Relax. You don’t have to get rid of your cats during pregnancy in order to have a normal, healthy baby.
While family and friends are most likely well-meaning by warning you about cats and toxoplamosis, they are most probably also misinformed.
So when they tell you about this mysterious disease you can get from cats, you can smile serenely (while stroking your cat in his favorite spot) and explain that you’ve learned all about it and have taken all of the necessary precautions.
How is Toxoplasmosis Passed to Humans?
Toxoplasmosis is passed to humans mainly by eating undercooked meat, unwashed (or improperly washed) vegetables, and by accidental oral contact with feces from an infected cat.
Cats become infected with toxoplasmosis by eating raw meat from an animal that has been infected, such as mice and other small mammals so…
Indoor only cats that are fed commercial cat foods are unlikely to become infected.
If you feed your cat a raw diet, or allow your cat time outdoors, simply follow the precautions listed below.
Simple Precautions To Take While Pregnant:
- Wear gloves when you garden or do anything outdoors that involves handling soil. Wash your hands well with soap and warm water after outdoor activities, especially before eating or preparing food.
- Have someone who is not pregnant handle raw meat for you. If this is not possible, wear clean latex gloves when you touch raw meat, and wash any cutting boards, sinks, knives, and other things that might have touched the raw meat. Wash your hands well with soap and warm water afterwards.
- Cook all meat thoroughly, until no longer pink in the center, or until the juices run clear. Do not eat meat that is not fully cooked, such as medium-well to rare steaks.
- Have someone who is not pregnant, such as your husband/significant other change your cat’s litter boxes. If this is not possible, wear gloves and change the litter frequently. Remember that the oocysts (the parasite in cat feces) takes 24 hours to develop, and can only effect you after that point, so cleaning litterboxes twice a day will remove the oocysts before they become a threat.
A Little Less Stress
Take time to enjoy the added benefit of lowering your blood pressure and stress levels that stroking your kitty provides because friends and family will probably move on to telling you all about their labor stories.