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Can my cat make me sick? catipedia-icon4.png

There are a handful of zoonotic diseases—illnesses that can spread from animals to people. While it’s possible to contract a disease from your cat, it isn’t highly likely. Cleanliness is your best defense: Wear gloves to clean your cat's litterbox, and if you're pregnant, avoid the litterbox altogether. Remember to wash your hands after you feed, groom or pet your cat. Read the list of diseases below and more ways to help you stay healthy.

Cat Scratch Fever

Cats contract bartonellosis, commonly called cat scratch fever, when they ingest an infected flea or its feces. They can pass the infection to you through a bite or scratch. See your physician for antibiotics if symptoms—fever, headaches, swollen lymph glands—persist for more than a few days.

To prevent the disease, avoid feral or aggressive cats. And don't let a cat lick an open wound on your body; its saliva will deposit bacteria into the wound.

Roundworm

Roundworms are common in cats and can spread to humans through infected feces—people with litterbox duties and children who touch contaminated soil are at the greatest risk. In humans, symptoms of roundworm include cough, shortness of breath, abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea and fatigue. If you are experiencing these symptoms and suspect roundworm, see your doctor for treatment.

Toxoplasmosis

Toxoplasmosis is a parasitic infection that cats can contract by eating infected raw meat or prey. The parasite lives in their intestines and is expelled in their feces, which is where humans come into contact with it. As with roundworm, people with litterbox duties are at a higher risk for contracting toxoplasmosis. Women who are pregnant should avoid litterbox cleaning, as toxoplasmosis can pass from a mother to her unborn child. Antibiotics help ease a toxoplasmosis infection, but there is currently no known cure.

Ringworm

Ringworm is a skin fungus that spreads from cats to humans through direct contact. Both cats and humans will develop scaly, bald circles on the skin. Treatment includes an over-the-counter antifungal ointment for humans and a vet-prescribed ointment for cats.

Rabies

Rabies is passed from cats to humans through bites. If a cat bites you, wash the bite with soap and water and apply an antiseptic. If you are not certain that the cat has a current rabies vaccination, see your doctor immediately to be treated. A series of injections is used to treat the rabies virus.

Feline AIDS and Herpes

There are a lot of myths about these two diseases, but the truth is they CANNOT be spread to humans. These diseases only affect cats, weakening the immune system and causing upper respiratory infections. There is no cure for FIV. Feline herpes can't be cured, either, but it can be managed by medication.

TOPICS: BASICS

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FAQs

Below you'll find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about our company, our products and caring for your cats. If you have a question that isn't addressed here, please feel free to contact us.

Q: How can I email or talk with the Purina Pet Care team?

A: If you would like to talk with us, please contact us here or call us at 1­-888­-228­-2469.

Our Hours of Operation:

  • Monday through Friday 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. CST
Q: How are Purina Cat Chow products different from other healthy pet foods?

A: Inside every bag of Purina Cat Chow you'll find a selective blend of protein, fat, and fiber. Everything we use in our premium cat food formulas has a place in your cat's healthy diet.

Q: How can I be sure of the quality of the Purina Cat Chow products?

A: Our top priority is the quality of the food that nourishes not only your pets, but the pets we share our lives with, too. So from source to bowl, the quality of our food is assured by taking the following steps:

Ingredient Sourcing

  • Purina ingredient sourcing and processing meet or exceed FDA, USDA or AAFCO standards for pet food. And every supplier of ingredients for Purina products must meet our stringent standards for ingredient specifications, product safety, sanitation and manufacturing practices.
  • Ingredient Testing
  • All of Purina's North American manufacturing facilities have on-site quality assurance laboratories and staff. And we're working to expand the use of technology to further screen ingredients for quality assurance.
  • Ingredient Tracking & Control
  • 99% of all Purina pet food products sold in the U.S. are made in Purina-owned U.S. manufacturing facilities and Purina's sophisticated tracking system ensures important measures of control: All raw ingredients are tracked from time of receipt at our plants, through their inclusion in finished products, and on to retail stores.
Q: Where is your food manufactured?

A: 99% of all Purina-branded pet food products sold in the U.S. are made in Purina-owned U.S. manufacturing facilities. Purina's sophisticated tracking system ensures important measures of control: All raw ingredients are tracked from time of receipt at our plants, through their inclusion in finished products, and on to retailers.

Q: I am unable to find a particular product in my area. Can you help me locate it?

A: Yes, we can help. Although distribution of our Purina Cat Chow products is national, not all stores carry all sizes and varieties. Contact our Customer Service department via our Contact Us page or call us at 1­-888­-228­-2469.

Q: Do you offer coupons?

A: We offer coupons in local papers, through direct mailing programs and via emails to registered members. We don't have a regular section on our website itself. We suggest you watch for sales or promotions at your local retailer.

Q: Where can I find articles and information about my cat?

A: We believe there's always more to learn and to share and that discovery should be fun. It's one more way we're helping you and your cat share a better life together. Visit Catipedia for articles and information and... a little bit of fun.

Q: Where can I find articles and information about my cat?

A: We strongly recommend talking to your veterinarian for immediate answers to urgent situations. While CatChow.com is an excellent resource of information provided by cat care experts, your veterinarian can provide the best care for your individual cat..

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