Can Humans Acquired Cat Diseases?

You are highly at risk of acquiring an illness from an infected person chats or small droplets than acquiring the disease from cats. Most of the cat’s diseases only infect their race just like humans only infect people. However, some zoonotic illnesses can be acquired between humans and cats. With a direct contact with the infected feline’s feces or saliva, fleas or ticks, the disease can also be transmitted to the owners. Here are the following cat diseases that can be transmitted to the owners.

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Cat Scratch Fever

The cat scratch disease consists of bacteria called bartonellosis that can be acquired by both animals and humans. Cats usually get this from infected fleas or consuming flea feces during the grooming process. While humans get this when bitten or scratched by the infected cat or fleas. If the infected feline licks the open wound of their owners, the saliva can also be a means of transmission of the cat scratch disease. The infected humans will show the following signs and symptoms such as fever, headache and swollen lymph nodes. It usually subsides on its own but may take several months. In severe cases, antibiotic treatment is necessary. Humans with a low immune system are usually susceptible to the disease and should be able to assess immediately if the cat is infected or not.

Infection Disease


Majority of the owners are at risk from cat infection disease from a bite. Although this scenario is preventable especially if you grew up with your feline. Threatened cats are more vulnerable to these events. Most cat disease-causing bacteria usually live in cat’s body and really never cause a problem but when they bite, it will be activated and cause infection to humans. A small bite or scratch from your playful furry friend that is not deep enough will not cause any problem as long as you wash that area immediately, there is nothing to worry about. In some cases where the wound is deep, you’ll need to visit an emergency to give you the needed shot, clean the wound effectively and give you an antibiotic.

Roundworm

Humans also experience roundworm, it’s a parasite that is most common in cats. Once the roundworm eggs from an infected cat’s stool are consumed by a human, a worm can be transmitted to our brain, eye, lung or liver. If roundworm infects the eye area, it may cause a permanent blindness. The risk of acquiring roundworm is high for kids who love to play and eat dirty things around the house or yard and often don’t wash their hands before eating or touch their faces.
Depending on the amount of the worms consumed, the symptoms that may occur to human may not be visible at all, some may experience vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain. The physician may have prescribed an anti-parasitic medication to solve the issues.

Ringworm

Ringworm is caused by a fungus that infects the hair, skin and nails of both cats and owners. It can be passed from animals to human through direct contact with the infected cat’s hair or skin. Cats with ringworm have a portion of hair loss in face, legs and ears. Crusty skin is also present. Some cats do not show any of these. Kittens are the one that is most affected.
Humans infected with ringworm have the redness, scaling, cracks on the skin, itchiness and ring-shaped rash in the body. Hair loss is also possible. Nails can also become discolored or thick.

Toxoplasmosis


This condition is a type of parasitic disease that is common for outdoor cats. Pregnant women and those that have a weak immune system are more susceptible to acquiring the disease. Cats usually get it from raw meat or infected prey which can also be obtained with unprocessed milk. When ingested, the parasites occupy the digestive system producing oocytes or known as the zygotes which the cat eliminates in its feces. When the human makes contact with the feces, it can result in an infection. For pregnant women, it can also be possible to transmit to their infants. Infected newborns usually do not show any signs at birth but later in life, they may experience mental issues or blindness. Infected adults can be treated with the combination of medications but the parasite remains in the body tissue permanently. This condition in cats can be treated with antibiotics.

To avoid this condition, do not let your cat roam around outside. For pregnant owners, have someone else clean the litter box daily but that doesn’t mean that you have to give away your feline friend.

Rabies


Rabies is a serious neurologic condition that can affect both humans and cats caused by a virus. Both species are usually infected with bites from infected rabid animals. Infected cats usually show some behavioral changes and ongoing paralysis. Restlessness, panting, attacking other animals or humans also appears. Rabid animals die within few days of showing up these signs. The owners must vaccinate their pets for rabies to avoid this.
For infected humans, the symptoms show general weakness, headache and fever and last for months after the exposure. During the 1st few days, symptoms start from confusion, behavioral changing and anxiety. If you have been bitten by your pet, immediately contact the doctor. Once the symptoms appear, it’s going to be late for you.

Plague

It is caused by a bacteria called Yersinia pestis. It usually infects both animals and humans that can result to serious condition or death if left untreated. Cats are higher at risk of getting this disease and symptoms are similar to humans. Cats that love to hunt insects and rabbits in Western and Southwestern, USA are more at risk of plague condition.

Owners become infected via flea bites or direct contact with infected cats through body fluids. The most common form of this condition is called Bubonic plaque where symptoms contain a sudden outbreak of chills, headache, high fever, swollen lymph nodes and malaise. The other types of plague are called pneumonic and septicemic which results in more severe cases. Cats infected with such condition can also infect humans via scratches, droplets, coughs and bites.

Salmonella

The condition is infected with a bacteria called salmonella spp. Humans can acquire salmonella through contaminated food from eggs and meats or feces from infected animals. Cats get this condition by eating infected birds but does not make them sick. Salmonella can cause serious disease when transmitted to humans.

Owners infected with salmonella may experience vomiting, fever, diarrhea and cramps in the abdominal area. Infants and person with a low immune system are high at risk for developing such illness.

Preventing the Cat Diseases and Staying Safe

Preventing cat diseases require cleanliness that starts from yourself, your cat and surroundings. Do not forget to wash your hands as often as possible after playing or touching your feline friend. Visit the vet regularly for your cat to be given a flea control medication. Thoroughly clean the cat’s litter box and prevent the soil to be contaminated by the stool. Following these tips will prevent you from getting these diseases from your cat.

About the Author Happer Wilson

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