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Don't potty-train your cat?
January 31, 2013 11:34 AM   Subscribe

Help me find a comment made on a cat-related post sometime in recent years. The gist of the comment was, "Don't potty-train your cat, cat feces is uniquely toxic to the environment when disposed of through the sewers." It contained a link to a page supposedly backing that claim up. (I don't recall whether it was a joke or not, FWIW.)
posted by jbickers to MetaFilter-Related at 11:34 AM (19 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

Here?
posted by Admiral Haddock at 11:56 AM on January 31, 2013


Although the linked blog is now offline, it seems.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 11:57 AM on January 31, 2013


Toxoplasmosis is the culprit, and was considered the cause of death of 13% of dead sea otters studied by UC Davis between 1998 to 2004.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:05 PM on January 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


On the other hand it was considered the cause of death of 0% of live sea otters studied in that same period.
posted by Think_Long at 12:11 PM on January 31, 2013 [13 favorites]


Y R THEY HIDING THE ZOMBIE OTTER MENACE?!!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:13 PM on January 31, 2013 [2 favorites]


A thought on the toxoplasmosis issue. We just got a pair of kittens, and I asked about toxoplasmosis when we took them in for their checkup. The vet told us that toxoplasmosis is really only an issue in feral, outdoor, and indoor/outdoor cats. Cats that are indoor cats their whole lives are almost never carriers.
posted by valkyryn at 12:16 PM on January 31, 2013


valkyryn: The vet told us that toxoplasmosis is really only an issue in feral, outdoor, and indoor/outdoor cats.

That's just what the toxoplasmosis wants you to think.
posted by Rock Steady at 12:21 PM on January 31, 2013 [9 favorites]


Completely random, but Toxoplasma gondii always makes me think of Michel Gondry.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:35 PM on January 31, 2013 [2 favorites]


Yeah, not a joke, and bad for sea mammals that can become infected with toxo.
posted by gingerbeer at 2:37 PM on January 31, 2013


My comment here also mentions it and both of my links, (including one to the NRDC) are working! Definitely not a joke.
posted by two lights above the sea at 4:14 PM on January 31, 2013


Kittens or otters?

Don't make me choose.
posted by running order squabble fest at 4:46 PM on January 31, 2013 [2 favorites]


You don't have to choose. Get puppies, too. They'll be all too happy to eat your kitten's poo.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:05 PM on January 31, 2013 [6 favorites]


Another reason: it's a pain for anyone you have working in your bathroom and the cat wanders over to stare. While it's neat that it can perch on a toilet seat, it can't say "Hey, I'm just being a curious cat and wondering what you're doing!" or "RICK RICK RICK GET OUT GOTTA POO!!$1&*!!"
posted by CKmtl at 5:13 PM on January 31, 2013 [3 favorites]


Two lights above the sea, your comment was the one I was remembering (I kinda remembered the link in question being green and white). Thank you!
posted by jbickers at 5:35 PM on January 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


Here is a good summary of the issue,
Kitty Litter Killer: Toxoplasma gondii (PDF)
Toxoplasma gondii, which is transmitted through cat feces, has neurological effects on other mammals. When kitty litter i s flushed down the toilet, parasitic spores end up in the ocean where mammals such as sea otters ingest the spores. These spores alter the mammals’ brain functions causing them to approach their natural predators rather than avoid them. This has been leading to a decline in sea otter population. This is a serious issue that can be solved by educating the public about the proper ways to dispose of kitty litter.
posted by Blasdelb at 3:22 AM on February 1, 2013


(Toxoplasmosis aside, the idea of cats using the human-people toilet feels weird to me. Like, thumbcat weird. But that could just be me.)
posted by running order squabble fest at 3:39 AM on February 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Glad I could help!
posted by two lights above the sea at 6:25 AM on February 1, 2013


The vet told us that toxoplasmosis is really only an issue in feral, outdoor, and indoor/outdoor cats.

Yes, but if mommycat was an outdoor cat and fed the kittens a delicious outdoor treat before you adopted, I believe your (or rather, my) indoor-only kitty could still have toxoplasma. I think.
posted by maryr at 8:26 AM on February 1, 2013


We just got a pair of kittens, and I asked about toxoplasmosis when we took them in for their checkup. The vet told us that toxoplasmosis is really only an issue in feral, outdoor, and indoor/outdoor cats. Cats that are indoor cats their whole lives are almost never carriers.

Toxoplasmosis is also geography-specific. As in, it can be totally not a problem in one place (say, anywhere in freezing cold Scandinavia or in much of the American west) but a really pervasive problem in other places (like France).

This is a reason you see wildly different recommendations about whether, for example, pregnant women should eat uncooked lettuce. In France, where there is a real toxoplasmosis problem, pregnant ladies are discouraged from eating salad. It's one of those things that people love to point at to prove that safety and health recommendations during pregnancy are bananas! and arbitrary! and should all be tossed out! Alternately: Their lettuce is all covered in a somewhat dangerous protozoa and ours isn't.
posted by purpleclover at 6:57 PM on February 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


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