We’ve all heard the story when someone decided to find a new house for their feline bet, because they were expecting a baby. From now on I will regularly post tips that will help you prepare your cat for the arrival of a new baby. I hope this will save a few cat hearts from breaking…
Pregnant women are scared of toxoplasmosis. It is so widespread and well-worn that even during training in obstetrics, the first class is devoted to this issue. Malicious cats infecting every woman with toxoplasmosis is a third position on the list of popular stereotypes about cats. It follows the “cats do not get attached to humans, only places” and “every cat-loving lady is a spinster”. What’s the truth?
Myth: cats spread toxoplasmosis. If you are pregnant – stay away from cats!
- The parasite causing toxoplasmosis is found in cats’ feces. For the feces to become infectious, they’ve to lie around outside of a cat’s body for at least 48 hours. Then it has to be touched with a bare hand of a pregnant woman and placed in her mouth. Very possible scenario, isn’t it?
- Only 10% of cat population carry the disease. This problem mainly affects cats that go outside and eat raw meat.
- And since I’ve mentioned meat… it’s a main source of toxoplasmosis. There’s a much larger chance of catching the disease while preparing a meat-based dinner. Or through a kiss from somebody who’s just had meat tartare. Catching toxoplasmosis from your cat is much less likely. Unless you feed raw meat to your cat and play with his two-day feces, not washing your hands after either of those.
- If you are expecting a baby and your are afraid of catching toxoplasmosis, test yourself for Toxoplasma gondii parasites. A lot of people went through this disease, because in majority of cases there are no symptoms. And if you had toxo once, your immune system becomes stronger and that solves the problem!
EDIT: Of course – whenever you clean cat’s litter box, WASH YOUR HANDS THOROUGHLY! It does not apply to pregnant women only 🙂