You tend to those around you as well as yourself when you’re feeling under the weather. To stop the spread of your illness to others, you could wear a mask, wash your hands often, or even lock yourself in your room. But should you socially avoid your cat as well? That might work out okay, depending on what you have. People can contract certain feline diseases, and vice versa.
If you or someone you know has immunocompromised disease, other long-term medical issues, or is pregnant, this can be extremely dangerous. We’ve got you covered for the most frequent illnesses that cause problems, how they spread between cats and people, and how to avoid them.
Common Ways Illness Passes Between Cats and People
Aerosols, waste products, and bodily fluids are some of the most prevalent ways that different cat ailments can spread to humans or from humans to cats. Should you neglect to properly wash your hands after handling cat poop, pee, vomit, or hairballs, you could endanger yourself. Similarly, when you’re sick, don’t let your cat lick your used plates and cutlery, don’t leave used tissues laying around, and don’t let it drink from the toilet. Since sneezing and coughing are two of the main ways that diseases spread, you should obviously wash your hands and cover your mouth. If your cat or you are experiencing symptoms, stay away from touching each other’s faces. Nose boops and kisses may have to wait for better times.
Illnesses That Pass Between Cats and People
Cats and people can get sick together, though this is not often. Cats can get infections from people that are bacterial, viral, parasitic, or fungal. Occasionally, they may catch the flu or a cold from other people. There are records of cats contracting COVID-19 or the H1N1 virus (swine flu) from people. However, there is no proof that animals may transmit COVID to humans. Cats can potentially contract giardiasis, salmonella, or ringworm from people. Additionally, secondhand smoke can make them ill.
People can contract cat infections that cause diarrhoea and nausea. These include giardiasis, salmonellosis, cryptosporidiosis, and campylobacteriosis. Not only can cats transmit tick-borne diseases, but they can also spread parasites like ringworm, roundworm, tapeworm, or hookworm to humans.Cats can transmit some of the deadliest diseases to humans, including rabies, MRSA infections, and even the bubonic plague (in the western United States). And lastly, there is such a thing as cat scratch fever. If an infected cat licks or scratches you, you could contract this bacterial infection. It results in edoema, a minor infection, and occasionally a fever.
A Special Concern For Pregnant Women
Cats can become ill with toxoplasmosis by consuming small wild animals. For several weeks following infection, the bacteria is still present in their faeces. It can be acquired by gardening in soil that a cat has urinated in or by inadvertently touching their face while handling a litterbox and transferring the bacteria to their hands.
Given that a newborn can contract toxoplasma while still in the womb, this is concerning. Some babies are born with severe brain or eye damage as a result of it. Certain children are born properly, but they eventually develop visual impairments or mental disabilities.
Because of these hazards, you should wait to get a cat until after your child is born in order to reduce the chance of contracting feline diseases like toxoplasmosis. If you do own a cat, take the following safety measures:
Replace your cat’s litter with someone else’s, or thoroughly wash your hands and put on disposable gloves.
Ensure that the litter is replaced every day.
When gardening, put on gloves.
Give your cat canned or dry food instead of undercooked or raw meats.
When cooking, ensure sure the inside temperature reaches a point where bacteria are killed by using a meat thermometer.
Drinking unpasteurized goat milk is not advised.
Eat no seafood that is undercooked or uncooked.
Keeping Cats Healthy
It’s important to maintain a hygienic and clean environment year-round, not only when you or your pet are ill. This entails using disinfectant to clean surfaces, getting rid of food waste right away, clearing away dirty dishes, and discarding used tissues.
You may maintain a healthy diet and fitness regimen with your cat. Give your friend high-quality, healthful cat food instead of human food treats. Playing with toys, watching videos, and interacting with you will keep your cat active.
It’s crucial that you and your cat receive vaccinations to ensure that none of you become ill. Every year, cats should have a distemper vaccination to guard against feline viral rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, and panleukopenia, in addition to a rabies immunisation. Injections for distemper frequently come with a chlamydophila felis vaccination as well.
While none of these measures can guarantee that you or your friend will never get sick, they can reduce the likelihood of illness and promote a year-round healthier and more active lifestyle.