You Don’t Need to Give Up Your Cat When You’re Pregnant

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Cats, pregnant women and babies have coexisted happily for thousands of years, and there is absolutely no reason you have to give up your cat when you’re pregnant. A few common sense precautions will keep mom, baby and kitty safe.

Toxoplasmosis is rare

Obstetrician frequently alarm pregnant women by warning them about toxoplasmosis, a disease that can cause birth defects. The Toxoplasma gondii parasite that causes the disease can be found in the feces of cats who eat infected mice, birds, raw meat, or contaminated soil or water.

The truth is that toxoplasmosis is rare in the United States, and the highest risk of contracting the disease does not come from cat feces, but from eating raw or undercooked meat or unwashed fruit and vegetables, or from gardening in contaminated soil.

Many people acquire immunity to toxoplasmosis

According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 60 million men, women, and children in the U.S. carry the Toxoplasma parasite, but very few have symptoms because a healthy immune system usually keeps the parasite from causing illness.

Take simple precautions during pregnancy

  • Litter boxes should be scooped daily. The Toxoplasma gondii parasite does not become infectious until 1 to 5 days after it is shed in a cat’s feces. Have someone else perform this task. If that’s not an option, wear disposable gloves and wash your hands with soap and warm water afterwards.
  • Keep your cat indoors. Toxoplasmosis is extremely rare in indoor cats.
  • Eating raw or undercooked meat is the most common cause for toxoplasmosis. Pratice safe food handling. Wash off all surfaces and utensils that touched raw meat, and don’t prepare meat and raw foods like salads on the same surface. Wash your hands thoroughly after handling raw meat.
  • Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly before eating.
  • Don’t drink untreated water.
  • Wear gloves when gardening, and wash your hands thoroughly afterwards.
  • Cover outdoor sand boxes to prevent cats from using them as litter boxes.
  • If you have children, educate them about the importance of washing their hands.
  • Avoid contact with stray cats.

All it takes is a little common sense and basic hygiene to reduce your risk of exposure during pregnancy. Giving up your cat is not necessary!

This article was previously published on Answers.com and is republished with permission.

6 Comments on You Don’t Need to Give Up Your Cat When You’re Pregnant

  1. DENNIS MORAN
    December 21, 2017 at 9:30 am (2 years ago)

    I GOT MY FIRST CAT GANDOR A RUSSAN BLUE IN 1989 HE WAS A CO WORKERS CAT,WHO HAD HIM 7 YEARS UNTIL HIS WIFE BECAME PREGNANT. WHAT A SAD EXCUSE. I NOTICED HIM IN THE LOCKER ROOM HIDING UNDER A LOCKER AS HE HAD NEVER BEEN OUT OF HIS HOUSE. NOW IN A STRANGE WORLD. WITH STRANGE PEOPLE, AND STRANGE FOOD. HE QUICKLY CLAIMED THE PLACE AS HIS OWN AND WAS QUITE FRIENDLY GREETING EVERYONE. OBVIOUSLY LOOKING FOR A HOME. OUR PROBLEM EVERYDAY, WAS WARF RATS BIGGER THAN CATS IN THE LOCKER ROOM EVERYDAY. UNTIL GANDOR TOOK CARE OF THEM. HAD ONE OR TWO TO SHOW US EVERYDAY FOR ABOUT A MONTH. THEN I ASKED TO TAKE HIM HOME. WHAT A SWEET BOY GENTLE AND LOVING. I HAD HIM FOR TEN YEARS TILL HE PASSED.HE TAUGHT ME SO MUCH . AND MADE ME A MUCH MORE LOVING PERSON. WHILE I HAD HIM I GOT 3 MORE CATS ALL WITH RESCUE STORIES. MY ORIGINAL 4 HAVE ALL PASSED. BUT HAVE GIVEN ME SUCH A MORE OF A ENJOYABLE LIFE. AS EACH CAT PASSED I GOT ANOTHER WITH HIS OWN UNIQUE STORY. THE ARE NOW ALL SENIOR CATS NOW MY LAST WAS ALL SO A SENIOR CAT. NOW THAT I AM 60 . I DO NOT WANT MY CATS TO OUT LIVE ME. AND MAYBE AN UNCERTAIN FUTURE. AFTER I PASS . I OWE THEM THAT.

    Reply
  2. Maureen
    October 30, 2017 at 7:06 pm (2 years ago)

    My Milo was given up his original mom was pregnant. It seems her Mother-in-law was coming to live with them to help with the baby, but, she would not come if a cat was there. I have had him nowfor 3 years . He is so sweet , fun and loving. I always wonder if his first mom misses him and maybe hates the mother-in-law. Someone raised him with love. It must have been her. I always wish I could tell her is happy and has 2 other cats to play with.

    Reply
  3. Jackie Pasquini
    October 30, 2017 at 10:46 am (2 years ago)

    Great past and thank you for the important information. Too many cats are abandoned or surrendered to kill shelters when a human gets pregnant and that is very sad and cruel!! I hope and pray that many humans read your post carefully!!

    Reply
  4. Janine
    October 30, 2017 at 8:33 am (2 years ago)

    It really angers me when a woman says she’s getting rid of her cat because she is pregnant. A cat is a family member, not disposable. I wish they would take the time to learn the facts.

    Reply
  5. Sue Brandes
    March 10, 2014 at 8:08 pm (6 years ago)

    I always had cats too when I was pregnant. Tried to be extra careful. Was not giving up my kitties.

    Reply
  6. Lexie
    March 10, 2014 at 2:50 am (6 years ago)

    My Mom had cats and kittens in her home when she was pregnant with all 3 of her children. We were lucky enough to be raised among cats and had a intelligent Mom who knew the facts . People that are ignorant and stupid give up their cats using this as an excuse. Its pathetic and sad that someone that takes on a pet would give it up for such a baseless reason. Learn the facts first before sacrificing a beloved pet.

    Reply

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