Human diseases caused by cat feces

Written by susan lee
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Human diseases caused by cat feces
Personal hygiene makes for a healthy relationship with your cat. (kitten in hands image by Indigo Fish from Fotolia.com)

Most diseases are shared within a certain species---cats pass along diseases to other cats and humans infect other humans. But some diseases, known as Zoonotic diseases, can be transmitted from non-human species to humans, according VetCornellEdu.com

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Types

Some of the diseases that humans can contract through contamination of the cats' faeces 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, according VetCornellEdu.com.

Identification/Description

Cryptosporidiosis is a parasitic disease that causes diarrhoea, 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 infects animals from contaminted kennels, shelters and pet stores. Giardiasis causes diarrhoea, flatulence, vomiting and weight loss. Toxoplasmosis can cause fever, loss of appetite and attack 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 bacteria that feed on raw meat. Salmonellosis can cause diarrhoea 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 faeces or handling faeces with your bare hands.

Diagnosis

A cat will be diagnosed with blood cultures, fecal examinations, urinalysis, an intestinal biopsy, biochemistry profile and other tests as needed, according to PetPlace.com. 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 analysing the history of symptoms.

Treatment

Treating humans for most of these diseases is similar to treating cats for the same disease. Your cat may be hospitalised and treated with intravenous fluids, antibiotics, medications to kill the parasite, food restrictions and possibly electrolyte therapy.

Prevention/Solution

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 fibre 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 faeces daily while wearing disposable gloves and using a scooper.

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