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Can cats get sick from people?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hi, I have a terrible cold right now, the cats know I am sick so they lay by me. Do I have to worry about them catching anything from me?

Also can I catch a cold from the cats? Panther just got over a bad cold and he was sneezing all over so I was wondering if I could catch whatever he had.
post #2 of 8
With the exception of rabies, there really aren't any diseases that cross the species barrier.

P.S. hope you feel better.
post #3 of 8
The general rule is that viruses have a narrow range of suitable living conditions (ie body temperature, metabolism etc) and are not easily passed between species. There are some exceptions to this, but the common cold is not one of them and you will not pass it on to your cats, it cannot live in their higher body temperature.

Bacteria on the other hand can live in a wider range of temperatures and can affect humans and many animals, streptococcus and staphylococcus are 2 common examples that you may pass on to your cat with close contact. They don't always result in illness or symptoms for the cat, especially in the case of strep, but they can carry it.

But no, you cannot give your cats your cold, and they can't give you theirs. Cuddle away
post #4 of 8
My vets told me no. Your cats can be really contagious to each other though.
Of course, I have questioned my sons' pediatrician once about why they say sinus infections aren't contagious since it seems everybody tends to get it right behind each other. He did not have an answer for me!
Hope you and yours all feel better soon!
post #5 of 8
I was just wondering this myself.

We got Isaac 2 weeks ago from the SPCA and there was a cold circulating around there. A few days after he was here he came down with it too and has been sneezing all over us since he loves to snuggle. Now since getting him and having him come down with the cold we are all sick with a cold too. I looked it up on the internet and some sites say 'no' and some sites say 'yes'. I don't know what to believe but our cold could easily have been caught at the first week of school I guess...hmmmmm
post #6 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrjonah View Post
I was just wondering this myself.

We got Isaac 2 weeks ago from the SPCA and there was a cold circulating around there. A few days after he was here he came down with it too and has been sneezing all over us since he loves to snuggle. Now since getting him and having him come down with the cold we are all sick with a cold too. I looked it up on the internet and some sites say 'no' and some sites say 'yes'. I don't know what to believe but our cold could easily have been caught at the first week of school I guess...hmmmmm
Cold and flu are viral infections, and they are not viruses that can infect cats. A virus needs a special receptor on a cell to bind to in order to infect a cell. These receptors are different in humans vs cats.

There are some diseases that both humans and cats can get, (most of these, as Epona points out, are bacterial), but cold and flu are not among them.
post #7 of 8
You can give your cat streph if you have it. Cats have 6 tonsils so they can catch strep, but not your cold, and you have to either breathe on them, cough on them or kiss them for them to get your streph. (Thanks Gaye for cluing me in on the tonsils, I had no idea)
post #8 of 8
Yes and no ... for the vast majority of things No ... but yes there are a few illness es that cross species lines
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