5 diseases your cat can catch from wild animals

5 diseases your cat can catch from wild animals

One of the biggest worries homeowners have when it comes to pests on their property is the danger to themselves, their families, and their pets. Common pest intruders like bats, rats, squirrels and the like can carry various diseases and might endanger you and those close to you by their mere presence.

Did you know… a pest animal doesn’t have to get aggressive with you to pose a threat. Yes, a lot of wild animals carry various diseases in their claws or teeth, which is how they can infect you through scratches or bites. But at the same time, their mere presence on your property could be putting you at risk, since animal feces and hair already contain those diseases.

In this article, we’ll be focusing on what diseases your cat can catch from these pest intruders, either directly or indirectly.

1.   Leptospirosis

This infectious disease is caused by the leptospira bacteria and is one of the most infamous rat diseases out there, although bear in mind other rodents may also be carriers. Symptoms of this blood infection may include shivering, sudden fever, weakness, bloody vomit, and refusal to eat.

If you suspect your cat may have Leptospirosis, we advise taking them to a vet immediately to be treated with antibiotics (such as penicillin). In more severe cases, your cat might require intravenous antibiotics to combat the infection.

2.   Salmonella

As we well know, Salmonella is one of the most infamous diseases out there, carried by a wide range of wild animals, from rats to reptiles, and even cattle. While the infection is most common after ingesting infected raw foods, it is not uncommon for wild pests on your property to transmit it also.

Symptoms of this bacterial infection include lack of appetite, a slight rise in temperature, diarrhea, vomiting, and other similar symptoms. If left untreated, Salmonella symptoms worsen, so it’s paramount that you get your cat to a doctor as swiftly as possible.

3.   Rabies

Rabies is a disease often spread by skunks, raccoons, rats, bats, and foxes on your property. It affects the central nervous system and often proves fatal. Cat symptoms include excessive aggression, vomiting, disorientation, loss of appetite, paralysis, and even death. Unfortunately, once symptoms have appeared, there is no known cure for rabies, and the disease will result in death (either medically induced or natural).

4.   Distemper

Most often carried by raccoons (who are capable of contracting and spreading both canine and feline diseases), distemper attacks your cat’s blood cells and compromises the immune system, which in turn makes the cat more susceptible to other viruses. It also causes diarrhea, vomiting, and weakness. Typically, distemper is treated with hydrating fluids, antibiotics, and anti-nausea medicine.

5.   Typhus

Some pests, like squirrels, can also spread typhus to your cat. Symptoms include fever, energy loss, appetite loss, and diarrhea. Once the vet has ascertained your pet is suffering from typhus, they will treat the individual symptoms, rather than the disease as a whole, since there is no singular treatment for typhus.

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