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Will cats pose any danger to my daughter?

Q: My daughter is 8 months old. My house is infested with felines. My mother-in-law is a saviour to all street cats in our locality and provides them with lunch & dinner everyday. Four of those cats stay in our house permanently, while others visit during their meal time. Will felines pose any danger to my baby who is susceptible to cold and has to be administered antibiotics almost every time she catches a cold? Will their fur, which floats in the air in ample quantities cause diphtheria to children? How do I give protection to my baby from these cats since my mother-in-law is very reluctant to get rid of them?

A:Felines are the source of Toxoplasma infection. The felines are the natural host of this parasite which may cause serious infections in the susceptible host. This parasite is excreted through the feces of the cats and the cysts are found in plenty in the furs of the cats. The furs do not cause diphtheria. Allergy (particularly respiratory allergies like asthma) to animal furs is very common. You have to change the house in order to protect your child!

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