In ancient times, people considered cats to be magical creatures. Black cats were valued for their ability to protect the house from evil spirits, red – for attracting material wealth to the family, white – for the ability to treat various bodily ailments, and gray – for providing peace of mind. Tricolor Pets were in even greater esteem, since they also protected the house from thieves and fires, and generally provided good luck to the owner in all endeavors. Unfortunately, nowadays few people pay attention to ancient beliefs. Moreover, many people believe that cats should not be started at all, since they can cause harm to health. In this article, we will look at whether the cat is dangerous to humans.
Cats and sudden infant death Syndrome
Fortunately, the days when cats were blamed for the sudden death of babies were over. This is surprising, but until a little over a hundred years ago, doctors believed that cats deliberately blocked the oxygen to sleeping children. And allegedly as a result of such feline cunning, babies died of suffocation (this was seriously written , for example, in the British journal of children’s diseases 1905 issue).
Doctors have long determined that the causes of sudden infant death Syndrome do not lie in cats. The main “culprits” of such a monstrous pathology are considered various birth injuries, brain disorders and respiratory infections in infants, as well as Smoking and taking drugs by the mother during pregnancy. In addition, children often die due to the negligence of their own parents, who put the child in their bed, and in the process of sleeping, they lean on it with their body, making it impossible to fully breathe. That is, the fault of domestic Murzikov and Murok in the sudden death of children is not at all! So you can’t expect a trick from cats? Unfortunately, it’s not that simple.
What is really dangerous about cats
In nature, perhaps, there are no absolutely safe animals: a wasp can sting painfully, an elephant-trample, a snake-poison. And cats, of course,are no exception, they can also be expected to catch. Let’s look at what these Pets can be dangerous for:
- Allergic to cats. There are not so few people who suffer from allergies to cat hair, as well as saliva, sebaceous and sweat glands, and even the urine of domestic moustaches. Symptoms of Allergy to cats are quite unpleasant: excessive watering and redness of the eyes, runny nose, sneezing, coughing, difficulty breathing, severe itching of the body, rash and redness of the skin, dizziness, palpitations, nausea and diarrhea. Even Quincke’s edema is not excluded. Thus, domestic cats, regardless of the length of their hair (including representatives of hairless breeds) can be dangerous for Allergy sufferers.
- Injuries. Cats have very sharp claws and no less sharp teeth. No matter how peaceful the animal is, it can easily injure its owner during the game. What to say about those kittens who are aggressive by nature! Scratches on the skin always hurt, they can become seriously inflamed. And if the pet’s claw gets in the eye? You can easily lose your sight that way. Especially often injuries during games with cats get small children, who are not so easy to explain that you should not consider the animal your toy.
- The danger of the cat flea. If the owner forgets to take preventive measures to prevent the development of flea infestations in the cat, he should be prepared for various troubles. No, cat fleas will not live on a human body, but they can easily bite it. And at the time of the bite, parasites can infect their victims with various unpleasant diseases, such as salmonellosis, tularemia, listeriosis, brucellosis, anthrax and other infectious diseases. By the way, the saliva of fleas in some people also causes allergies.
- Helminthiasis. A cat that has parasitic worms in its body can easily infect its owner. Most often, enterobiosis, alveococcosis and toxocarosis are transmitted from animals to their owners. Such diseases cause disorders of the intestines, stomach and pancreas, liver and kidneys, lungs, and brain. It should be noted that most often helminthiasis from cats is infected by children who forget to wash their hands after communicating with an animal. But only the cat that is not regularly given deworming agents as a preventive measure can be dangerous.
- Infectious disease. Cats who are given vaccines against the most common infectious diseases will not be able to transmit a viral or bacterial disease to their owners. For example, from the same rabies kittens are vaccinated at 3 months. But, unfortunately, there are also diseases for which vaccines have not yet been invented. For example, those who are interested in whether cats are dangerous to pregnant women should know that the answer to the question is positive. So, the most common infectious disease that can be contracted from cats is considered toxoplasmosis.
Why is this disease most dangerous for pregnant women? The fact is that in utero from the mother is very often infected and her child. The consequences in this situation for the fetus are very serious: deafness, meningoencephaly, hydro – and microcephaly, convulsive syndrome, and stillbirth is not excluded. But such sad consequences of toxoplasmosis occur if a woman is infected while pregnant. If the infection occurred, for example, a few years before pregnancy, the risk to the life and health of the fetus is minimal.
Toxoplasmosis, by the way, can cause serious complications in men and women with immune system disorders. Most often, the disease causes problems with the heart and respiratory systems. In people with a good immune system, toxoplasmosis usually occurs in a mild form, asymptomatic and without terrible consequences.
Are cats dangerous to humans so much that they should not be started at all? No, of course, you should not refuse to purchase a charming purr! Cat specialist drew Weiner from the cat doctor clinic (USA) rightly observed :
“A vaccinated, well-groomed, tested domestic cat is usually not a dangerous pet.”
And this is true, because only an unvaccinated animal can infect its owner with rabies, for example. And fleas will never bother the owner, who regularly conducts prevention of external bloodsuckers in his cat. The same scratches can be avoided if you regularly trim your pet’s claws or put anti-scratch caps on them.
As for toxoplasmosis, even here a person can reduce the risk of infection to a minimum by following these simple rules:
- Do not get rid of a cat in fear of toxoplasmosis! According to “Centers for disease control and prevention of the United States”, the risk of Contracting toxoplasmosis in contact with pet hair is quite small. Much more dangerous is contact with animal feces that have lain in the tray for more than a day. To avoid infection, the cat’s toilet should be washed every day with a 10% solution of ammonia. Cleaning the tray should be done with gloves;
- It is necessary to exclude close contact with homeless and foreign animals. If it is hard to resist and you really want to stroke the pussy on the street, you must then wash your hands very carefully (although the risk of catching the disease through stroking the animal is small, but still);
- It is safer to get a pet from a conscientious breeder whose whiskered-tailed wards are exactly healthy;
- Cats often become infected with toxoplasmosis after eating a mouse or rat. The owner will have to protect his house from rodents (only you need to be careful with poisons, so that the pet is not poisoned);
- From the cat’s diet, you need to exclude raw meat, which may contain Toxoplasma. By the way, frozen meat from a home refrigerator can also be dangerous, since pathogens of toxoplasmosis die at temperatures below minus 25 degrees;
- Taking care of the cat’s health, the owner also takes care of his own health. A pet should be regularly shown to a veterinarian, bathed, combed, fed a variety of high-quality food, do not forget about vaccination, prevention of internal and external parasites, pay attention to the cleanliness of bowls, trays and beds.