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Diseases that can be caught from a Cat - Parasitic Infections
The most common parasite associated with cats is fleas.
Fleas will not be able to thrive on humans but they still
bite people, and the bites cause bumps that are itchy and
can become inflamed. Flea bites may also cause an allergic
reaction in susceptible people.
Fleas are also a vector for zoonotic diseases like
Cat Scratch Fever. Cats that are flea infected can get tape
worms from ingesting fleas while grooming. Children can also
contract tape worms from accidentally swallowing an infected
Other common worms that can be contracted from cats are
round worms, hook worms and heart worms. Round worms affect
the digestive tract and can cause malnutrition. Hook worms
can cause a painful itchy skin disease. And heart worms can
clog the heart causing heart trouble and eventual death.
Hook worms and round worms are contracted from swallowing
contaminated soil that has the eggs in it. Heart worms are
rarer and are spread by the bite of a mosquito.
These parasites are commonly contracted by children, who
have a tendency to put their hands in their mouth regardless
of how dirty they are. But adults can be infested as well.
Infestation by any of these parasites can be prevented by
following proper hygiene procedures such as washing of hands
before meals, washing fresh vegetables before preparing
them, and never allowing yourself or any of your family to
come into contact with animal feces.
Kittens should be dewormed and Adult cats will have to have
their fecal matter examined annually to be sure that they
haven't become infected with parasites. It is a good idea to
deworm your kittens as soon as possible.
The more common parasite that affects kittens is round worms
that live in the digestive tract. But a kitten's weaker
immune system can't stand up to the poisons and medicines
that most veterinarians suggest as a way to control the
parasites. There are safer methods, including feeding the
kitten a daily half-teaspoon of food grade diatomaceous
earth which effectively kills worms in the digestive tract.
Never allow a child to play in a sandbox that has been left
uncovered with no supervision. Cats will eliminate in it if
the sand is uncovered. And always cover your child's sandbox
when it is not in use to prevent feral cats from eliminating
in it. They are almost guaranteed to be infested with parasites,
and the sandbox will be full of worm eggs.
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