Toxoplasma gondii awareness conceptual image. 3D illustration showing Toxoplasma gondii tachyzoites and the cat which is the definitive host of parasites
(Picture Credit: Dr_Microbe/Getty Images)

Toxoplasmosis In Cats: Symptoms, Causes, & Treatments

Toxoplasmosis in cats is a zoonotic disease, meaning the parasite that causes it can spread between animals and humans. The disease occurs in cats when they’re infected by a parasite called Toxoplasma gondii.

Young kittens and cats suffering from immune system issues are particularly at risk for the condition. If you see signs of the infection in your cat, then you must get to a veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and treatment.

Here’s what you should know about the symptoms, causes, and treatments for toxoplasmosis in cats.

Symptoms Of Toxoplasmosis In Cats

Symptoms of toxoplasmosis in cats can have a very wide range and vary from case to case.

Some of the most common symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite and weight loss
  • Inflamed eyes or even blindness
  • Liver disease
  • Jaundice
  • General lethargy and acting withdrawn

Causes Of Toxoplasmosis In Cats

Parasitic protozoans Toxoplasma gondii which cause toxoplasmosis in tachyzoite stage, 3D illustration
(Picture Credit: Dr_Microbe/Getty Images)

The cause of toxoplasmosis in cats is coming into contact with the T. gondii parasite itself or the parasite’s eggs.

Some of the most likely ways this can happen include:

  • Eating infected raw meat
  • Picking up the parasite via soil or water
  • Eating an infected hunted animal
  • Using the same litter box as an infected cat
  • Being scratched or bitten by an infected cat

Treatments For Toxoplasmosis In Cats

If your veterinarian suspects your cat is suffering from toxoplasmosis, they’ll first perform a full physical examination. This will also involve going over the cat’s medical history and asking about any recent incidents that might have contributed to any symptoms.

The vet may also take a laboratory test to look for antibodies, which can help them confirm the diagnosis.

If your vet diagnoses your cat with toxoplasmosis, be aware that there is no current cure for the disease. Instead, vets frequently prescribe antibiotics to help slow down the reproduction of the parasites. As ever, if your vet prescribes antibiotics for your cat, make sure to complete the full course and strictly adhere to the correct dosage.

If you live in a multi-cat household, it is also vital that you take steps to make sure an infected cat does not spread the infection to any other felines. In particular, make sure to keep the litter box area meticulously clean, and always dispose of any cat poop as soon as possible.

Do you take steps to prevent infections like toxoplasmosis in your cat? What are your tips for keeping cats healthy? Let us know in the comments section below!

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