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How Do You Prevent Toxoplasmosis in Cats?

Dr. Mark is a veterinarian with over 40 years of experience in the field. He works with dogs, cats, exotics, and livestock.

Choosing the right foods to keeping your cat indoors are two ways to help prevent him or her from being infected with Toxoplasma gondii.

Choosing the right foods to keeping your cat indoors are two ways to help prevent him or her from being infected with Toxoplasma gondii.

The most common answer to this question is that you prevent your cat from eating raw meat and consuming the toxoplasmosis cyst (Toxoplasma gondii forms cysts in its hosts).

Choose the Right Food

Moist cat food is the best diet for your pet, and although some veterinarians and parasitologists recommend never feeding raw meat of any kind, the truth is that the parasite is not present in factory-farmed chickens and the best thing to do would be to avoid raw pork. (1)

Keep Your Cat Indoors

The other important way to prevent toxoplasmosis spread in your cat is by keeping him or her inside and not letting him out to hunt and eat rats and mice; such rodents are a much more common way of spreading the disease. If your cat becomes infected, he or she is a danger to pregnant or immunosuppressed people.

Toxoplasmosis is difficult to diagnose and treat, and at least one third or more of the human population on earth have been infected. (2) It can cause problems for you and your cat so should be prevented.

Sources:

  1. Dubey, J. P., Hill, D. E., Jones, J. L., Hightower, A. W., Kirkland, E., Roberts, J. M., Marcet, P. L., Lehmann, T., Vianna, M. C., Miska, K., Sreekumar, C., Kwok, O. C., Shen, S. K., & Gamble, H. R. (2005). Prevalence of viable Toxoplasma gondii in beef, chicken, and pork from retail meat stores in the United States: risk assessment to consumers. The Journal of parasitology, 91(5), 1082–1093. https://doi.org/10.1645/GE-683.1 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16419752/
  2. Johnson AM. The incidence of anti-toxoplasma antibody in the Australian population. Med J Aust. 1979 Jun 2;1(11):527. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/470719/

This article is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from your veterinarian. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

© 2022 Mark dos Anjos DVM