TheCatSite.com › Forums › General Forums › The Cat Lounge › Pregnant women and toxoplasmosis myths?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Pregnant women and toxoplasmosis myths?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I'm not a woman, but I have heard that pregnant women can get toxoplasmosis from changing the cats litterbox if an infected cat went in it.

I have also heard that if your cat or any cat goes outside and rolls around in the grass (or infected poo) where an infected cat with toxoplasmosis was on or went to the bathroom, and it gets on your cats fur, that if a pregnant woman pets the cats fur it can get into her and affect the baby. I also heard the parasite lives in the soil outside so even touching a cat outside can put you at risk. And, I heard there is no vaccine to prevent a cat from getting this.

All of this was said by a baby doctor.

How exactly does toxoplasmosis infect pregnant women?
post #2 of 15
Toxoplasmosis can be transmitted from animal to human. The animal could bring it in from the soil on it's paws or fur or catch it themselves and transfer it to you - mostly through feeces. You can catch it even if you are not pregnant, however, it is particularly dangerous to pregnant woman as it can cause complications with the baby or even death of the baby.
post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
So if you just pet the cats fur and it came in contact with an infected cat, you can get it?

is there a vaccine against it for cats?
post #4 of 15
Please note that even that Toxo can be trasmited from a cat to a human, it is VERY rare. For this to happen,
Quote:
1. The person would have no prior exposure to toxoplasmosis (no immunity).
2. The cat has to eat infected raw meat, such as wild prey or uncooked meat (obviously, not all raw meat or prey is indeed infected).
3. The person needs to directly ingest the cat's feces or something that touched them within three weeks of the cat's infection.

Obviously, the risk of direct infection from a cat is pretty slim, at best.
For more information, please check this article:
http://www.thecatsite.com/Health/245...-and-Cats.html
post #5 of 15
I believe the parasite comes out in the cats poo, and takes 24+ hours to hatch, so you would need to touch old poo that's been infected and lick your hands.

I have never heard of anyone getting toxoplasmosis, neither had the couple of doctors I spoke to about it. They said it's more common in rural areas from infected meat rather than cats.

Yes, it's probably a good idea for pregnant women to be on the safe side and be aware, but scooping the poop at least once a day and washing your hands after (if your cats go aside) is probably the minimum you need to do, which most of most likely do anyway.
post #6 of 15
I've always heard that women that have cats and regularly change litter boxes shouldn't really worry b/c if their cat does have tox, then they are already exposed and immune. That's what my OB told me anyway.
post #7 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahp View Post
I have never heard of anyone getting toxoplasmosis, neither had the couple of doctors I spoke to about it. They said it's more common in rural areas from infected meat rather than cats.
And from contaminated water (unfiltered chloraminated city water, even).
A bit worrisome in my town where they have been fined and had to tell citizens that they had not been treating the water...
post #8 of 15
Here's a couple of good links about Toxoplasmosis and fetal development.
http://www.thefetus.net/page.php?id=156
http://www.wdxcyber.com/npreg11.htm
Toxoplasmosis and cats.
http://www.peteducation.com/article....1+1359&aid=770

When I was in nursing school, I took care of a young child who had contracted Toxoplasmosis in utero. It wasn't pretty. This child was about three years old, blind, epileptic, profoundly mentally retarded, microcephalus with hydrocephalus, and on a ventilator. The links I've included mention that it is fairly rare, but in my opinion, it is so devastating, that every precaution to avoid it should be taken.

As a side note, when Maggie had idopathic vestibular disease, my vet treated her prophylactically (Clindamycin) for Toxoplasmosis, because she exhibited some of the symptoms that are common with feline Toxoplasmosis infection. Of course, she could have had a number of other viral infections which caused her IVD.
post #9 of 15
When I was pregnant I did my best to avoid changing the litterboxes. If I had to I wore gloves and then washed my hands after.

I'm sure that having cats my whole life I'm immune but you can never be too careful.
post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by kara_leigh View Post
I've always heard that women that have cats and regularly change litter boxes shouldn't really worry b/c if their cat does have tox, then they are already exposed and immune. That's what my OB told me anyway.
Yep but if you are already pregnant they can't test you for the antibodies. I was told if you are planning on getting pregnant ask your OB for the antibody test.

I didn't do any gardening or touch any litter boxes. I am a nail biter and didn't want to take the chance. My MIL is a nurse and she said that it isn't just the poo you have to worry about but spores when you scoop the poo that you man breath in.

I also know many ladies who continued to clean the boxes without any issues.
post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by kara_leigh View Post
I've always heard that women that have cats and regularly change litter boxes shouldn't really worry b/c if their cat does have tox, then they are already exposed and immune. That's what my OB told me anyway.
This is what I don't get. They say if you've been exposed to cats a good chunk of your life, you've probably already been exposed to it. But they also say it's really hard to contract. Well, which is it?? If it's so hard to get why do most cat owners supposedly have it?

I got tested for the antibodies and I don't have them. Despite being a cat owner by entire life, and dealing with feral cats and all sorts of foster kittens.
post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahp View Post
I got tested for the antibodies and I don't have them. Despite being a cat owner by entire life, and dealing with feral cats and all sorts of foster kittens.
I guess that just means you're not in the habit of licking kitty poo or dirt off your hands!

Though that also raises an interesting question - What about all the people who as kids ate mud cookies and mud pies? How much exposure risk have they had?
post #13 of 15
Women I've known that are pregnant (including TCS members) either wore gloves to scoop the boxes, or the hubbies scooped (for the most part) during the pregnancy. Because it is a risk, however rare, better safe than sorry.

But I think the point that it is a myth has already been clarified. It's not.

Laurie
post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by strange_wings View Post
Though that also raises an interesting question - What about all the people who as kids ate mud cookies and mud pies? How much exposure risk have they had?
Toxoplasmosis isn't serious for most people. It's only when a pregnant woman gets it that it can damage the baby. I'm sure I've had it but if I ever want to get pregnant, I'll have the doctor test me to make sure I've been exposed already.
post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazyforinfo View Post
Yep but if you are already pregnant they can't test you for the antibodies. I was told if you are planning on getting pregnant ask your OB for the antibody test.

I didn't do any gardening or touch any litter boxes. I am a nail biter and didn't want to take the chance. My MIL is a nurse and she said that it isn't just the poo you have to worry about but spores when you scoop the poo that you man breath in.

I also know many ladies who continued to clean the boxes without any issues.
My OB tested me for the antibodies when I was pg, but that was 11 years ago. Maybe things have changed? I can't remember if I have the antibodies or not.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: The Cat Lounge
TheCatSite.com › Forums › General Forums › The Cat Lounge › Pregnant women and toxoplasmosis myths?