Cats Blamed for Memory Decline in Senior Citizens

A wild bird advocacy group promotes story linking declining memory with toxoplasmosis infection, and points to free-roaming cats as the source.

By Cat Fancy Editors | Posted: February 20, 2014, 3 p.m. EST

Printer Friendly
Free Roaming Cats
The American Bird Conservancy today reported on a scientific study that linked toxoplasmosis with decreased memory in older adults. Reports estimate that toxoplasmosis affects one third of the world population, and ABC attributes most infections to free-roaming cats.

Find out myths and facts of toxoplasmosis >>

"When people hear about cats and toxoplasmosis they should see a red flag,” says Becky Robinson, president of feral cat advocate group Alley Cat Allies. "The Center for Disease Control’s Toxoplasmosis FAQ doesn’t even say anything about cats in its prevention section. It’s all basic food safety — cook meat, wash your utensils, wash your hands.”

Visit the CDC's Toxoplasmosis FAQ page >>

The study says toxoplasmosis-infected seniors "showed lower performance in the verbal memory test, both regarding immediate recall and delayed recognition." ABC has previously promoted stories that malign free-roaming cats as the main source of wild bird deaths. Robinson and other cat supporters frequently respond with pleas to stay factual.

See ways bird groups have targeted cats in the past >>

"If a parasitic infection can cause brain damage, memory loss, schizophrenia, suicidal thoughts and death, wouldn’t you want to know the most effective ways to prevent transmission? You become infected by swallowing infective T. gondii eggs. No one would intentionally handle cat feces with their bare hands and then put their hands in their mouth or handle food without washing their hands in between, but that’s what a person would have to do to contract the disease from a cat,” says Susan Logan, Cat Fancy editor.

"Here’s one of the most important facts to remember to prevent toxoplasmosis infection: Toxoplasmosis is not an airborne illness. Muscle tissue from any exposed mammal carries the parasite, therefore eating raw or undercooked meat is a much more likely source of infection for humans.” Logan continues by saying "simply hand-washing and common-sense hygiene practices” are enough to fend off infection.

Some cat advocates are troubled by the continuous campaign to blame feral cats for problems they haven’t necessarily caused.

"Clearly what this study, which has nothing directly to do with birds, demonstrates is the American Bird Conservancy is targeting cats,” says Steve Dale, radio host and syndicated columnist who writes about pets. "This study offers the possible suggestion that it is conceivable there could be a link between Alzheimer’s or dementia and toxoplasma gondii – but doesn’t demonstrate that there is a correlation. In other words, there’s no real indication of cause and effect.

"I do share ABC’s concerns about the welfare of birds, and hope the organization will become equally as vehement to express their outrage over habitat destruction and pollution, the real primarily explanations for the decline of too many birds." 
Printer Friendly

 Give us your opinion on
Cats Blamed for Memory Decline in Senior Citizens

Submit a Comment   Join Club
Earn 1,000 points! What's this?
Reader Comments

NatureAdvocate    International

2/25/2014 11:14:05 AM

Can you spell "HOAX" & "FRAUD"?

These TNR cat-lickers (criminal outdoor-cat-hoarders) who re-spew all the highly manipulative and deceptive lies and misinformation of Alley-Cat-All-Lies didn't do their due-diligence research.

Here's the 1st link that any of their followers should have checked out.

bbb D0T org SLASH charity-reviews/national/animal-protection/alley-c- at-allies-in-bethesda-md-107/financial

They don't even meet the criteria to qualify for being a reputable charity organization under "Better Business Bureau" standards. While Becky and all her close friends are laughing all the way to the bank to the tune of $5M in assets with a $6M income.

They all flew to Hawaii not long ago for another "cat-conference" because, for some unknown reason, they had to be there to discuss these issues.

For another good laugh check out how much Becky and her friend pay themselves with everyone else's money.

bbb D0T org SLASH charity-reviews/national/animal-protection/alley-c- at-allies-in-bethesda-md-107/governance-and-staff

They have now been launching some damage-control with their new "Future Five" program to prove to everyone their true and trustworthy intentions. Awarding a princely $5,000 grant to some group. $5,000 is only 0.1% of their assets, 0.08% of their yearly income. They might as well just sh** in the face of every last fool that ever donated to them. LOL

Support yet another organization that exploits and perpetuates the suffering of animals for their own personal financial gain, then try to sleep well at night.

... This just keeps getting more "curiouser and curiouser". Donna Wilcox, Vice President and Chair of the Board of Directors of "Alley Cat All-Lies", may not even be who she claims to be.

She was only an office-administrator at D.C.'s office of "Natural Resources Defense Council". No doubt just to learn about her opposition to her warped and ecologically destructive and twisted beliefs. (For she certainly proved to know nothing about biology and ecology by what she is doing. E.g. If they believe these cats are a natural part of the environment and deserve to be out in nature, then why are they even bothering to sterilize them? Their agreement to sterilize them is their very agreement that they don't even belong out in nature in the very first place. Stupid, ignorant, hypocrite much?)

She also claims to hold a B.S. in biology from a "Notre Dame College" in South Euclid, Ohio.

If you do a Google search on (include quotes): "notre dame college" "south euclid" "donna wilcox", it comes up empty. Except of course at "Alley Cat All-Lies" where they allow her to make this claim.

Did she even graduate from elementary-school? No matter what combination of search-strings I use I can't find any evidence of her holding any type of degree at all -- only that which she claims about herself on social-media bio pages.

Are any of "Alley Cat All-Lies" staff who they claim they are?

NatureAdvocate    International

2/25/2014 11:04:20 AM

Thanks for posting the death-threats against humans. It helps to prove what I and millions of others already know and have continuously observed:

The hallmark of every last cat-licker on earth -- they are also a self-professed and self-evident sociopath/psychopath. They would much rather have any humans be hurt or even die (or ANY other life on earth suffer and die) than any of their disease-infested, invasive species, pestilent, vermin cats. JUST so they can feel good about themselves and pretend to feel needed -- because nothing on earth needs nor wants these fools, not even their cats need nor want them. That's why so many cats try to escape from their supervised confinement, outsmarting their owners. Proving that even their cats are smarter than these sociopathic cat-lickers. It even proves that their cats smart enough to know better and don't even want to be around people as phenomenally stupid and psychotic as their owners.

Christine    wilmington, DE

2/25/2014 9:33:43 AM

Hey Nature Advocate a**holes! Eat cat poop and die!

Mary    Leominster, MA

2/23/2014 6:10:02 PM

Don't eat poop, wash your hands!


View Current Comments

Top Products