Concerns over feline TB
Cats Protection has responded to recent reports in the media concerning cats and tuberculosis (TB), stressing that cases of humans becoming infected by cats are very rare.
The statement highlights figures from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), which report that only nine cats in the UK tested positive for Mycobacterium bovis in 2012.
"Many cats which have Mycobacterial infections have spontaneously-resolving skin lesions which are not a risk to people.
"Those cats which do have tuberculous Mycobacteria lesions are most commonly infected by a type of bacteria called Mycobacteria microti, which is caught from voles and is incredibly rare in people."
Further, the charity highlighted that there have been no reported cases of humans contracting TB from a cat, although rarely, cats have become infected with TB transmitted by humans.
Cat owners have been advised to seek veterinary advice is their cat is unwell or has a lump or wound.
"In 99% of such cases, the issue will not be due to any type of Mycobacterial infection, and rarer still to be caused by a type of Mycobacteria that can infect people," the charity says.
The Cat Group, which is made up of a group of cat welfare organisations, offers a policy statement on Mycobacterial disease in cats and man in the UK.