Is it true that pregnant women should avoid cats?

Is it true that pregnant women should avoid cats?

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It's perfectly fine to be around cats when you're pregnant, but you do need to be very careful about cleaning the litter box. Have someone else do it if possible.

That's because cat feces (and soil or sand where cats have been) can carry a parasitic infection called toxoplasmosis. If you get toxoplasmosis while you're pregnant, or even a few months before you conceive, it can cause serious birth defects such as eye and brain damage. The parasite is transmitted orally, so touching a contaminated hand to your mouth could result in infection.

If you're the only one who can clean your cat's litter box, do it daily – the parasite doesn't become infectious for one to five days. Use disposable gloves when you change the litter, throw the gloves away after each use, and wash your hands well with soap and water afterward.

You can be exposed to toxoplasmosis just as easily if cats have been using your garden or sandbox to do their business. So whenever you're gardening or touching sand in a sandbox, take the same precautions – wear gloves and wash your hands right away.

If you're worried you may have been exposed to toxoplasmosis, ask your doctor about taking a blood test to find out whether you're immune to the disease. If you've been around cats for a while, you may have already had toxoplasmosis. And if that's the case, you have nothing to worry about: You won't get it again, and your unborn baby won't be at risk.

Watch the video: Dont change the kitty litter! Is it a myth or true for pregnant women? (October 2022).

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