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Human Colds and Cats

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Mycherona brought up an interesting point in another thread and suggested it may be a good topic for a new thread. She said that numerous vets have told her that cats can catch the human cold virus. My understanding was that this was not so. Anyone here have any solid verification/information on whether this is true or not? I'm keen to learn if it is so or not.
post #2 of 12
As I said elsewhere, it doesn't happen. Viruses for the most part are specific to their hosts. There's only a few exceptions that can cross species to humans and most of those are monkey and ape to human - not a large jump.

Animals that have been genetically altered with human cells would probably be an exception, and iirc pigs are more susceptible to some viruses.

We should have all learned this back in high school biology - I understand this has been many years ago for some, but looking it up and reviewing it may make some people remember. Overly simplified though, viruses have a protein casing, the host cells have receptors. If they don't match up the viruses doesn't get in the cell and thus can't replicate.
post #3 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosemite View Post
Anyone here have any solid verification/information on whether this is true or not? I'm keen to learn if it is so or not.
I would deem this solid, and a good read:

http://www.vet.cornell.edu/fhc/broch...icDisease.html

Bottom line: there are several illnesses cats and humans can share, but the common cold is not one of em

eta: the ONE virus that can be passed from cats to humans is rabies...but that is it for viral infections.
post #4 of 12
^ I forgot about that one being as it's not something we commonly catch and worry about spreading to our pets.
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
Why would numerous vets tell someone that then? Would that indicate those vets did not even pass high school biology?

This is where I think it is dangerous to just believe everything we are told, especially by so-called professionals and why it is always good to get second opinions.

Thanks for clearing that up for me. That was my understanding as well, but then I read something to the contrary and it has me questioning my own beliefs.
post #6 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by strange_wings View Post
As I said elsewhere, it doesn't happen. Viruses for the most part are specific to their hosts. There's only a few exceptions that can cross species to humans and most of those are monkey and ape to human - not a large jump.
The one major exception to this is the flu, which jumps from animals every year.
post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrblanche View Post
The one major exception to this is the flu, which jumps from animals every year.
So you caught it from your cat last year? Even influenza jumping from birds is actually rare - were it not all of those goofy doomsday type predictions would have been correct and we'd all have been wiped out by bird flu by now. There is one type that has been traced back to pigs, but again pigs are a little different (which is why they get used in research a lot) and that's still not extremely common.
post #8 of 12
out of five I asked 3 said it could happen but very rarely .. 2 said yes and Just last week even had one tell me the canine kennel cough has mutated enough to spread from dog to human and feline...i will note that the two that said yes graduated vet school in the last 10 yrs , the others from 50 yrs ago to about 20

As for High school biology well alot of it was huey ...lol.. I was proving the text and my teacher wrong constantly

think about it this way we have hiv virus which mutates into six or so new strains a yr .. is it so hard to think about a virus jumping host in todays world?? PS I have caught a cold from a dog and a cat ( not at the same time) but I do have a suppressed immune system

not cat to human or vice versa but other mammal to mammal

http://www.thehorse.com/ViewArticle.aspx?ID=9962

http://www.lifecompetence.eu/index.p...io_809/io.html about avian flu

http://resources.metapress.com/pdf-p...p&size=largest unfortunately I am no longer in school and able to access full report

http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/eid/vol4no1/smith.htm very interesting especially about feline and human

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal...l/440741a.html another not full
post #9 of 12
I had a sick cat and the vet couldn't find out what was wrong with him.....then he asked me how we had been feeling....all 4 of my family members had the flu ...so he chalked it up to the cat having the flu ...he said some vets don't believe its possible but he said ..it was the most logical explanation...I guess it could have been a coincidence

Oh I forgot to mention....this cat had been dealing with crystals and had surgery but seemed fine for a few months til he got sick...
post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by strange_wings View Post
So you caught it from your cat last year? Even influenza jumping from birds is actually rare - were it not all of those goofy doomsday type predictions would have been correct and we'd all have been wiped out by bird flu by now. There is one type that has been traced back to pigs, but again pigs are a little different (which is why they get used in research a lot) and that's still not extremely common.
No, but the flu that we get every year has jumped from animals to humans in Asia on a regular basis. That's why they worry so much about the avian flu in Asia. Just exactly what the source is, researchers don't know, but the way each year's flu vaccine is formulated is to check what circulating in Asia, and specifically southern China, the previous year. Speculation has concentrated on populations highly crowded and living in close proximity to lots of animals, especially pigs.

Again, you're not likely to get flu from your cat; it's just a different organism, and cats are too far from our metabolism.
post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
OK, just so I'm clear on this, cats can catch the flu from humans but not a common cold - is that right?
post #12 of 12
Jamie and some other area cats (five, if I recall correctly) tested positive to a mutated human flu virus following an epidemic here. I was told it was very rare, but possible.
Mike brought up avian flu, which has affected both humans and cats. One theory was that avian flu originated among civets, which are eaten in China.
Bird flu kills Vietnam civet cats
Quote:
This is not the first time civets have been associated with an infectious disease. Health experts in China concluded that the weasel-like animals were a primary source of the flu-like virus Sars [Severe acute respiratory syndrome], which killed hundreds of people in 2003.

Civets are often captured in the wild and served as a delicacy in restaurants in Vietnam and China.
What's up with H5N1 in civets in Vietnam?
Quote:
This story claims these are the first mammals other than humans to be infected with H5N1 in Vietnam, but in 2005 three Owlston's palm civets also died of the bird flu virus. The earlier cases were described as being kept in cages, while this describes these as in a semi-wild enclosure in the same national park. It is likely the circumstances were similar. In neither case were the civets said to have been fed poultry of any kind.
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