PetMD Seal

Fungal Infection (Histoplasmosis) in Cats

2 min read

Histoplasmosis in Cats


Histoplasmosis refers to a fungal infection caused by the Histoplasma capsulatum fungus. It usually enters an animal's intestinal tract after being ingested through contaminated soil or bird droppings.




The most common symptoms for cats are lack of appetite, weight loss, and difficulty breathing. Other potential signs may include:


  • Coughing
  • Increased breathing effort and harsh lung sounds
  • Lameness
  • Eye discharge
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever, up to to 40 degrees Celsius (104.0 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • Pale gums and moist body tissues (mucous membrane)
  • Enlarged lymph nodes (lymphadenitis)




The primary cause of this infection is the ingestion of the Histoplasma capsulatum fungus. The fungus may be breathed in when contaminated soil is disturbed, such as when a cat scratches at dirt that it has used for its own waste, or when your cat comes into contact with contaminated bird (including poultry) or bat droppings.




Your veterinarian will want to differentiate the symptoms from heart failure, feline asthma, lymphoma, pyothorax, and fungal pneumonia. A chemical blood profile, complete blood count, and a urinalysis will be conducted. Blood tests may confirm the presence of histoplasma antibodies, although this only means that your cat has been exposed, not that it is in a diseased state. Further differential testing will either confirm or rule out the actual state of histoplasmosis.



Related Articles

Foreign Objects Stuck in the Throat in Cats

Cats often swallow unusual things and are known for the odd range of objects they will swallow. When a cat ingests foreign material or foodstuffs...

Aspirin Poisoning in Cats

Aspirin can be toxic for cats. Learn how only veterinarians can safely prescribe aspirin for cats and how aspirin poisoning in cats is treated....