TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Health › Cats and pregnant human?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Cats and pregnant human?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Here in China, some people believe that a woman should not live with a cat starting from two years before the woman is pregnant, until after the baby is past infancy. They believe cats have worms/parasites or something like that, that will adversely affect the baby. I don't really believe this, but do you think there is any truth to this at all? How does living with a cat affect pregnancy and infancy?
post #2 of 16
I lived with cats when I was pregnant and it didnt effect pregnancy at all. My husband scooped the litter tho.
post #3 of 16
I think you are referring to Toxoplasmosis. Toxoplasma infection can occur if you touch infected cat feces by accident and then touch your hands to your mouth...for example.

I lived with 4 adult cats throughout my pregnancy and even changed & scooped two litter pans wearing gloves. No problems whatsoever!!
post #4 of 16
I had cats through my pregnancy (my daughter is now 12) as did my mother before me.
post #5 of 16
The only change we made was that my husband scooped the litter while I was pregnant. When I came home from the hospital, whenever I breast-fed our daughter the cat would be on my lap at the same time.
post #6 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosemite
When I came home from the hospital, whenever I breast-fed our daughter the cat would be on my lap at the same time.
Thats lovely.
When the time comes for me I will not scoop the litter unless I have to, it will be Marks job and I'm thoroughly looking forward to it
My mum had cats when she was pregnant and we are fine..(my friends may disagree however )
post #7 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pombina
Thats lovely.
When the time comes for me I will not scoop the litter unless I have to, it will be Marks job and I'm thoroughly looking forward to it
My mum had cats when she was pregnant and we are fine..(my friends may disagree however )
Anyone who had ever seen our cat interact with me and our new baby would know for certain that the old tale about cats harming babies is a huge myth.

At the time I had a little female Siamese named Susie that was very much my cat as we had been alone together for almost 10 years before my husband and daughter came along. She always sat in my lap whenever I was sitting and always needed to be with me. I didn't want her to ever feel she was being replaced and rejected because we now had a baby. This cat was not very tolerant of other people, but she was amazingly gentle with our daughter and never once bit or scratched Jennifer even though a couple times I think Jennifer deserved it. Our daughter's first word was "Seesuz" - not mom or dad.
post #8 of 16
Anyone who had ever seen our cat interact with me and our new baby would know for certain that the old tale about cats harming babies is a huge myth.

Agree that cats harming babies is ridicilious!!

Many moons ago, during my entire pregnancy, my 6 yr. old Kimba (R.I.P.) would try her hardest to sleep right on top of my huge belly. She looked like a chicken trying to hatch an egg She must have sensed a heartbeat...basically sensing life and felt maternal enough to try and hatch me Smart smart kitties they are!!
post #9 of 16
Sorry, we kind of hijacked this thread.

Back to the original question, there is no harm to a pregnant woman from a cat other than what the first poster indicated and that can be taken care of by either having your spouse scoop and change the litter or wear rubber gloves and be fastidious about washing up immediately after.

My doctor actually told me that anything my cat might have in her system I probably was already immune to since we had already been together for 10 years and that my immunities go to the baby through my body and after birth through my breast milk.
post #10 of 16
Here is an excellent link to an article on the matter:

http://www.treehouseanimals.org/Tree...0Dale-Toxo.htm

Enjoy!
post #11 of 16
It is a big fuss in asia now as a girl in china have Toxoplasmosis infection. She was bit by her cat on her lips, 2 years later one day she woke up and found herself suddenly blind due to the Toxoplasmosis.

But how often do these cases happens? once in 10 years? duh, i just don't understnad why ppl make such a big fuss about it. There's also risk of getting Toxoplasmosis when handling raw meat or eating undercook meat, with so many chances to handle raw meat and poor hygene in the less developed part of china, i bet ppl get Toxoplasmosis much more often this way then getting it from cats.
post #12 of 16
hi dan h,

im four months and some pregnant right now myself, and neither my doctor nor my vet has told me to get rid of my four cats . the main concern is toxoplasmosis... this can be contracted by accidentaly ingesting a toxoplasmosis spore. these are present in the feces of an infected cats, and in some raw meat. a LOT of cats carry toxoplasmosis, but for an average healthy person this is not a concern... many people have already been exposed to toxoplasmosis without being aware of it, and the vast majority of people will not get sick from it. BUT, it can be VERY dangerous to an unborn fetus. a pregnant woman should not change a catbox, someone else should change it, preferably every 24 hours. in addition pregnant women should be careful when handling raw meat ( i feed my dogs raw, and i wear gloves every time i handle the meat) and pregnant women should avoid gardening or digging in the dirt in areas that outdoor cats may have used as a catbox.

i was surprised to find that i tested negative to toxoplasmisis... ive had cats all my life, including outdoor cats, and expected that i would have already been exposed. there is a myth that you can have your cat tested, but as it was explained to me by my vet.... a cat testing positive or negative depends completely on whether or not the cat is currently passing toxoplasmosis spores.... a cat may test negative one day and positive the next, so the tests are innaccurate.

so, as a precaution, i do not change the litterbox, and someone else cleans it daily. my cats are indoor, reducing the risk of them becoming carriers if they are not already. i also suspended the raw meat portion of their diet until my pregnancy is over... if by some chance a cat eats raw meat that is infected by toxoplasmosis, the spores will be passed in the feces. this is not true of dogs, who can eat meat infected with toxoplasmosis and will not pass the spores in their feces. cats are the only species to shed the infectious stage in their feces. my vet, who is supportive of raw diets, did not advise me to do this, it was a personal choice based on the research that i did.

IMO, there is no reason not to live with cat so long as the proper precautions are taken. my doctor and my vet agree.

here is a link that was shown to me on another board that explains the connection between cats and toxoplasmosis... read the section entitled Likelihood of Contracting Toxoplasmosis.
http://www.hsus.org/pets/pet_care/pr...plasmosis.html
post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by hareting
i just don't understnad why ppl make such a big fuss about it.
though the risk is small, especially if precautions are taken, people make a big deal of this because exposure to an unborn fetus can cause VERY serious birth defects and miscarriage. i wanted to make it clear that i my previous post was not intended to make light of the risks involved to an unborn child. if precautions are not taken, a woman could lose her baby... IMO this is reason enough to be extra cautious. but if precautions are taken there is no reason to get rid of the cat.
post #14 of 16
Any insight on pregnant women sharing the same toilet with toilet-trained cats? My cats are getting toilet-trained right now.
post #15 of 16
I can't answer this last question, but I'm glad I saw this thread! I'm not pregnant, but had been wondering about this. Like many of you said, I had heard that you just shouldn't handle the litter box. But I have a friend who's cousin got pregnant at an early age (I think 17), and her doctor told her if at all possible to let her cats live somewhere else during her pregnancy. I thought that was really strange. I attributed it to the fact that my friend's family is from a very small "country" town.
post #16 of 16
I thought I'd add a little to what everyone has said... I don't know if China is similar to here or not about regular veterinary appointments for your cats. It would be important to make sure your cat is free of worms and parasites anyway. Toxo can be tested for and if it makes you feel more comfortable you could do that before/during your pregnancy. Proper sanitation will ensure safety, but that goes for anytime during owning a cat/pet, not just during pregnancy. You can get toxo whether you are pregnant or not, the difference is affecting just your body or that of another. If you haven't had a problem up until now then most likely you will be fine through the pregnancy.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cat Health
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Health › Cats and pregnant human?