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Domestic & Feral Cats

Image of Domestic and Feral Cats brochure.

Don't Let Your Cat Go AWOL

Impacts of Free Ranging Cats

Department of the Navy Policy

Feral and free ranging cat control is a necessary action to protect migratory and endangered bird species and the health and welfare of base personnel from wildlife that may carry harmful organisms or disease. Feral cats are known to spread a variety of viruses, bacteria, and unhealthy organisms to humans. Young children, pregnant women, the elderly and those with a existing skin condition or with poor immune systems are especially vulnerable to illnesses from bacteria, viruses and diseases that cats carry. 
The following can be spread from cats to humans:

  • Fleas, lice
  • Cat scratch disease, toxoplasma
  • Ringworm (fungus)
  • Streptococcal infections in cats can cause tonsilitis and pharyngitis in the owners
  • Helicobacter pylori found in some cats causes gastric ulcers in humans
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis and related tuberculosis-causing mycobacteria can infect cats and be transmitted to humans
  • Pasteurella is a common bacteria carried in the mouths of up to 75% of cats
  • Cowpox virus infections – about half of all human infections are due to cats
  • Salmonella bacteria