Becoming a mother of recent and being a Cat Mom from as far as I can remember I’ve been often warned by well-meant folk about perils of having a Cat and being pregnant.
This cast a dark shadow over my pregnant lady fantasies of my Two Stupid Cats sleeping on my big tummy and posed a danger of us having to change sleeping arrangements with our feline roomies. No more Fury Cat Head warmers and purrs at night – I thought.
Having done my due diligence and my research I have learned that Cat danger for pregnant women can be summed in one word- Toxoplasmosis, an infection caused by a parasite called Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii).
While really serious if contracted by a pregnant women or a person with weak immune system, toxoplasmosis shows no symptoms in infected healthy adults.After getting the infection, most people are immune to it for the rest of their life.
How do you get infected? The parasite that causes toxoplasmosis is found in the poo (faeces) of infected cats and in infected meat. You can become infected if the parasites get into your mouth – for example, by:
- handling or eating raw, cured or undercooked infected meat – particularly lamb or pork
- eating food (such as unwashed fruit and vegetables) or drinking water contaminated with infected cat’s poo
- accidentally getting contaminated soil or cat litter in your mouth
Though the danger is real, the odds of contracting toxoplasmosis during pregnancy are quite remote. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), humans are more likely to contract toxoplasmosis from eating undercooked meat or from gardening than they are from contact with a cat. Remember, you can also pick up toxoplasmosis parasite from unwashed fruits and vegetables.
- Cat’s contract Toxoplasmosis by eating infected rodents, birds and other small animals. So keeping your cat indoors throughout your term and only feeding them commercial food or well cooked meat reduces the risks significantly
- Let the Men be Real Men and handle the litter box
So, my pregnancy was happy, safe and full of Cats following these advices. Of course one of the first tests you make when getting pregnant is for Toxoplasmosis. These dangers should not be taken lightly and every precaution must be taken so you can enjoy the most wonderful journey in your life with your best fury friends.