Cat Zoonotic Diseases: Clostridium Difficile

by Teressa asking "Can It Be Transmitted From Humans To Cats?"
(Fuquay Varina, NC)

This is my Milk Man!

This is my Milk Man!

Could I have passed one of the Cat zoonotic diseases "Clostridium Difficile" or "C. Diff" to my cat? I contracted it from IV antibiotics about a month ago and have been treated with antibiotics. Over the past three weeks, I have seen my cat sleeping more, warm/dry nose and now his body feels like he has a temperature.

Milky is his name and he is a RagDoll Cat that weighs about 18 lbs, ten of which is probably fur. He is just turning two years old. We live in a humid climate and it has been hot so I'm not sure if he's just staying more lazy.

My real concern is could I have passed Clostridium Difficile on to him since it is highly contagious prior to antibiotic treatment?

Hi, Teressa,

You ask an interesting, but difficult, question. At the present moment, it would be difficult to find a definitive answer to that question anywhere. There have been many research projects conducted on the subject and many papers written.

Most of the research verifies that many different animals can carry Clostridium Difficile and it has caused symptoms in those animals similar to human symptoms. The bacterium has definitely been isolated in cats. Studies also show that it can be a contaminant in the environment.

While the jury is still out in regards to your question, there seems to be more and more research that supports the bacterium's presence in animals, including cats, and it's ability to cause the same symptoms as in people. Again, it also appears to be an environment contaminant.

Personally I think we are going to find out that Clostridium Difficile is a definite zoonotic disease. I would suggest taking your kitty to the vet for a check-up including temperature and fecal sample.

I'd love to know what you find out. We all need to learn more about this disease and its implications for cats.

Thank you and thank you for the beautiful picture. He certainly is handsome!

Dr. Neely

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