Cats make wonderful pets. That's why there are millions of pet cats in the U.S. But cats can sometimes cause an illness called cat scratch disease. Find out more about this illness by taking this true-false quiz.
It's safe to have a cat as a pet even if you have a weakened immune system. You might have a weakened immune system if you have a long-term (chronic) condition such as HIV or are being treated for cancer. The CDC recommends taking these steps:
If you get a cat, choose an animal at least a year old and in good health. Young cats are more likely to carry the bacteria than older cats. The cat should be up to date on its vaccines and free of fleas. You don't need to get the cat tested for cat scratch bacteria. Stay away from stray cats, because you won't know their health history.