Can My Cat Catch a UTI from Me?

Owner is worried cat could catch a urinary tract infection.

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Q: I just found out from my doctor that the urinary tract infection I have been fighting might also be an E. coli infection. Is there any danger to my cats? Is such a transmission possible between humans and cats?

Lynda-Marie Hauptman
 
A: Rest assured, there is no danger to your cat. Urinary tract infections are not transmissible between people and cats, nor are they transmissible from cat to cat. E. coli is a very common urinary tract pathogen and also is the most common organism isolated from cats with urinary tract infections. 

Regards,
Arnold Plotnick, DVM

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Sally Dix    International

3/11/2015 10:14:12 AM

COMMENT FROM BELOW CONTINUED......

FIRST EXTRACT TAKEN FROM THE DISCUSSION SECTION:

These findings provide strong molecular support for the hypothesis of cross-species transmission of pathogens between humans and their household pets and hence of a zoonotic potential (in either direction) for such strains.

SECOND EXTRACT TAKEN FROM THE DISCUSSION SECTION:

To more stringently test the hypothesis of cross-species commonality of virulent E. coli clones, we used PFGE analysis to resolve finer clonal relationships among animal and human isolates from the same ST that exhibited identical VF profiles. The close similarity of PFGE profiles observed among several human and animal isolates, including one 97% similar dog-human isolate pair, further supports the possibility of pet-human exchange of virulent E. coli clones. This is consistent with the results of two recent longitudinal household surveillance studies in which multiple humans and their pets were found to be colonized with the same E. coli clones, including two cystitis-causing strains (8, 22). Notably, in one such study the most extensively shared clone, which colonized both human subjects and the family cat and caused an episode of acute cystitis in the woman, belonged to serogroup O6 and, based on the VF profile and random amplified polymorphic DNA analysis, likely derived from ST127 (22).

FINAL EXTRACT TAKEN FROM THE DISCUSSION SECTION:

In summary, we found extensive commonality among human, dog, and cat E. coli isolates of serogroup O6 with respect to phylogenetic background, VF profiles, and clonal identity. Although some segregation by host species was apparent, the findings support the hypothesis that humans and their domestic pets can be colonized and infected with similar E. coli strains and may serve as reservoirs of potential pathogens for one another. Thus, in some instances extraintestinal E. coli infections in humans, dogs, and cats may represent animal-to-human or human-to-animal zoonoses.

Please either click the following link below or paste the URL into the address bar of your browser, to read the full article, containing full details of the clinical studies:

LINK
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I am passionate about all animals, especially cats. My male cat Whisper is only four years old & he is currently quite ill with a urinary tract infection (cystitis). Therefore this article is all the more poignant to me.

Sally Dix, United Kingdom ~

Sally Dix    International

3/11/2015 10:09:44 AM

I am not a qualified veterinarian. However, I have an interest in human medical conditions & medical conditions affecting cats. Over the years, I have done a lot of research & gained a reasonable understanding with respect to various medical conditions affecting humans & cats.

I do not profess to understand all the chemistry & mathematics detailed in the following clinical extract. However, the information & conclusions detailed in the following clinical extract, do support the hypothesis that the Escherichia coli pathogen that is a major cause of urinary tract infections & other extraintestinal infections in humans, dogs & cats, is possibly zoonotic (transferable) in either direction, whether animal to human or human to animal.

Please read the following extracts, taken from clinical studies carried out at the American Society for Microbiology.

I have chosen the extracts which I think most closely relate to & give the clearest understanding of the question being asked on this thread.
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TITLE OF CLINICAL STUDY:

VIRULENCE GENOTYPES AND PHYLOGENETIC BACKGROUND OF ESCHERICHIA COLI SEROGROUP O6 ISOLATES FROM HUMANS, DOGS, AND CATS Cats

EXTRACT TAKEN FROM THE ABSTRACT SECTION:

Escherichia coli is a major cause of urinary tract infections (UTI) and other extraintestinal infections in humans, dogs, and cats (1, 19, 25). Several cross-sectional surveys have demonstrated similarities among clinical or fecal E. coli isolates from humans, dogs, and cats with respect to genomic background and virulence-associated accessory traits (virulence factors [VFs]), particularly within serogroups O6 and O4, suggesting possible zoonotic (whether animal-to-human or human-to-animal) transmission (3, 5, 6, 9, 11, 13, 15, 16, 20, 26, 30-33). Consistent with this possibility, in two longitudinal surveillance studies involving the E. coli flora of human household members and their canine or feline pets, pets were found to be intermittently colonized with the same virulent-appearing E. coli clones that colonized multiple humans and caused acute cystitis in the women (8, 22)

Sally Dix, United Kingdom ~

jen    bangor, ME

2/15/2010 12:14:54 AM

interesting

wanda    monmouth, ME

12/30/2009 3:02:26 AM

very good

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