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Chapter 6 : Diseases Transmitted by Cats
The origins of the domestic cat are unknown. However, mummified cats have been found in the treasure rooms of the Egyptian pyramids, and their images are inscribed in the royal hieroglyphics. The genus Felis includes the modern domestic house cat as well as the puma (cougar), golden cats, jaguarundi, ocelot, serval, lynx, and bobcat. In the United States, it is estimated that 90 million cats are kept as household pets, and 34% of households have cats. There are numerous diseases that may be transmitted from cats to humans or that possibly cats and people acquire from common sources, some of which are described in this chapter. However, it is likely that the domestic cat can potentially act as a reservoir for many other zoonoses that are not yet recognized. The diseases discussed in this chapter are arranged by the general method of transmission from cat to person, although more than one route is possible for some of the infections.