>> On Thu, 12 May 2011 07:21:05 -0400, "Nitesbane"
>>>>>> Gandalf ingold1234(at)yahoo(dot)com (Gandalf) wrote in
>>>>>>>> I've often wondered if my cat can get my cold, flu, etc. I try
>>>>>>>> not to cough or sneeze at her but am sometimes careless. So
>>>>>>>> far, evidently no harm done. Or what about her lying on my
>>>>>>>> chest and, once in a great while, sneezing in my face? I
>>>>>>>> suspect our viruses are not compatible. At least the common
>>>>>>>> ones like those I mentioned.
>>>>>>> Relatively few human diseases can be contracted by cats.
>>>>>>> Rabies, which can infect almost all mammals, is one of them.
>>>>>>> Some internal parasites can infect humans and cats, but the
>>>>>>> risk is usually for the human to catch it from their cat, not
>>>>>>> the other way around.
>>>>>>> Don't worry about common human illness: you can't 'give' them
>>>>>>> to you cat.
>>>>>>> Thank you for being so concerned about the well being of your
>>>>>>> One thing that does have a big impact on your cat's well being
>>>>>>> is if you keep your cats indoors.
>>>>>>> There are may perils for your cat outdoors, from being hit by
>>>>>>> cars, to dogs and other cats. Perhaps the biggest risk factor
>>>>>>> is other humans, who may do something very bad to your cat.
>>>>>>> I know there are many people who believe that cats should be
>>>>>>> let out of doors regularly, but the fact remains that most cats
>>>>>>> are very content living indoors, and they are far less likely
>>>>>>> to be injured, or contract an illness from another cat.
>>>>>>> This has been studied extensively, and it is irrefutable:
>>>>>>> indoor cats tend to live longer, healthier lives.
>>>>>> Yes, she's strictly an inside cat. I've had cats some 50 years
>>>>>> now and they've always been inside-cats.
>>>>>> I'd like it if I was an inside-human too, but haven't figured
>>>>>> out how to arrange it on my income.
>>>>> I fenced in my little backyard so the cats can't get out and I let
>>>>> them out there even in the winter. They don't stay out long in the
>>>>> winter though, but in summer I just leave the back door open and
>>>>> they wander in and out all day long. As long as I'm home, of
>>>> Having a completely fenced in yard eliminates most, but not all,
>>>> risks for cats. You still have to be concerned about fleas, and
>>>> insect borne illness/parasites, such as heartworm.
>>> Coyotes can also be a problem in some areas, even if your yard is
>>> completely fenced in.
>> In NYC we do get possums and raccoons, but not coyotes. Although I do
>> believe that some do wander in from the north; they get noticed
>> pretty quickly.
> There is a pretty large population of raccoons where I live.
> There is a large creek a few blocks away, (in Europe, it would
> probably be called a small river) which empties into the Mississippi
> River, about a mile away.
> The raccoons live along the banks of both, and use the storm drains
> like their own private subway system.
> While raccoons are interesting to watch, from a distance, they are
> mostly traveling bags of disease and pestilence.
> If it was legal,and safe, I would shoot every single one I see.
> Common Infectious Diseases of Raccoons
> Raccoons are susceptible to a large number of different infectious
> agents including bacteria, viruses, and parasites. Several of these
> infectious diseases are zoonotic. Veterinarians are faced with the
> diagnosis and treatment of wildlife including raccoons and need to be
> able to make the correct diagnosis as well as educate clients on the
> potential hazards associated with exposure to raccoons.
> Leptospirosis is a common bacterial disease in raccoons caused by a
> number of different species of Leptospira. Trans-mission is thought
> to occur via urine contamination of feed and water. Antemortem
> diagnosis is based upon serology and dark field examination of urine.
> Histopathologic examination and fluorescent antibody testing of liver
> and kidney are two postmortem procedures that can be done to help
> further aid the diagnosis of leptospirosis. Other natural bacterial
> infections reported in raccoons are
> listeriosis,yersiniosis,pasteurellosis, and tularemia.
> Viral diseases of raccoons include rabies, canine distemper, raccoon
> parvoviralenteritis, infectious canine hepatitis, and pseudorabies.
> Rabies is a zoonotic disease that is endemic in raccoon populations in
> Pennsylvania and New England. In recent years, there has been a shift
> of rabies infected raccoons westward into Ohio (see Diagnostic Forum
> Vol. 8, No 2, 1997).
> Canine distemper virus infection is probably the most common viral
> disease in raccoons. The clinical signs, and gross and histopathologic
> lesions in raccoons are similar to distemper in dogs. Neurologic signs
> due to distemper virus infection in raccoons are virtually
> indistinguishable from rabies induced neurologic disease.
> Diagnosis is based upon histopathologic lesions in brain, lung,
> spleen, and small intestine. Intranuclear and
> intracytoplasmicinclusion bodies can be visualized in many cells
> including epithelial cells in the respiratory epithelium, gastric
> mucosa, and transitional epithelium lining the renal pelvis and
> urinary bladder. The best tissues for fluorescent antibody testing
> and virus isolation of canine distemper virus are lung, brain,
> stomach, small intestine, kidney, and urinary bladder.
> Parvoviral enteritis in raccoons is due to a unique raccoon parvovirus
> that is most antigenically similar to feline parvovirus.
> Clinical signs include ***y diarrhea, lethargy, inappetance, and
> loss of fear of humans. Raccoons do not develop clinical disease when
> exposed to canine parvovirus. Diagnosis is based upon
> histopathologic lesions of necrotizing enteritis and identification
> of the virus by fluorescent antibody testing. The most common
> method in which raccoons acquire pseudorabies virus infection is via
> the ingestion of virus-infected pig carcasses.
> An important parasitic disease of raccoons is toxoplasmosis, which is
> a protozoal disease caused by Toxoplasmagondii.
> Felines are the definitive host for T. gondii, and they excrete
> potentially infective oocysts in their feces. Toxoplasmosis in
> raccoons is commonly associated with immunosuppression from canine
> distemper virus infection. Necrotizing encephalitis and pneumonitis
> are frequent lesions associated with toxoplasmosis.
> Another parasite of importance in raccoons is Baylisascarisprocyonis,
> which is an intestinal roundworm of raccoons. Baylisascaris is a known
> cause of cerebral nematodiasis and ocular and visceral larval migrans
> in domestic and non-domestic animals, and humans. Transmission
> commonly occurs through the ingestion of infective eggs, which
> results in aberrant migration in hosts other than raccoons.
> - by Jim Raymond, DVM
> - edited by M. Randy White, DVM, PhD
My wife and I feed raccoons on our back porch. (we live on the edge of town)
hungry, they will reluctantly eat it rather than starving to death. They
liked it to begin with, but over the years, they have grown tired of it.