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Caring for a Cat While Pregnant

Are you expecting a new arrival? Congratulations! When it comes to cats and pregnancy, there are many myths and misconceptions. In this article, your Central Indianapolis vet separates fact from fiction regarding caring for a cat while pregnant.

Fact

Sadly, misinformation has led many people to give their beloved kitties away due to the risk of contracting toxoplasmosis, a parasitic disease. As with all myths, there is some factual information behind the rumors. Pregnant women can indeed contract toxoplasmosis from kitties, or specifically, from handling cat feces. It’s also true that the disease can be transmitted t to unborn babies, which can result in miscarriage and/or birth defects. The risks of this happening, however, are very low, as long as proper precautions are taken. There are actually several other ways to get toxoplasmosis, aside from handling kitty litter. Eating meat that was infected or undercooked is one method. You can also get it simply from gardening! Actually, according to the CDC, people are much more likely to contract toxoplasmosis from gardening or eating raw meat than from a cat.

Fiction

The first and most common myth is that pregnant women should get rid of their beloved kitties. This is completely unnecessary. You also don’t need to worry about petting your furball or letting her sleep on your lap. While we’re on the topic, it’s also untrue that cats steal the breath from newborn babies!

Precautions

Pregnant women should avoid changing or handling kitty litter while expecting. Those who don’t have help can protect themselves simply by wearing gloves and carefully washing their hands after touching the litter box. A few other precautions are recommended. Carefully wash any fruits and veggies, as well as your cutting board and cooking utensils, and avoid eating undercooked meat. Keeping your kitty indoors will also help.

One last word of precaution: we do advise against letting Kitty sleep with your infant, at least until the little one grows a bit. Fluffy won’t try to hurt your child, but she may want to lay on top of the baby for a cuddle. This can be dangerous, as infants are too weak to push kitty off. A crib protector will keep Fluffy out of your baby’s bed.

Does your cat need shots or an examination? Contact us, your Central Indianapolis vet clinic!

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