Snuggling Up With Your Cat May Kill You Thanks To Cat-Scratch Disease


People are always talking about how evil cats look and seem.

Sure, they're cute, but if you've ever spent a couple of hours in a room with a cat, you know there are moments when you think that little fur ball is going to end your life.

While dogs are often bigger than cats, felines typically give off a creepier, colder vibe that leads you to believe they're plotting against you.

Now, I'm not saying they actually do want to kill us, but a recent study is indicating that snuggling with your kitty cat could be setting you up for an early death.

According to a recent study conducted by researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cuddling up to your precious cat could increase the risk of contracting cat-scratch disease (CSD).

While preventable, cat-scratch disease is an infection sparked by Bartonella bacteria that can become fatal if not treated immediately. The bacteria is said to be transmitted through cat bites, flea bites and, of course, cat scratches.

In addition, if your cat licks an open wound of yours, you could be susceptible.

Symptoms of cat-scratch disease include fatigue, fevers, headaches, lymph node swelling, loss of appetite, sore throats and discomfort throughout the body.

A report published by the CDC regarding the disease reads,

CSD is caused by a bacterium called Bartonella henselae. About 40% of cats carry B. henselae at some time in their lives, although most cats with this infection show NO signs of illness.

Perhaps the most frightening part about this disease is the alarming statistics behind the amount of people who have been exposed to the disease over the last few years.

According to the study, over 12,000 insurance claims made from 2005 to 2013 indicate people contracting cat-scratch disease.

While only 500 of those claims resulted in hospitalization, the amount of people contracting the disease has increased significantly over time.

As a result of the study, it was also found that an unusually large amount of people were diagnosed with the disease back in January. This is believed to be due to the fact that there is an increase in cat adoptions over the holiday season.

Overall, death from cat-scratch disease is considered to be rare, but it's still very possible. The disease can also result in permanent brain damage and brain swelling... *shivers*

All of the recent findings regarding CSD have made one thing clear -- science just made it less OK to cuddle with your cat!

How can you make sure you never come face-to-face with this scary disease?

Make sure you have proper flea-control methods and enforce a good hygiene routine for your cat. Keeping your cat indoors always lessens the risk of disease.

Oh, and if you MUST cuddle, at least wash your hands afterward.

So, there you have it. No, your cat doesn't secretly want to kill you, but it totally can (against its will) if you're not careful!

Citations: Science has officially ruined cuddling kittens for everyone (Mashable)