The following page contains information and resources that will help you to provide your cat with the best possible care.
Zoonotic (Contagious) Diseases
There are some diseases that can affect both humans and animals. These are known as zoonotic diseases or diseases that can be passed from pets to humans and from humans to pets. People with compromised immune systems from disease or medications are at higher risk. The most common feline zoonotic diseases include: Ringworm, Toxoplasmosis, Salmonellosis, Campylbacter infection, Giardia infection, Cryptosporidium infection, Roundworms, Lyme Disease, Malaria, Rabies, Tuberculosis and Coccidia.
Zoonotic Disease Prevention
Attention to cleanliness along with common sense will help protect you, your family and your pet. Keep these tips in mind:
- Keep your pet up to date on vaccinations, especially the rabies vaccine.
- Keep your pet free of fleas and ticks.
- Keep your pet free of intestinal parasites, such as worms; a fecal sample should be checked at least once a year.
- Do not feed your pet raw meats.
- Keep cats indoors or on a leash and under supervision when outside.
- Wash your hands before handling food and after handling animals.
- Do not allow your pet to lick your food utensils or plates, bowls, etc. Do not allow animals to lick your face.
- Clean feces from litter boxes daily; empty and clean litter box periodically, using hot water and detergent.
- Wear gloves when gardening. Wash all fruits and vegetables before eating.
- Wear gloves when handling raw meat and cook meat thoroughly before eating.
- Cover sandboxes for children when not in use (to discourage stray cats from using the sandbox as a litter box).
- Seek medical attention if you are bitten by an animal.
Feline HIV/AIDS and Leukemia
You are more likely to “catch” a disease from another person than you are from your cat. Studies prove that you cannot contract HIV/AIDS or leukemia from your cat. Both Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) are contagious between cats, but neither of them can infect humans.
Pet health is very important. Here are a few tips:
- Keep your pet’s vaccinations up to date and be sure your pet has an annual health exam.
- Do not let your pet drink from the toilet.
- Keep your pet indoors or outside only on a leash and supervised.
- Never feed your pet raw or undercooked meat, raw eggs, or unpasteurized milk.
- Have a plan for good flea and tick control.
- Keep your pet’s feeding and sleeping areas clean.
- Ensure your pet is spayed or neutered.
- Wash your hands after handling any pet.
- Be very careful when handling any animal under 6 months of age, especially if it has diarrhea or appears to be ill.
Pet First-Aid Kit
Accidents happen, so it’s smart to be prepared in case of an emergency.The kit should contain:
- Fresh bottle of hydrogen peroxide, 3 percent USP (to induce vomiting)
- Turkey baster, bulb syringe or large medicine syringe (to administer peroxide)
- Saline eye solution
- Artificial tear gel (to lubricate eyes after flushing)
- Mild grease-cutting dishwashing liquid (for bathing an animal after skin contamination)
- Forceps (to remove stingers)- Rectal thermometer (normal temp between 100.5° F to 102.5° F)
- Leash and muzzle
- Gauze squares, cotton balls, vet wrap and tape (don’t wrap too tight & change often)
- Caro syrup for small/young or diabetic animals
- Can of your pet’s favorite wet food
- Pet carrier
- Your veterinarian’s phone number
- ***NEVER give your pet aspirin***
Animal Emergency Checklist
Each of your animals should have an emergency kit. The emergency kit should include:
- Carrier or crate large enough for the animal to comfortably stand and sit. The crate or carrier should also have an identification tag and be large enough for a litter pan.
- Properly-fitted collar with identification tags and leash.
- At least three days of food and water. Food should be in an air-tight, waterproof container. Don’t forget the can opener (if needed).
- Food and water bowls, litter, liter pan, treats, toys, blanket or bed to fit in the carrier to reduce stress.
- Paper towels, plastic bags and spray disinfectant for animal waste clean up.
- First-aid kit and an information kit should be placed in a waterproof, zip-lock bag. The kit should contain copies of medical and vaccination records, 3 days of current medications or a copy of the prescriptions for these medications, a recent photo of you and your pet for identifcation purposes, registration and adoption information, important phone numbers.
In the event of an emergency, the following list of telephone numbers will help connect you to various agencies that may offer important emergency information. Keep these telephone numbers handy:
- Animal Emergency Center (24 hours) – Glendale (414) 540-6710
- Animal Emergency Center (Sat/Sun 10 am to 10 pm) – Milwaukee (414) 427-1731
- ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center ($50/call) (888) 426-4435
- Elmbrook Humane Society (262) 782-9261
- (MADDAC) Milwaukee Area Domestic Animal Control Commission (414) 649-8640
- Milwaukee Emergency Center for Animals (24 hrs) (414) 543-7387
- Wisconsin Humane Society Emergency Hotline (414) 431-6108
- Wisconsin Veterinary Referral Center – Waukesha (866) 542-3241
- Wisconsin Veterinary Referral Center (24 hrs) – Grafton (262) 546-0249
- Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital University of Wisconsin (24 hours) -
Madison (608) 263-7600 or (800) DVM-VMTH
Common Health Hazards for Cats
Below are some common plants and human foods that are especially dangerous for cats. For more information, please visit ASPCA: Animal Poison Control Center.
Common Poisonous Plants
- Peace Lily
- English Ivy
- Sago Palm
- Castor Bean
- Tulip/Narcissus Bulbs
Common Human Food Hazards
- Alcoholic beverages
- Onions, onion powder
- Raisins and grapes
- Chocolate (all forms)
- Coffee (all forms)
- Yeast dough
- Fatty foods
- Macadamia nuts
- Moldy or spoiled foods
- Foods sweetened with xylitol