Tuberculosis and Cats

Tuberculosis and Cats

You may have read some reports in the papers this weekend about the disease Bovine Tuberculosis in a small number of cats in the Berkshire area and that the disease was transmitted to two people.

Unfortunately (but not unsurprisingly) the media coverage has, in our opinion, been very irresponsible- suggesting that the risk from pet cats is much higher than it actually is.

We would like to reassure our clients that this disease is very rare in cats; we have never diagnosed a case at this practice. It is even more rarely transmitted to people.

We believe, that given the very low level of risk, that our clients do not need to make any changes in the way they interact with their cats.

Please do note that these two cases are the first ones of cat to human transmission of tuberculosis in the world.

These cats were also in an area where cattle were present, and these cattle are likely to be the source of the bTB, probably carried by rodents. We do not have many cows in the London area!

Please feel free to call and discuss any concerns you may have with the practice team.

You can also see the advise here from the excellent Cats Protection charity with whom we work at their North London Adoption Centre.