5 Facts: Kissing Kittens Could Kill and Give You Diseases - Dispatch Weekly

September 24, 2016 - Reading time: 3 minutes

A new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has found that cuddling and kissing kittens could pass factal bacterial diseases to owners if they did not wash their hands properly after touching the felines.

#1 Potential Deadly Disease is Larger than Scientists Thought

Doctors from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the US conducted a large-scale survey of the cat-borne bacterial disease called cat scratch fever and found that the potentially deadly disease was larger than they initially thought.

Dr. Christina Nelson of the CDC said: “Cat-scratch is preventable. If we can identify the populations at risk and the patterns of disease, we can focus the prevention efforts.”

#2 Cat Scratch is a Bacterial Infection

The disease is a bacterial infection caused by Bartonella henselae bacteria. Preventions include: washing hands thoroughly and promptly after handling cats, treating fleas and keeping cats indoors away from stray cats.

#3 Kittens and Strays More Likely to Carry the Disease

Kittens and stray cats are more likely to carry the disease. This happens when you get scratched by an infected cat or you stroke an infected cat and don’t wash your hands properly. Kissing cats and kittens with fleas and playing with street cats should be avoided.

#4 The Disease Can Cause Death

Cat scratch disease can cause: fever, enlarged, tender lymph nodes, a scab or pustule at the scratch area and in some extreme cases, death.

#5 An Extremely Rare Disease

The survey found that the annual incidence was 4.5 outpatient diagnoses out of 100,000 of the population. However, the doctors warned individuals to take precautions. Cats should also be taken to the vets if they have the following symptoms: fever, vomiting, lethargy, red eyes, decrease appetite and swollen lymph nodes.

DW Staff

David Lintott is the Editor-in-Chief, leading our team of talented freelance journalists. He specializes in covering culture, sport, and society. Originally from the decaying seaside town of Eastbourne, he attributes his insightful world-weariness to his roots in this unique setting.