Cats may keep themselves clean by constantly grooming themselves, but that doesn’t mean their mouths are clean enough not to be a danger to you. Cat saliva can contain a host of germs that can be harmless to the cat but deadly to you.

Floyd Dewhirst, a bacterial geneticist at the Forsyth Institute and professor of oral medicine at Harvard has identified almost 200 kinds of oral bacteria in cats. The next time you kiss your cat, make sure your cat doesn’t kiss you back. Avoiding body fluids is a good idea with people and an especially good idea with your pet. Remember, cats are walking disease carriers so don’t expose yourself unnecessarily to diseases if you can help it.

To read more about the dangers of cat saliva, click here.

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