What Diseases Do Cats Carry? Having a pet in the form of a cat can be a stress reliever and it is excellent for the development of the child. Cats have even become friends that are always faithfully accompanied when someone is at home. Especially with its cute and adorable face, it certainly makes cat lovers more affectionate.
But if you do not take good care of the cat, then it can cause a variety of problems, one of which transmits various diseases.
Even diseases suffered by cats can be contagious to humans if you do not keep clean. So you should always take care of the health and cleanliness of the cat so as not to get sick. Here is a summary from various sources, on the diseases that cats can transmit in humans.
What Diseases Do Cats Carry That Humans Can Get?
Bartonellosis (cat scratch disease / CSD)
Bartonellosis is a disease caused by the Bartonella henselae bacteria. The human body can be infected with bacteria from bites or claws of cats infected with bacteria.
If infected, then symptoms such as swelling of the lymph nodes, especially on the head, neck and arms, fever, headache, limpness, loss of weight and loss of appetite.
People find it difficult to detect cats infected with bacteria because cats show no symptoms of the disease. To reduce the transmission of the disease, it is best to reduce play with the cat, immediately wash the bite marks of the cat, scratches and do not let the cat lick the wound on the surface of the skin.
Campylobacter bacteria live in the digestive tracts of cats, dogs, and hamsters. People may be exposed to the disease if they do not wash their hands after touching the cat’s feces, or from touching items and toys contaminated by feces.
Campylobacter infection causes symptoms such as fever, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Diarrhea is sometimes accompanied by nausea, vomiting, or blood. Symptoms generally rise int 2-5 days after infection and will last for 1 week.
Ringworm disease is caused by infection of several types of fungi living in the soil, human skin, and skin of pets including cats. In cats, ringworm-causing fungi come from Microsporum Canis or Trichophyton mentagrophytes species.
Human can contract the disease from direct contact with animals. The main symptom of ringworm is the appearance of dry and scaly lumps with reddish edges. The disease can be treated with antifungal drugs in the form of creams, shampoos, or taken directly.
Causes of Toxoplasmosis
Toxoplasmosis is an infection caused by the parasite cell, Toxoplasma gondii. T. Gondii can actually live in the bodies of mammals such as sheep, rabbits, rats, kangaroos, and also poultry (chickens).
So the cat (especially the young one) consumes meat from the animals mentioned earlier, so this parasite begins to reproduce in its digestive organs.
So while most pets can carry the disease, only eggs or oocytes from cats are capable of causing infection. Usually cats get this infection because:
- After eating rodents or insects.
- Infected with another infected cat.
- Exposed to infected cat feces.
Risk of Transmission of Toxoplasmosis
Toxoplasmosis can be transmitted to humans through various media, among others if they:
- Do not wash his hands after dealing with cat feces, after gardening or cleaning containers of cat litter containers.
- Play in the sandbox.
- Eat unwashed fruit and vegetables first (and they were planted in soil already contaminated with cat feces).
- Consume raw meat or 1/2 ripe that containing parasites.
What is even more dangerous is that this infection hit pregnant women because it can spread to the fetus through the placenta. This can lead to miscarriage, or the baby is stillborn or born with congenital toxoplasmosis. The condition is fatal because in addition to causing brain damage, babies can also experience blindness, jaundice, seizures, and mental retardation.
Characteristics and symptoms of Toxoplasm
If a person contracts toxoplasmosis after birth, then on average, there are rarely any visible symptoms. In infants, mild symptoms may appear immediately after he or she is born, but usually new toxoplasmic traits appear a few years later.
Symptoms of toxoplasmosis itself can vary greatly, depending on the type. But symptoms of toxoplasmosis in general include fever, feeling unwell, and swelling of the lymph nodes. If the sufferer’s immune system is weak, let’s say, like having AIDS, for example, then toxoplasmosis can cause life-threatening brain infections.
