Germs in cats are often quite confusing to most owners, as there are three basic types. Any germ is considered a microorganism, especially if they result in a disease.
The conception is that germs are all basically the same, and as such, it is very easy to get them confused.
However, this is a huge misconception, as the three basic germs that cause disease in your cat are as different as a cat and dog.
These three germs in cats or microorganisms are viruses, bacteria, and fungi.
In fully comprehending germs in cats, it is very helpful to understand what actually makes up anything that is considered living and their characteristics.
There are six basics characteristics, and the first is they must be able to adapt to the environment that they are in.
Next, they must have a cellular makeup, and then they must have a metabolic process where they can obtain energy.
Finally, they must also be able to have growth and development as well as the ability to reproduce.
The first type of germs in cats is referred to a as a virus, and they are very small, simple organisms.
In fact, they are so tiny that the only way they can be viewed is with a microscope, but not a regular microscope.
of their size, they can only be viewed by a special microscope known as an electron scope.
They are also so simple in nature, that they are not actually considered to be alive.
However, they can still do some incredible damage in your cat.
A virus does not technically fit the description of living, as it cannot grow, reproduce, or metabolize on its own. However, this is where you cat comes into play.
It must have a host and when your cat becomes infected by a virus, they have been chosen as this host.
Once it chooses your cat, it has only one purpose; to reproduce. It starts this process by attaching itself to the cell surfaces of your cat or becomes integrated into the cell itself.
Once it accomplishes this, it begins to release genetic material into your cats cell, and by doing this, it basically shuts down the normal process of that particular cell.
By accomplishing this task, a virus stops the cell from producing proteins which is very dangerous to your cat.
However, this form of germs in cats does not stop there as it than starts to produce a new blueprint for their cells by making viral proteins instead.
Once this is done, the virus, as simple as it is, can now use the energy and materials in your cat’s cells to produce an acid that allows it to make hundreds of copies of the original virus.
From here, it becomes so strong that it ruptures the targeted cell where it than very rapidly spreads to other cells and repeats the process.
Viruses, however, are very selective and choose only specific species. For example, a particular virus that may attack a dog will not attack your cat.
Your pets system, however, does not just sit idly by while this form of germs in cats begins it attack.
As their system identifies this invasion, it begins an immune response and starts to produce antibodies to fight the viral attack.
In most cases, it is extremely successful in attacking it, and once it has succeeded, it will prevent this particular form of virus from ever attacking again.
This process takes about seven days to reach full strength, and is in most all cases, it is successful. However, there are some viruses that can overpower your cats system.
There are two types of this form of germs in cats that can and do overpower your pets system; Feline leukemia and Panleukopenia.
Feline leukemia, also known as FeLV, causes immune suppression in your cat and as a result their system cannot fight it in time.
It is a very serious disease and cats pass this virus between themselves through saliva and close contact.
It can also be passed through the litter box and food dishes. Panleukopenia, also known as Feline distemper, is acquired by swallowing infected virus particles.
It is so powerful that these particles can stay dormant but still remain in a highly infective state for up to two years.
This form of germs in cats is very different from viruses.
They are much larger and produce in what is called asexual reproduction that is known as binary fission.
What this means is that they divide in two, and once this is accomplished, each new form is a clone of the original.
They can reproduce very rapidly and to put it in prospective, if they were in an ideal environment, they could reproduce to over one billion bacterium in just over ten hours.
Bacteria can be found living on almost any type of surface and every environment known in the world, as it is that strong.
However, there is also a lot of misconception about this form of germs in cats.
It is everywhere in your cats environment, and if all of the bacterium where dangerous, your cat would not stand a chance of surviving it.
However, most bacteria are not pathogenic, which means it causes disease.
In fact, most of it is very helpful, unless it becomes invasive and toxic.
Invasiveness measures the ability of bacteria to grow inside your cat, and toxigenicity measures the capacity for it to become toxic.
However, for this forms of germs in cats to become dangerous, it does not necessarily need to have both qualities.
Your cat fights bacteria in the same way it fights a virus infection, as it immediately sets off an immune response.
But there is one major difference; bacteria over time have proven to be extremely resilient in combating not only your cat’s natural immune response, but antibiotics as well.
There is also one factor that any owner should be concerned with if your cats system is over powered and antibiotics are used; they may kill the good bacteria as well as the invasive and toxic forms.
There are also two major forms of bacterial infections; Mycoplasma haemofelis and the plague.
Mycoplasma haemofelis is also known as feline infectious anemia, and occurs when bacteria attaches itself to your cats red blood cells, rapidly reproduces, and begins to destroy these cells.
It is especially dangerous as your cats immune system in an attempt to destroy this attack, also kills healthy red blood cells.
The plaque simply overpowers your cats system must faster than it can respond. Although it is not very common, it is extremely dangerous.
The final form of germs in cats is much different than the first two as they are plant like organisms that lack chlorophyll, and as a result, must take it out of the affected hoist, in this case your cat.
Fungi can reproduce in several ways such as budding, fragmentation, or producing cells either sexually or asexually.
Fungi must secrete digestive enzymes and absorb them in order to get the nutrients they need to survive.
They are either breathed in by your cat or absorbed in by their skin in order to become harmful and cause a disease.
Your cats system again responds by producing antibodies, but in most cases they cannot fight off a fungal infection as it is very difficult for their system to find.
This is a much more powerful germ as once they form; they are very similar to your cat’s cells that the other two types.
If your cat is attacked by a fungal infection, they will need some help in the form of drugs.
However, most drugs have a very hard time identifying the difference between the fungal cells and your cat’s cells.
For this reason, most drugs will only stop the infection from spreading and not attack the original infection, and to make matter worse, they can have very serious side effects.
The most common fungi infections in cats are Coccidioidomycosis and Ringworm.
Coccidioidomycosis is caused by inhaling fungi and produces flu like symptoms in your cat and is more commonly known as valley fever.
Ringworm is not nearly as serious and is generally absorbed in your cats skin and affects their skin and hair coats.
It is considered a self-limiting disease meaning that over time your cats system will defeat it and it will go away on its own.
Germs in cats are all very different and can all be very dangerous.
The best way of protecting against germs is to build your cats system as strong as you can with the correct diet and nutrients.