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Is There A Disease That Makes Us Love Cats

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Treatment And Home Remedies For Vestibular Disease In Cats

Is there a disease that makes us love cats? – Jaap de Roode

Feline vestibular disease treatment depends on the cause of your cat’s specific case, making it vitally important to bring your cat to a vet if you notice symptoms and especially if these symptoms do not go away within a few days.

If the vestibular disease is caused by an ear infection or hypertension, for example, it can be treated with medication. Thiamine deficiency can be treated by adding thiamine supplements to your cat’s diet. Other causes, such as nasopharyngeal polyps, may require surgical treatment. If the cause of your cat’s vestibular disease is unknown, says Graham, your vet will be able to offer anti-nausea medication and advice on how to ensure your cat’s comfort.

At home, after you’ve seen the vet, Graham says that the best thing you can do is provide supportive care. This includes keeping your cat comfortable and safefor example, blocking off entry to stairs and removing objects they may fall intoand ensuring that they eat. Medications to treat nausea will also help keep your cat comfortable. In most cases with unknown causes, your cat can fully recover from feline vestibular disease with time and your love and support.

New Light Cast On The ‘crazy Cat Lady’ Parasite

Swiss scientists say Toxoplasma gondii – the parasite long believed to cause a ‘fatal feline attraction’ amongst mice – actually causes the rodents to lose their fear of a wide range of threats, not just cats. Their testing showed mice infected with the parasite were less fearful of human hands, a dead rat, and guinea pig and fox smells. The infected rodents were also more adventurous when it came to exploring mazes and displayed a decrease in general anxiety.

Journal/conference: Cell Reports

Link to research :10.1016/j.celrep.2019.12.019

Organisation/s: University of Geneva, Switzerland

Funder:

How Is Toxoplasmosis Treated

Treatment for toxoplasmosis varies based on a child’s age and general health. Otherwise healthy kids don’t usually need medicine, since toxoplasmosis goes away on its own in a few weeks or months. Babies with congenital toxoplasmosis and kids with weakened immune systems will need to take anti-parasite medicine.

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Is There A Disease That Makes Us Love Cats

eScienceCommons | July 13, 2016

Science, Research, Emory College, Biology

Documented human cases of a disease called toxoplasmosis go back as far as ancient Egypt. The condition is caused by a parasite that can only reproduce in the intestines of cats. Today about one-third of the worlds population is infected with toxoplamosis, but most people who have it will never know it.

Emory evolutionary biologist Jaap de Roode, whose research focuses on the co-evolution of parasites and their hosts, worked with animators and writers at TED-ED to create the video lesson, above. Watch it to get a brief overview of what is known about toxoplasmosis, and some of the big questions that remain.

The Link Between Cats Your Brain And Your Behaviour

Watch: Is There A Disease That Makes People Love Cats ...

Do you consider yourself to be a cat person? Does your ideal future involve surrounding yourself with fluffy, contented feline friends? If youve ever owned a cator been in contact with undercooked meat, or unwashed vegetablesyou may be carrying a parasite called;Toxoplasma gondii.

If you do, youre not aloneroughly one-third of the worlds population is thought to carry it. This parasite can cause an infection known as toxoplasmosis, which is generally thought to cause only;mild flu-like effects in most people, though it can also cause serious inflammatory conditions of the eyes.

It is perhaps most famous for some of its claimed effects on human behaviour. Toxoplasmosis infections have been associated with an increase in aggressive and impulsive behaviours, a reduced perception of risk, and an increased probability of developing psychotic symptoms . It is possible that the parasites effects on dopamine and testosterone may be responsible. Its also possible that people who already have certain personality traits or brain disorders are just more likely to become infected.

Its even been recently linked to a higher likelihood of pursuing an entrepreneurial career. Once again, this doesnt necessarily mean T. gondii infection causes an entrepreneurial spiritperhaps those with a lower fear of failure are just more likely to eat undercooked meat or care for cats, or there may be other outside factors involved.

T. gondiiT. gondii

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How A Cat Parasite Can Change Your Personality

A new study suggests that infection with the cat-borne parasite Toxoplasma gondii could make people more risk-prone and likely to start their own business.

As humans who still inherit Enlightenments worship of rationality, we like to think that our decisions are autonomous and driven by reason alone.

However, science seems to contradict this popular belief. More and more research is showing that microorganisms such as bacteria and viruses influence our behavior and emotional states.

For instance, the bacteria in our guts may be responsible for states of anxiety and depression. Conversely, other studies have shown that some probiotic bacteria may relieve the effects of stress.

Now, a new study suggests that infection with the cat-borne parasite Toxoplasma gondii could make people change their behavior so that they become more prone to business and entrepreneurial ventures.

Stefanie K. Johnson, an associate professor at the University of Colorado Boulders Leeds School of Business, co-led the research in collaboration with Pieter Johnson, a professor in CU Boulders Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.

The findings were published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

parasite that is, a single-celled microorganism that can reproduce itself that usually infects wild and domestic cats.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , the parasite infects of the population of the United States over the age of 6.

