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3 Ways Your Cat’s Litter Affects Your Health

Cats are fantastic companions, and even though they often tend to be more independent than dogs, they still need (and sometimes demand) a human’s love and care. They are also one of the most common household pets, and it normal for them to have their litter boxes inside; but have you ever stopped to think about how their litter box could potentially affect your health?

The most obvious reason to clean your cat’s litter box regularly is that the feces could pose a risk to your cat’s health, including urinary tract diseases such as UDI, bladder inflammation, and kidney blockage, Easyology Pets reports. And although your beloved pet will probably show symptoms that something’s wrong with their health first, dirty litter boxes can also have an effect on humans; this could be anything from bacterial infections to an overexposure of ammonia which can result in headaches and an upset stomach, or in extreme incidents could lead to respiratory problems.

But, arguably, the worst side effect could be parasite transfer. Cat feces can contain the parasite Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii), which many people have heard of, and know this is the reason pregnant women should not go anywhere near cat litter. But this parasite doesn’t only affect fetuses or those with weakened immune systems, although Health Day claims few people notice the effects because their immune system keeps them healthy and stops the parasite from causing illness, but this parasite can also affect the brain.

According to a study titled Risky business: linking Toxoplasma gondii infection and entrepreneurship behaviors across individuals and countries, around 2 billion people are infected with Toxoplasma gondii, and the parasite has “been linked to behavioral alterations in humans and other vertebrates.”

The results were primarily focused on how people interacted in a business environment but ultimately found that the conclusion could “highlight the linkage between parasitic infection and complex human behaviors, including those relevant to business, entrepreneurship and economic productivity.”

If you’re concerned about your cat’s health, as well as your own, it’s best to ensure that their litter box is kept clean at all times.

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