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Hawaii's Crazy War Over Zombie Cats

Stashed in: Lolcats!, Zombies!, Hawaii

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In the gut of a felid!

There was something else about toxo that made it especially creepy, in a Walking Dead kind of way. For starters, the perpetrating protozoa, T. gondii, can sexually reproduce only in the gut of a felid, a member of the cat family. An infected felid excretes the protozoa in the form of microscopic oocysts, and a single felid can poop out hundreds of millions of oocysts, although only one is needed to infect another animal. If a rat then consumes an oocyst, the protozoa can take over the rat’s brain and make it lose all fear of cats. Studies report toxo-infected rats cavorting in cat urine. Cats consume such rats easily, enabling T. gondii to replicate again.

Okay, that's scary.

Also the photo is a sea lion not a zombie cat, right?

It's a photo of a seal stricken with toxo.  This story is so so sad!  

Yes, so sad. Is there any cure for toxo?

What the article never mentions is the effect removing the cats will have on the rat population. The rats here are very prolific. Poisons do not keep them under control the way cats do. We put out rat poison all around our property and had rats everywhere. Got a pair of cats, now the rats are gone to someone else's property. Take away the cats and you have a bigger health crisis with an exploding rat population.

That's a really good point. There are consequences so this problem is even bigger than it seems. 

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