Post # 1
Lately some friends and family have been saying how bad it is to have cats around when pregnant and having the baby. I have two adorable cats which I love so much. I know there are ways to minimize any risk of disease while pregnant, and there is no way I will give up my two furbabies. Has something like this happened to you, and how did you deal with it? It’s getting a bit annoying and we are not even that close to trying for a baby.
Post # 3
@candy11: The only thing you really need to worry about when your pregnant with cats is the litter box. Pregnant women should really not be cleaning litter boxes as they are at risk for contracting Toxoplasmosis, an infection that can cause all sorts of problems in pregnancy.
As far as after the child is born, I don’t think there’s too much of an issue there. Sure the cats might be curious about a baby but I don’t think they would cause any harm.
Post # 4
People probably just don’t know that the only issue is with cat litter boxes, not the cats themselves. Just educate them, and go on snuggling your kitties!
Post # 5
When the baby is born you if have to be careful as cats like to sleep in warm places and have been known to sleep on an infants face but if u keep the door closed whilst the baby is asleep then the risk is gone.
and I thought this was just an old wives tale til we found my friends cat on her babies face, we found it quickly though so no harm done
Post # 6
@candy11: Vet here! Previous posters are correct about the cat box. Cats themselves are absolutely no risk to pregnant women – that’s all based on horrible rumors that lead to so many cats being abandoned at shelters – it’s heartbreaking. 🙁 The risk from the cat litter is toxoplasmosis which can cause birth defects and miscarriage in women. Luckily, there are two ways to eliminate any risk – the best is to have DH take care of the litterbox from the second you get your BFP all through your pregnancy (score!), the second is to do it yourself every day as it takes at least 24 hours for the toxoplasma in cat feces to become infectious (thus, clean every 24 hours and risk of infection from any toxoplasma present is nearly zero). And of course, DH/you should wash your hands thoroughly after handing the litterbox.
I have a cat myself and DH handles the litterbox now that I’m pregnant so I feel absolutely safe, and I haven’t missed having to empty the cat box one bit!
As far as the friends/family spreading the “cats bad!” propaganda, do your part to help educate them! I’d hate for any of them to give away cats due to believing they’re any danger.
More info here: http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/toxoplasmosis/gen_info/pregnant.html
Best of luck when you do start to TTC! I hope it’s a short, easy road!
Post # 7
This is very good to know! My DH will probably refuse to clean the litter box so i’ll just clean it morning and night when i get preggo.
Post # 8
Currently pregnant and both my MIL and FIL asked when we were getting rid of our cat…excuse me? Obviously if we have problems we would work something out but it wouldn’t involve getting rid of her. DH has been great about cleaning the kitty litter and we already have a back up plan in place for when he goes out of town for a week and can’t clean it.
Post # 9
Also piping up, just because you have a cat does not mean they have been exposed to toxoplasmosis. Not every cat carries it, especially if it is a strictly indoors cat (They get it from eating rats/birds/mice/digging around in the soil.) Cats are not the only way to be exposed to Toxoplasmosis, digging in the garden without gloves can expose you, any produce that has been treated with questionable water can give you toxoplasmosis, and you can get infected by eating or touching (and then touching your face/mouth) produce that is infected.
Post # 10
@candy11: My SIL is a vet tech, and people assumed she was going to quit her job when she got knocked up!
She said (as someone who has a degree in it) that she felt totally safe around cats. She said the highest risk of infection comes from being deeply scratched or bitten. She would just wear gloves to change their litterboxes.
Post # 11
I think non-cat people have a lot of misinformed, negative ideas about cats. Like PPs have said, the big risk is toxoplasmosis, and even that is really misunderstood/overblown. I’m actually not really worried about that with our cats (they are indoor cats, only eat the food we give them, and we try to clean the box at least once a day).
Just to be safe, I’ll have DH clean the boxes once we’re actively TTC (ha, luckily he’s actually really cautious about this sort of thing, so I’ll take advantage of not having to handly poo as long as I can!), and once we have a baby we’ll make sure the door is closed when baby is sleeping (in case the kitties try to get in the crib to snuggle when they can’t roll away/push kitty away from their face).
Post # 12
When i was pregnant with our first child…all of our family insisted we “get rid” of our 4 cats. cuz apparently cats smother and steal infants breath while they sleep…lol. i told them all i need to do is not clean the litter box. it’s funny how none of the family members who made comments have pets. i told them growing up with animals actually lessens the likely hood of allergies. you’d be surprised how ignorant ppl are. Just Google it…it’s not that hard to educate yourself. these same ppl also believe in outdated…myths and old wives tales.
Post # 13
Old wives tales take forever to die. I have many relatives and friends who have had no problems what-so-ever with cats and being pregnant or with babies. Like previously mentioned, either get hubby to clean the litter box(es) or wear a dust mask and gloves when you do it.
Post # 14
Also piping up, we have a cat and kept said cat through pregnancy and still have her. We just kept her out of my son’s room and my DH cleaned the littler box while I was pregnant.
In fact my son is in licenses in home daycare and she has 2 cats and they don’t bother the kids/babies at all.
Post # 15
@candy11: We have three cats and I’m 11 weeks pregnant. I have my husband clean the litterbox, but they’re all extra cuddly since I’ve been pregnant. I don’t see the issue with cats and babies, people are just paranoid.
The only issue we’ve had is keeping them out of the nursery because they LOVE trying to nap in the baby stroller. It’s cute and all, but we’re trying to discourage them from taking possesion of the baby gear as a bed so when the baby is here, we don’t have to worry about the confusion.
Post # 16
Also, if you have grown up with cats, it’s highly likely that you have already contracted toxoplasmosis and now are immune to it. I think the doc can do a blood test to check immunity. Usually you show no symptoms if you get it when you’re healthy and not pregnant.