Sunday, March 08, 2009

Cats can rot your brain

How would you feel if your brain was rotting away thanks to someone else's pet? Would you care if the pet was cute and cuddly, or would you just want the pet to go away?

This is a real problem, although mostly not for people. Sea otters are being killed by a parasite that causes a brain disease. It's Toxoplasma gondii and it's the reason pregnant women aren't supposed to change cat litter boxes.

Cats appear to shed the parasite eggs in their poop and freshewater runoff carries the eggs into the ocean where they infect and sometimes kill sea otters.

It'll be tough to save sea otters when they're competing with cats for love.


Latitude 43 said...

We need more chinese restaurants :)

equa yona(Big Bear) said...

Jeez Paul and Deb, just a little racist, no?

Good Things Green Things said...

Here's another article about this. It's from 2003, but it has a list of things that cat owners can do to help control the parasite.

Does anyone know if there is a treatment you can give your cats to rid them of this, or if it affects other otters? We have them here in Minnesota and I would hate for them to be affected by it too. Take care.