Family Cats and Pregnant Women: Take Measures to Prevent Toxoplasmosis Infection

cat laying near pregnant woman
Nothing must spoil the joys of becoming a new parent. Not even your pets. But family cats with normal, every day habits can pose a risk to expectant women. Women's immune systems can be disturbed by a parasite carried in fecal matter. If you're the primary caretaker of your family's feline friend it may be time to ask for help.

Toxoplasmosis is a disease that can be transmitted from cats to humans by ingestion of undercooked meat products or contact with the stool of a contaminated cat.

Toxoplasmosis can cause serious problems during pregnancy.

Cats allowed to roam outdoors are more likely to carry the parasite responsible for the toxoplasmosis infection. They can hunt and kill mice and rats during the nighttime hours. When the rodents are infected with the Toxoplasma parasite, a cat ingesting the diseased rodent can spread this infection through its fecal matter to humans. Pregnant women have an increased sensitivity to the dangers of that contamination.

Cats living in an outdoor environment are also defecating outdoors. They habitually bury their stool in flower beds, gardens and other soft soil areas. Women who are pregnant must be aware that contact with dirt that has been used by an infected cat is also a danger. Keeping cats indoors will eliminate their exposure to potentially infected rodents and decrease your chance of coming into contact with the toxoplasmosis parasite.

"More that 60 million men, women, and children in the U.S. carry the Toxoplasma parasite, but very few have symptoms because the immune system usually keeps the parasite from causing illness," advises the United States Center for Disease Control. Appropriate testing can help your doctor determine the potential impact on your immune system.

The Center for Disease Control recommends that specific measures be taken to prevent exposure to the toxoplasmosis infection. The CDC's preventative measures include:

  • Avoid changing the cat's litter yourself whenever possible.
  • Wear gloves if you must change it yourself.
  • Wash your hands immediately after changing the litter.
  • Wear gloves when you are outside gardening, planting flowers, vegetables, weeding or in contact with soil that could be a potential source of contamination.
  • Keep litter boxes outside your home covered.
  • Delegate changing the cat's litter to another family member.
  • Change the litter on a daily basis because the parasite is most infectious in just-eliminated fecal matter for at least the first five days.
  • Keep Fluffy or Garfield inside your house, apartment or condo throughout your pregnancy.
  • Wear gloves and/or wash your hands thoroughly after handling raw meats.

"The risk to the baby increases the later in the pregnancy the new infection is acquired," says Michael Richards, DVM. Check in with your veterinarian early in your pregnancy to ensure a healthy infant.

Contact Us Today

Testimonials

Read What Our Clients Say

  • After 13 years of doggy day-care daily at another local place, we decided to try River Bend Pet Center . We couldn't be more thrilled with the switch. Dr. Fay and her staff are TOP CLASS! They realize that your pets are part of your family and that's how they treat them. We feel our dogs are being well treated here and we have never seen them so excited when we arrive at the center . A minimum of 5 outside playtimes and walks, Air conditioned, and high end kennels, ( no chain link fencing) and

    - David H.
  • I love this place. It is very calm and peaceful which is wonderful for my high stressed Shepherd. Brandy and staff are very accommodating and makes us feel welcome and comfortable. Thanks for being there for all my fur babies!

    - Judy M.
  • Dr Brandy Fay is simply the best. She genuinely cares for each of our furbabies. Whenever I have a question or concern she responds almost immediately. This is truly her passion. And we are forever grateful for her and her practice.

    - Patti N.
  • My only wish is that we would have found Dr Fay sooner. She is the best and has created a wonderful facility to further reach the needs of the community and and our beloved companions.

    - Brian S.
  • A beautiful, immaculate facility owned and operated by a caring, compassionate and highly-skilled veterinarian. Her pet-first philosophy is evident throughout. Daycare, overnight or longer stays are supervised and the animals receive daily attention and exercise in addition to their basic requirements.

    - Patti B.

Contact Us

We look forward to hearing from you

Office Hours

Monday

RBPC: Closed for Vet Services

State: 8:00 - 6:00 pm, Appointments start at 9:30am

Tuesday

RBPC: Closed for Vet Services

State: 8:00 - 6:00 pm, Appointments start at 9:30am

Wednesday

RBPC: Closed for Vet Services

State: 8:00 - 6:00 pm, Appointments start at 9:30am.

Thursday

RBPC: Closed for Vet Services

State: 8:00 - 6:00 pm, Appointments start at 9:30am.

Friday

RBPC: Closed for Vet Services

State: 8:00 - 6:00 pm, Appointments start at 9:30am.

Saturday

RBPC: Closed for Vet Services

State: 8:00 - 2:00 pm, Appointments start at 8:40am- 11:40am.

Sunday

Closed

Monday
RBPC: Closed for Vet Services State: 8:00 - 6:00 pm, Appointments start at 9:30am
Tuesday
RBPC: Closed for Vet Services State: 8:00 - 6:00 pm, Appointments start at 9:30am
Wednesday
RBPC: Closed for Vet Services State: 8:00 - 6:00 pm, Appointments start at 9:30am.
Thursday
RBPC: Closed for Vet Services State: 8:00 - 6:00 pm, Appointments start at 9:30am.
Friday
RBPC: Closed for Vet Services State: 8:00 - 6:00 pm, Appointments start at 9:30am.
Saturday
RBPC: Closed for Vet Services State: 8:00 - 2:00 pm, Appointments start at 8:40am- 11:40am.
Sunday
Closed

Our Location