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Thread: Cats!

  1. #1

    Join Date
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    Default Cats!

    Hi everyone!

    I am relatively new here and have been curious just how much you have to be careful around cats - I have a cat and all through my pregnancy, I have been a little concerned (and fanatical) about cleaning my hands and making sure no fur is on my clothes.



    They say that it can really only be a problem when changing their litter tray (which I don't do), but if the cat is infected, surely it can be transferred also from their fur??

    Hope you can advise.

    Thanks~!

  2. #2
    Tigergirl1980 Guest

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    I'm not sure. You can take your cat to the vet and have it tested for toxoplasmosis if you're that concerned. We have 2 cats and I didn't have a problem with that and didn't have mine tested. I mentioned to my doctor that I was using rubber gloves when doing the litter and she said that was good, but in the end my DH had to take over because I couldn't stomach it any more.

  3. #3
    skorpy Guest

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    Just need to go careful with cat poo.

    I myself am allergic to cats anyway,and I am not a lover of cats,i find them more an annoyence then anything else.I am forever chasing cats away from my garden who keeps doing their buisness on my flower patch.My 2 year old plays in the garden and its a pain.

  4. #4

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    Default

    Here's a link where we had a bit of a chat about toxoplasmosis: http://bellybelly.com.au/forums/show...=toxoplasmosis

    I guess the rationalisation is that the cat's poo won't be on its fur. It really depends on your cat. Have a read of the thread and if you have any other questions, feel free to ask

  5. #5

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    Default

    Like others have said, it's just the poo really that is of concern. You can easily request a blood test for yourself to check if you are immune to toxo yourself (which is much cheaper than testing the cat) - if you aren't, it's not worth stressing over... just be hygienic when around the litter tray and make sure you clean it at least once a day, twice is better, if you can't pass this task onto anyone else.
    I used to work in a vet clinic and have been previously exposed to cats known to have toxo, but yet have no immunity (ie, I've never contracted it) so it is pretty hard to contract. Neither of my cats carry the bug and they are both low-risk of exposure it as they are indoor only cats.

  6. #6

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    I have 2 cats and it was fine during pregnancy. Its just the fecal matter which can have toxoplasmosis (as can meat). So my GP ordered DH to clean the kitty litter during pregnancy. Apart from that we didn't do anything differently, and baby came out happy and healthy.

  7. #7

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    U just need to stay away from all cat poo - even if u r digging in the garden or something u need to wear gloves incase there's poo in the dirt. I had cats around while i was preg and all was fine. It doesn't hurt to wash ur hands after patting any animal though. I wouldn't worry too much about ur feline friends

  8. #8
    julesy Guest

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    I have two cats, who are indoor only...I have been told that it's cats who go outside that pose the biggest problem, because the toxoplasmosis is actually found initially in soil. I have also worn rubber gloves when changing the litter and scrupulously washing my hands after handling anything related to cat poo!! My cats are incredibly affectionate, and are always after cuddles, which I give them anyway because I can't bear the thought of them not having their cuddles!!! (They are so soft...)

    I have banned them from the bed unless they are at the end of it...that was hard to do! Also, don't forget that cats are meticulously clean animals, and spend much of their day grooming themselves and each other. The chances of them having any poo on their fur is actually not as high as you would think. They even clean between their toes...well, mine do anyway.

    Hand washing is the best defence against catching any bug...from salmonella to the common cold, as long as you wash your hands (and moisturise in winter!), you should be safe!

    Hope this helps,

    Julesy

  9. #9
    Melody Guest

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    I have an indoor cat & couldn't have gotten through my pg without her quite frankly. She has very high standards of cleanliness & DH did the litter while I got to enjoy snuggling & patting her, which relaxed me incredibly. LOVE MY KITTY!

  10. #10

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    Default

    Thanks everyone for your replies!

  11. #11

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    Just thought I had to put a reply to this one!
    I am a vet and am horrified by the terrible information pg women are given about their poor kitties - much of this coming from Drs who obviously didn't listen during the toxoplasmosis lecture at Uni!!! I have had clients come into the clinic in tears having been told (by their DR) they need to get rid of or euthanase their beloved pets just because they are pg!!!!
    Yes, cats can carry toxoplasmosis and potentially transmit this to humans -pg women, young children and the ill being most at risk. However, healthy cats will only shed the organism for a VERY short time (a few weeks usually) and then become immune themselves thus no longer a risk. Furthermore, most cases of toxo are usually traced back to the ingestion of infected, poorly cooked meat products -NOT directly from cats
    In simple terms, lifecycle of this 'parasite' usually involves rodents who carry toxoplasma cysts in their muscle tissue - cat eats rodent and replication occurs within the gut. Cats can then pass eggs in their faeces which usually ends up in soil (hance the need for care with gardening and the potential to transmit to sheep/cattle etc to infect meat products -oh and raw uncooked veges too), As I mentioned before, once cats have been exposed, they usually become immune very quickly and no longer shed the eggs so, the most "risky" kitties are the youngsters who go outdoors and hunt. if you have totally indoor cat and no mouse/rat problem then risk is negligible, if you have older (healthy) cat then also low risk. Even if you feel your cat might be high risk then just simple hygiene is needed - wash hands,don't handle the litter or garden without gloves where the cat may have defecated, plus cook meat thoroughly!
    Testing the cat is probably not much use as we test for antibodies -a "one off" positive means the cat has been exposed to toxo but this doesn't mean there is an "active"and thus transmittable infection -the cat may actually be immune due to previous exposure. A follow up blood test in a few weeks showing a rise in the antibody levels does indicate an active infection but this is a "hindsight" observation given the cat would have been most infectious the few weeks previously.
    Most pg women are routinely screened for toxo antibodies themselves. If you are positive then you have been exposed in the past,are immune and kitty not really a risk. If negative, then no exposure and just need to exercise caution with the cat - cuddling and patting is FINE -just wash hands as you should be doing anyway regardless of pregnancy status.
    BTW - I have been a vet for 13yrs, handled hundreds-probably thousands of cats plus have two of my own at home. My husband NEVER cleans the litter so I still have been doing it through this pg. I have been tested 2-3 times for toxo antibodies and still negative!! In fact, a prior study of veterinary and cattery staff showed a suprising no are actually negative. I think the highest positives came from ethinic communities who commonly ingest raw or poorly processed meats.
    Sorry for the long post but felt i needed to make a stand for the poor pussies!!

  12. #12
    Tigergirl1980 Guest

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    Oooooh thanks for setting us straight Meredith That was an interesting read too.

  13. #13
    melvan Guest

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    Thanks Meredith, that was very interesting

    My husband and I have two cats and we're not about to get rid of them just because of pregnancy. I've had cats all my life, most outdoor cats, so it's possible I've been exposed already. But my husband has been looking after the cat litter for the last 2 years anyway because I thought he needed a couple of household chores

  14. #14
    *TamaraP* Guest

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    I have heard also, that if you have grown up around cats you tend to become immune to toxo...is this true Meredith?

  15. #15

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    Not really Tamara, you become immune if you have been exposed to toxo and infected at one time, sort of like glandular fever which is why they can test your titre level and find out. So ONLY if the cats have been infected & you have caught it from them (remember within that 24 hour time limit etc) at that time can you be immune.

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