Tritrichomonas foetus is a parasite that has recently been identified as a cause of chronic diarrhea in domestic cats. Transmission occurs through direct contact with infected animals as the organism is shed in feces. It is more likely to be present in multi-cat environments. This study examined associated risk factors for T. foetus infection in cats from densely housed origins and with a history of chronic diarrhea. Enrollees included family cats, catteries, and shelters.
Fecal samples were analyzed for the organism. T. foetus infection was found in over a third of tested cats with chronic diarrhea. In catteries and shelters, detection rates varied from 20-50%. Further analysis showed intermittent shedding of the organism. Cats <1 year old were more likely to be infected than older cats. No significant difference was found among gender or breed. This study highlights the importance of close contact conditions for T. foetus transmission. See also: Yao D, Koster LS. Tritrichomonas foetus infection, a cause of chronic diarrhea in the domestic cat. Vet Res. 2015 Mar 19; 46:25. Miro G, Hernandez L, Montoya A, et al. First description of naturally acquired Tritrichomonas foetus infection in a Persian cattery in Spain. Parasitol Res. 2011 Oct; 109(4):1151-1154.