Can Cats Get Mono? The Answer May Surprise You

Can Cats Get Mono? more commonly known as the ‘kissing disease’, is an illness that no one would wish upon themselves, let alone their beloved pets. This lengthy viral infection, mainly caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), causes a list of undesirable symptoms like sore throat, fatigue, fever, swollen lymph nodes, and loss of appetite. But can your feline friend catch mono from you? Let’s explore this topic in-depth.

What Does Mono Entail?

Mono, or mononucleosis, is an infectious disease primarily caused by EBV. This disease is more prevalent among humans, with a staggering 85-90% of adults in the US exposed to the virus by their 40th birthday, according to WebMD. However, merely being a carrier of the virus doesn’t necessarily translate to developing the disease. Many who are exposed to it never show symptoms throughout their lives.

The virus is predominantly spread through saliva, hence its nickname ‘the kissing disease’. However, it can also be transmitted through shared utensils and food.

Is It Possible For Cats To Contract Mono?

For many years, cats were thought to be safe from mono. This belief was based on the observation that the EBV virus didn’t affect their mononuclear cells. Meaning, even though they might be exposed to the virus, they wouldn’t contract mono.

However, a 2011 study turned the tables when it revealed the presence of EBV in Taiwanese cats and dogs. The researchers aimed to identify if canine populations had EBV and if it was linked to dog lymphoma. They also wanted to determine if cats could contract EBV.

The results showed that EBV antibodies or a virus similar to EBV were present in 38% of cat sera. This suggests that the virus causing mono has evolved over time, and cats are no longer as safe as they once were.

Can You Transmit Mono To Your Cat?

Having established that cats can contract EBV, the question becomes, can you pass the virus to your beloved pet?

In theory, if you were to kiss your feline friend while infected with mono, there would be an exchange of saliva and the virus could potentially be transmitted. However, similar to humans, most cats don’t show symptoms of mono despite carrying the virus. Hence, even if your furry companion does contract the virus from you, they may never succumb to the disease.

Should I Be Worried If My Cat Shows Mono-Like Symptoms?

If your cat starts exhibiting signs similar to mono, it would be premature to conclude they have contracted the disease. Several other illnesses could cause symptoms like swollen lymph nodes and a sore throat.

For instance, swollen lymph nodes could indicate lymphadenopathy (lymph node inflammation), and a sore throat could be a sign of an upper respiratory infection, rhinotracheitis, or calicivirus. Fever and fatigue could be symptoms of various conditions.

Instead of jumping to conclusions, it would be best to consult a vet if your cat shows any symptoms.

How Long Is Mono Contagious For?

According to Healthline, mono remains contagious for up to 18 months after contracting the virus. However, most individuals can transmit the virus for approximately three months after their symptoms subside.

This means that even if you’re asymptomatic, you could potentially transmit the virus to others, including your cat. If you contract the disease, it’s crucial to take preventive measures to protect your household and pets.

Preventive Measures To Keep Your Cat Healthy

Your cat’s health and safety are your responsibility. If you have mono, you can protect your furry friend by doing the following:

1. Refrain From Kissing Your Cat

While cats aren’t as affectionate as dogs, they occasionally enjoy a bit of smooching. If you have mono, you should avoid kissing your cat to prevent the transmission of EBV through your saliva.

2. Maintain Personal Hygiene

Maintaining personal hygiene is crucial in preventing the spread of mono. The virus can be transmitted through your hands or clothes if you sneeze or blow your nose. Always wash your hands and change into clean clothes before interacting with your cat to minimize the risk.

Final Thoughts Can Cats Get Mono?

No one would wish mono on their worst enemy, let alone their beloved pets. Despite being a rare occurrence, it’s now known that cats can carry EBV. Therefore, it’s essential to take preventive measures if you contract mono, to protect your furry friend.

As always, when it comes to your pet’s health, it’s better to be safe than sorry. If your cat shows any symptoms that could indicate mono, it’s best to take them to the vet for a proper diagnosis and treatment.

Can Cats Eat Flour? What You Need To Know!

Can Cats Eat Flour Tortillas?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *