Can Your Cat Make You Sick? Cats are cute and adorable but yes, they can pass on some diseases that you need to be aware of.
Zoonoses or Zoonotic diseases are conditions or diseases transmitted from animals to people.
Young people and pregnant women are more susceptible to catch these feline diseases.
Most common diseases:Toxoplasmosis
Cats are natural predators, therefore can easily get infected by Toxoplasma parasite by eating birds, rodents and by coming into contact with faeces from an infected cat.
A cat infected with Toxoplama will discard infected faeces for about
2 weeks. This parasite can then survive for months even whilst
exposed to the elements.
Cross contamination can occur when in contact with infected cat
faeces, infected soil, litter or any area that has used as a toilet by
an infected cat.
This parasite can be transmitted cat to person but not from person to person. However, Toxoplasmosis can be transmitted to the fetus via the placenta. In extreme cases, result in miscarriage in pregnant women.
Pregnant women can still be in contact with cats, but need to take
extra care during and after handling cats. Extra hygiene
precautions and avoid touching the face before washing their hands.
Most infected people do not display symptoms but young people are
most at risk. People with a weak immune system should also take
Always wash your hands with an antibacterial soap after touching a cat.
Cats are not the only carriers, poorly cooked meat can also carry this disease.
Symptoms: flu like symptoms, tiredness, body ache, high temperature,
nausea and sore
Cat Scratch Disease or Bartonellosis (Bartonella hensolae)
Cat scratch disease is transmitted when someone is bitten or scratched by a cat. Cats can get infected by fleas.
High risk groups include young children. Adults can also be affected but symptoms normally clear naturally over time.
If you have been scratched by a cat, regardless of age, wash your
skin with sanitizer and lots of water.
Symptoms: tiredness, swollen lymph nodes, appetite loss, rash,
achy joints and high temperature.
This fungal infection can be transmitted from cats with infected skin or fur through to people. Other small animals can also pass on this infection.
Contamination can also occur by the infected cat spreading fungal spores to his home. Fungal spores can survive in the environment for months. This infection can me transmitted between people.
The infected cat should remain in quarantine until treated. Remaining rooms and areas should then be sanitized.
Infected cat could be treated by tablet as prescribed by the
Vet. Humans can be treated by anti fungal creams.
Symptoms: tiredness, red itchy circle on the skin.
Salmonella or Campylobacter or Staphylococci
Salmonella is the biggest cause of food poisoning.
Cats carry this bacterial disease in their faeces. They can get infected by eating birds and mice. People can get infected due to poor hygiene conditions. Once an area is contaminated, it is highly contagious. Sanitizing the area is a must to eliminate bacteria.
High risk groups include young children and pregnant women.
Infected cats can be treated with antibiotics. Reputable
catteries regularly dose their cats to reduce the risk of infection.
Symptoms: diarrhea, high temperature, nausea and stomach ache.
Fleas are parasites that suck blood from small animals and
humans. These can survive a long time without a host to feed on.
Areas containing larva (flea eggs hatched) should be medically treated before cats should be allowed back into a room.
Cats should be treated safely and regularly with "Frontline drop" . Powders and sprays are stressful for cats and not as effective!
Symptoms: tiredness, red skin bites, itchy skin, skin irritation and allergic reactions.