There are actually a number of illnesses that you can get from your cat, and you should be aware of them.

This article will help you keep yourself healthy when you have one of these pets.

If you are planning on buying a cat in the near future, this information is crucial. 

Illnesses that Cats can Spread to Humans

We have listed some of the more common illnesses that cats can give to their human owners. It is imperative that you learn about these things to protect yourself.

1. Roundworms

There are certain parasites that cats can get that also pose a threat to humans. Roundworms are a fairly common parasite that affects cats. People sometimes get these parasites from their cat when handling their feces.

It is very important that you are careful when it comes to cleaning out your cat’s litter box. You should always thoroughly wash your hands after doing this. Some of symptoms of a roundworm infection include diarrhea, upset stomach, difficulty breathing normally, and abdominal pain.

2. Toxoplasmosis

All new cat owners will want to know about toxoplasmosis. This infection comes from a parasite that burrows into the intestines of their host. You can also get this type of infection by handling your cat’s feces.

Any woman who is pregnant should not clean out a cat’s litter box. Even being near the litter box poses a risk to their overall health. While toxoplasmosis is not a serious issue for most people, it can cause complications in expectant mothers.

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3. Cat Scratch Disease

Cat Scratch Disease or CSD is a type of bacterial infection that humans can get from cats. You can get this infection from your cat putting its tongue on an open wound on your body. Some of the more common symptoms of this condition include fever, lethargy, lack of appetite, headache and swelling of the infection site. If you suspect that your cat has this disease, you’ll want to get them to a vet right away.

4. Giardia

Giardia is a microscopic parasite that lives in the feces of many different animals, including cats. You can also get it from drinking improperly processed water. Some of the more common signs of this infection include greasy diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and headache.

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5. Ringworm

While ringworm is a fairly common parasite, this type of infection should not be taken lightly. The fact is that this parasite can do a lot of damage to its host within a fairly short amount of time.

If your cat has ringworm, you will most likely notice lesions on their skin, as well as bald patches that appear red and irritated. The sooner you get this infection treated in your cat, the less risk there will be of it spreading to you.

It is also important that you sanitize all of the surfaces that your cat has been on after they receive treatment. Even just touching one of these surfaces can put you at risk for this infection.

6. Scabies

Scabies is another type of parasitic infection that is not life threatening, but it can be extremely frustrating to deal with. These parasites cause a lot of irritation and itching of the skin, which is enough to drive just about anyone crazy.

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There are certain ointments that you can get to treat yourself and your pet for scabies. This is actually a fairly common infection that cats pass onto their human owners. Outdoor cats are far more likely to give their owners scabies.

7. Tapeworm

Tapeworms feed off the intestines of their host, which can cause all sorts of health problems, especially over the long term. This parasite is closely associated with rapid weight loss. This is due to the fact that the parasites are consuming most of the nutrients before the host can process them.

It is absolutely imperative that you get your cat treated for this type of infection right away. This type of infection can come from fleas that your cat has. If a flea from your cat bites you, it is possible that you’ll get infected.

8. Rabies

While rabies in cats is pretty uncommon, it is still possible for you to get this type of infection from your cat. There is currently no cure for rabies, and it has an extremely high mortality rate. Your chances of survival increase drastically if you get treated within the first few days after becoming infected.

The rabies virus causes a variety of symptoms as it progresses in an animal, ranging from lethargy to extreme aggression. Unfortunately, any animals that are found to have rabies need to be put down immediately.

9. Salmonella

Cats that get infected with the bacteria salmonella cause pass on the infection to their human owners. This infection is passed on through the cat’s feces, and it can be quite serious.

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How to Keep Yourself from Getting Sick

There are certain things that you can do to protect yourself from getting sick by your cat, including:

  • Be careful when cleaning out the litter box: When you clean out your cat’s litter box, you should ideally wear gloves. It is important to wash your hands afterwards regardless.
  • Properly cook meat: If you are giving your cat meat, it is important that you cook it first. Your cat could contract a bacterial infection, which they can pass on to you.
  • Recognize the signs: The sooner you recognize the signs of illness in your cat, the sooner you can get them treated. This will therefore reduce your chances of getting sick as well.


  • Cats can pass on certain parasites like ticks, roundworms, tapeworms and others to their human owners.
  • It is also possible to get scabies from your cat, which are parasites that burrow into the skin and cause extreme itching and irritation.
  • Toxoplasmosis is a common parasitic infection that cats get. It is particularly a threat to pregnant women and young children.
  • Rabies is pretty rare in cats, but you can get it from your feline.
  • It is important that you wash your hands after cleaning out your cat’s litter box or handling their feces at all.
  • When you recognize the signs of illness in your cat, you can get them treated before you get sick yourself.

Always cook meat thoroughly before giving it to your cat. This will prevent both you and your pet getting a bacterial infection like salmonella.

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Hi! I'm Anna and I´m a certified cynologist (KAU, ACW). Expert, blue cross volunteer, owner of Chinese crested kennel "Salvador Dali" and breedless friend called Fenya. "I can't imagine my life without dogs and I totally support the idea #AdoptDontShop".