Dwelling With Cats When You are Immunocompromised: Dangers & Security Suggestions

Final Up to date on: October 24, 2023 by Crystal Uys

cat owner wearing a mask with her pet cat at home

Whereas numerous research tout the bodily and psychological advantages of pet possession, it may well nonetheless be nerve-wracking for immunocompromised folks to welcome an animal into their residence. Don’t let the worry of contracting infections from cats deter you from adopting one, although. With the suitable precautions, cats and immunocompromised sufferers can stay collectively harmoniously. Learn on to seek out what ailments your kitty could put you in danger for creating, and our recommendations on decreasing your danger of contracting stated infections out of your pet.

Our 9 Suggestions for Safely Dwelling With Cats Whereas Immunocompromised:

1. Preserve your cat indoors.

Maintaining your cat indoors not solely protects him and the wildlife in your space but in addition minimizes the danger of your kitty catching ailments from different animals. In case your pet doesn’t catch infectious ailments, he can not cross them on to you.

2. Know the dangers.

Earlier than you undertake a cat, ask your physician and potential veterinarian about any infections or ailments you might be prone to contracting out of your pet. Understanding what you can probably contract out of your cat will make you extra conscious and on guard.

3. Apply secure meals dealing with.

Whether or not your new kitty is on a uncooked or business food plan, you’ll need to take additional care when making ready his meals. Sanitize any surfaces and utensils that contact the meals, and don’t use the identical floor to organize his meals as yours. Wash your fingers totally with cleaning soap and water after feeding time.

Observe: You would possibly think about feeding solely commercially ready meals and treats over uncooked meals, as you and your pet can get sick from uncooked meat.

Kitten eating treats
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4. Have your pet examined.

Have your cat examined for feline immunodeficiency and feline leukemia viruses. Whereas these sicknesses usually are not spreadable to people, they will affect your cat’s immune system. If his immune system isn’t in nice form, he could also be extra prone to creating different infections that can unfold to people.

5. Preserve your cat’s nails trimmed.

Trim your cat’s nails each week. Attempt to keep away from roughhousing forms of play and conditions that may result in you getting scratched, as cats can infect people with ailments by scratching them.

By no means declaw your cat. This follow is inhumane and never efficient at stopping accidents. Cats with out claws will flip to biting to guard themselves in the event that they really feel threatened. A cat chew is much more dangerous to people than a scratch.

6. Be good about your litter field duties.

Preserve your cat’s litter field removed from areas of the house the place you’ll be consuming. Think about using disposable pan liners that may be tossed with each litter change.

In the event you stay with different folks, go away the litter field cleansing duties to them. In the event you stay alone, put on gloves and a face masks to guard your self from the poop and mud particles within the litter.

Every day scooping is important to stop a toxoplasmosis an infection. Toxoplasmosis is an an infection attributable to the Toxoplasma gondii parasite. People can get it by consuming undercooked meat or coming into contact with cat feces. Critical ailments can happen in folks with weakened immune methods, so you need to take steps to stop an infection.

cat on a green litter tray
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7. Undertake from a good supply.

Don’t choose a cat from the road to carry into your own home. As good as it’s figuring out you’re saving a cat from a lifetime of feral residing, you recognize nothing about this cat’s well being historical past or the place it has even come from.

If you undertake from the breeder, you might be given a precise date of delivery, well being historical past, and file of vaccinations. The identical applies when adopting from the native shelter. These cats may have had a once-over by the veterinarian, so that you’ll know as a lot about their well being historical past as attainable.

8. Preserve an open line of communication together with your vet.

Common veterinary exams guarantee your kitty stays in good well being. It’s particularly necessary for immunocompromised folks to have their animals commonly checked for parasites. Your vet will possible suggest that you simply vaccinate your pet in opposition to zoonotic ailments to maintain each you and him secure.

9. Preserve your cat out of your bed room.

Having separate sleeping quarters is a good suggestion for an immunocompromised individual. People are very weak when asleep, so holding your kitty out of your bed room at night time can maintain you secure from random assaults whenever you least anticipate them.

cats waiting outside the bedroom door
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What Ailments Are Unfold by Cats?

Cats can unfold a number of ailments that it’s best to educate your self about earlier than signing the adoption papers. Whereas the sicknesses and circumstances beneath usually are not complete, it will provide you with a good suggestion of what forms of micro organism your cat might unfold to you and what might occur in case you get contaminated.

Campylobacteriosis (Campylobacter spp.)

This illness is unfold in a number of methods, however for the needs of our article, we’ll simply discuss how folks can catch it from their cats. Pet homeowners most frequently get this illness after encountering the feces of an contaminated cat. It’s usually contracted if folks don’t wash their fingers totally after petting their cats or cleansing their litter field, although open wounds may also be contaminated with the micro organism.

Signs of this illness in folks embrace:

  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Abdomen cramps
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

This illness can typically trigger problems like momentary paralysis and even unfold to the bloodstream, inflicting a life-threatening an infection.

Cat Scratch Illness (Bartonella henselae)

Cat scratch illness (CSD) infects cats by means of flea bites, catfights, or blood transfusions. People can contract CSD if an contaminated cat bites or scratches them.

Indicators of CSD embrace:

  • Fevers
  • Complications
  • Malaise
  • Fatigue
  • Small bump on the scratch web site

The lymph nodes nearest the micro organism entry web site can develop into infected and painful. Immunocompromised of us and kids youthful than 5 are prone to creating critical problems involving the mind, coronary heart, or eyes.

aggressive cat biting human hand
Picture credit score: Nau-Nau, Shutterstock

Cryptosporidiosis (Cryptosporidium spp.)

Cryptosporidium is a microscopic parasite that causes this illness, usually referred to as “crypto.” People might be contaminated with this situation in the event that they contact their mouths after dealing with an contaminated cat.

Indicators of cryptosporidiosis embrace:

  • Watery diarrhea
  • Cramping
  • Stomach ache
  • Nausea

Giardiasis (Giardia duodenalis)

Giardiasis can unfold by swallowing poop particles that comprise the parasite. This intestinal an infection is usually seen in vacationers that eat contaminated water, although you may contract it out of your cat.

Indicators of giardiasis embrace:

  • Delicate to extreme diarrhea
  • Gasoline
  • Abdomen cramps
  • Dehydration

Salmonellosis (Salmonella spp.)

Cats typically contract salmonellosis after consuming birds or rodents contaminated with the micro organism. It may also be attributable to contaminated uncooked meals. You may then be contaminated in case you come into contact together with your sick cat’s poop.

Indicators of salmonellosis embrace:

  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Stomach cramping

Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA)

MRSA could cause many forms of infections, like pneumonia or pores and skin infections. It spreads between people and animals by means of contact. Cats not exhibiting any indicators of sickness can nonetheless be carriers of MRSA.

MRSA is quite common in folks with long-term sicknesses or these with compromised immune methods.

The indicators of this situation will rely on what a part of the physique is contaminated. People with pores and skin infections usually see swelling, heat, ache, and redness within the affected areas. There could also be drainage occurring (pus), and the contaminated individual may also have a fever.

Remaining Ideas

Immunocompromised folks can reap the advantages of residing with pets, supplied they take the correct precautions to guard themselves. Quite a few ailments and infections can certainly be handed from cats to people, however there are lots of methods to safeguard oneself in opposition to infections.

We suggest speaking to your medical workforce earlier than adopting a cat to make sure that is the suitable pet for you. Cats and immunocompromised sufferers can work so long as you observe your physician’s recommendation and take sure precautions.

Featured Picture Credit score: Nitiphonphat, Shutterstock

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