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Can Pregnant Women Change Cat Litter

So What Affect Does This Have On A Pregnant Woman

Dont change the kitty litter! Is it a myth or true for pregnant women?

If a pregnant woman was to become infected with Toxoplasmosis, the parasite can be passed to the fetus either causing an abortion or severe birth defects such as hydrocephalus, blindness, and mental retardation. Approximately 60% of infected pregnant women will pass the infection to their fetus. It is hard to tell if a pregnant woman has contracted the disease as they most likely will not show symptoms. Diagnosis is generally made through a blood test.

Precautions For Pregnant Women Worried About Toxoplasmosis

While its not impossible to be exposed to toxoplasmosis through your cats litter box, most people are infected through other means. As mentioned above, most people are infected through contact with contaminated soil or through eating raw meat contaminated with Toxoplasma oocysts.

Fortunately, cats that become;infected with toxoplasmosis shed the organism in their feces for only a short period of time. This means that most cats that are infected with toxoplasmosis will shed oocyststhe infective stage in the life cycle of the Toxoplasma organisms that causes toxoplasmosisfor only a few days.

In addition, even if your cat is shedding the organism, it takes a minimum of 48 hours for the oocysts to become infective. Cleaning the litter box daily prevents transmission. The use of proper hygiene is one of the cornerstones of preventing infection. Washing your hands after handling your cats litter box and/or wearing gloves when cleaning the box;also prevents transmission of the disease.

Keeping your cat indoors is a good way to prevent your cat from becoming infected with toxoplasmosis. Also, avoid feeding your cat raw meat and do not allow your cat to hunt. These practices will remove the possibility of exposure of your cat to toxoplasmosis.

Still, taking precautions to avoid exposure to potential toxoplasmosis in the cat litter is a good idea for any pregnant woman.

How Does Toxoplasmosis Affect Unborn Children And Newborns

Typically, toxoplasmosis does not cause major issues for adults. In fact, most people stay completely asymptomatic . It poses the greatest health risk to newborns, and can be transmitted to an unborn child if a pregnant woman becomes infected.

If you contract toxoplasmosis when newly pregnant or get infected during pregnancy at any point, you may pass the infection on to your unborn child. Most infants do not present symptoms at birth, but they may begin to develop serious complications later on, including blindness and mental disability. In some cases, birth defects like eye or brain damage will be immediately apparent.

If you were infected with toxoplasmosis before becoming pregnant, your unborn child should be protected by your immunity. Some experts recommend waiting 6 months to conceive after youve been infected, just to be safe.

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Can I Still Pet My Cat If Im Pregnant

You can absolutely pet your cat if youre pregnant.;Your cat may be upset if you dont!

Cats are hygienic animals, and its unlikely to see them rolling around in their litter box. If you have no reason to believe your cat is sick or doesnt have any feces on their fur, you should give your cat a scratch behind their ears.

If you can, ask your friends and family to pay extra attention to your pet as well! When the baby arrives, you will likely have less time to focus on your pet for a little while, so its a great idea to have your pet used to attention from people other than you.; And who are we kidding, your cat will probably love the extra snuggles.

Plus, its excellent practice for everyone to learn how to lend a hand and work as a team before the baby arrives. Its just like they say, it takes a village!

Pregnancy can bring a lot of changes to our lives. Luckily, finding a new home for your favorite pet doesnt have to be one of them. There are so many things we worry about before a new baby arrives, by following a few simple precautions, cleaning a litter box doesnt need to be one of them.

We want you to know, the mark of a good pet owner is one who considers the different aspects of pet ownership, especially when it could affect various stages of your life, so kudos to you for being a great pet parent!

Other Animals Can Transmit Toxoplasmosis

Is it true that pregnant women should avoid cats?

Cats get toxoplasmosis from eating contaminated raw meat, birds, mice, or soil. But cats aren’t the only animals who can transmit it, they’re just the only species to shed the infectious stage in their feces. Humans can contract toxoplasmosis from the infected, undercooked meat of other animals, too.

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Added Benefits Of The Catgenie Litter Box

After having the CatGenie for just shy of 3 years I am happy to report that I am still SO HAPPY with my purchase. As terrible as it sounds, I love my cat SO much more since buying this. I get all the benefits of having a cat- the snuggles, the head butts and biscuit making massages without the hassle of cleaning his litter box. My house never smells like ammonia or cat feces anymore. My clean litter box demanding cat has not urinated or defecated outside of his box in protest of me missing a day of scooping.

I really would recommend this litter box for anyone that owns a cat, but for pregnant women that dont have the option of scooping their own cat litter anymore, this litter box is THE best solution.

