The first cases of tuberculosis where a cat has infected a human has been discovered in England. Should you panic? Are you at risk of catching TB from your cat?
In short, the answer is “no” . This outbreak occurred in southern England where the cats contracted a rare variety of TB from cows, called Mycobacterium bovis. Scientists believe that the infected cows also spread this disease to badgers, that in turn, accelerated the spread of the disease. Bovine TB has been responsible for the slaughter of 30,000 cows in England.
The people who were infected are being treated and expected to make a full recovery. The cats that contracted the disease had different fates. Some owners chose to treat the cats with antibiotics. At least one of them put their cat down and several others died from the disease.
So what’s the bottom line? Keep your cat indoors. If you keep your cat indoors, the risk of you or your cat contracting this disease is less than 1%. If you just can’t imagine keeping your cat inside, consider constructing a catio (a cat patio) that is both safe for your cat and for you. It will prevent your cat from getting infected from any/all disease-carrying wildlife.
Beware and be educated. A great deal of misinformation is being spread about this issue; and those who hate cats are looking for new reasons to cause fear and panic among the public.
What do you think? If you live in England and have an outdoor cat, will you consider keeping your kitty inside? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.