Cats need to use a litter box, but be careful how you dispose of used kitty litter. That’s because cats are the only known hosts of Toxoplasma, in which the parasite forms egg-like stages, called oocysts, in their feces. Scientists have found that oocysts accumulate in kelp forests, where snails take them up. Sea otters then eat the snails.
While up to 70% of sea otters may be infected, the disease is only fatal in a small minority of sea otters. Still, be careful how you dispose of kitty litter to keep your cat’s feces from infecting wildlife. Don’t dispose of kitty litter outdoors or flush it down the toilet. Dump used kitty litter in the trash and help keep sea otters safe.
To learn more about how cat feces can infect sea otters, click here.