Very often pregnancy and cats are considered to be incompatible things. But actually, very few people can clearly explain what threat cats pose to a pregnant woman. And thus, when future parents expect their baby’s birth, they can be afraid of the presence of a cat near a pregnant woman. Let’s figure out if it’s safe to keep a cat when you are pregnant!
Cat at home during pregnancy: what do you need to know?
First of all, every future mother should know that a danger of common cat’s infection – toxoplasmosis – really exists. Such a disease isn’t dangerous for an adult person but is very harmful to the fetus. Toxoplasmosis can lead to the malformation of a child and even to its death. That’s why sometimes keeping a cat during pregnancy becomes a serious problem.
Of course, it doesn’t mean that you should necessarily give your pet to someone else. The first thing you should know is whether your cat has been vaccinated against toxoplasmosis or not. The point is that stray cats 100% have this disease. The microbes causing an infectious disease are quite resistant to external conditions and can live in cat’s feces for about 2 years. Toxoplasmosis also often gets into the human’s body through infected meat. But that’s not the point right now.
So, if your cat has had all the necessary injections you don’t need to give the pet to someone. Moreover, if your cat had appeared in your house long before you got pregnant, you’ve surely become immune to the infection, and your cat won’t do you any harm. However, it doesn’t mean that there is nothing to worry about.
What is the danger of a cat at home during pregnancy?
Pets can become the carriers of rabies – a very dangerous deadly disease. So, if you have a cat, remember that you should vaccinate your pet regularly! Besides, don’t let your cat out while you’re pregnant, as the risk of it catching an infection is very high.
Of course, no one can forbid you to play with your pet, but don’t let your cat scratch you. Bacteria can get into the cat scratches and lead to the local skin inflammation. But the much greater danger for a pregnant woman is such a disease as cat’s chlamydia. It can lead to fetal malformations or a miscarriage. The symptoms of this disease your cat will show are discharge from the eyes, high temperature, cough, and sneezing. Chlamydia is a deadly disease for the cats. So, if you suspect the disease developing, urgently bring your pet to the vet!
Above all, a cat can have worms or shingles. But if you vaccinate your pet, don’t let it go outside, and follow the rules of hygiene, you will easily be able to escape an unfortunate outcome. However, if you notice that you’ve become allergic to your cat, unfortunately, you’ll have to part with your pet (at least, for a time). But the allergic reaction usually disappears after childbirth.
So, take care of your cat and don’t adopt other pets until your baby is born, and you won’t have to worry.
Can a pregnant woman touch and kiss a cat?
Refuse of «kisses» with your favorite pet because toxoplasmosis parasites can be transmitted through the cat’s saliva. Remember that you should thoroughly wash your hands with soap as there can be an infection in the pet’s fur.
If you’ve suddenly noticed that your cat has decreased appetite or nausea and fever – urgently visit a vet. In the majority of cases, such symptoms suggest toxoplasmosis. Don’t pet stray cats! And don’t visit friends who have recently taken home a kitten as they might not vaccinate the pet yet. The new owners might not even know that the pet has an infection.
Pregnancy and cats: apartment cleaning
As we’ve already mentioned, fur is often a hotbed of infections and is also a strong allergen. So, that’s why you should regularly do wet cleaning at home. Remember that you shouldn’t clean your cat’s litter box and wash its bowl because a lot of different bacteria live in cat’s saliva and cat’s feces and can easily get into your body through microcracks on your hands.
Thoroughly vacuum the furniture, carpets, and all the interior items where your cat can sit. Avoid the formation of dust on the furniture as the cat can dissipate the dust with its tail and «reward» you with a million of different bacteria. Wash not only your hands but also the paws of your cat after playing with your favorite pet.
And one more important thing: don’t leave the food which the cat could smell or taste in the kitchen. Don’t allow your pet to be very close to you while you’re cooking something. And after dinner clean your kitchen using disinfectants. The same refers to the cat litter box cleaning. If you throw cat’s feces into the toilet, necessarily clean it with chlorinated substances.
So, now you know that a cat at home during pregnancy doesn’t always pose a threat. If you take proper care of your pet, there is nothing to worry about! So, here are the main rules you should follow:
- Regularly bring your pet to the vet and vaccinate it;
- Thoroughly clean the apartment where the pet lives;
- Don’t clean cat litter box: entrust this task to someone else;
- Avoid any contact with stray cats and don’t visit friends who have recently got a kitten.
Remember these tips, and your cat will bring you only positive emotions while you’re pregnant!