. We aren't talking about buying a TV out of the back of a semi-trailer.

What is at issue here, is not the treatability or seriousness of ringworm, but the fact that the new owners were NOT informed prior to the adoption about the ringworm or the other health issues.
It seems clear, that had they been informed they would have selected a different kitten or not gotten one at all from this particular H.S.
post #10 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kai Bengals View Post
IMO, it is the sole responsibilty of the agency adopting out the kitten, to ensure that the kitten is either healthy, or any known issues are fully disclosed.
They have the trained staff and the Vet on duty to fully examine the animals!

It is highly irresponsible to send out a kitten infected to that extent to a new household where the possiblity exists for it to infect other animals and humans.

In this case Caveat Emptor does not and should not apply. We aren't talking about buying a TV out of the back of a semi-trailer.

What is at issue here, is not the treatability or seriousness of ringworm, but the fact that the new owners were NOT informed prior to the adoption about the ringworm or the other health issues.
It seems clear, that had they been informed they would have selected a different kitten or not gotten one at all from this particular H.S.



I could not agree more!!!!!!!! How dare you jump all over these people, out of the kindness of there hearts they adopt a kitty form the HS and they find out it is going to cost over $700.00 right off the bat! I would have returned the kittty even if it was free.
People have to expect kitties to get sick and yes there will be vet bills, however if they beleived theyu were getting a healthy kitty and it was not it is the HS fault. From the saounds of it, this kitty had more than ringworm...so who knows what the final cost would be.
post #11 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kai Bengals View Post
IMO, it is the sole responsibilty of the agency adopting out the kitten, to ensure that the kitten is either healthy, or any known issues are fully disclosed.
They have the trained staff and the Vet on duty to fully examine the animals!

What is at issue here, is not the treatability or seriousness of ringworm, but the fact that the new owners were NOT informed prior to the adoption about the ringworm or the other health issues.

No, they do not necessarily have a vet on duty to examine animals. In fact, not every cat/kitten adopted out from us is vet checked. Very few are.

We've sent kittens & cats home who had ringworm without ever knowing it. We had one DLH kitten who had it & we never thought to check her for it.....she'd been in foster care & unexposed. She had a case of ringworm that wasn't mild, but it wasn't severe, either.

There are literally 2, maybe 3 people caring for 70+ cats 2x a day. We miss stuff.

You may argue that it is our responsibility to ensure those cats are healthy. We do everything we can to ensure they are, but with 70+ cats in our facility things spread fast & we can't fight that completely. If people would spay/neuter, we wouldn't be in the situation we are. It's not like we see a cat with ringworm & send them home knowing they have it. I make it a habit to do a physical look over of every kitty before s/he goes home.

You're cats have much less exposure to things....esp. since we are county impound & take all kinds of strays in. Strays with unknown background....who've been exposed to who knows what.

As for health guarantees, we can't do that. Simply because we have no history on the pet. We do standard medical things(Frontline, deworm, FeLV test, distemper shots, etc.) to ensure health, but we cannot guarantee it. Esp. in cases when someone wants to adopt the stray kitty who we've had for 5 days as soon as it goes up for adoption. We've spent maybe 5 days with this cat, we know next to nothing about it!

I understand you are right to be upset over the kitten having ringworm. But it is possible the humane society did not know. Volunteers are scarce, & it is a thankless job.
post #12 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by white cat lover View Post
No, they do not necessarily have a vet on duty to examine animals. In fact, not every cat/kitten adopted out from us is vet checked. Very few are.

We've sent kittens & cats home who had ringworm without ever knowing it. We had one DLH kitten who had it & we never thought to check her for it.....she'd been in foster care & unexposed. She had a case of ringworm that wasn't mild, but it wasn't severe, either.

There are literally 2, maybe 3 people caring for 70+ cats 2x a day. We miss stuff.

You may argue that it is our responsibility to ensure those cats are healthy. We do everything we can to ensure they are, but with 70+ cats in our facility things spread fast & we can't fight that completely. If people would spay/neuter, we wouldn't be in the situation we are. It's not like we see a cat with ringworm & send them home knowing they have it. I make it a habit to do a physical look over of every kitty before s/he goes home.

You're cats have much less exposure to things....esp. since we are county impound & take all kinds of strays in. Strays with unknown background....who've been exposed to who knows what.

As for health guarantees, we can't do that. Simply because we have no history on the pet. We do standard medical things(Frontline, deworm, FeLV test, distemper shots, etc.) to ensure health, but we cannot guarantee it. Esp. in cases when someone wants to adopt the stray kitty who we've had for 5 days as soon as it goes up for adoption. We've spent maybe 5 days with this cat, we know next to nothing about it!

I understand you are right to be upset over the kitten having ringworm. But it is possible the humane society did not know. Volunteers are scarce, & it is a thankless job.
To be blunt and honest, it's my opinion that you should not be adopting cats and kittens out to homes, if you're not thoroughly checking them out first.

