Dear Porky and Buddy,
I just found out that I am pregnant and I am very excited about that. But, also a little worried.
I have two cats and I have heard that that I can catch some sort of parasite from them that can cause serious problems with my pregnancy. Is that true? What should I do?
Congratulations! Cats and dogs love little babies; dogs because they leave all sorts of tasty things around to lick and eat, and cats because they are so warm and cute.
But enough about us.
First you want to talk to your doctor for advice, but for general advice we went straight to the Center for Disease Control website for information and this is what they have to say:
Pregnant women need to be aware that toxoplasmosis (TOX-so-plaz-MO-sis) can cause problems with pregnancy, including abortion.
Toxoplasmosis is an infection caused by a parasite called Toxoplasma gondii. This parasite is carried by cats and is passed in their feces (stool). However, people are more likely to get toxoplasmosis from eating undercooked meat or gardening than from contact with pet cats.
By following simple safety tips, pregnant women can reduce the risk of getting toxoplasmosis from cats.
If you own a cat, have a non-pregnant person change the litter box every day. If there is no one else to change the litter box, wear gloves and wash hands with soap and running water after changing the litter.
Risk may be reduced if the litter box is changed every day.
Keep cats indoors.
Avoid adopting or handling stray cats.
Feed cats only canned or dried commercial cat food, never undercooked or raw meat.
Do not bring a new cat into your house that might have been an outdoor cat or might have been fed raw meat.
All those tips seem like plain common sense to us.
Your doctor may have more specific recommendations about how to avoid this infection from all sources.
Some general advice even though you didn’t ask for it?
Try not to get all neurotic.
Pregnancy is not a “condition.” It’s life.
Have fun with it. Pretty soon you will have a new “pet,” the main difference being that this one will need a college education.
The Oswego County Humane Society provides spay/neuter services and assistance, fostering and adoption of animals in urgent need, humane education programs, and information and referrals to animal lovers throughout Oswego County.
Our office is located at 265 W. First St., Oswego, NY.
Phone (315) 207-1070.
Email: [email protected]
Because people and pets are good for each other!