We know you love little Fluffy, but according to an article from ABCNews — he could give you methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. In case you are not aware — that’s bad news.
Particularly worrisome is a growing body of evidence that cats and dogs can be colonized by MRSA — germs that are probably acquired from their owners, since cats and dogs usually carry a different strain of Staphylococcus bacteria.
But the cats and dogs can give the bug back. As long ago as 1988, researchers reported that a cat living in a United Kingdom geriatric unit had passed MRSA back to people. Screening of patients and staff showed that 38 percent of the nursing staff there had colonies of the bacteria living somewhere on them.
And that’s not uncommon, according to Lawrence McGill, a veterinarian at the ARUP Animal Reference Pathology Laboratory in Salt Lake City, Utah.
“There is more and more data pointing to the [fact that the] most common source for animal infections with MRSA is from humans, including contact with medical facilities where humans are treated,” McGill said.
And as if that isn’t gross enough there are apparently 30 more pathogens that your pet can transfer to you, and 30-40% of bites on the hand become infected.
Of course, after all that, ABC says you shouldn’t freak out because infections from pets are rare. Just keep Spike and Muffin clean and maintain their immunizations.