Cat claw fungus is an infection of cat claw caused by some fungal organisms, the most common ones are the infection caused by ringworm and malassezia. The claw fungus can infect cat through many ways, like the exposure of fungus from other infected animal or its excrement, from the environment like from the soil, wounds in cat that makes a gate way to cat’s body for the fungal, or the immunosuppressive disease that can make the cat vulnerable from infection. Cat claw fungus is also known as onychomycosis; onycho means claw and mycosis means fungus infection. Cat infected by claw fungus may has many symptoms such as brownish discoloration and greasy exudate, itching, flaking, or pain in the claw.
The cat can also give many signs from its behaviour change if it is infected by claw fungus, such as licking its paw, limping or difficulty of walking if the infection comes with the pain. Since there is so many fungal type that can infect cat, the diagnosis of cat claw fungus can only be done by vet. The vet may need to check the fungal type and the cat may need to be hospitalized if the fungal type is the type that can be transmitted to human. The treatment of cat claw fungus can be varied, from antifungal ointment or soaks to oral medications. It can also depend on the type of the fungal. Topical treatment of claw fungus can be done by administering ointment or topical drugs to the infected area, while antifungal soak is done by soaking cat’s feet to antifungal solution.
If the vet lets the cat to go home, then we can say that the fungal type isn’t the type that can be transmitted to human, we can ask it to the vet to make sure. Usually the vet will give any medications or antifungal shampoo for the cat. But we can also treat the cat claw fungus by our own simple home remedies. The home remedies to treat cat claw fungus may have antifungal ability so they can fight and remove the fungal infection. There are many ingredients which have an antifungal property to cat claw fungus such as ringworm and malassezia, but we will only discuss the 3 most popular ones. So here are 3 simple home remedies to treat cat claw fungus.
1. Apple cider vinegar and warm water
The first 3 simple home remedies to treat cat claw fungus is apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar is famous for having many use for health. One of it is the ability to fight fungal infection. Apple cider vinegar can kill ringworm and remove the allergens that can cause itching. Remember that apple cider vinegar is acidic and can be abrasive, so we always have to dilute it first with water. It can be used topically or to make it as an antifungal soak. It can be used three or four times a week for treating cat claw fungus. When being used topically, we just need to apply the diluted apple cider vinegar to the infected area after cleaning the area first.
When used as an antifungal soak, we can dilute apple cider vinegar in a bucket of water and soak the cat’s feet in it after cleaning the feet. We soak it for about 30 seconds. We can also brush the cat’s claw with soft toothbrush and try to remove any exudate on it. After the soak just pat the cat’s feet with dry towel, do not rub it to prevent any irritation. We can also make a spray from the mixture and spray it to cat’s paws as an antifungal spray. Do not use it to the broken skin as it can sting the skin. We can also mix it with other herbals like peppermint essential oil or golden seal. Peppermint has an antiseptic and slightly anaesthetic properties, while golden seal contains the chemical barberine which has antibacterial and antifungal properties. The golden seal can also be used for topical treatment to treat infected wounds, ringworm, or itching. But it may cause brain damage if ingested by new born kittens.
2. Iodine and warm water
Second of 3 simple home remedies to treat cat claw fungus is iodine. Iodine is a disinfectant which has the antifungal property. It is purple-coloured and should not be ingested by the cat, but it is safe to use it topically. Beside for the antifungal property, it can also reduce inflammation and itchiness, but can be irritated to cats paws. To use it as a home remedy to treat claw fungus, firstly we must dilute it with a bucket of water, and then soaks the cat feet for 30 seconds, then pat the feet dry.
3. Coconut oil
We can use coconut oil as a topical treatment for cat claw fungus. It contains certain fatty acids that can kill fungal cells by destroying the fungal cell’s membrane. It can be used three times a day by applying it in the clean paws and claw area. It is also can be used as a moisturizing lotion that can prevent future ringworm infections.
Cat claw fungus is an infection which can be damaging and painful for cat. It is something that must be treated immediately as it can spread widely to other part of cat’s body. Remember that the diagnosis of the fungal infection needs to be done by vet. After that, if we can bring the cat home, we can treat it based on the vet’s diagnosis. We have discussed 3 simple home remedies to treat cat claw fungus, apple cider vinegar, iodine, and coconut oil. Remember to use it with caution because it can irritate the cat’s paws and some of it can’t be ingested.
Treatment for cat claw fungus can take several weeks until the cat shows improvement. Beside treating the cat with home remedy, don’t forget to also prevent any contamination from the infected cat. It is also important to prevent any fungal infection in the future, so make sure that we know the source of the infecting fungal and do something about it.
We also need to always keep the cat’s environment clean and healthy, treat it’s wound immediately to prevent any infection, and prevent cat from any wound such as not to cut the nail too short and frequently cut the claw short to prevent it from snagged. We may also need to follow up the care after it is treated to make sure that the infection is all gone.