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Pregnancy and having cats

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
My friend just recently found out she is pregnant...she has a kitten, and is worried about changing the litter and all..what concerns does she need to be aware of with this? any advice would be greatly appreciated!
post #2 of 9
If SHE must change the litter box, tell her to wear disposable gloves and then wash after also. I had my son and hubby do the litter box when I was pregnant. If she has somebody else that can do it for her than let them.

post #3 of 9
She can also have herself and the kitten tested for toxiplasmosis, which is the problem with changing the litterbox when pregnant. Many adults have an acquired immunity already to it. Also, if the kitten has always been indoor only, the risk is minimal. Toxiplasmosis is a bacteria that is generally transmitted when cats eat mice and other furries, or come in contact with other cats' excrement or contaminated soil.

The other thing is that it takes 24 hours, give or take, for the soil/litter to become contaminated from the feces of an affected cat, so scooping frequently will help minimize the risk. And as 3 Kitties said, wearing rubber gloves and even a surgical mask when doing litter duty, and washing up immediately afterward is generally all the protection she needs. Be sure to discard all used kitty litter immediately, so she doesn't have to handle it twice.

Don't let her Dr. scare her with misinformation! Many doctors have good intentions but give out misinformation on the dangers of cats and pregnancies.

(I just happened to read about this last night! What good timing. )
post #4 of 9
There are some great links in the lounge in the thread by me asking for advise. There is a link to 21cats that cover just this subject!
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks..I just went and checked it out
post #6 of 9
Funny I ran into this post. I was just in on a teleconfrence with a parasite specialist today. The chances of anyone contracting toxoplasmosis is VERY slim. Usually the immune suppressed people are at a higher risk, but that's why they tell pregnant women to wear gloves if changing the litter. Out of a 16 year life cycle, a cat can only shed toxoplasmosis for 7 days.
post #7 of 9
One of my friends just had a baby 2 months ago, and cared for her 2 Bengal kittens through the pregnancy without a problem. SHe wore gloves to clean the boxes. Now the kittens climb onto her shoulder while she is nursing the baby, and press theur heads against the baby's cheek, purring. Too cute!
post #8 of 9
I just read in cat fancy that having a cat will reduce the babies chances of being allergic to cats greatly!
post #9 of 9
Getting toxoplasmosis is a very slim chance indeed, but surprisingly enough most people get it and then it goes through them harmlessly. But when you get it...

My best friend in high school contracted toxoplasmosis. Unfortuantly since it is such a rare parasite the doctors didn't trust the initial test results. They put her through six months of testing while her eye sight steadily decreased. It was concentrated in her eyes, one of the few places that it will do a lot of harm in a healthy person, and the parasite chewed on her retina. Now she has massive blind spots and had to be on heavy medication for over a year. Whether she got it from under cooked meat, or her cat is pretty hard to tell nor did it really matter to her. She loved her kitty very much. During that time I learned quite a bit about toxoplasmosis.
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