Cat poop is a hot topic among gardeners in particular and it is the topic of conversation among gardeners and homeowners the world over. With so many problems that having a local cat population invading your garden can bring it is clear why there is so much varied advice available on whether cats are a problem, what to do about them and even what to do about cat poop and urine!
The cat poop issue is of particular interest to gardeners and families with young children. With many of us being of the opinion that it can be dangerous to humans. This is one of the most common reasons many people give for not wanting cats to visit their gardens and yards.
So how dangerous is it? Does it pose a toxic risk to humans and in particular children as we are led to believe?
Is Cat Poop A Problem?
There are many, many reasons that people find cat poop to be a particular problem. Without even taking the dangers into consideration it simply isn’t pleasant to have your garden scattered with faeces and to find yourself covered in smelly and sticky poop every time you mow the lawn or weed your flower beds and borders.
And that isn’t the only problem! Cats are territorial and they might look cute and fluffy but they have a strong set of needle sharp teeth and claws that no one wants to be on the wrong end of! They can also pose a problem to people with allergies and even their urine can have a highly strong smell that isn’t pleasant to have scenting your garden.
So cats, in general, can pose a problem to many people and their poop, in particular, being a particular irritation to many gardeners and families.
What Types Of Parasites And Bacteria Does Cat Poop Contain?
The most well-known issue with cat poop is that it can contain toxoplasmosis which is one of the more common and dangerous infections that you can get from cat poop. Not all cats will have this parasite present in their faeces and you can also pick this up from other places such as in infected meat.
As with all faeces, there are also a number of harmful bacterias and parasites that might be present to watch out for. In cats, in particular, you need to watch out for different varieties of worms including roundworm, hookworm and even tapeworm. These can cause a variety of problems in humans if passed on.
There are a number of other parasites that cats can pick up which could be present in their poop so there seems like there is much to worry about when it comes to the poop in your garden!
Eating flies or other insects can end up with them with Coccidia or if they eat another cats infected faeces could end up with Giardia!
It is worth mentioning that not all cats will have these parasites present and there is a good chance that the cat pooping in your garden is perfectly healthy and you won’t suffer any problems but it can be difficult to know which is why so many gardeners prefer to err on the side of caution.
Is Cat Poop Toxic?
As with any faeces from any animal, including humans, there is the potential that faeces contains some nasty bugs and infections that could prove toxic to both animals and humans.
For the most part most healthy people won’t suffer any ill effects or if they do it will be a mild sickness or bug but when it comes to children, pregnant women and those with underlying medical issues a bug picked up from faeces can make them seriously ill. That is when cat poop has the potential to be toxic.
What Is Toxoplasmosis And What Are The Symptoms?
Toxoplasmosis is the bacteria that gets talked about most often when talking about cat poop and the dangers and for good reason. This is a nasty parasite that cats are particularly good at hosting and it can often infect a cat without giving it any medical issues or symptoms at all. It isn’t until this single cell organism gets passed through and into the cat’s faeces that it then becomes a potential issue for humans as for us this parasite can cause a problem.
Toxoplasmosis won’t necessarily cause people a problem and many people won’t show any symptoms at all. Those who do find this parasite making them ill might exhibit some of the following symptoms.
• A high temperature and fever
• Achy muscles
• Being fatigued
• A sore throat
• Swollen glands
• General feeling of being unwell
Luckily most people get better on their own within a few weeks and this doesn’t lead to too many problems. However for some people, children and pregnant women it can be a much more serious problem that will need a doctor’s advice.
Is Cat Poop Dangerous?
This isn’t a simple question to answer as the answer is dependent on so many things. If the cat is healthy, their faeces is likely to be healthy and less likely to be infested with too many nasty, harmful bacteria and parasites.
If someone healthy with no medical issues comes into contact with cat faeces they are unlikely to have too many problems even if there are some bacterias and infections present. However, that isn’t always the case and occasionally cat faeces and it’s contents can prove to be dangerous. This is especially true with anyone with a weakened immune system, young children and pregnant women.
It is always best to be cautious and limit your contact to any faeces, not just cat poop! All faces can contain bacteria and nasty bugs that can make you ill so if you do come across poop then its best to wash your hands very thoroughly afterwards.
What Can I Do About Cat Poop?
If cat poop is a problem in your garden then there are lots of methods to try and deter cats from coming into your property. You can try natural scents that cats dislike, barriers and cat proof fences and so much more!