|Description:||This image depicts a domesticated cat, which had succumbed to plague, having been infected with the pathogenic organism, Yersinia pestis. Note the dried blood and sputum that this cat had expelled prior to its death from pneumonic plague.|
Domestic cats are highly susceptible to plague infection and frequently die of the disease. Cat infections usually involve the pharyngeal region and cats often develop secondary plague pneumonia. Submaxillary nodes or buboes are common and prominent among feline victims of plague. Cats probably acquire plague infection most often by mouthing or ingesting rodent tissue. Human cases acquired from cats typically involve direct contact with infective fluids from ruptured or abscessed nodes, or inoculation of organisms via cat bites or scratches.
People involved in trapping and skinning wild carnivores, especially bobcats (see PHIL14317), should be extremely cautious since these animals also can be sources of plague infection for humans.