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Thread: Cats and Pregnancy

  1. #1
    Mark&Jess Guest

    Default Cats and Pregnancy

    Hi,
    Have heard a few tales about cats and pregnancy not mixing. Is this something we should be concerned about? We have an indoor cat that likes to snuggle on the couch with us, lately he has been banished to the garage/laundry as Jess has heard that she should avoid cats at all cost.
    I have been cleaning the litter box (which I guess is a good warm up for changing nappies??)
    Are we doing the right thing keeping the cat away while going through the pregnancy, or is it okay for him to come back into the house with us? (He's not too happy about missing his nightly fix of TV with us :-({|= )



    Mark

  2. #2

    Join Date
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    Default

    Hi Mark... wow you found the right person to ask... lol.... as I am a vet nurse, and when I got PG I had to be aware of handling cats. I handled around 4-5 different cats daily on average. When I got PG I had to find out through various GP's & infection control at a hospital about toxoplasmosis which is the disease that cats can carry and affects PG women but causing miscarriage. To get toxoplasmosis from a cat, you have to get their poo in your mouth. This has to be done on the 14th day after the cat comes in contact with the virus. If the cat has already had the virus in the past, then you don't have to worry, its a bit like chicken pox, you should only have it once. If you have contracted toxoplasmosis in the past, you won't be affected whilst PG. For the past 6 years I have been cleaning cats litter trays and handling all sorts of cats and have never been exposed to toxoplasmosis.

    Having said all of that.... when I found out I was PG, I stopped cleaning all litter trays, and if our cat was particularly messy, DH would have to clean it up quickly.... and I washed my hands after handling any cats. I still handled them, & our cat Chester still slept on my lap heaps....

    There is a risk, especially if you feed your cat raw meat or it hunts regularly. But its the same risk as gardening if the cats use the garden as their litter tray as well....ykwim??

    sorry for the epic... I hope it helps!

  3. #3

    Join Date
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    Wow, talk about plenty of information in that head of yours!!!
    Toxoplasmosis was a concern of mine when we found out I was pregnant and I have been thinking that perhaps my miscarriage happened coz of zomething linked to it. We have an inside cat and I stopped cleaning its litter and feeding it as soon as I found out I was pregnant.

    Is your understanding that if you have been in contact with it before then you are pretty much safe during pregnancy?
    I was actually born with no central vision in my left eye due to my mother contracting toxoplasmosis!! I am apparently very luck that thats all that happened to me. It wasn't picked up untill I was 16 though which was odd. My retina detached somehow and my retinal scaring from toxoplasmosis was picked up then. They did blood tests of me and mum and found out that way.

  4. #4

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    yep cindy - if you have come in contact with it prior to PG, it shouldn't affect you during PG if you come in contact with it again. Shouldn't being the operative word, but there is a blood test the Dr can do to check your level of immunity. I had it done before I was PG which is why I knew to avoid cat litter during PG.

  5. #5

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    Cool Christie, thanks for that, I remember when I had all my bloods done when pregnant they said that tI had some immunity to it I think, it just gets so confusing with all the dos and don'ts.

    Thanks again!!

  6. #6

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    It really is confusing!! My GP told me straight away that I should quit my job :-s that it was too dangerous being around cats... and gave me an info sheet on toxoplasmosis... so I went to work & discussed it with the nurses and came to the conclusion that I would avoid it & cleaning the cat kennels and xrays... and the anaesthetic we used was an abortificant too! Soooo many risks just going to work! So I studied up on all of them, and rang around to hospitals to see what they do with PG employees.... so I obviously avoided xrays, anaesthetic, and litter trays.... and those were the big three....

    oh the other thing about the cat litter is if it is done morning & night (by only putting a tiny amount of litter in & emptying it, cleaning & redoing) then the risk is almost gone as long as your cat hasn't walked in the poo & then put the paw in your mouth...lol.... when DH was away while I was PG thats what I did with gloves on too... just a little bit scared despite the information I had...

  7. #7

    Join Date
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    Hi all,

    Apparently most women who have lived with a cat for a few years will have come across toxoplasmosis at some stage, and most will be immune. I've grown up with a cat, and my husband and I have an inside cat at the moment. I don't see any reason to banish the cat from the house, precautions like getting the man of the house to clean the litter tray, washing your hands really well after handling the cat, and wearing gloves when gardening should pretty much eliminate the risk. My cat gets to stay inside with us, but I find that I don't play with him much. Tim (DH) is giving him attention and keeping him happy these days.

    I haven't had the blood test to establish whether I'm immune or not, but it might be a good idea if you're worried about it!

    Cheers,

    Juliette

  8. #8
    Mark&Jess Guest

    Default Definitely came to the right place

    Thanks for that info. It's awesome that there is such a wealth of information hovering around this forum. =D>

  9. #9
    energa Guest

    Default

    Hey there!

    Yes.. my hubbys on litter box detail too. During my first pregnancy though I cleaned the litter right through myself and had no problems.

    We have two spoilt siamese and Im sure they would be very put out and I havent the heart to boot them out of bed! We heard that you make any changes before the baby comes, and decided that theres nothing that we want to change. We figure a mozzie net will keep the heat seekers out of the cot.

    I vote to let your lonely pussy cat back inside!

    vanna

  10. #10
    Mark&Jess Guest

    Default On Reprieve

    Kitty is allowed back inside now, and is happy that he can watch TV and hassle us when we're cooking dinner. He is once again king of the couch!

  11. #11
    energa Guest

    Default king of the couch

    woo hoo!

    vanna

  12. #12

    Join Date
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    Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, Australia
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    Moving this thread to General Pregnancy Discussion!
    Kelly xx

    Creator of BellyBelly.com.au, doula, writer and mother of three amazing children
    Author of Want To Be A Doula? Everything You Need To Know
    Follow me in 2015 as I go Around The World + Kids!
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