Cat Litter Precautions For Pregnant Women

Toxoplasmosis is almost always a concern for pregnant women. Some doctors even go so far as to advise a pregnant woman to get rid of any cats in the household. However, with the proper precautions, getting rid of the family cat is not necessary. It is also worth remembering that the family cat is not the only, or even the most likely, way for a pregnant woman to become exposed to toxoplasmosis.

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What Can Toxoplasmosis Do To An Unborn Baby

Toxoplasmosis can be fatal to unborn babies since it can be passed on from mother to child via the placenta. It can lead to miscarriages and stillbirths. If an infected baby does survive there is the chance that the baby could have damage to their brain or other organs; particularly their eyes. Many times, there is no sign of damage caused by toxoplasmosis at birth. The baby could appear completely normal. But as the baby starts to grow and get older signs of damage from this disease could start to appear in childhood or even all the way up to adulthood. The most common impairment caused by toxoplasmosis is eye damage. In the most serious cases, the inflicted person could go blind or even have some brain damage.

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Needless to say, it would be wise for pregnant women to avoid going anywhere near a cats litter box. This isnt something that should be compromised. Staying away from your kittys droppings and their potty area is for the safety of you and your little one. If you have a significant other or other people who live with you, have them tackle the kitty duty until after the baby is born. If you live alone, see if you can have a friend or relative drop by every few days to help clean out the litter box. This doesnt mean that you love your feline any less. Soon enough, you will be back on litter box patrol!

Duration Of Infection With T Gondii

Medical Myth Buster – Should you change your cats litter box while pregnant?

The toxoplasmosis parasite can cause a long-term infection. Following infection, a small number of parasites can remain locked inside cysts within certain parts of the body, such as the brain, lungs and muscle tissue.Under normal circumstances, the immune system will easily destroy any parasites that escape these cysts, but a person with lowered immunity may not be able to fend off an attack. The parasites can greatly increase in number and cause a variety of serious illnesses, including infection of the brain.

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When To Get Medical Advice

Most people infected with toxoplasmosis don’t have any symptoms and don’t know they’re infected.

Pregnant women aren’t routinely screened for toxoplasmosis in the UK. But if you’re concerned about your risk of toxoplasmosis, talk to your midwife or GP about the possibility of having a blood test to check for the infection.

Acquiring It From An Infected Person

If a pregnant woman is infected, the parasite can cross the placenta and infect the fetus. However, people who have toxoplasmosis are not contagious. This includes young children and babies infected before birth.

Less commonly, you can get it from an organ transplantation or blood transfusion from an infected person. Laboratories screen closely to prevent this.

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How Is It Treated

In healthy people, the infection often goes away on its own. But babies and people whose bodies can’t fight infection well will need to take medicine to treat the infection and prevent serious health problems.

If you get toxoplasmosis while you’re pregnant, you’ll take medicine that treats the infection. This medicine is called spiramycin, an antibiotic.footnote 2 Spiramycin collects in the placenta, the site through which the Toxoplasma gondii parasites travel to the fetus.

This medicine may:

  • Keep your baby from getting the infection.
  • Lower your baby’s chance of having serious health problems if he or she does get it.

Your baby has a better chance of being healthy at birth if you get treatment while you’re pregnant.

If an amniocentesis shows that a fetus is infected, a combination of antibiotics lowers the risk of birth defects and may cure the infection. Sulfadiazine plus pyrimethamine is sometimes used with the antibiotic spiramycin.footnote 2

Most newborns who have been infected with toxoplasmosis have no symptoms at birth. If your baby has the infection, he or she will need to take antibiotics for a year after birth. This lowers the chance of having problems later on.

The Cat Can Stay: Debunking Pregnancy Myths About Toxoplasmosis

Is It Safe To Change My Cats Litter While Im Pregnant ...

Ill never forget the panic in her voice. The web said, stay away from cats when youre pregnant because your baby can be mentally retarded! It was the first thing this soon-to-be mom could get out the second I picked up the phone. It is true? I got rid of my cat immediately because I was so worried and I feel terrible about it, she breathlessly explained. As a teratogen information specialist , I knew her concern was shared by many. She was worried about something called toxoplasmosis, and after calling her doctors office, a nurse she spoke with didnt say much or educate her about the infection. The nurse just reaffirmed that by getting rid of her cat, she had done the right thing. She was beyond frustrated. Not to mention, she missed her familys feline!

After hearing her frustration, I asked her some basic questions relative to the cat. How long has she had the cat? Was the cat only indoor, outdoor, or both? Did she feed the cat any raw meat? Who changed the cat litter? Did she do any gardening?

Based on what she described, there was nothing to indicate that she was at an increased risk. But Im sure Ive harmed my baby, she said anxiously. So, I broke down the basics about toxoplasmosis. January is Birth Defects Prevention Month, what better time to revisit facts about infection?