To find out if a person is exposed to this disease or not, the doctor will detect any antibodies (which the body produces to combat T. Gondii) through a blood test. In certain cases such as those with AIDS, the doctor may also perform a CT scan or MRI of the brain.
Most people who have a prime immune system do not need treatment at all because the disease can disappear on its own. But for pregnant women or those with weakened immune systems, medications are usually needed to overcome this infection.
Prevention of Toxoplasmosis
Unfortunately, there is no vaccine yet that can prevent toxoplasmosis. The only method of prevention is to minimize the exposure of the causative parasite.
Pregnant women in particular, should not deal with cat litter at all. As for cat lovers, always use plastic gloves when cleaning the litter containers, and after that, hands should be washed clean using hot water and soap.
In addition, playgrounds such as sand pools must also be closed so that cats do not poop there. Fruit and vegetables should also be washed clean before consumption because we do not know from the soil what kind of food source is harvested.
Furthermore, hands should also be washed after processing raw meat. As for the meat, cook it until it’s completely cooked. The final tip is, always wear gloves while gardening and afterwards, wash your hands clean.
Rabies is a deadly disease caused by the rabies virus classified in the phylum Negarnaviricota. Like most warm-blooded animals, cats are also prone to contracting rabies.
The single most potent way to prevent rabies is by means of rabies vaccination, i.e. The administration of serum for immunity, thus forming antibodies against the rabies virus.
Usually, vaccinations in dogs and cats will be carried out periodically. The veterinarian will vaccinate on a fixed schedule, so that dangerous diseases can be prevented completely. Although it’s more expensive than other disease vaccines, the rabies vaccine is an absolute thing you have to give your beloved cat.
VCA Animal Hospital on its official page records some serious signs in cats affected by the rabies virus, among them changes in behavior to be more aggressive, increased malignancy, and paralysis of certain parts of the body. Some cases also show that the cat will become more lazy to do so.
Rabies from cats to humans can be transmitted through bites. Usually a euthanasia procedure will be performed (lethal injection) for cats that prove positive for rabies. In fact, in some countries, cats that prove positive for rabies will be immediately shot dead on the spot.
Cat mites or fleas can be transmitted from infected cats to humans. They hide in the skin and cause itchy lesions. To reduce the risk, cat owners must diligently bathe or care for cats and often clean their habitat.
Roundworms, hookworms, and tapeworms
If your cat has worms, it’s better to take it to the vet immediately. Because, cats are able to transmit it through saliva or cat feces containing worm eggs or larvae. If not careful, the egg is able to stick to humans and multiply.
Furthermore, cryptosporidosis is a Cryptosporidium parasitic disease transmitted from cat feces. This disease is capable of causing great diarrhea in humans. So be vigilant.
Leptospirosis is a disease that can be transmitted by pets due to contact or drinking water contaminated with bacteria. In addition, germs from leptospirosis disease also often reach the area of the kidneys and reproductive organs.
So if a human has an open wound and then the wound is exposed to the urine of a cat who is suffering from leptospirosis disease, then it is most likely to contract the disease.
In humans, symptoms of Leptospirosis disease are high fever, headache, chills, pain, vomiting, jaundice, abdominal pain, diarrhea and rash. If left untreated, Leptospirosis can cause kidney damage, failure of liver function, meningitis, respiratory distress and death. So, you have to be careful because until now there has been no Leptospirosis vaccine for humans.
Skin flakes, saliva and cat urine can trigger a person’s allergic reaction. Causes rhinitis, inflammation of the mucous membranes of the nose that looks the same as influenza. Allergic reactions include itchy eyes, sneezing, colds and inflammation of the sinuses. Cat fur can trigger asthma reactions, respiratory distress characterized by tightness in the chest and difficulty breathing.
Do not eat food that has been kissed and licked by cats. That’s because, the saliva and oral cavity of these beloved animals contain bacteria and parasites that can move into food. Later, the bacteria will spread to the digestive organs and injure the stomach wall, causing diarrhea and loose stools.
Thank you very much for reading What Diseases Do Cats Carry? Hopefully useful.