Studies in

Can Toxoplasmosis Be Prevented

To help prevent toxoplasmosis in your family:

  • Cook meats thoroughly to kill germs. Cook whole meat to at least 145ºF. There should be no pink areas and juices should be clear. Cook ground meat to at least 160ºF, and poultry to at least 165ºF.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water after handling raw meat or unwashed vegetables, or gardening outside.
  • Wash all fruits and vegetables before serving. You may also want to peel them.
  • Wash all utensils well with soap and warm water.
  • Don’t drink untreated water or unpasteurized milk.
  • Teach children the importance of washing hands well and often to prevent infection.
  • Close outdoor sandboxes, especially overnight, to prevent wandering cats from using it as a litterbox.

If you have a cat:

  • Change its litterbox daily. T Gondii eggs aren’t infectious until at least a day after a cat poops. If you are pregnant, have someone else change the litterbox daily.
  • Keep it indoors to prevent it from getting toxoplasmosis from the soil or from small infected animals it eats.
  • Don’t feed it raw meat.

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Do Brain Parasites Make Me Love My Cat

by Alison Hudson

Your brain is home to millions of protozoa, but one in particular, called Toxoplasma gondii, manipulates your behavior to force you to like cats.This parasite, which lives in 30 to 50 percent of the world’s human brains, can only reproduce in the digestive tracts of cats. And, like many living things, it wants to continue surviving, so it has to continue reproducing. But if it lives in human brains, how can it reproduce? Enter cats.Scientists studied the behavior of T. gondii in the brain of a rodent, an animal normally petrified by cats, and uncovered extraordinary results.T. gondii manipulated a rodent’s brain to remove the rodent’s fear of cats, slow the rodent’s reaction time, and made the rodent attracted to the smell of cat piss. Now, the newly-brave, manipulated rat thinks it can befriend its mortal enemy, and it can’t. The rat still gets eaten.

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How Your Cat Is Making You Crazy

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Jaroslav Flegr is no kook. And yet, for years, he suspected his mind had been taken over by parasites that had invaded his brain. So the prolific biologist took his science-fiction hunch into the lab. What hes now discovering will startle you. Could tiny organisms carried by house cats be creeping into our brains, causing everything from car wrecks to schizophrenia?

No one would accuse Jaroslav Flegr of being a conformist. A self-described sloppy dresser, the 53-year-old Czech scientist has the contemplative air of someone habitually lost in thought, and his still-youthful, square-jawed face is framed by frizzy red hair that encircles his head like a ring of fire.

Certainly Flegrs thinking is jarringly unconventional. Starting in the early 1990s, he began to suspect that a single-celled parasite in the protozoan family was subtly manipulating his personality, causing him to behave in strange, often self-destructive ways. And if it was messing with his mind, he reasoned, it was probably doing the same to others.

Whats more, many experts think T. gondii may be far from the only microscopic puppeteer capable of pulling our strings. My guess is that there are scads more examples of this going on in mammals, with parasites weve never even heard of, says Sapolsky.

The parasite T. gondii, seen here, may be changing connections between our neurones, altering how we act and feel.

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What Can We Do

Some 700,000 feral cats and another 2.7 million pet cats roam our towns and suburbs acting as reservoirs of these diseases.

There are no human vaccines for these diseases. Treatment for T. gondii infection in cats isnt considered useful because cats usually shed the oocysts without the owner even realising the cat has the parasite. Cats can be treated to rid them of roundworm, but treatment for B. henselae may not be effective.

But if youre a cat owner, there are some things you can do. Keeping pet cats indoors or in a securely contained outdoor area could reduce the chance your pet will contract or pass on a disease-causing pathogen.

Cats should be kept out of veggie gardens and childrens sandpits. Washing hands after handling kitty litter and gardening, and washing vegetables thoroughly, can also reduce the risk of transmission.

As T. gondii can be contracted from infected meat, cooking meat well before eating, and not feeding raw meat to pets, can also help.

Read more:One cat, one year, 110 native animals: lock up your pet, it’s a killing machine

The urban feral cat resevoir could be reduced by preventing access to food sources such as farm sites, rubbish bins and tips. We could do this with improved waste management and fencing.

People shouldnt feed feral cats, as this can lead to cat colony formation, where infection rates are also higher.

Pet cats should also be desexed to prevent unwanted litters that end up as free-roaming ferals.

Are Cats Responsible For Cat Ladies

The strange neuroscience of Toxo

We all know that person. Her Instagram is covered with more pictures of feline friends than human companions. Not an insignificant number of these pictures feature mini cat-sized lattes with the caption Fluffy simply adores her morning coffee. And let us not forget that the archetype of;crazy cat man;may be just as prevalent. When you look at these pictures, you probably wonder: is he like this because of the cat? Or does he have the cat because he is like this?

