Cryptosporidiosis is a disease caused by the protozoan Cryptosporidium spp. Rabbits are an intermediate host of the protozoan, while cats are the definitive host. Pathogenic species found in rabbits include Cryptosporidium cuniculus and Cryptosporidium parvum.
Rabbits can contract the protozoan in households with cats by jumping in a cat's litter box, stepping in infected cat feces, and then ingesting oocysts when cleaning their feet.
Symptoms can range from no symptoms to fever and death within a few days.
Treatment and prevention
Rabbit owners who also own cats should be very careful to keep the cat's litter box very clean, to wash their hands after cleaning the litter box, and to keep the rabbits from using it if possible. Cryptosporidiosis is zoonotic and can infect humans as well.
- Lucile C Moore, A House Rabbit Primer: Understanding and Caring for Your Companion Rabbit.
- Vetbook, Cryptosporidium spp. Accessed Aug 19, 2015.