Infestation by the widespread microorganism Toxoplasma gondii. Something like half the world’s population has the infestation, usually without displaying any symptoms. Many infected mammals and birds also act as hosts. The sexual development of the parasite takes place in a cat, the eggs being laid in the cat’s intestinal wall and being eliminated from the body along with the stools. After as little as two days development, the egg is capable of infesting a new host when eaten. The development inside the cat is crucial for the dispersal of the parasite, because it is usually only for a short period in cats’ lives that they eliminate the eggs along with their stools. The eggs cannot withstand desiccation.