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LennyDVM, Veterinarian
Category: Cat
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Experience:  30 years as owner of a mobile practice treating dogs, cats, horses and other pets.
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Does deworming a cat get rid of any possible toxoplasma gondii

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Does deworming a cat get rid of any possible toxoplasma gondii? I read about the link between this type of parasite found in cats and schizophrenia and am worried about such possibilities.My cat lives in an apartment and does not go out. He also uses the litter kwitter and poos directly into the toilet bowl. All I do is wipe his butt and flush the toilet.Inspite of this, I am worried as schizophrenia is a terrible disease
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  LennyDVM replied 8 years ago.

Clindamycin, an antibiotic is used to treat Toxoplasma. Dewormers are not effective against this type of parasite.


Toxoplasma gondii is a protozoa. The definitive host is the cat, but it infects most species of warm blooded animals. The parasite (oocysts) goes through the wall of the intestines and invades tissue of infected animals. It encysts in the tissue and is transmitted to other animals and humans when the encysted form is eaten. Meat and raw milk (not exposure to cats) is the primary source of infection in humans.


Cats, as the definitive host, can pass oocysts in the feces. It takes the oocysts 1-5 days to become infective. This is important because if cat feces are removed from litter boxes promptly, they do not transmit Toxoplasma. Since your cat uses the toilet, there is no exposure to Toxoplasma from the cat. In addition, an infected cat only sheds oocysts for 2-3 weeks. After that, they are infectious only if someones eats the cat. Cats that have been infected develop antibodies against Toxoplasma. If they are positive, they are not likely to be reinfected and therefore will not shed oocysts in the feces.



  • If you flush your cats feces within 24 hours, they are not a source of infection.
  • The greatest risk of infection is from handling and eating undercooked meat and raw milk.


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