Coccidia are simple single-celled organisms – but they have it all. They are distributed worldwide, come in a variety of subspecies, and are highly contagious. In most cases, sick animals suffer from diarrhea. Man is not immune from them either.
Coccidiosis in Cats
- Coccidia is a parasitic unicellular organism and settles in the intestines of the host (dogs and cats).
- If a healthy cat is infected with coccidia, this can lead to severe bloody diarrhea.
- Infestation is particularly dangerous for young animals.
- Adult cats can sometimes cope with an infection without medication.
- Some coccidia species can also be transmitted to humans.
What is Coccidia?
Coccidia is unicellular spore animals that belong to the protozoa. They nest in the cells of the intestinal mucosa and hollow them out completely. They reproduce very quickly and asexually. Female coccidia calls themselves oocysts and is particularly resistant. Surrounded by a protective membrane, the cat excretes them in the feces. There she waits for the next host to offer himself.
How Can Your Cat Get Infected With Coccidia?
Parasites spread by migrating from one host to another. Coccidia attacks popular cat prey such as mice and birds. If Kitty comes into contact with contaminated animals on her forays, the risk of becoming infected is high. Infection is also possible through the feces of the host animals. Another way of infection is through other cats. If several velvet paws live in one household, they all quickly become infected. Coccidia is highly contagious and can also be transmitted via saliva.
What are the Symptoms of Coccidia?
Since the small parasites attack the intestinal walls, the digestive tract suffers particularly. This leads to diarrhea, which often lasts for several days. There are no other symptoms. However, if the animal’s organism does not manage to defend itself on its own, diarrhea will get worse. In this case, dehydration from lack of water, weakness, and weight loss also occurs. A fever is also possible. Young animals are often not yet stable enough to defend themselves against the parasites. In this case, the disease may take a serious turn. Only in the rarest of cases can coccidia lead to death.
Is Coccidia Transferable to Humans?
There are many subspecies of the nasty spore animals. Some specialize in specific host animals. Unfortunately, most coccidia species can also be transferred to the human organism. The transmission usually takes place through infected textiles, for example, contaminated clothing or the cozy blanket. Just as often, the parasites migrate from one host to another via the skin. If you stroke your infected cat, you run the risk of becoming infected as well.
How Can Coccidia Be Treated?
Healthy, adult cats will easily fight off an infestation themselves. Diarrhea can occur for a few days. In many cases, however, an infection even goes unnoticed. In young animals, on the other hand, the immune system is not yet strong enough. You need support in defense. The vet will then do a rapid coccidial test and prescribe appropriate medication. These are tailored to the body weight and general condition of the animal. After a few days of therapy with coccidia, the cat is out of the woods.
Do Not Forget Hygiene Measures
In order to avoid further spread or transmission, the coccidia must be killed. Hygiene is the best means to an end. All textiles that the cat has come into contact with should be put in the washing machine. The parasites do not survive temperatures above 55 ° C. Anything that cannot be washed can be cleaned with a steam cleaner. In this way, the culprits can be reliably killed.
Coccidia? Once and Never Again!
Once the kitten is attacked by coccidia, it will be protected for life. The animal’s immune system builds up a highly effective protective mechanism against the nasty parasites. Because coccidia is so common, infection is common in a cat’s life.