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Just wondering... Can our pets catch our colds etc?

November 17th, 2004, 12:50 PM
It seems really odd to me that my kitties only seem to get these Resp. Infections. or 'kitty colds', just after or when I have similar symptoms. It seems that when I have the sniffles, suddenly a kitten sneezes here and there and one sleeps all the time, and another gets a Resp.Inf.. What do you all think?

November 17th, 2004, 01:20 PM
Here is what one vet replied on another web site:

Question: Someone told me that cats can catch illnesses from their owners, such as a cold or other minor illnesses. Is this possible?

Dan Christian, DVM answers: Fortunately, the viruses that cats and humans contract are not normally shared between the two, so conditions like the common cold, conjunctivitis, and other respiratory illnesses are typically unique to each species. In other words, people get colds and cats get colds, but they are not caused by the same viruses, so cats can't get our colds and we can't get theirs.

Some conditions, however, may transfer between the two. A common condition that is passed between cats and people is ringworm (which is not a worm at all, but a fungal infection). The most common sign of ringworm in people is round raised areas on the skin. In cats the most common sign is hair loss. But even a cat who is not losing her hair may transmit the fungus to humans (most often to the young and the elderly, because their immune systems are easily challenged). Ringworm is easily treated in both people and humans with appropriate medications.

Just because your cat can't get your cold doesn't mean you don't need to look after her immune system. Protein is a big contributor to a healthy immune system, so keep this in mind all year long as you're choosing a well-balanced diet for your cat.

There was a query on this site and a reply that included a reference to an onion remedy but onions have been provin toxic to cats so I found that curious.