Cats or Your Unborn Child: Toxoplasmosis in Cats and Pregnancy

Pregnant cat lovers beware! You might not know that you are putting your child at risk.

The situation: 

You are a certified cat lover. You have cats in your house. You feed stray cats when you see one outdoors. You’ve lived your entire life with cats surrounding you. However, you are pregnant, and the people around you keeps on telling you to avoid cats during your pregnancy. Are you going to or not?

Well, you are supposed to avoid cats, litter boxes and anything related to living cats (except pictures >.>) while you’re pregnant. Cats, especially their feces, carry a microscopic parasite called Toxoplasma gondii. These parasites cause an infection known as Toxoplasmosis. You get the parasite from cats who have walked on their litter (check those paws!) or cat feces, or even uncooked or raw meat. 

Pregnant women infected with toxoplasmosis usually do not know that they are infected with one. The infection has flu-like symptoms like swelling lymph nodes, muscle aches and pains. Once infected, it is risky for the unborn child as it can be passed from the mother to the child, which can cause hydrocephalus, damage to eyes or other organs of the child, hearing problems, low birth weight, and even miscarriage especially if you get it in the first trimester of pregnancy.

To prevent yourself from toxoplasmosis, you don’t need to get rid of your cat. You just need extra precautions. Do not clean or be in contact with the litter box. Have someone to do it for you, and do it daily, and make sure that after he has done so, he has cleaned himself. If possible, do not allow your pet cat to go in contact with you, especially after defacation. Avoid feeding your cat raw food, since remember the parasite or its eggs can also thrive on raw food. Make sure your kitty will not be on the kitchens counters. Do not play with stray cats. Keep your surroundings clean. 

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  1. qncai

    On July 30, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    Interesting, like information, thank for share

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