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If you think letting your cat out to play is good for its health think again as the chances are it's also picking up contagious diseases.
Domestic cats that roam freely outdoors are three times more likely to pick up an infection that develops into disease than indoor-only cats, a study has found.
Infections - Toxoplasma - Gondii - Owners - Depression
Such infections include the parasite Toxoplasma Gondii, which can spread to cat owners and has been linked to depression and schizophrenia in humans.
Outdoor cats can also pick up roundworms, which may be passed on to children, causing fever, stomach pain and, in rare cases, seizures.
Researchers - Risk - Countries - Latitudes - Infection
Researchers discovered that the risk was even higher in countries at higher latitudes due to higher infection from parasites in wildlife.
The authors said that cat owners should not only restrict the movement of domestic cats outdoors to protect their pets, but wildlife they come into contact with as well.
Kittens - Indoors - Infection
Kittens in particular should be kept indoors as they are more vulnerable to infection, they say.
The literature review, conducted by Auburn University in Alabama, looked at evidence from 21 other scientific studies to determine the risk of infection in outdoor cats.
Cats - Times - Cats
They found that outdoor cats are 2.77 times as likely as indoor-only cats to be infected...
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