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Gastrointestinal parasites of domestic cats in Perth, Western Australia

McGlade, T.R., Robertson, I.D.ORCID: 0000-0002-4255-4752, Elliot, A.D., Read, C. and Thompson, R.C.A. (2003) Gastrointestinal parasites of domestic cats in Perth, Western Australia. Veterinary Parasitology, 117 (4). pp. 251-262.

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A study was conducted to determine the prevalence of gastrointestinal parasites in a sample of domestic cats in Perth and the knowledge of their owners about the control and potential for zoonotic transmission of these parasites. Faecal samples (418), collected from cats originating from five sources, were examined by microscopy and questionnaires administered to cat owners. Forty randomly selected samples were also screened using PCR in order to detect cysts of Giardia and oocysts of Cryptosporidium that may have been present in a faecal sample at very low levels. The overall prevalence of gastrointestinal parasites in domestic cats by microscopy was 8.6%. Pet shop kittens had the highest parasite prevalence (34.3%), followed by cats and kittens from breeding establishments (15.8%), refuge cats and kittens (8.3%), privately owned cats (2.3%), and boarding cats and kittens (1.6%). Surprisingly, 80% of the 40 cats tested by PCR were positive for Giardia duodenalis and 10% for Cryptosporidium. None of these cats were positive on microscopy. After adjusting for other factors with multiple logistic regression, kittens less than 6 months of age, and cats living in households with more than one cat or with a dog were significantly more likely to be parasitised. In the logistic regression model, the presence of parasitism was also significantly influenced by the number of anthelmintic doses administered in the 12 month period prior to the study. The majority (64.5%) of cat owners were aware that feline parasites could be transmitted to humans, however less than half (42.8%) were aware of the modes of transmission to humans.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences
Publisher: Elsevier BV
Copyright: © 2003 Elsevier B.V.
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