Can I get sick from my cats sharing my food or drink?

By Nadine Oraby | 2020 Update

The question asked my many, can we share our foods and drinks with our cats?

Will it be harmful to us or harmful to the cat itself?

We usually don’t look out for the precautions while having our food as we are least bothered by our cat sniffing or licking it or even having a bite from it, it’s just that we ignore it because we love our cats too much.

But what if the cat is sick and she takes a bite or two from our food? If your cat is going through some illness or any kind of indigestion, scratching diseases or any other kind of problem and she takes a bite from your food, it can infect and transmit the disease to you as well.

Anyhow preventive measures can always be taken and our bond with the kitty shall remain unchanged.

Can my cat make me sick?

We don’t know what kind of diseases might be there in the cat’s saliva and if they can be transmitted to us or not. The diseases transferred from cats to humans are called Zoonotic. These zoonotic viruses are too weak to enter the immune system of a human but if you are an individual with weak immunity these diseases may be risky to your health.

These zoonotic diseases are all bacterial and spread through the bacteria itself. To name a few bacterial diseases, the scratching disease is picked up by its own saliva which occurs when the cat grooms herself. Another one of the bacterial diseases would be Salmonellosis which the cat gets from consuming raw meat that could also include wild prey like birds and rodents.

Diseases that can spread with bites and saliva

Cat scratch fever is a particular disease which occurs due to the indigestion of an infected flea that can be found in the fur and can be consumed by the cat in a grooming session. This can be spread by a bite on the skin or a paw scratch on a human.

We don’t know if the cat is playing with us or is in pain and going through some indigestion. We should look out for symptoms if we have been recently bitten or scratched by our cat. Continuous fever, headaches, swollen lymph glands that persist for more than a few days show signs that you might have caught the disease.

One should know that if these symptoms occur after the bite or a scratch of a cat, then it’s dangerous and must be consulted to a doctor. Apart from scratching or biting, this disease can also be spread if the cat licks an open wound, this transfers the bacteria from the cat’s saliva into the blood through open wound and observation should be taken for the same symptoms.

What a cat’s saliva can do

All of the diseases in the form of bacteria present in the cat’s mouth are transferred from her mouth to our food when we let them try our food or allow them to eat it with us. This includes Rabies as well. If a cat with rabies tries to steal from our food, there are germs left in the food which are then consumed by humans making them sick.

To look out for cat’s health we should know that the basic symptoms of rabies in a cat are Fever, Paralysis, dropping jaw, inability to swallow food including their favourite treats, and excessive saliva dripping which all makes the cat act out. In many countries, it’s in the law to get your cat vaccinated for rabies as if it gets transferred to a human, it doesn’t end up well.

Our cat can get rabies from a simple exchange of saliva or blood of an infected animal which means that prey of an infected animal could turn out to be deadly for our cat. Therefore, they shouldn’t be left out in the wild and provided with the best food at home.

Can our cat get us sick from rubbing against us?

This is a very common thing in the mind of pet owners. While having our meal we don’t usually allow the cat to climb up the table and eat with us. So, what she does is that she rubs herself against her owner and the human feels appreciated as having such a loving pet but doesn’t know it could also transmit a disease she doesn’t want to.

Ringworm is an infection caused in humans by direct contact from the skin of our cat to ours as well. The large patches are formed on the skin and a specific ointment is supposed to be applied on it with regular timings. This disease in cats is again found by the contact of another infected animal and it can be hard to get rid of it if you have a weak immune system.

This can also infect kids and necessary precautions should be taken in this case as children have weak immunity and a skin disease could turn out to be very dangerous in children due to insecurities and more things.

Parasites our cats carry

Parasites aren’t normal pathogens, but the presence of these tiny parasites is considered as a disease that can spread and can turn out to be fatal. The cat could be carrying Roundworm Eggs and Mono-celled Protozoa in her saliva which can easily be transmitted to your food or drinks when they try to taste them.

These little parasites are dangerous to your health and should be diagnosed by a doctor in case they have entered your body. These bacteria multiply in the blood of a human with time and can cause serious illness if not treated immediately.

These parasites can also be transferred from one human to another in the same way they caught it from their cat through the exchange of saliva. More so, it can also spread through the bite of a mosquito. The virus started from the mouth of our cat and can spread this much and this can quickly turn into a very dangerous situation that can be hard to control.

Keeping the cat safe to keep ourselves safe

We humans in certain situations love our pets more then we love each other and can do anything for them to see them safe and healthy. Having toddlers in our homes or young children could require a lot more protection and healthy choices for our children and our kitties. Children tend to love cats and to play with them, cuddle them, carry them, but can’t understand that the cat is not always in the mood to play and would deny playing.

The cat defends herself if she’s mistreated or carried without her consent which could result in biting and scratching the kids which can get really ugly. We can’t stop the children from playing with them as they adore their pets a lot, spoon-feeding their food to the cat and having their meals with them at the same time. Children cannot be stopped from having fun with the cat.

However, what we can do is make sure our cats are healthy in all aspects. Their teeth shouldn’t be sharp enough, their nails should be filed, and they should be safe from diseases they can transmit through saliva, bites, or scratching. They should also be regularly vaccinated and the cat should visit the vet on a regular basis and have their mouths checked and cleaned so they don’t carry any unwanted bacteria.

Conclusions

Start from stop sharing your food and drinks with your cats. Don’t let young children play with the cats unnecessarily and stop them when the cat doesn’t seem to be enjoying. Also, stop your kids from feeding the cat from their hands and also teach them to not share their food.

Special care should be taken of the cat as well. You need to get them vaccinated on time and get them checked by a vet on a regular basis. Our cats are an important member of the family, everyone loves them and wants them to stay forever.

This is the basic thing to know about having a pet. We need to take care of them and keep them fit because humans can’t afford to get unwanted diseases and bacteria entering the body. So stay aware and stay safe!

Related:

Leave a Comment