Cat saliva that accidentally comes into contact with human nose, eye and mouth membranes may cause skin infections, flu-like symptoms and sometimes meningitis. Most of these conditions respond well to antibiotics.
According to veterinarian Peter Muller in Atlanta, Georgia, penetrating cat bites are a serious danger to humans because mouth bacteria is injected beneath the skin. If the infection spreads untreated through the lymph system, death may result. According to Harvard Medical School, rabies is the most dangerous infection caused by animal saliva. However, it is well-managed in the United States with only 47 reported cases between 1990 and 2005. Cat scratch disease is a bacterial infection that affects approximately 24,000 United States residents each year, according to Healthline.com.