Many kinds of bacteria (germs) called Capnocytophaga live in the mouths of dogs and cats. These germs do not make dogs or cats sick.
Rarely, Capnocytophaga germs can spread to people through bites, scratches, or close contact from a dog or cat and may cause illness, including sepsis. Most people who have contact with a dog or cat do not become sick. People with a weakened immune systems who have difficulty fighting off infections (for example, people with cancer or those taking certain medications such as steroids) are at greater risk of becoming ill.