What is toxoplasmosis in cats

Causes: How does the disease come about?

The causative agent of toxoplasmosis in cats is called Toxoplasma gondii. This is a unicellular parasite whose ultimate host is the cat.

That means: the pathogen can only reproduce with their help. It forms so-called oocysts in their intestines, which the cat excretes with the faeces. These become infectious within a few days of excretion.

However, the parasite can also attack intermediate hosts in which it survives but has no chance of reproducing. This basically includes all warm-blooded animals, including humans. That is why toxoplasmosis is one of the zoonoses.

How are toxoplasmas transmitted to cats?

The toxoplasmosis pathogen is transmitted to cats in two ways:

  1. Directly: The infectious oocysts enter the cat's body directly. The cat is either in contact with the faeces of infected animals or with the contaminated environment.
  2. Indirectly: The pathogen can also enter the cat's body via intermediate hosts. These contain inactive forms of toxoplamen (bradyzoites), which become active again in the cat's intestines. Small prey animals of the cat - for example mice - are suitable for this transmission path. The inactive form of toxoplasmosis can also find its way into the cat's body when feeding raw meat.