Scientists warn that cuddling your cat can kill you

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Researchers already spoke out about the dangers of being affectionate to chickens; now they are warning against getting close to a more commonly beloved pet: cats.

Doctors at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) put together a survey of a cat-born disease called "Cat-Scratch Fever" (CSF) and it may be potentially dangerous. It's the first large-scale study on the disease done in fifteen years.

The knowledge of Cat-Scratch Fever is not new, but it was once thought of to be mild. Due to this survey, the CDC concluded that it can be fatal.

"The scope and impact of the disease is a little bit larger than we thought," said Dr. Christina Nelson, lead author of the study and medical epidemiologist at the CDC.

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Aoshima, Japan's cat island
Cats crowd the harbour on Aoshima Island in the Ehime prefecture in southern Japan February 25, 2015. An army of cats rules the remote island in southern Japan, curling up in abandoned houses or strutting about in a fishing village that is overrun with felines outnumbering humans six to one. Picture taken February 25, 2015. (Thomas Peter / Reuters)
Cats surround people as they get off a boat at the harbour on Aoshima Island in Ehime prefecture in southern Japan February 25, 2015. An army of cats rules the remote island in southern Japan, curling up in abandoned houses or strutting about in a fishing village that is overrun with felines outnumbering humans six to one. Picture taken February 25, 2015. (Thomas Peter / Reuters)
A clowder of cats crowd the wharf on Aoshima Island in Ehime prefecture in southern Japan February 25, 2015. An army of cats rules the remote island in southern Japan, curling up in abandoned houses or strutting about in a fishing village that is overrun with felines outnumbering humans six to one. Picture taken February 25, 2015. (Thomas Peter / Reuters)
Cats sit on a wall overlooking the sea on Aoshima Island in Ehime prefecture in southern Japan February 25, 2015. An army of cats rules the remote island in southern Japan, curling up in abandoned houses or strutting about in a fishing village that is overrun with felines outnumbering humans six to one. Picture taken February 25, 2015. (Thomas Peter / Reuters)
A group of cats sits on Aoshima Island in Ehime prefecture in southern Japan February 25, 2015. An army of cats rules the remote island in southern Japan, curling up in abandoned houses or strutting about in a fishing village that is overrun with felines outnumbering humans six to one. Picture taken February 25, 2015. (Thomas Peter / Reuters)
Cats vie for food on Aoshima Island in the Ehime prefecture in southern Japan February 25, 2015. An army of cats rules the remote island in southern Japan, curling up in abandoned houses or strutting about in a fishing village that is overrun with felines outnumbering humans six to one. Picture taken February 25, 2015. (Thomas Peter / Reuters)
Cats surround village nurse and Ozu city official Atsuko Ogata as she sits on the steps of the local medial centre on Aoshima Island in the Ehime prefecture in southern Japan February 25, 2015. An army of cats rules the remote island in southern Japan, curling up in abandoned houses or strutting about in a fishing village that is overrun with felines outnumbering humans six to one. Picture taken February 25, 2015. (Thomas Peter / Reuters)
Village nurse and Ozu city official Atsuko Ogata feeds cats on Aoshima Island in the Ehime prefecture in southern Japan February 25, 2015. An army of cats rules the remote island in southern Japan, curling up in abandoned houses or strutting about in a fishing village that is overrun with felines outnumbering humans six to one. Picture taken February 25, 2015. (Thomas Peter / Reuters)
Cats crowd around village nurse and Ozu city official Atsuko Ogata as she carries a bag of cat food to the designated feeding place on Aoshima Island in Ehime prefecture in southern Japan February 25, 2015. An army of cats rules a remote island in southern Japan, curling up in abandoned houses or strutting about in a fishing village that is overrun with felines outnumbering humans six to one. Picture taken February 25, 2015. (Thomas Peter / Reuters)
Cats crowd the harbour embankment on Aoshima Island in Ehime prefecture in southern Japan February 25, 2015. An army of cats rules the remote island in southern Japan, curling up in abandoned houses or strutting about in a fishing village that is overrun with felines outnumbering humans six to one. Picture taken February 25, 2015. (Thomas Peter / Reuters)
Cats crowd the harbour on Aoshima Island in Ehime prefecture in southern Japan February 25, 2015. An army of cats rules the remote island in southern Japan, curling up in abandoned houses or strutting about in a fishing village that is overrun with felines outnumbering humans six to one. Picture taken February 25, 2015. (Thomas Peter / Reuters)
A tourist takes pictures of cats as they sit at the harbour on Aoshima Island in Ehime prefecture in southern Japan February 25, 2015. An army of cats rules the remote island in southern Japan, curling up in abandoned houses or strutting about in a fishing village that is overrun with felines outnumbering humans six to one. Picture taken February 25, 2015. (Thomas Peter / Reuters)
