PermaLink The cat-poop/otter connection 02/19/2006 03:58 PM

As one who has both cats and a strong affinity for otters, the news that a small parasite common in cat turds could be killing sea otters has me puzzled.
Did anyone else see this?  Apparently there's a connection between cat poop and deaths in California sea otters.  Since I'm on the other side of the country from the otters, I can't see that my cats are a likely source of injury, but this disturbs me.  The rise in cat populations, particularly feral cats, is a direct result of the rise in human populations, so it's really (as usual) human overpopulation killing otters.  I've been an otter fan for many years -- my Saab's license plate read OTTERRR for quite a few years.  I've been a cat fan even longer.

I haven't got any great answers, just puzzlement.
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1. Turtle02/21/2006 02:47:24 PM
Homepage: http://htt

As a longtime cat owner, I can assure you that my cats have never taken a dump in the ocean. Half the time, they can't even hit the catbox, so them managing to make it 2600 miles to the Pacific would be an amazing stunt indeed.

I'm not sure how they figured that the toxoplasmosis parasite could only have sourced from cats... I mean, how does something like that survive in the open ocean? Then again, if it can survive in cats' butts...

2. Declan Lynch02/19/2006 05:18:35 PM

Ah, somebody somewhere will figure out a way to stop cats pooping in the sea

How did they make this connection? Just because the parasite is common in cat poop it doesn't mean it's the only source for the parasite.

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