How many cats are being taken care of as household pets? Let’s hope not too many. Up to half of all human beings are infected with a rare disease that is transmitted from their cats. These house pets are believed to carry a parasite that can take their caretakers hostage.
The parasite, Toxoplasma gondii, is easily transmitted from a cat’s feces to humans and can lead to the disease, Toxoplasmosis. The parasite resides in the human brain and can lead to serious side effects. It can cause blindness, brain damage, and in the worst-case scenario, still birth when transmitted from a mother to her unborn child.
Cats don’t normally consume their own feces so how do they manage to catch the parasite in the first place? Rats consume the feces of cats and can become infected with Toxoplasma gondii. When a cat attacks and bites an infected rat, the parasites are then being transmitted, keeping the parasite and disease alive.
By no means should everyone abandon his or her precious cat. Lucky for us, it’s relatively a benign disease for many. Just be sure to wash your hands thoroughly after handling yours cat’s litter box! There are movements towards finding a vaccination for Toxoplasmosis. It is yet to be determined whether the vaccines are potentially life threatening or life saving, but research can potentially help those currently infected.
Posted By: Kimberly Ty (3)