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Pregnancy and cats???

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
So..I got my positive HPT a few days ago and I thought that the only thing I really needed to avoid was the liter itself.

Well, check this out!!


If you scroll down to the bottom under HIS EMOTIONS, it tells you that it is best to keep her away from the cat altogether.

OMG! Is that true?????? I think I would totally die if I had to be away from Ashley.
post #2 of 13

Dont panic!
When I was pregnant I was really worried about this, so I read everything I could find and found out I shouldn´t worry that much.

If you have had cat for a while, even years, and they would have toxoplasmosis, you would have had it allready and worked up immune for it.

Just get your s/o to clean the litter box, or if you do it, make sure to wash your hands well, or use gloves.

If you would get toxoplasmosis during your pregnancy, it has like flu symptoms, and would be dealt with like any other infection, with antibiotics.

If you are still worried (like I was...) you can let your pregnancy midwife or nurse know about it, and ask her to add toxoplasmosis check when you have your blood examined (I did this 3 times during my pregnancy, even though we toxoplasmosis isn´t even around here).

Toxoplasmosis can also be found in raw meet, so be careful there too.

The bottom line I think (also when the baby is born) is to relax, but wash you hands alot!

Even though I was kindof worried, I never stopped cuddling with my girls, they slept in our bed, Pollýanna usually under my covers with her head on my pollow. (After Oliver was born, the bed was off limit for cats though, since his immune systerm was still develloping)

Good luck and again CONGRATULATIONS!!!!
post #3 of 13

Try not to worry, from what I have read as long as you wash your hands after doing the litter you are fine, you do not have to avoid your cats at all.
post #4 of 13
Sesselja and Val have given you good advice, so I won't add any of my own.

I just wanted to post and say CONGRATULATIONS!!!
post #5 of 13
This is from the Humane Society of the United States http://www.hsus.org http://www.hsus.org/ace/19108

Pregnancy and Toxoplasmosis

If you're expecting a baby, you may have heard of toxoplasmosis because it can cause serious birth defects. A woman who acquires toxoplasmosis during pregnancy can transmit the infection to her unborn child. And a congenital toxoplasmosis infection in utero can lead to miscarriage or an array of malformations at birth. Because one of the ways to become infected is through contact with the infected feces of cats, many pregnant women try to lower their risk of acquiring toxoplasmosis by giving their cat away or putting the cat outside.

Thankfully, you can easily avoid contracting toxoplasmosis from cat feces without giving up your beloved feline "baby." Cats acquire toxoplasmosis from eating contaminated raw meat, birds, mice, or soil. While cats are the only species of animal to shed the infectious stage in their feces, other animals can disseminate toxoplasmosis if their infected meat is eaten without proper cooking.

Fortunately, cat ownership does not necessarily increase the risk of acquiring toxoplasmosis. An understanding of the life cycle of Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii) and the role that cats play in disease transmission can allay fears of contracting congenital toxoplasmosis from your feline companion. Cats should continue to be sources of joy and companionship to their owners during pregnancy and following the birth of a child.

Disease Transmission

T. gondii is a protozoan organism that can infect all mammals, who serve as intermediate hosts. Once a cat has been infected with toxoplasmosis, he typically acquires immunity and can only rarely be reinfected. So, normally, it is only during a cat's first exposure to T. gondii that he will excrete potentially infectious oocysts (reproducing microorganisms). In addition, oocysts are not immediately infective, requiring an incubation period of one to five days.

Humans can acquire toxoplasmosis in one of three ways. Most commonly, people contract the disease from the consumption of undercooked meat, which contains T. gondii within tissue cysts. A less common method of acquisition is through direct ingestion of infective oocysts. Finally, transplacental transmission of the disease to an unborn child may occur when the mother acquires a primary infection while pregnant.

Likelihood of Contracting Toxoplasmosis

Because it's difficult for cats to transmit toxoplasmosis directly to their caregivers, a pregnant woman is generally unlikely to contract the disease from her pet cat. Several factors keep the chance of such transmission low.

First of all, only cats who ingest tissue cysts acquire infection. Within the feline population, this would be limited to outdoor cats who hunt and eat rodents, as well as cats who are fed raw meat by their owners. In addition, only after a cat is first exposed to T. gondii does he typically excrete oocysts, and he does so for only two weeks. An outdoor hunting cat is often exposed to the disease as a kitten and is, therefore, less likely to transmit the infection as he ages.

Secondly, because oocysts become infective only after one to five days, exposure to the disease is unlikely as long as the cat's litter box is changed daily.

Finally, since oocysts are transmitted by ingestion, in order to contract toxoplasmosis, a woman would have to make contact with contaminated feces in the litter box and then, without washing her hands, touch her mouth or otherwise transmit the contaminated fecal matter to her digestive system.

Reducing Your Risk of Toxoplasmosis

Even though it is unlikely that a woman will contract toxoplasmosis from her cat, it's a good idea to err on the side of caution. The following recommendations will help cat owners expecting a child to reduce their risk of contracting toxoplasmosis.

* Avoid undercooked meat.

* Wash all uncooked vegetables thoroughly.

* Wear gloves when working in soil. If gloves are not worn, hands need to be washed thoroughly following soil contact.

* Ask a spouse, friend, or neighbor to help out with litter box duties while you're pregnant.

* If you don't have help to keep the litter box clean, wear rubber gloves when changing the litter and thoroughly wash your hands afterwards.

* Change your cat's litter on a daily basis.

Getting rid of your feline companion is NOT a necessary precaution. Cat ownership has many benefits that are immeasurable in terms of companionship and love. While it is possible for cats to transmit toxoplasmosis, the risk of your feline friend passing the disease to you is low, especially if you follow the recommendations above. So, your cat can safely remain as a loved member of the family as you await your new arrival.

Copyright © 2004 The Humane Society of the United States. All rights reserved.
post #6 of 13
Congrats Carrie!
post #7 of 13
post #8 of 13
Congratulations Carrie!!!

You've gotten great information here, much better than the common misinformation found on many pregnancy and baby sites. I've actually seen a site that says that one of the preparations for baby is getting the cat declawed!
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much for the congrats and the info. I FREAKED when I read that. There was no WAY I could part with Ashley. That would just break me!!
post #10 of 13
Congratulations Carrie.

Actually, the site doesn't reccomend giving your cat away. I did a little digging and found their artcile on Toxoplasmosis.

post #11 of 13
Congratulations! This is what happened in my house. My cats contracted Toxoplasmosis (the vet thinks it was from outside because he knew what my house was like). Tailer wasn't affected much. It, however, got into Toes' brain and he started having seizures and it cost $3000+ to take care of him. He's fine now, but it was scary. I had to go to the doctor to get tested (they didn't even know what test to do as it is actually quite unusual) and I tested negative, but here is what we found out. Most people who have cats have already been exposed without their knowledge and are not endangered, however, pregnant women should not inhale the litter dust and should wash their hands after handling their cats. Otherwise you should be fine. I'm supposed to be safe now because I was already exposed.

My doctor and vet even said we were multiple times more likely to get toxoplasmosis from uncooked meat or unwashed vegges or gardening than from our cats themselves.
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
Isn't that weird that site would say to stay away from cats and then turn around and give other information??? Thank you for posting that other link. Roger is on full charge of litter changing And really..that is fine with me!! Ashley can really let out some nasty bad potties!!! LMAO!!
post #13 of 13
Congrats Carrie.
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