What Diseases Can I Catch From My Cat?

What diseases can I get from my cat

Some diseases can be transmitted from cats to humans.

Here are some of the diseases that you could potentially catch from your cat.


Ringworm is a highly contagious condition that can be picked up from your pets. The spores can survive without a host.

In pets, you might notice skin lesions and patchy hair loss with a red mark in the middle. In yourself, you are more likely to see red circular patches on your skin.

If you think that you have caught ringworm, your doctor can prescribe ointment or anti-fungal medication and your vet can prescribe treatment for your cat if they are also affected. To prevent ringworm, wash your bedding in hot water at least once a month.


This is another very contagious condition that can be spread between pets and humans. Roundworm is one of the most common intestinal parasites affecting cats and you could pick it up too. If it is left untreated, it could lead to complications such as blindness.

Roundworm in pets can be indicated by symptoms such as diarrhoea, vomiting, constipation, coughing and bloody stools. There will probably also be visible worms in their stool. In humans, roundworm symptoms can include shortness of breath, abdominal pain, bloody stools and coughing. Outdoor cats are more likely to get roundworms.

Antiparasitic drugs will treat roundworm for both yourself and your pet. In terms of prevention, make sure that you wash your hands thoroughly after touching your pet and the litter box. Regular, routine worming treatment is the best way to prevent roundworm in your cat.


This disease can be spread from cats to humans and can be particularly dangerous for pregnant women. If it is contracted just before or during pregnancy, it could lead to complications for the foetus. Humans will often not demonstrate any obvious signs of having contracted the disease but it can cause flu-like symptoms and swollen lymph glands. It can continue to linger in the system even after symptoms disappear.

It can be guarded against by always washing your hands after cleaning out the cat’s litter tray (or by avoiding doing this for vulnerable individuals such as pregnant women). Coming into contact with cat faeces can pass on the disease so avoid contact with faeces and in the garden avoid soil that may be contaminated with faeces.


This intestinal infection can be passed from cats to humans, especially if you do not wash your hands well after interacting with their faeces. Diarrhoea is a common symptom, as is abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, dehydration and fever. It can be treated by antibiotics, although many people do not need this.


Salmonella bacteria can be found in pet faeces and can lead to food poisoning. It can be contracted through direct contact or by coming into contact with your pet’s faeces. It is important to wash your hands properly after either of these situations.

Symptoms can include diarrhoea, vomiting, fever, headaches and abdominal pain. For many people, no treatment is needed. However, there can be complications for the very old and the very young, as well as people with low immunity. Seeking medical advice is recommended, particularly for vulnerable groups.


This disease is caused by intestinal parasites. Your cat could harbour the infection without demonstrating any obvious symptoms. Direct contact with your pet can pass this onto you. Symptoms include watery diarrhoea and severe abdominal pains. For many people, there is no need for treatment but it could cause serious problems for those with low immunity. Washing your hands after touching your pet is one of the best ways to protect against this infection.

Have you ever caught an illness from your cat?