Sharing Isn't Always Caring: 4 Diseases You Can Catch From Your Cat

Posted on: 24 June 2016

Friendship, love, frenzied chasing of inanimate objects -- cats share beautiful (and hilarious) experiences. But not everything your cat shares is so wonderful. Here are four diseases you can catch from your feline friend.

1. Ringworm: The Not-So-Worm-Like Fungus

Ringworm, believe it or not, is a type of fungus that is highly contagious and commonly found in cats. Ringworm has nothing to do with worms, but it does cause bald patches with red lesions shaped like rings. If your cat has these symptoms, take your pet to the vet immediately as the fungus can easily be transferred from your cat to you.

If you develop ringworm, see your doctor, who will likely prescribe an antifungal cream to treat the infection.

2. Rabies: More Than Just A Dog Problem

When you think of rabies, you might conjure up images of a rabid dog, foaming at the mouth. But cats can get rabies too.

Many wild animals, including raccoons and bats, carry rabies and can spread the viral disease to your cat if they bite your furry friend. Rabies will likely cause your cat to become more aggressive, which could lead to you getting bitten and getting rabies yourself.

So keep your cat away from wild animals, and see a vet if your cat becomes unusually aggressive.

3. Cat-Scratch Disease: From Fleas To Swollen Lymph Nodes

Do you suffer from swollen lymph nodes, joint pain, and headaches? You might have your cat to blame. Or, more specifically, you might have fleas to blame for giving your cat the disease in the first place.

Here's how it works. The fleas bite your cat, which infects your cat. Then your cat bites you, which infects you. If you become infected, the symptoms can last several months, and you may need to be treated with antibiotics.

4. Toxoplasmosis: A Single-Celled Parasite Linked To Psychiatric Problems

Toxoplasmosis is another disease your cat may unknowingly share with you. This single-celled parasite affects up to 30 percent of the human population and has been linked to impulsivity and anger problems.

The parasite is spread through contact with feces of the infected cat. So be sure to put on gloves before cleaning your cat's litter box. Otherwise, you might become infected -- and, quite possibly, find yourself unbearably angry too.

Your cat may be sharing more than you realize. So take your cat to the vet regularly to ensure your feline friend -- and you -- stay disease free.

For more information, contact All-Pets Hospital or a similar location.