Is It Really Dangerous For Pregnant Women to be Around Cats?
You've probably heard this myth before...but is it true?
There are a lot of myths surrounding pregnancy, but one that cat owners have probably heard before is this: pregnant women shouldn't be around cats.
But why? Is it actually true?
Pregnant Women and Cats: The Myth
This fear is probably linked to the risk of toxoplasmosis. This parasite can cause flu-like symptoms in adults, but it poses particular dangers to pregnant women as it can have adverse effects on the unborn child or even cause a miscarriage.
Toxoplasmosis can be found in cat feces, and it's here that the myth makes its claim.
Could My Cat Be Carrying Toxoplasmosis?
Healthy cats normally don't experience symptoms of the disease, but they can still pass it in their feces. So how do you know if your cat is safe?
The simple fact is that a cat cannot be carrying the parasite unless they have been exposed to infected cats, meat, or fecal matter. In the case of felines who spend much unsupervised time outdoors, it's best to have them tested, as you can't be sure what they might have been exposed to.
However, if it's a healthy indoor cat who eats commercial cat food and hasn't come into contact with anything suspicious outside, then it's simply impossible for them to have it.
If you have an indoor cat and you're still worried about the possibility of coming into contact with toxoplasmosis, then your first option is to take your cat to the vet and simply have them tested.
In addition to that, there are a few precautions you can take yourself while you're pregnant.
The parasite is spread through contact with cat feces, not with the cat itself. So to be safe, you should simply avoid close contact with the litterbox.
Take extra precautions and always wear gloves while you change the litterbox, and wash your hands thoroughly afterward. If you want to go a step further, you can even ask your partner or a friend to handle the litterbox duties for you during your pregnancy so that there is no risk whatsoever.
All in all, while the myth does have some truth to it, the likelihood of it applying to your circumstances is highly exaggerated, and the risks are easily avoidable.
Ever wondered if being an indoor-only cat is unhealthy for your feline? Find out here!
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