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Owning A Cat
Feb 12, 2007

Hello and thank you for attending my question. I am HIV positive for 4 years with no immediate complications. Undetectable viral load and cd4 around 900. I am thinking about getting a cat as a house pet since I am always home alone and thought that it might be a great companion for me. Are there any risks with owning a cat and what necessary precautions should I take. Would you advise owning a cat as a pet.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

Considering I have my pooch Presto in my lap "helping" me type this response, you can probably guess I'm a pet lover and strong advocate. Yes, pets can pose some risks; however, those risks are far outweighed by the benefits of animal companionship and the unconditional love they so willingly give to their "human." The risks can also be greatly minimized by taking simple precautions. The particular risks posed by cats include toxoplasmosis and Bartonella. However, in reality, I'm much more likely to contract toxo from my mother-in-law's "cooking" than from a kitty cat.

Check out the following Web site for PAWS (Pets Are Wonderful Support). They have complete information on "Safe Pet Guidelines" and "Your Cat and Your Health" as well as a section of frequently asked questions, etc.

http://www.pawssf.org/library_yourcatyourhealth.htm

Of course, if you want a real pet, you should get a dog. Oh, sorry . . . . Presto typed that last line . . . .

Be well.

Dr. Bob


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