Kissing Your Cat

BY | July 29 | COMMENTS PUBLISHED BY
Kissing Your Cat

Image Credits: Pixabay

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.

Transmissible diseases

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.

Lip kissing

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?

Image Credits: Pixabay

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 touches 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 โ€” 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.

Was this article helpful?

You May Also Like