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The common saying is to refrain from kissing your cat. This is good advice, as there exist a few real risks when you kiss your cat. It is obvious that you should not kiss the cat when the animal is sick. The problem with cats is since they are stoic by nature, it is hard to figure out whether the feline is ill or not.
Not all cat diseases are applicable to you. Kennel cough is completely a cat thing, and you will never catch it. There are many zoonotic diseases, however, which could be transferred from felines to humans. The list of zoonotic diseases includes common bacteria, like Salmonella, Pasteurella, E-coli, and Staphylococcus. All these diseases are extremely contagious. The ringworm is another common, highly contagious fungal infection. It can swiftly spread from the affected cat to a human. The disease is relatively harmless but can be a pain to treat.
Another risky zoonotic disease is Bartonella or cat scratch fever. It has been known to pass to humans. Parasites like Toxoplasmosis could occasionally be transmitted to humans by clumsy management of kitty litter. In case you believe your cat has any one or all of the above diseases, do not kiss the animal or touch it. Refer to a veterinarian as quickly as possible.
Contrary to popular notion, do not kiss your cat on its lips. It is simply a rumor that the lips of a cat are more hygienic than a human's. The lips of the cat, however, may contain bacteria which could result in gum disease. Since a cat is a predator, it also eats animals and also insects which could be disease carriers. It is thus unsafe to kiss your cat on its lips. Alternatively, give a peck on the kitty's head as this action has less chance of carrying any disease. You can ensure the oral hygiene of your cat by regularly brushing the feline's teeth or the administration of mouth wash. The veterinarian will be the best person to advise you on the techniques to do this. There is no harm in doing a quick peck if both you and your cat are healthy. The risk of transmitting disease is quite low. Some humans, however, are at risk when they come in close contact with animals. The people who must stay away from close contact with felines include pregnant women and toddlers. Also at risk are immunocompromised individuals (like those who have HIV) and people having lowered immune systems. If you or any members of your family fall into this category, then it is an excellent idea to consult a physician. If you want to kiss your cat, do it only when the animal is relaxed and calm.
Should You Kiss Your Cat?
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It is common sense that you should never kiss your cat on its mouth. There is more than an even chance that doing so may make you fall sick. The worst-case scenario includes you dying. The presence of pathogens like viruses and bacteria also means it is unwise to allow your cat to share your bed when you sleep. These pathogens are deadly when transmitted to humans. They will not go fully even if you give your kitty a thorough wash.
Greater chance of being infected
The rising ownership of cats among the urban population has only increased the risks. There are now more interactions between animals and their owners. Other humans, like passersby, who were attracted by a cute cat, and touched the animal, could also be affected. A common feline disease transmitted by kissing the cat is Corynebacterium ulcerans. This disease is common among humans who care for stray cats. The pathogen gets transmitted to humans when the animal sneezes. The results is a sore throat or cough, or any other cold-like symptoms. There could be breathing difficulties or something much more complicated. This is why you should never approach a cat with a runny nose.
Many infected diseases could be transmitted from animals to humans. These infections have a term: zoonoses. The biting of a cat infected with thrombocytopenia syndrome or SFTS could cause death. The felines get this infection from an unfortunate hard tick bike. People close to their pets have a higher chance of suffering from infections. Pasteurellosis is a common zoonose. Almost 95% of cats have this horrible bacterium inside their mouths. When this zoonose infects a human, the result will be aching and swelling. There will also be coughing and fever, and other cold-like symptoms — the worst cases involve sepsis and meningitis. Death may happen in severe cases.
Antimicrobial drugs The good news is that it is possible to cure zoonoses with antimicrobial drugs. Although cats may remain unaffected by the pathogens, humans, who come near the affected animal develop symptoms which are like a common cold. This makes it much harder for doctors to diagnose the infection. The result? Treatment of the disease comes much later. Almost every pet owner or those who live near pets are vulnerable as the animals carry pathogens. Any veterinarian would recommend that you should not kiss your pet on its mouth or near it. The same advice can be applied when you want your furball to sleep with you on your bed- do not do it. Place the cat in its designated room and close the door. You need a good night's sleep-which the presence of the cat cannot provide you. Regularly trim your pet's nails and quickly dispose off the cat's urine and feces.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it OK if I kiss my cat?
Cats can carry certain bacteria, such as Pasteurella multocida, which can be transmitted to humans through bites, scratches, or close contact, and can cause infections. Additionally, some cats may not enjoy being kissed and could become stressed or anxious, which can lead to aggressive behavior or other negative reactions. It's important to respect your cat's boundaries and body language and show affection in ways that they are comfortable with. This may include petting, playing, or offering treats or toys.
What does my cat think when I kiss her?
Some cats may enjoy being kissed and may show affection in response, while others may not like it and may react negatively. If your cat seems to enjoy being kissed and shows affection in response, it may be a sign that they feel safe and comfortable around you. However, if your cat shows signs of stress or discomfort, such as hissing, growling, or pulling away, it may be best to respect their boundaries and show affection in a different way that they are more comfortable with. Observing your cat's body language and behavior is important to understand their preferences and avoid causing them unnecessary stress or discomfort.
How do you know if your cat imprinted on you?
Cats do not necessarily imprint on humans in the same way that some other animals, such as birds, may imprint on their caretakers or other individuals. However, cats can form strong bonds with their humans, and there are some signs that may indicate that your cat feels a strong attachment to you. If your cat follows you from room to room or always seems to be nearby when you're at home, it may be a sign that they enjoy your company and feel comfortable around you. Cats often purr and knead when they are feeling relaxed and content and may do so when they are sitting with you or on your lap. Cats that enjoy being close to their humans may seek out physical contact, such as rubbing against your leg or snuggling up next to you. Some cats may meow or chirp when they are around their humans, which can be a sign of affection or a way to communicate. Every cat is different and may show affection in their own way. Observing your cat's behavior and body language can help you understand their preferences and strengthen your bond over time.
Should I let my cat lick me?
It is generally not recommended to let your cat lick you. While it may seem like a sign of affection or a way for your cat to groom you, cats can carry certain bacteria in their mouths that can be harmful to humans. This can include bacteria such as Pasteurella multocida, which can cause infections. Additionally, allowing your cat to lick you may encourage them to engage in other behaviors that you may not want, such as scratching or biting. If you do choose to allow your cat to lick you, it's important to observe your cat's behavior and body language to ensure that they are comfortable and not stressed or anxious. It's also a good idea to wash your hands and any areas that your cat has licked to reduce the risk of infection.
How do I tell my cat I love him?
Cats can understand and appreciate love in different ways than humans do, but there are some ways that you can show your cat affection and reinforce your bond. Cats enjoy being petted and scratched in certain areas, such as behind the ears, under the chin, and along their backs. Offering gentle physical contact can be a way to show your cat affection and make them feel safe and comfortable. Offering your cat treats and toys can be a way to show them that you care and that you want to make them happy. Some cats may prefer treats or toys that they can play with or eat, while others may prefer toys that they can bat around or chase. Spending time with your cat, whether it's playing with toys, grooming them, or simply sitting quietly together, can be a way to strengthen your bond and show your cat that you enjoy their company. Cats communicate through their body language, and paying attention to your cat's behavior can help you understand their preferences and show them that you respect their boundaries.