You often ads such as this one in the streets: «A cute healthy cat looking for a new home. Adopt me!» And the reason for such a breakup is pregnancy! Rumor has it that it is very dangerous to change cat litter box during pregnancy. So, let’s figure out, if it’s true and what the real reasons for this point of view are.
Are cats dangerous for you when you’re pregnant?
Actually, the contact with cats doesn’t represent any risk, but the parasites in the animal’s organism do. One of them is an intracellular parasite living in cat’s organism – toxoplasm. This parasite is a causative agent of toxoplasmosis – a dangerous disease for a future mother. Why is toxoplasmosis dangerous, especially for pregnant women? Because if they get sick with toxoplasmosis during pregnancy, the parasites will penetrate into the fetal bladder and cause congenital malformations, death, and miscarriages. The source of this infection is cat feces. And what is more, only the feces of a cat which got infected recently are the source of it. Cats catch this disease through raw meat and environment. So if your cat doesn’t eat raw meat, the chances of getting an infection are significantly less.
And even if a cat has toxoplasmosis, the cysts in its fresh feces aren’t yet able to penetrate into the other organisms. The cysts should pass an internal development cycle which lasts from 1 to 5 days. So, if you change a cat litter box every day, you can’t get toxoplasmosis through it anyway. By the way, cats usually get this disease at a young age and then become immune to it.
What are the chances of getting toxoplasmosis?
According to the statistics given by the leading veterinarians, one of a hundred women gets toxoplasmosis after direct contact with a pet. In some countries, the doctors recommend avoiding any contacts with pets during pregnancy at all. Of course, this fact proves the idea that it is better to keep away from cat’s feces and a future mother shouldn’t clean cat litter box during pregnancy. But what should you do when no one but you can do it?
Can you clean a cat litter box during pregnancy?
So, should you give your furry friend to someone during pregnancy to protect yourself and your future baby? Actually, it’s not as necessary as you may think. If your cat is healthy, doesn’t spend a lot of time outside, doesn’t eat raw meat, and if you clean and change the cat litter box every day, the chance to get toxoplasmosis from your cat is very small. But it is better to be on the safe side and to ask other members of your family to clean the cat litter box when you are pregnant. If no one can do it, don’t be afraid! Just observe the basic rules of personal hygiene and take care of your cat. It is also a good idea to pass the test for toxoplasmosis. Moreover, it is better to do it before getting pregnant if you are trying to conceive, or during the early stages of pregnancy. Follow the recommendations given above and your cat will be only a source of joy for you and your future child!