Most diseases are shared within a certain species ‘” cats pass along diseases to the cats and humans infect other humans. But some diseases, known as Zoonotic diseases, can be transmitted from non-human species to humans as well as within their own species.
Some of the diseases that humans can contract through contamination of the cats’ feces are Cryptosporidiosis, Giardiasis, Toxoplasmosis, and Salmonellosis. These diseases are gastrointestinal diseases in your cat, which can be transmitted through the contaminated food, water and the cat secretions/excretions.
Cryptosporidiosis is a parasitic disease that causes diarrhea, fever, abdominal cramps, nausea, and vomiting. People and cats with low immune systems run a higher risk of contracting the disease.
Giardiasis is a parasite that infects animals from contaminated kennels, shelters and pet stores. Giardiasis causes diarrhea, flatulence, vomiting and weight loss.
Toxoplasmosis can cause fever, loss of appetite while attacking the nervous system, lungs and eyes of the infected cat. Toxoplasmosis is a parasite that is very contagious to humans. Pregnant women should be especially cautious.
Salmonellosis is a bacterium that feed on raw meat. Salmonellosis can cause diarrhea fever and stomach pain.
These diseases can all be passed on to you from your cat through unsanitary conditions, such as petting a cat that lives near it’s feces, or handling feces with your bare hands.
A cat will be diagnosed with blood cultures, fecal examinations, urinalysis, an intestinal biopsy, biochemistry profile and other tests as needed. If you suspect that your cat has passed on any of the diseases to you or the family, your doctor can usually get results through blood tests, a full body exam and analyzing the history of symptoms.
Treating humans for most of these diseases is similar to treating cats for the same disease. Your cat may be hospitalized and treated with intravenous fluids, antibiotics, medications to kill the parasite, food restrictions and possibly electrolyte therapy.
It is easier to prevent most of these diseases if your cat is strictly an indoor cat where you can control his diet and environment. Feed him a high fiber diet with no raw meats/foods. If you handle raw meats, wash your hands and all utensils with hot, soapy water. Keep your cat’s litter box clean. Scoop out feces daily while wearing disposable gloves and using a scooper. Extra methods of extreme sanitary precautions are warranted if your cat frequents the outdoors. Becoming well-educated with a full understanding of the diseases is the first step in vital home care and prevention.