It turns out that cats have a mischievous and somewhat dark reputation in neuroscience. There is research to suggest that a cats proximity to other mammals can cause them to behave strangely. This feline power has been attributed to a protozoan that lives in their stool, called Toxoplasma gondii . In one classic story, researchers showed that Toxo can travel into a rats brain and cause the rat to no longer avoid areas where cats live. The rats, in fact, become attracted to the smell of cat urine. Previously repulsed by the smell, these brain-infected rodents run joyously through urine-laden environments. They walk right through the cats trap, until their young rodent lives come to an end under a forceful paw.

Sois a cat sipping a latte on Instagram bizarre? Certainly. But its not Fluffy’s fault. He didnt ask for any of this , and its time to clear his name.

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Parasite May Reduce Rational Fear Of Failure

Stefanie K. Johnson reflects on the meaning of these findings, saying, We can see the association in terms of the number of businesses and the intent of participants, but we dont know if the businesses started by T. gondii-positive individuals are more likely to succeed or fail in the long run.

New ventures have high failure rates, so a fear of failure is quite rational. T. gondii might just reduce that rational fear.

Stefanie K. Johnson

Pieter Johnson also chimes in, saying, Infectious diseases have strongly shaped human history and culture over millions of years.

Today, we like to believe our decisions and destiny are ours alone, but the contributing roles of our microscopic companions are increasingly apparent.

Handle Stray Cats With Care

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Now that we have gone through all the potential diseases a stray cat may have, it is time to talk about prevention. Again, remember that getting sick merely from touching a stray cat is extremely rare. Among the diseases you can catch, they all require something more than just casual contact.

The rule of the day for preventing disease is to simply handle stray cats with care. Never approach a stray cat under the assumption that it is completely healthy. It is always better to be safe than sorry. If the animal does not display any visible signs of disease, you may proceed with caution. As you get closer, look for anything out of the ordinary.

Any physical contact with a stray cat should be followed by thorough hand washing. If the animal came in contact with your clothes, you might consider washing them as well especially if the animal showed any signs of ringworm. Definitely wear gloves if you see patches of lost hair with red rings in the center.

In the unlikely event you do catch something after coming in contact with a stray cat, dont hesitate to see your own doctors as soon as possible. Neither bartonellosis nor toxoplasmosis are cause for panic, but you should still be treated anyway. As for rabies, that is a different matter. Early treatment of rabies virtually guarantees you will not get sick. But if rabies is left untreated, it can be fatal.

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Putting It All Together

If we accept T. gondii infections do increase the risk of car accidents, suicides and schizophrenia, then considering the incidence of these accidents and health issues in Australia, without T. gondii, we estimate we could potentially avoid:

  • 200 deaths and 6,500 hospitalisations due to car accidents

  • 300 suicides and 4,500 suicide attempts

  • 800 schizophrenia diagnoses each year.

Combining deaths from car accidents and suicide with the 50 deaths from acute toxoplasmosis, we reach a total of 550 deaths related to T. gondii infection per year.

The hospitalisation total for T. gondii includes 650 for acute toxoplasmosis, 50 for congenitally infected babies, 6,500 for car accidents, and 800 for schizophrenia. We didnt include hospitalisations for suicide attempts, as we didnt have statistics on that. So this could be a conservative estimate, notwithstanding the fact there are other factors involved in car accidents and mental health issues.

Signs Theyre Not Cat Love Bites

Obviously, love bites arent the only type ofbites you could receive from your feline friend, but as we already established,lots of owners mistake one for the other.

Its not a love bite when:

  • The bitescause a significant amount of pain
  • Your catseems to be punishing you out of anger
  • Before thebiting happens, your cat hisses, growls, or have dilated eyes

In such cases where your cat isnt being veryfriendly, you should pull the plug on the cuddling schedule, put down your cat,and try to distract it with a treat or a toy until it cools off.

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Feline Lower Urinary Tract Diseases

Feline lower urinary tract disease is a group of cat diseases with multiple reasons. It is common in both male and female cats and usually occurs in overweight or unfit cats or who eat dry food. Stress and a multi-cat household can also raise a cats risk of FLUTD. FLUTD symptoms include:

  • Straining to urinate
  • Licking around the urinary area
  • Dehydration
  • plantigrade stance

Tips To Prevent Infection During Pregnancy

10 Most Common Diseases in Cats
  • Eat only well-cooked meat and drink only safe water.
  • Wash your hands well after any exposure to soil , sandboxes, or raw meat.
  • Wash fresh fruits and vegetables to reduce soil contamination.
  • Cover sandboxes and play areas to prevent wildlife and stray cats from contaminating these areas.
  • Keep cats indoors to minimize their risk of infection.
  • Feed cats only commercial cat food or well-cooked meat.
  • Choose adult cats as pets.
  • Have a spouse, partner or friend change the litter box. If changing the litter is unavoidable, wear gloves and change it daily. Be certain to wash hands well after changing the litter.
  • Pick up cat feces from the yard daily.
  • Take your cat to the veterinarian regularly and have your cat tested for parasites at least yearly.
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