It’s the Cat or a Baby?
By: Dr. Jackie Pulver DVMDr. Jackie Pulver
If you are pregnant, you can’t have a cat…..This is a common worry with women when they first find out they are having their first human baby. Luckily, this myth is not true.  The concern for pregnant women and cats is a parasitic disease called toxoplasmosis. This parasite is not transmitted by direct contact with a cat, but by contact with Japanese_litter_boxcat feces.  When humans are infected with toxoplasmosis, most do not get sick. Some people may get swollen glands or fell like they have flu like symptoms.  When you are pregnant, if you become infected with toxoplasmosis it may infect the fetus and cause malformation or abortion.
Pregnant women can safely be around cats with a few simple precautions. The easiest way to prevent any contamination is to have another person in the household daily clean the litter box. Pregnant women should wash their hands after handling cats. Gloves should be worn anytime pregnant women 06-pregnant-woman-cat-couch-lgnare handling dirt (cats will defecate in gardens and other loose soil). Cats that are kept indoors only are less likely to be shedding toxoplasmosis. Lastly, toxoplasmosis can also be passed to people from eating under cooked meat-especially pork, lamb and deer meat.