Unless......you are putting in a written disclosure, that you know nothing about the health and welfare of the animal and that you have not had it Vet checked or at a minimum have a health checklist that ensures every cat has been checked for basic things prior to re-homing.

If this is disclosed from the beginning, then the new owners are forewarned: Anything goes, this cat could have any number of problems and you're on your own. Adopt at your own risk.

It's not fair to the animal or the new owner if information is omited, just to find the cat a new home.

If this is standard practice no wonder so many of these animals are recycled back into shelters.

If shelters don't have the staffing to keep up with the number of cats on hand then the right thing to do is to set a limit of how many cats can be properly cared for and stick to it.
post #13 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kai Bengals View Post
To be blunt and honest, it's my opinion that you should not be adopting cats and kittens out to homes, if you're not thoroughly checking them out first.
And to be the same, this lady couldn't afford (or didn't want to pay) the medical costs of this kitten. If the kitten came home healthy and became sick 6 months later, there's no reason to think she'd be any more willing.

My point is simple:

I hate it when people complain about being unable to afford the Vet bills. Whether you have to spend when you first get the kitten, or spend later on, you WILL have to spend. You should be prepared for this.


You are taking a living creature into your home, who depends wholly on you for care. You are obligated to care for it regardless of what personal sacrifices must be made.

There are VERY few people who can't scrape together enough cash to cover Vet bills if they temporarily curtail some of their own expenses. It's almost always really a question of wanting to, not being able to, and anyone who isn't on welfare and says otherwise is just unwilling to admit it.
post #14 of 22
When we adopt a helpless animal, whether it's from the streets, a rescue shelter or a breeder, it is essential to have a reserve of funds for vet care.

In a perfect world, no cat would ever be put up for adoption that had health issues...
our world far from perfect.

Sending loving vibes to that innocent kitty and calming vibes to all who are posting in this thread....
we all care about cats.
post #15 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shad View Post
And to be the same, this lady couldn't afford (or didn't want to pay) the medical costs of this kitten. If the kitten came home healthy and became sick 6 months later, there's no reason to think she'd be any more willing.

My point is simple:

I hate it when people complain about being unable to afford the Vet bills. Whether you have to spend when you first get the kitten, or spend later on, you WILL have to spend. You should be prepared for this.


You are taking a living creature into your home, who depends wholly on you for care. You are obligated to care for it regardless of what personal sacrifices must be made.

There are VERY few people who can't scrape together enough cash to cover Vet bills if they temporarily curtail some of their own expenses. It's almost always really a question of wanting to, not being able to, and anyone who isn't on welfare and says otherwise is just unwilling to admit it.
Look, you're not getting my point here. You'll get NO argument from me, that people who take on the responsibility of owning and caring for an animal need to step up to plate and find the means to provide for that animal in all respects to include Vet. care.
I expect this from each and every one of the people who purchase kittens from me and they must sign in agreement to that fact in my contract.
The difference with me is, I guarantee the health of my kittens in writing and upfront. If there is an issue with any kitten, I disclose it.

My point is and has been, that defects in the kitten/cat being adopted MUST be disclosed, so the adopter knows what they are getting themselves into.

How can someone know if they're financially able to cope with an immediate situation if they are not even aware of the situation?

Shelters do themselves a great injustice by placing a huge financial burden on unsuspecting new owners, by ignoring/covering up/omiting/sugar coating existing problems. It's far better to disclose upfront what the possibilites might be, so that potential new owners are aware and able to commit themselves completely or walk away from a particular adoption and consider a different cat.
post #16 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by xocats View Post
Sending loving vibes to that innocent kitty and calming vibes to all who are posting in this thread....
we all care about cats.
You're right. Thanks for the reminder!
post #17 of 22
Thread Starter 
Can be a little overwhelming. This has been a truly horrible experience, and for those of you who are critical of our decision, that's your right, and I understand some of your points, to some extent. I want to say quickly that I do not blame the volunteers of the Humane Society for any of this! They were so helpful. Really, boards make policies. In this case, the agency policies did not protect us or the little guy from this situation. We were prepared for ringworm, but only because we did tons of research. We were not prepared for the multiple other health concerns.

We want to give a cat a loving home. We WILL be prepared in the future to pay for vet bills, and CERTAINLY would have made a different decision if he had been in our home for a longer time. I keep a pot of money on hand for these things, that's my duty as a cat owner. That is NOT a bottomless pot, however, I don't have that luxury.

Despite all the opinions about this matter (I am not surprised to see that the situation brought up so many issues...it did for us, too), I really have to re-post my previous question, which is--

What can we do to prevent our new cat from contracting ringworm? How long should we wait, how long can we expect our home to be contagious, and what can we do to make it less so? We're not going to take our next cat back if it DOES get ringworm, we just want to reduce the chances. Someone said to get an adult, and we are considering that...thank you.
post #18 of 22
The risk is going to be there for a long time. A very long time, unfortunately.

