Toxocara cati

Life Cycle

The lifecycle of T. cati, while complex, is different from that of T. canis in five important ways:

  1. Paratenic hosts, such as mice, play a more significant role in the lifecycle of T. cati because of the more aggressive predatory nature of cats.
  2. Prenatal infection does not occur in the lifecycle of T. cati.
  3. A high percentage of larvae (hatching from ingested infective eggs) undefgo tracheal migration, even in older, mature cats.
  4. Transmammary transmission is the major route of infection for T cati in kittens.  Tissue larvae and larvae acquired during pregnancy will migrate to the mammary glands of lactating queens and be available for nursing kittens throughout the entire lactiation.
  5. A wide range of other animals, in addition to mice, may also serve as paratenic hosts.   These include chickens, earthorms, and cockroaches.


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Parasites and Parasitic Diseases of Domestic Animals
Dr. Colin Johnstone (principal author)
Copyright 1998 University of Pennsylvania
This page was last modified on January 24, 2000