Kissing Your Cat

By July 29 | See Comments

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Kissing Your Cat

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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.

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.

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