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Discussion Starter #1
I'm sure variations of this question have been asked many times before, but I can't seem to turn anything up with my searching. So here we go again...

This weekend I might be going to interview for a part-time job as a kennel attendant. I'm not sure if the job is even going to pan out, but if it does I need to ask the obvious question about whether or not my working at a kennel could pose any risk to my own cats. All my googling seems to turn up is information on diseases animals can pass to humans - when what I'm really concerned about is whether I could pass something onto them after having contact with another animal (or another animal's waste, as I'm fairly sure my job would involve a lot of cleaning responsibilities). Is this even possible? Or likely?

I appreciate any information you knowledgeable people can give me :?
 

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Well,I've just had a bit of a search myself and there's truly very little about human to cat disease transfer. However, a little thought says that if animals can transfer to humans, then it would follow that humans can then pass disease back to animals. When I went to the shelter the time I adopted Zenobi, they had the sick (colds and such, they said) cats housed away from the well ones. I had intended to foster first and planned to foster one that needed a warmer environment, but they sent me to the well animals first to avoid transfer.

Then, after Zenobi's passing, when I went back, they were asking all who handled the animals to wash hands between animals to avoid disease transfer.

I would think that attention to good hand washing is essential, but I would also suggest foot covering change. Although here's always the possibility that we can pick stuff up just by walking along the sidewalk.

I think that normal care should make things ok.
 

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I volunteer cleaning in an area with a lot of sick cats, they all have FeLV (leukemia) or FIV (AIDS), along with various other issues, like ringworm due to a lowered immune system.

I think the main thing to worry about would be ringworm (a fungus that you can get and that can be passed to other animals like cats and dogs), followed by a small chance of bringing in fleas, which might cause a problem if they have tapeworm. Anything serious like FIV, FeLV, parvo etc. I think are so unlikely I wouldn't be concerned about it as long as you make sure to wash you hands after dealing with sick animals and before leaving the building.

Some people change their clothing before leaving the building while others (like me) have a shower and change their clothing before petting my animals when returning home. I also remove and wash my shoes since any cat or dog poo on them isn't good, it can carry disease. I once got ringworm from the place I volunteer at but by being safe about it (washing bedsheets, washing all clothing daily, bandaging the area) no one else that I know of got it including three people in the house, two dogs, two cats, and all my friends and their pets...
 

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It is possible to transfer contagious diseases but I think changing your clothes either before or as soon as you get home is the best idea. I've worked with animals in the past and when we came into animals that were highly infectious, we'd spray ourselves with a watered down disinfectant (the same as that's used to clean the cages etc). I certainly don't think the risk is so high that you should reconsider working in a kennel. I mean, you could be visiting friends with a sick pet and just as easily bring something home.
 

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I worked at an animal hospital, and i always changed my clothes before I went home and took a shower as soon as I got home(working at a kennel you will probably want to do the same anyway, it can be a dirty, stinky job) I agree with what others have said about ringworm... it is very contagious and humans can contract is as well as be a carrier. I never caught it, but one girl I worked with got it more than once. And that is something you can easily pass to your own pets. While it is not anything serious, it's not any fun either :) I would wear gloves if you have to handle any animals that are showing symptoms of ringworm.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the advice everybody! I'm going in for my first day Monday - if I still want to work there they said I could have the job. :) I feel a lot better about my cat's safety thanks to you guys, and I'll take your advice about making sure to wash hands and change clothes when I come home.
 

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I used to volunteer at a cat shelter that took in all cats. I had a pair of shoes that I only wore there and kept outside in the garage. When I got home I would go immediately to the shower and would wash the clothing I wore there as soon as I was through bathing. Just not worth chancing any transfer of disease or infection.
 
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