5 Diseases Your Cat Can Give You: A Mini Guide

Zoonotic diseases are diseases that are transferable from animals to humans. Though these diseases are quite rare, and it is unlikely that you will catch an infection from a house cat, it is still good to be aware of them.

Most of these diseases are caused when cats roam outside the house or due to improper hygiene. Check out the guide of the causes and symptoms of five diseases your cat can give you.

5 Zoonotic Diseases From Cats

Cat Scratch Disease

Cat Scratch Disease (CSD) is one of the most common zoonotic diseases for which cats are responsible. As is evident from the name, CSD is usually caused by being scratched by a cat. It is also possible to get infected if a cat licks an open wound or a preexisting scratch. The most prominent symptoms of this disease are blistering and swelling at the scratched area. The injury can get infected, and in severe cases, the pain may be accompanied by intense fever and nausea.

Cat Scratch Disease
Image: Cat Scratch Disease


Salmonella is a bacterial disease usually associated with consuming raw, undercooked, or bad meat, but few people know that you can get it from cats as well. Salmonella is common in cats that roam outdoors and eat tainted food from garbage cans, street mice, and dead birds. Common symptoms of this disease in humans are an upset stomach, usually accompanied by diarrhea, fever, and severe abdominal pain. Keep your cat indoors and feed it good quality food to avoid this issue.’

Common Pet Diseases and How to Prevent Them

Roundworm Infestations

Many parasites that affect cats can also affect humans, and one of these parasites is Toxocara, more commonly known as roundworm. The cause of this infestation is by contact with the litter of an infected cat. Symptoms of roundworm infestation are severe abdominal pain, nausea, fever, and fatigue.

Roundworm Infestation
Image: Roundworm Infestation

Dispose of cat litter hygienically. Be aware when gardening that cats can defecate and contaminate the soil as well. Cat genie boxes are a great option if you want to make the maintenance process for the cat easier and safer. Cat genie boxes can flush the used litter automatically so that you don’t have to clean it.


Scabies is another infection that may be passed on to humans by cats. Scabies is caused by a mite called Sarcoptes scabiei. These tiny little mites can get in your skin while you are grooming or petting your cat. Scabies mites can infect your skin and cause raised itchy lesions. Take the cat to a vet and replace its bedding if this disease is detected. Also, use mite repellents to stay safe.

Scabies on hand
Image: Scabies


Toxoplasmosis is a severe parasitic disease that is typically transferred from cats that roam outside the home. An infected cat can keep shedding the parasites for more than a week, so it should be taken to the vet and quarantined. You can catch the disease while petting an infected cat. Common symptoms include headaches, muscle pain, and fever. In some rare cases, it can also cause diarrhea.

Ask your partner to clean the litterbox for you. Don't risk Toxoplasmosis.
Ask your partner to do it for you. Don’t risk Toxoplasmosis.


“5 Diseases Your Cat Can Give You: A Mini Guide”

About the Author: Taylor Starc is an animal behaviorist and certified pet trainer. He has been working at Animal Training Academy in Montreal for ten years now. Apart from his professional life, he likes to read and write blogs in his leisure time. You can read some of his best pieces at https://obeymycat.com/.


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