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What Steps Can I Take To Make Sure Im Not Infected

  • Ideally, ask someone else in the family to be responsible for cleaning the litter box during your pregnancy.;
  • The next best strategy is to change your cats litter boxes daily. Once your cat poops, it takes 1 to 5 days for the parasite to sporulate and become infectious. Changing the litter box daily eliminates the risk of infection from the litter box.
  • Wear gloves and/or wash your hands after changing a litter box, after gardening or cleaning vegetables, and always after handling raw meat.
  • Do not adopt stray or young cats. Stray cats are exposed to Toxoplasmosis more often by eating small animals or having a weakened immune system. Kittens are also prone to infection due to their weaker immune systems.

Cat Litter And Pregnancy: Must Know Risks

Many people are fond of keeping pets. Most animals kept as pets are dogs and cats. Being a pet lover requires more than just playing with them. You need to take care of them, play with them as well as clean their litter. All this work become hectic for a woman during pregnancy. Pregnancy is considered to be a joyous event in her life. She needs to take care of herself properly now, her diet should be healthy and she should take complete rest.; Having a cat as a pet near you during pregnancy can be harmful. Lets find out how?

In this article:

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What Are The Consequences Of Toxoplasmosis During Pregnancy

Some babies show signs of infection on an ultrasound. Your doctor may notice abnormalities in the brain and less commonly in the liver. Toxoplasmosis cysts can be found in the babys organs after the infection develops. The most serious damage occurs from nervous system infection. This can include damage to the babys brain and eyes, either in the womb or after birth. It may cause visual impairment or blindness, intellectual disability, and developmental delay.

How Cats Transmit Toxoplasmosis To Pregnant Women

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Toxoplasmosis gondii, lashes out from the waste produced by a hosting cat. This acute form of protozoan infection is quite contagious. It is easily passed from manipulation with contaminated cat litter or litter box items. If a person, in a delicate health condition, like a new mother to be inhales the ills of this infection, she may become dangerously threatening to her unborn baby, or the fetus and this may end up quite detrimentally, via the placental barrier and the bloodstream, triggering the possibility of birth defects, or even death of the unborn child.

Luckily, most cats who become infected with this disease, shed the remnants of this organism within their fecal matter only, for a very brief time. One must be extra careful while feeding their cats with the harmful stuff such as the raw meats and avoid a close contact, especially in the expecting phase of life. It takes almost two days for a cat to complete shed the parasitic contents of the protozoan organism and a heightened degree of hygiene is required to prevent the contamination of infection from the litter box of a cat.

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A Vet Explained Why Pregnant People *really* Shouldn’t Be Cleaning Cats’ Litter Boxes

When you’re pregnant many things – like undercooked meat and fish and caffeine – are off-limits. Pet parents should also add cleaning the family cat’s litter box to the list of no-nos, if possible. While this daily task is a chore most people would gladly give up without question, there’s some important science to back it up, according to Dr. Stephanie Austin, a veterinarian and medical director at Bond Vet.

Read ahead to learn why pregnant people should consider delegating this important-but-gross chore to someone else.

“When people think of diseases that can be spread from cats to humans, they often think of toxoplasmosis,” explained Dr. Austin. “Toxoplasmosis is a disease that is the result of infection with the ‘toxoplasma gondii’ parasite. Humans can also get this on their own from eating infected meat, as well as various other sources including the handling of infected soil.”

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Dr. Austin suggested taking a look at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines, which recommend feeding cats only canned or dried commercial food and cleaning your kitty’s litter box every day. She also provided some insight as far as precautions go if you don’t have a partner to take over the task entirely.

Pregnant With Pets Concerns About Cats

In this photo, Dr. Katie is demonstrating proper personal protective equipment for litter box cleaning if you are pregnant. Pregnant women who clean the litter box should wear gloves and a mask, and thoroughly wash their hands when finished. Masks and disposable gloves are available at many stores and online.

Many people have had a lot of questions about being safe around animals during pregnancy.;; The most commonly asked question is Is it safe to be around cats when youre expecting? We hope to answer that question and maybe give a few more tips about being safe around pets when you or a loved one is expecting.

Is it safe to be around cats?;The short answer is yes, but precautions should be taken to protect the mother. Generally when people ask this question, they have the disease toxoplasmosis in mind.;; Toxoplasma is a parasite that can be very harmful to an unborn baby if the mother acquires the infection for the first time during pregnancy.;; It can cause miscarriage, neurological defects , blindness, and other symptoms. Some of these symptoms may not be apparent at birth, but they may become evident as the child grows.;; Cats pick up this infection by ingesting small animals . For this reason, we recommend keeping your cat indoors to minimize hunting of small prey.;; Infected cats shed the parasite in the feces. It takes one or more days for the parasite to develop in the cats feces to an infective form.


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