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Cats, like all other domestic animals, can be reservoirs of parasites, fungi, bacteria and viruses, which can be transmitted to people, especially when they come into contact with their feces, saliva, urine or hair, which can lead to the development of diseases, especially in people who have a more compromised immune system.
To avoid possible diseases caused by cats or other domestic animals, it is important that the veterinarian is consulted regularly, to ensure that vaccination and deworming are up to date, as well as to verify the need to start some treatment in the animal., especially when there are symptoms of illness. In addition, it is important to be careful when cleaning the cat's litter box.
It is important to point out that not all cats transmit disease and that the diseases presented below are not exclusive to cats, and may occur through another route of infection. Still, some diseases that can be transmitted by cats are:
Allergy is one of the main conditions related to cats and can be triggered by contact with cat hair. The main signs and symptoms of respiratory allergy are sneezing, swelling of the eyelids, breathing problems and even asthma in some people.
In addition, some cats can also have a skin infection caused by fungi, which can also be transmitted, in some cases, to people, requiring antifungal treatment both on the cat and on the person.
Toxoplasmosis is an infectious disease caused by the parasite Toxoplasma gondii that has cats and other felines as its definitive host, that is, its life cycle takes place in these animals.Infection in people happens accidentally through the ingestion of oocysts present in the feces of contaminated cats, which may be present in the litter box.
In this way, it is important to be careful when handling the cat's litter box, it is recommended to use a glove or small plastic bag and then throw the feces and urine remains in the trash or the toilet, flushing immediately. Next. These measures must be taken regardless of whether the cat is sick or not, as the animal can be infected without any signs.
It is important to keep in mind that toxoplasmosis is not a disease that can be transmitted exclusively by infected cats, as there are other routes of infection. See more about toxoplasmosis.
3. Bartonella henselae infection
Bartonella henselae is a bacterium that can infect cats and be transmitted to people through scratches caused by this animal, so infection with this bacterium is called cat scratch disease.After the scratch, the bacteria enters the body and can cause skin infection in people who have a compromised immune system due to the use of medicines, diseases or transplants, for example. Know how to recognize the symptoms of cat scratch disease.
To prevent the transmission of the disease, it is important to keep the cat's vaccinations up to date, as well as deworming, as this bacteria is often found in fleas that can affect cats and thus transmit the bacteria.
Sporotrichosis is a disease that is transmitted mainly through scratches or wounds that occur when a person comes into contact with soil, plants or wood contaminated by the fungus Sporothrix schenckii. However, it is possible that there is also transmission from infected animals to people, with this transmission in most cases being related to cats. Learn more about sporotrichosis.
5. Visceral Larva Migrans Syndrome
Visceral larva migrans syndrome, also called visceral toxocariasis, is an infectious disease caused by the parasite Toxocara cati that can often be found in domestic animals. Transmission to people occurs through ingestion or contact with eggs of this parasite present in infected cat feces.
As Toxocara cati is poorly adapted to the human organism, the parasite travels to various places in the body, reaching the intestine, liver, heart or lungs, causing a series of complications in the person. Know how to recognize the symptoms of visceral larva migrans.
How to avoid these diseases
To avoid possible diseases caused by cats, it is important to have some care in everyday life, such as:
- Take the cat to the vet regularly, so that it can be vaccinated and dewormed;
- Be careful when handling the cat's feces, using gloves or a plastic bag to pick it up and then take it to the trash properly bagged or throw it in the toilet;
- Change cat litter regularly;
- Avoid that the cat leaves the house many times, being important to create a suitable and comfortable environment for the cat inside the house.
By following these precautions, and others that may be recommended by the veterinarian, it is possible to avoid diseases that can be transmitted by animals and promote the well-being of the pet.