Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Can a cat become infected with a bacteria or virus from rat?

  1. Apr 13, 2016 #1
    I once saw a cat in the streets playing with a living mouse. The mouse wasn't moving, but it was breathing. The cat moved it from paw to paw and then took it in its mouth and moved it to another place where it kept playing with it.

    Can a cat become infected with bacteria or virus for playing/hunting rats/mouses?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 13, 2016 #2
    Theoretically yes, my understanding is that any mammal can be infected with rabies, if the mouse is infected then the cat is exposed.
     
  4. Apr 13, 2016 #3
    I see. Thanks for replying.

    I was a little bit curious.
     
  5. Apr 13, 2016 #4

    jim mcnamara

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Yes - toxoplasmosis actually alters rat and mouse behavior such that the prey become easier for the cat to catch.
    . "The effect of Toxoplasma gondii and other parasites on activity levels in wild and hybrid Rattus norvegicus". Parasitology 109 (5): 583–589. doi:10.1017/s0031182000076460. ISSN 0031-1820. PMID 7831094

    In North America ~23% of adults have been or are currently infected with toxoplasmosis.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toxoplasmosis
    https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/toxoplasmosis.html

    And yes, there are both bacteria and virus diseases that are transmitted from small rodents to domestic cats. Toxoplasmosis is a single celled organism related to malaria. Not a bacterium or a virus.
     
  6. Apr 13, 2016 #5
    Very informative. Thanks!

    It calls my attention how toxoplasmosis alters the rat and mouse behavior. I find it interesting and curious for something to alter the host behavior in such a way that increases its chances of multiplying. Very interesting indeed.
     
  7. Apr 14, 2016 #6
    The reason I used the words "theoretically yes" is because not all exposers will result in an infection. There was a case in California where a young girl contracted rabies from a cat that was around her school or neighborhood. The CDC confirmed that she had rabies. They said she was fully infected and was treated but she was expected to die but some how she recovered. All of the stray cats in the neighborhood were captured and none of them tested positive for rabies. It was postulated that the cat had either ran off and died, or that one of the captured cats had recently attacked a rabid animal and the scratch the girl received inoculated her with the virus.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/rabies-miracle-california-girl-survives-dread-disease-without-vaccine/
    http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6104a1.htm
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2016
  8. Apr 14, 2016 #7

    lisab

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

  9. Apr 15, 2016 #8

    jim mcnamara

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Hmm. Humans get all manner of pathogens from what we eat - Listeria, Salmonella, tapeworms, pinworms - (like @lisab above) so it should come as no surprise that food-borne illness should be something that happens to many animals. Parasitism is exceedingly common in Nature, simply because it is such a great way for organisms to thrive.

    PW Ewald provided a lot of primary research and helped to define the field of the Ecology and Evolutuion of parasitism. from 1987
    an example: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3304078
     
  10. Jul 13, 2017 #9
    I also think that rabies can affect cat too.
     
  11. Jul 13, 2017 #10

    jim mcnamara

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted



Similar Discussions: Can a cat become infected with a bacteria or virus from rat?
  1. Bacteria and viruses (Replies: 2)

  2. Virus and Bacteria? (Replies: 2)

Loading...