Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Parasite prevalence survey in shelter cats in Citrus County, Florida.

Abstract

Free-roaming cat population estimates within the United States currently range from 10 to 114 million individual cats. Zoonotic parasites of free-roaming cats are public health concerns; therefore, it is important to investigate the parasite prevalence in these populations. Seventy-six fecal samples from shelter cats in Citrus County, FL were surveyed for parasites using the Sheather's sugar centrifugal flotation method. The objective was to determine the prevalence of patent gastrointestinal parasitism in the sampled shelter cats as a proxy for parasite prevalence in the free-roaming cat populations in the area. Parasites identified with zoonotic potential include Toxocara cati, Ancylostoma sp., Spirometra sp., Mesocestoides sp., Cryptosporidium sp., and Giardia sp. Both tapeworms detected can infect humans, but are not directly transmissible from cats to people. Other parasite diagnostic stages found included Aonchotheca putorii eggs, Cystoisospora felis and Cystoisospora rivolta oocysts, and Sarcocystis sp. sporocysts. The mites Lynxacarus radovskyi and Notoedres cati were detected in feces likely from ingestion while grooming.