You may have seen the recent articles about TB (tuberculosis) in cats, and people.This is a very rare occurrence, and the recent reports relate to an outbreak last year in 9 cats in Newbury, Berkshire. The symptoms in the cats were varied, but included weeping infected wounds, pneumonia, loss of appetite and enlarged lymph glands. It is thought that the cats became infected from wildlife carrying the disease. TB is spread by a bacteria (Mycobacterium bovis), which mainly affects cattle and badgers, which is why all milk is now pasteurised to remove the possibility of picking up TB from cow’s milk. It appears that in this outbreak people became infected from their cats which makes it a zoonotic disease (a zoonosis is a disease passed from an animal to a person), which is very unusual.
The risk of your cat being infected by TB is extremely low, but if your cat has non healing wounds, skin nodules or has lost their appetite, you should make an appointment with the vet.
Click here for a BBC article about the outbreak.