Vector-borne zoonotic pathogens in cats

  • Miglė Razgūnaitė
  • Jana Radzijevskaja
  • Vytautas Sabūnas
  • Birutė Karvelienė
  • Algimantas Paulauskas
Keywords: Cats, vector-borne zoonotic diseases, pathogens


Cats and dogs are the most popular pets. However, pets can transmit various pathogens and their close proximity to humans may lead to human infections – zoonoses. Transmission of zoonotic pathogens occurs through direct human-animal contact and/or arthropod vectors, such as ticks, fleas, mosquitoes, etc. The emergence of vector-borne zoonotic diseases may occur through international movement of owners with companion animals, which could be infected with pathogens and through spreading and subsequent establishment of disease vectors from endemic to non-endemic areas. The complex ecology of vector-borne zoonotic infections poses both a challenge to and opportunities for surveillance and control. Rising occurrence of vector-borne zoonotic diseases, their relevance to human health, and the relative lack of scientific researches related to feline VBDs point to the necessity to summarize and systemize information on the prevalence of agents of these diseases in populations of domestic cats. This review describes the main vector-borne zoonotic diseases in cats and provides an overview of the main pathogens isolated from cats, which have the potential to cause diseases in cats and humans.