A cat sits on a wall of a derelict school on Aoshima Island in the Ehime prefecture in southern Japan February 25, 2015. An army of cats rules the remote island in southern Japan, curling up in abandoned houses or strutting about in a fishing village that is overrun with felines outnumbering humans six to one. Picture taken February 25, 2015. (Thomas Peter / Reuters)
A cat leaps at the photographer to snatch his lunch snack on Aoshima Island in the Ehime prefecture in southern Japan February 25, 2015. An army of cats rules the remote island in southern Japan, curling up in abandoned houses or strutting about in a fishing village that is overrun with felines outnumbering humans six to one. Picture taken February 25, 2015. (Thomas Peter / Reuters)
The print of a cat paw is embedded in concrete on Aoshima Island in Ehime prefecture in southern Japan February 25, 2015. An army of cats rules the remote island in southern Japan, curling up in abandoned houses or strutting about in a fishing village that is overrun with felines outnumbering humans six to one. Picture taken February 25, 2015. (Thomas Peter / Reuters)
A cat carries a fish on Aoshima Island in Ehime prefecture in southern Japan February 25, 2015. An army of cats rules the remote island in southern Japan, curling up in abandoned houses or strutting about in a fishing village that is overrun with felines outnumbering humans six to one. Picture taken February 25, 2015. (Thomas Peter / Reuters)
Village nurse and Ozu city official Atsuko Ogata holds a cat on Aoshima Island in Ehime prefecture in southern Japan February 25, 2015. An army of cats rules the remote island in southern Japan, curling up in abandoned houses or strutting about in a fishing village that is overrun with felines outnumbering humans six to one. Picture taken February 25, 2015. (Thomas Peter / Reuters)
Cats surround a local woman on Aoshima Island in Ehime prefecture in southern Japan February 25, 2015. An army of cats rules the remote island in southern Japan, curling up in abandoned houses or strutting about in a fishing village that is overrun with felines outnumbering humans six to one. Picture taken February 25, 2015. (Thomas Peter / Reuters)
Cats crowd the harbour embankment on Aoshima Island in Ehime prefecture in southern Japan February 25, 2015. An army of cats rules the remote island in southern Japan, curling up in abandoned houses or strutting about in a fishing village that is overrun with felines outnumbering humans six to one. Picture taken February 25, 2015. (Thomas Peter / Reuters)
A cat jumps for food offered by a tourist (R) as other cats beg for food on Aoshima Island in Ehime prefecture in southern Japan February 25, 2015. An army of cats rules the remote island in southern Japan, curling up in abandoned houses or strutting about in a fishing village that is overrun with felines outnumbering humans six to one. Picture taken February 25, 2015. (Thomas Peter / Reuters)
Cats crowd around village nurse and Ozu city official Atsuko Ogata as she carries a bag of cat food to the designated feeding place on Aoshima Island in Ehime prefecture in southern Japan February 25, 2015. An army of cats rules the remote island in southern Japan, curling up in abandoned houses or strutting about in a fishing village that is overrun with felines outnumbering humans six to one. Picture taken February 25, 2015. (Thomas Peter / Reuters)
Cats beg for food on Aoshima Island in Ehime prefecture in southern Japan February 25, 2015. An army of cats rules the remote island in southern Japan, curling up in abandoned houses or strutting about in a fishing village that is overrun with felines outnumbering humans six to one. Picture taken February 25, 2015. (Thomas Peter / Reuters)
A cat walks along a mole in the harbour of Aoshima Island in Ehime prefecture in southern Japan February 25, 2015. An army of cats rules the remote island in southern Japan, curling up in abandoned houses or strutting about in a fishing village that is overrun with felines outnumbering humans six to one. Picture taken February 25, 2015. (Thomas Peter / Reuters)
A boatsman steps aboard a ferry departing for Aoshima Island in Iyonagahama in the Ehime prefecture in southern Japan February 25, 2015. An army of cats rules the remote island in southern Japan, curling up in abandoned houses or strutting about in a fishing village that is overrun with felines outnumbering humans six to one. Picture taken February 25, 2015. (REUTERS/Thomas Peter)
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CSF is a bacterial disease that can be transferred by kissing cats or touching your face after touching a cat's fur. Kittens are more likely to be carriers of the disease than older cats.

Thankfully, CSF is preventable. The CDC recommends you watch your hands after interacting with cats. Nelson also recommends to use proper flea control and to keep cats indoors if you cannot avoid them entirely (or don't want to).

"Cat-scratch is preventable," Nelson said. "If we can identify the populations at risk and the patterns of disease, we can focus the prevention efforts."

For now, it's best to keep cautious when giving some love to your cat -- and remember to always disinfect.

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