Zoonotic disease in cats is a serious threat not only to your cat, but to you as well.
The actual definition of zoonotic diseases is a condition that can be transmitted from animals to people, or a disease that normally exists in animals and can be passed on to you.
You may become infected by a disease that your cat has by several different methods.
The most common method is poor sanitary habits that lead to the ingestion of small amounts of waste products, or by skin contact with the infected agents.
However, bite wounds or scratches, especially common in cats, may also be the cause.
Zoonotic disease in cats that are transferred in most all cases will require some type of an intermediate host, also referred to as a vector, and are usually fleas or ticks of some type.
These conditions in cats will poise the highest risk of infection to two groups of people; young children as well as anyone with a suppressed immune system.
Children are especially prone to diseases from cats simply because they are more exposed to your cat while playing.
However, the largest risk to children may come from their playing area, especially their sandbox.
Cats that may be infected will naturally defecate in these sandboxes and you may never know it.
Poor hygiene on the part of your child as well as their natural habits of placing their hands in their eyes or their mouth places them at a high degree of risk.
Suppressed immune functions that may be caused by someone that has undergone chemotherapy treatments or some type of an organ transplant.
It may also be caused by people who are using immune suppressive drugs are also at a very high risk of contracting a zoonotic disease from their cat.
AIDS patients are also extremely vulnerable as the natural suppression of the immune response is not as strong.
Round Worm Disease
This Zoonotic disease in cats is the most common disease that is transmitted to humans, especially children.
It is caused by the larval of roundworm which comes in two forms; Toxocara catti or Toxocara canis.
Your cat is infected by this larval and it is passed by the feces of your cat where it releases more infested eggs into the environment.
This environment is usually the play area or the sand box of your child, as and as result, they will inadvertently come into contact with these eggs and then touch their hands to either their mouth or eyes.
This is an especially dangerous infection and it only takes a couple of these eggs to become infected.
The next common Zoonotic disease in cats is from hookworms. Hookworms can be transmitted by simply walking barefoot over soil that has been contaminated.
The hookworm larvae will penetrate the skin and can cause allergic reactions in some people.
It also will cause what is known as ground itch which can cause severe itching.
However, these larvae can also migrate into the lungs and then your windpipe where it is swallowed and travels back into your small intestine.
This disease zoonotic disease in cats is also caused by an organism and it results in severe diarrhea in both your cat and the infection of people.
This disease is normally passed in the feces of an infected cat in the form of cysts. This cyst can remain in the ground or water for literally months.
If can be transmitted by either form once contact is made where it migrates to the intestine.
In a healthy person it will usually run its course; but in immune compromised individuals it is absolutely lethal and can be fatal.
Cat Scratch Disease
Also known as Bartonellosis or cat scratch fever, this zoonotic disease in cats is very difficult to detect simply because your cat does not show any signs that they have this disease.
First diagnosed in 1950, this cat disease occurs worldwide. Eighty percent of all cases are found in children between the ages of 5 to 14.
This disease has some peculiar traits in that it seems to occur mostly in the late fall to early winter months in every part of the world.
Once scratched or bitten by your cat, a small blister appears usually within 3 to 5 days. However, in some cases, in may not appear for up to thirty days.
After the blister forms, the lymph nodes that are the nearest to the scratch will enlarge and become very painful.
This condition can last up to four months in some cases, and can cause headaches. In severe cases, it can cause delirium as well as seizures especially in young children or HIV patients.
This Zoonotic disease in cats is caused by bacteria and they become infected when they are bite by a tick.
It is usually asymptomatic in cats, which means it shows no symptoms, but in some cases it can cause abortions to occur.
People are infected if this organism becomes air borne during parturition, or birth, or from the placental tissues.
The symptoms are usually a fever as well as a rash, but neither will be severe unless it is an immune mediated case.
Zoonotic diseases in cats are usually not dangerous to most people, but can be very dangerous to children as well as people with suppressed immune systems.
The best way to prevent transmission of these diseases is with proper sanitary practices when coming in contact with any fecal discharge.
Building your immune system, as well as your children’s and cats with the proper diet and supplements can also help in fighting these diseases.