Diseases that street cats can transmit to humans

Statistics state that cats living indoors live at least twice as long as cats that stay outdoors. This is mainly due to the fact that they have a lower risk of suffering from diseases and infections that put their lives at risk. However, what happens when the desire is to adopt a cat that lived on the street? In this case many doubts arise, especially regarding the diseases that a cat of the street can bring with itself.

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Do not let this uncertainty make you stop helping a street cat that needs your help. Before making the right decision, we invite you to inquire with this article about the diseases that street cats can transmit to humans .

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Toxoplasmosis is one of the contagious diseases that street cats can transmit and which worries most humans, especially pregnant women, who in addition to people with a compromised immune system are the most prone. It is transmitted by a parasite called toxoplasma gondii that is in the feces of felines. It is one of the most common parasitic conditions that affects both cats and humans, with cats being the main guest.

Toxoplasmosis is a disease that lacks information. In fact, it is considered that a good part of the companions of cats will have contracted the disease without knowing, since many of them do not present symptoms. The only real way to get this disease is by ingesting the feces of the infected cat , even if a minimal amount. You may think that no one does this, but when you clean the sandboxes, you sometimes end up with some fecal matter in your hands, which you unconsciously bring to your mouth with your fingers or eating food with your hands, to wash.

To avoid toxoplasmosis you should wash your hands soon after cleaning the litter box and convert this into a habit. In many cases treatment is not usually necessary, but when recommended is the ingestion of antibiotics and antimalarial drugs.


Rabies is a viral infection of the central nervous system that can be transmitted by animals such as dogs and cats. To contract it, the saliva of the infected animal must enter the body of the person. Anger is not contagious by touching an angry cat, this can happen through a bite or if the animal licks a wound that is open. It is one of the diseases that street cats can transmit and that most worries because it can become deadly. However, this happens only in extreme cases, usually rabies is treatable if medical attention is received as soon as possible.

If a person is bitten by a cat with this condition, it will not always contract the infection. And if the wound is washed carefully and immediately with soap and water for several minutes, the chances of suffering a contagion are reduced. In fact, the chances of contracting this disease from a street cat are very low.

To avoid any risk of biting do not try to pet or welcome a street cat without first giving you all the signs that you accept its approach. A feline open to human contact will be cheerful and healthy, will purr and will seek to rub against your legs in a friendly way.

Cat scratch disease

This is a very rare disease, but fortunately it is benign and does not need treatment. Cat scratch disease is an infectious condition caused by a bacterium of the genus Bartonella . This bacterium is present in the cat’s blood, but not at all. In general, felines are infected by fleas and ticks that carry the bacteria. This “fever,” as some people call it, is no cause for concern unless it is a person with compromised immune systems.

We should not reject cats because of this. Cat scratch disease is not an exclusive condition of these animals. A person can also be infected by dog ​​scratches, squirrels, a scratch with barbed wire and even prickly plants.

To avoid any likelihood of being infected, only touch the street cat once you have given clear signs of acceptance. If you get it on your lap and it bites or scratches you, quickly rinse the wound very well to avoid any infection.


Ringworm is one of the diseases that street cats can transmit to humans and it is a very common and contagious but not serious body infection caused by a fungus that looks like a red circular spot. Animals like cats can be affected by ringworm and can infect humans. However, this is not a compelling reason not to adopt a street cat.

While a person may get the ringworm from a feline, the likelihood of contracting it from another person in places like changing rooms, swimming pools or damp spaces is higher. The application of topical fungicidal drugs is usually sufficient as a treatment.

Feline immunodeficiency virus and feline leukemia

FIV ( feline Aids equivalent ) and feline leukemia (retrovirus) are both immunodeficiency diseases that damage the cat’s immune system, making it difficult to fight other diseases. Although humans do not contract these diseases, it is important to mention that if there are other cats at home, they will be exposed and at risk of getting infected if they bring a feline from the street home. Before taking this step, we recommend that you take it to your veterinarian to rule out any type of contagious infection, especially the feline immunodeficiency virus and feline leukemia. And in the case of being infected, we advise you to go ahead with your decision to adopt it, but taking appropriate preventive measures to avoid infecting other cats as well as providing you with the appropriate treatment.

This article is purely informative, in YourCatCareguide.com.br we do not have the capacity to prescribe veterinary treatments nor to make any type of diagnosis. We suggest you bring your pet to the veterinarian in case of any type of condition or malaise.

If you want to read more articles that might be useful to your subscribers , please visit our Prevention section .

Emily Harris

Hi Guys, Girls, and Cats:-p I am Emily Harris, and you can see in above pic. She loves me I swear. I saved her from a dumpster a few weeks back.

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