I thoroughly disinfected everything after Damita had ringworm the first time around, & she still infected someone else.

It's a risk....whether you get an adult or a kitten, unfortunately. All you can do is wash everything you can in hot water. Vacuum like crazy. And keep your fingers crossed once you do adopt again! (That last part never worked for me, but hey, it's worth a try, right? )

And Nial, we don't get an option to set limits on cats. If we don't do our best, we start killing them off by the 10s every week. County impound, we have to take them. Far from ideal, actually it's the pits. But we do place kitties, rather than just killing them. I consider us lucky. And adoptees are made aware that the animals have not been vet checked & that it is their responsibility to do so.
post #19 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by idajo View Post
Despite all the opinions about this matter (I am not surprised to see that the situation brought up so many issues...it did for us, too), I really have to re-post my previous question, which is--

What can we do to prevent our new cat from contracting ringworm? How long should we wait, how long can we expect our home to be contagious, and what can we do to make it less so? We're not going to take our next cat back if it DOES get ringworm, we just want to reduce the chances. Someone said to get an adult, and we are considering that...thank you.
Eradicating ringworm spores from your environment is not easy but it can be done if you are persistent and it should be done before you re-adopt or your new kitty could be a risk.

http://www.sheltermedicine.com/portal/is_ringworm.shtml
This is an article from UC Davis.
Scroll down to "preventing ringworm in a shelter setting" and the topics that follow...all relevant to your environment.

I think that most shelters use diluted bleach for cleaning...
You must never use a Lysol type product which can be toxic to cats.
http://www.showcatsonline.com/x/bleach.htm

If you do a search in this Health Forum using ringworm...
several previous threads will come up with ringworm topics.

I hope that other members will have some ideas for you that will help.
post #20 of 22
Treating rigworm shouldnt involve a bill that is hundreds of dollars. We use chlorehexadine, anti fungal cream and antifungal shapoo on any foster kittens that come up with ringworm. Total cost is at the most $50 for all that. Unless the kitten has a very weak immune system the chlorehexadine three times a day can get rid of it by itself in a week.
post #21 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kai Bengals View Post
This is a touchy subject, but I'm going to disagree with some of what is being posted here.

Anyone adopting a kitten and paying an adoption fee whether from a shelter, rescue or breeder has a right to expect a healthy kitten. If the kitten is not completely healthy this needs to be disclosed prior to release of the kitten.

In the event the kitten/cat has an illness and it has been disclosed, should the client continue with the adoption, then it is understood and it should be expected that they are willing and able to pay for the Vet costs incurred.

Adopters shouldn't be blindsided like this. Reputable breeders all offer health guarantees and shelters should as well, or at a minimum disclose current problems.

With such a severe case of ringworm there is no way the humane society staff would not know, prior to handing over the kitten.

I would be very angry with the HS, if this had happened to me. Ringworm is highly contagious and also able to infect humans.
I'm quite sure I would have returned the kitten as well, and I can afford the Vet bills.
Even if you get a perfectly healthy cat, he can get sick. That's what happened to me. I got a perfectly healthy cat, it was fine for like 2 days, then he got sick and he's been sick on and off pretty much ever since. Different problems each time, not infectious, but it still costs a ton of money. Now he scratches itself for reason that is not apparent.
I guess I could have returned the cat since he got sick after a couple of days but I kept him. If I returned him he'd be dead.
post #22 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by idajo View Post
Can be a little overwhelming. This has been a truly horrible experience, and for those of you who are critical of our decision, that's your right, and I understand some of your points, to some extent. I want to say quickly that I do not blame the volunteers of the Humane Society for any of this! They were so helpful. Really, boards make policies. In this case, the agency policies did not protect us or the little guy from this situation. We were prepared for ringworm, but only because we did tons of research. We were not prepared for the multiple other health concerns.

We want to give a cat a loving home. We WILL be prepared in the future to pay for vet bills, and CERTAINLY would have made a different decision if he had been in our home for a longer time. I keep a pot of money on hand for these things, that's my duty as a cat owner. That is NOT a bottomless pot, however, I don't have that luxury.

Despite all the opinions about this matter (I am not surprised to see that the situation brought up so many issues...it did for us, too), I really have to re-post my previous question, which is--

What can we do to prevent our new cat from contracting ringworm? How long should we wait, how long can we expect our home to be contagious, and what can we do to make it less so? We're not going to take our next cat back if it DOES get ringworm, we just want to reduce the chances. Someone said to get an adult, and we are considering that...thank you.
From what I understand, ringworm can live in the environment for months.
You could disinfect surfaces with bleach in water.
Also you should vaccum all your carpets and discard the bags. Inspect your new kitten/cat for bald spots before getting him.
"Transmission may also occur from the infected environment. The fungal spores may live in bedding or carpet for several months. They may be killed with a dilution of chlorine bleach and water (1 cup of chlorine bleach in a gallon of water) where it is feasible to use it."

http://www.sniksnak.com/cathealth/ringworm.html
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