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Cat Toilet Training Journal

Since people keep asking, no, he didn't flush.

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Cats will use a communal midden unless they're sick. I guess he figured, since you're all family, and that's where you go.. he'll do it there too.

Look at it this way, beats scooping litter.

I dunno, are you sure parts of your garden don't belong to some alternative reality? One where alt.Ursula is much more organised or something... [although, probably not a successful author, the two things do seem to be mutually exclusive.]

comes from what I read once, and since then, I never flush cat poop.

It seems that if a cat has at one time caught and eaten a small animal that happens to carry the toxoplasma gondii parasite, they are carriers and can transmit the bug. If it gets into the waterway by being flushed, sea otters can be infected with toxoplasma gondii. This may seem to be a longshot, but it's a very sad situation if it happens. And I think most of us here love sea otters, right?

The danger is and has always been to pregnant women—specifically their unborn fetuses—which is why pregnant woman are cautioned never to handle cat feces and preferably to never come in contact with the cat box at all.

Toxoplasmosis is a big problem for sea otters off the coast of California (and probably other places, but being Californian I just hear about the California otters...) Luckily, as Ursula doesn't live anywhere near any sea otter habitat, I think she can safely flush Sergei's poop. ;)

I don't know; even in Trainspotting, one of the characters is killed by toxoplasmosis—and Trainspotting is set in Scotland.

Re: My only concern…

(part 1!)
I'm not sure this will help you, but it's estimated about 50% of the world's population is infected. the US ranges from about 25% to up to 95% in some places. ... Generally speaking, when you become infected, you might get some flu-like symptoms (headaches, fever, fatigue, muscle aches, etc) for a month or so... Generally, it is only young people or immunocompromised people (people with HIV/AIDS, people on some types of chemotherapy, organ transplants, etc who are at any real risk.

Treatment is generally not done unless the person has serious health issues already. In fact, if you have latent Toxoplasmosis (that is: after the initial month or so of infection, and you are simply 'carrying' the parasite) it's impossible to treat.

The character in Trainspotting was HIV-positive, and the story itself took place in the late 80's, when the HIV/AIDS was big, new and growing.

as for the setting in scotland, that's not especially relevant?

THere was a study done of dead sea otters in the early 2000's area, and it was done in california, which showed that Otters were being infected and about 13% of the dead otters they examined had died off it.

That said, the study also showed that dolphins and whales are also infectable. Sea otters are found all over! there are 13 different species. Some of which, yes, are founds in Scotland.

However, i'ts more relevant to note that Toxoplamosis is capable of infecting virtually ALL warm blooded animals.

It's been found in asian primates, it's been found regularly in Pigs, sheep and goats. Seriously, some American pig farms have infection rates of over 92%... (and some have 0%!) ...some chicken, cattle, buffalo, horses too can all be infected. This is how most americans get infected! The animals have little cysts form in their meat and muscle as a result of infection, and if you don't cook the meat well enough to kill what's in the cysts, then you could become infected.

What's more relevant is it's not flushing the cat poop that causes the problem.

See, now I need to get a little more complicated. See: Toxoplasma can INFECT just about any warm blooded critter... They become infected, perhaps from a kitty, perhaps because they ate some infected meat. As they digest, they change into a different form of creature (think of it as reaching puberty, kind of) they invade the tissues, they duplicate, and in most animals, start to form into cysts in the tissues. Then you start the cycle over, just waiting for someone to come along and eat you. :)

This is different when kitty gets involved! If Mister Kitty eats an infected mouse, the process starts the same, but 'puberty' is a little different: Instead of all just 'growing up' they turn into "boy and girl" (to be very very general about it. it's actually bradyzoites turning into asexual tachyzoites and gametocysts that can be male OR female but I think saying 'boy and girl' is easier XD ) ... the boys and girls do what boys and girls do and they merge together to form a baby, which is then packaged up into a tough little package called an oocyst... which is then pooped out by the kitty, and ONLY by kitties! Cats are the only place that the parasite reproduces sexually.

But how does mister mouse get infected? dozens of different ways. Hundreds. The cat's feces can spread to soil, water, food, literally about anything. stepping in the wrong spot then licking your foot, eating grass near poop. (this is why you need to wash your veggies!) rain washing the oocysts to the river and down and out the sea. hundreds of ways to get infected if you're an animal :D

No, the problem is that the poop contains many oocysts that can survive for up to a year without a host. Flushing poop just makes it a little easier to get to the ocean in some places.

WHich is all basically to say: flushing poop might be part of of the problem, but there are plenty of other ways of passing infection along, and a LOT of critters are already infected. Flushing poop is only one, HYPOTHETICAL part of the problem.. if you put the littler in a bag and in a landfill, it can probably still make it's way into the environment.

Re: My only concern…

(part 2!)

Now! One other note:

Remember that mister Kitty got infected because he ate something that was infected.... this means that MY cats, who've never lived outside, are probably NOT infected.

AND! The kitty doesn't poop out an endless stream of oocysts. He only does it once, over a period of about 2 weeks, then probably never does it again.

So... all in all, you probably do more harm having an outdoor cat near a body of water that leads to the ocean than you do flushing your indoor cat's poop once in a while.

ANd personally? I have a septic tank. I'm pretty sure anything I flush in there will die before it can infect anything.

Now if only I could get my cats to POOP in the toilet, rather than try to drink out of it... ugh!

(whee! thank you for the excuse for me to educate myself! I didn't know a lot of what I typed about before just now and it was a lot of fun learning about all this! :D Thank you!!)

Also minor point, while it's in it's 'worm' stage and swimming around in water.. it's actually pretty easy to kill. [see comment below] Most water treatment systems will do it. It's only where raw sewage is being dumped that it's a problem.

And thank you, because I didn't know any of this before, either!

Thanks for all the info! :D

A problem that is easily fixed by adding some bleach to the water before flushing. Seriously, it's not a very competent pathogen and dies easily. [I own cats, and I have a biology degree.]

Re: My only concern…

Marry me!

Well, I'll have to ask the wife... ;)

Re: My only concern…

Minor issue. :P

Well, I'm not Mormon, but hey... pretty sure I could come up my own religion to allow it.

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