Toxoplasmosis is a disease caused by the single-celled parasite Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii) and is one of the most common parasitic diseases that infects nearly all warm-blooded animals, including pets and humans ¹. Although cats are a necessary part of the life cycle of T. gondii, the parasite rarely causes clinical disease in them ¹. While T. gondii seldomly causes significant symptoms in healthy adults either, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recently identified toxoplasmosis as one of five neglected parasitic infections of people due to its high prevalence ¹.
The prognosis for a cat that shows symptoms of toxoplasmosis is guarded depending on the damage already done to the organs where the parasites have lived or the systems impacted by the infection ². However, there is treatment available for toxoplasmosis ³. In an otherwise healthy person, mild symptoms typically go away within several weeks to months and treatment is not needed ³. Cats who test positive for antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii should be considered unlikely to shed infectious oocysts; most infected cats will also remain asymptomatic ⁴. Eliminating cat feces on a daily basis minimizes the possibility of infection ¹.
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(1) Toxoplasmosis in Cats | Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. https://www.vet.cornell.edu/departments-centers-and-institutes/cornell-feline-health-center/health-information/feline-health-topics/toxoplasmosis-cats.
(2) Toxoplasmosis in Cats – The Spruce Pets. https://www.thesprucepets.com/how-to-treat-toxoplasmosis-in-cats-4768694.
(3) CDC – Toxoplasmosis: An Important Message for Cat Owners. https://www.cdc.gov/parasites/toxoplasmosis/toxoplasmosis_catowners.html.
(4) Companion Animal Parasite Council | Toxoplasma gondii. https://capcvet.org/guidelines/toxoplasma-gondii/.