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A cat and a dog that live together are likely to contract a disease that can be transmitted from one to the other. Most diseases that affect cats and dogs are species-specific, meaning they do not spread from animal to animal, although a few of them can be shared and, if left untreated, can lead to later health problems. Keeping your pets healthy and safe begins with prevention, so staying up-to-date on possible illnesses is wise.

There is a treatment available for most of these diseases. Occasionally, they are not, so it is important to be extra cautious if your cat or dog is not feeling well. If any of these diseases are detected in your pet, please immediately take them to your veterinarian. So, let us understand in detail what these diseases are and how they spread.

1. Worms and Parasites

It is well known that worms are nasty, extremely contagious creatures, making them a common problem for cats and dogs. Pets’ feces often contain larvae of intestinal worms, like roundworms, whipworms, hookworms, etc. Pets who often relieve themselves in the same location are more likely to be infected with these parasites. If a cat steps on a dog’s feces and licks its paws, microscopic eggs may be transmitted into the cat’s system, causing illness.

A few examples of tapeworm transmission are listed below:

  • If your cat or dog has tapeworms and fleas, the flea could carry the tapeworm egg, and if the flea lands on another pet, the tapeworm will be transmitted.
  • Similarly, if your cat has a litter box, your dog may also decide to use it. Ensure that your dog does not access your cat’s litter box.
  • Whenever your cat is infected with roundworms, the chances are that your dog will also become infected upon ingesting roundworm eggs.
  • Also, whipworms and hookworms are transmitted via contact with each other’s feces, but usually between dogs and rarely between cats.

It is important to contact your veterinarian if you suspect that any of these parasites have infected your pet. Various oral and injectable dewormers that can be used to treat them are available.

2. Ringworm

The fungus known as Ringworm, or Dermatophytosis, is not actually a worm but rather a circular-shaped fungus. Skin infections caused by fungal organisms can cause scaly rashes and itching. On some occasions, it appears like a hot spot, but on dogs, it has a square shape, and on cats, it has an irregular shape.

Pets can contract ringworms through direct contact with each other. You should always remove spores from pillows, sheets, duvets, blankets, towels, carpets, and grooming tools to prevent them from spreading. Pets that go outside can become infected by these dermatophytes if they roll around in soil containing infected organisms for a lengthy period.

There is no clear sign of ringworm infection in most adult animals, primarily long-haired cats. The skin of puppies and kittens can be covered with patches of itchy redness, scaling, crusting, and scaling that are hairless or irregularly shaped. There may be some brittle, broken hairs in the area in question and an area that is not completely hairless. Claws that have been affected by this condition may appear white or cloudy or may have a shredded appearance. Please consult a veterinarian if your pet appears to have ringworm.

Here are a few symptoms your pet might display if worms infect it:

  • Licking at the bottom
  • Walking with their butt on the ground
  • A diarrheal illness
  • Vomiting
  • A rounded belly
  • There are often worms or small white segments in the feces, which look like rice grains.

3. Common Colds in Pets

Like humans, dogs and cats are susceptible to the common cold. Bordetella bronchisepticica is an unpleasant bacteria that can cause flu-like symptoms in dogs. Cats may also become infected with these bacteria in the same environment as an infected dog due to airborne droplets.

Similar symptoms are observed in cats and dogs, including fever, lethargy, sneezing, coughing, and nasal and eye discharge. Since these symptoms are similar to those seen with feline upper respiratory infections, your veterinarian may have difficulty determining the pathogen causing the illness in your pet. Fortunately, an intranasal vaccine protects cats and dogs from colds.

To understand the health challenges regarding cold/flu faced by cats and dogs, sometimes it’s important to delve deeper into how specific breeds are affected because all the diseases mentioned affect animals differently based on their species. Like for example, the average lifespan of a Greyhound is typically between 10-14 years, and as they age, they are likely to become weak and contract diseases, that’s why early treatment and detection is important.

4. Rabies

Rabies is a very dangerous infection that can affect the nervous system of animals and may result in death if not treated in time. Commonly, people associate rabies with dogs, which affects them more, but cats are more susceptible to it, affecting them more frequently.

Both your dogs and cats can get affected by rabies if wild animals bite them, and if your cat scratches dog skin after getting bitten by rabies, they can transfer it to your dog and vice versa.

Rabies affects the brain, and once the virus enters the central nervous system, it quickly reaches the brain. Your cat or dog will show several symptoms indicating rabies infection, which includes aggressiveness, drooling, and paralysis, and eventually, they will die in 7-10 days after the brain gets affected.

The cat or dog doesn’t need to be bitten by a rabid animal to contract rabies; even coming into contact with the saliva of a rabid animal can spread the virus. In addition to being bitten by a rabid animal, humans may also become infected with rabies through this method.

Symptoms of Rabies in cats and dogs may not be immediately apparent, but the disease is extremely dangerous if they become infected. It is common for the disease to incubate after initial exposure, and no symptoms may appear for several weeks or even a year after the initial exposure. No treatment options exist when your cat or dog displays signs of rabies. The only way to end the suffering is to euthanize them.

The only way to prevent rabies in your pets is to vaccinate them when they are 3-4 months old. Kittens and puppies’ bodies produce antibodies that help protect against it. The second dose of vaccine must be given one year later, and another after every three years regardless of age.


If you do suspect symptoms of any of the diseases mentioned in your cat or dog, contact your vet right away. They will prescribe the right course of treatment. Other than that look after your pets and ensure they don’t share any things that might spread the disease among each other.


M. Hassan Iqbal is an experienced digital marketing specialist with 3 years of SEO and content writing expertise. I provide these services to various companies, consistently achieving real results by improving their online rankings. If you’re looking for excellent digital marketing services, I’m only a click away.