can you be around cats while pregnant

Avoid stray cats, especially kittens. Do not get a new cat while you are pregnant. Keep outdoor sandboxes covered. Wear gloves when gardening and during contact with soil or sand because it might be contaminated with cat feces that contain Toxoplasma.

Are There Any Risks to Pregnant Women With Cats?

Cats have been demonstrated to improve their owners’ general well-being. They provide mood improvement and give emotional support. Cats are pets in about 40 million homes in the United S.

Cats are wonderful pets, but they can harbor certain germs that can lead to everything from minor skin irritations to serious illnesses. The likelihood of a cat being exposed to germs during pregnancy depends on the cat’s habits and surroundings. Cats that hunt outside run the risk of bringing toxoplasmosis with them. Cats are susceptible to catching the parasite that causes this infection if they consume their catch, which includes mice and other rodents. Humans contract toxoplasmosis after coming into contact with an infected cat’s excrement.

Toxoplasmosis is an infection caused by the parasite T. gondii. It is extremely prevalent, with over 60 million Americans believed to be afflicted. It can affect nearly any warm-blooded animal. Although adults rarely experience symptoms, pregnant women are particularly vulnerable.

Cats are a great “host” for T. gondii — rarely showing signs of clinical disease. The parasite is discharged from cysts into the digestive tract and eventually passes through the feces when a cat consumes its prey. Cats can continuously excrete toxoplasmosis parasite cysts for up to 14 days following exposure, starting three days after exposure. The cysts can survive for over a year.

Can I Breastfeed My Baby if I Had Toxoplasmosis During Pregnancy?

The risk of toxoplasmosis transmission from a healthy mother to her child through breast milk is low. So, yes, you can breastfeed. There is proof that infants who drank unpasteurized goat milk can contract toxoplasmosis, but no studies have shown that infants who breastfed on humans were exposed to human milk.

Theoretically, an infection could be present in breast milk if a nursing mother has split or bleeding nipples, or if her breasts are inflamed while the parasite that causes toxoplasmosis infection is still in her bloodstream. Furthermore, women with weakened immune systems may harbor the infection for an extended duration. However, it is still highly unlikely that human breast milk will transmit it.

How Can Toxoplasmosis Be Prevented During Pregnancy?

Pregnant women who own pets cats can prevent toxoplasmosis by making small daily habit changes.

  • Don’t change the litter: If at all possible, try to avoid changing the litter when your cat is pregnant. If you can’t do this, put on gloves and wash your hands right away.
  • Make sure the cat litter is changed frequently: The litter box needs to be changed every day. Days pass after a cat eats, at which point the parasite that causes toxoplasmosis becomes infectious.
  • When gardening, always wear gloves: If you will be in close proximity to sand or dirt while pregnant, wear gloves. The gardening area may have been exposed to toxoplasmosis due to cat feces that were contaminated. After gardening, wash your hands with soap and water.
  • Avoid playing with stray cats: If you are pregnant, stay away from stray cats and kittens. Also, dont purchase or babysit new pets during pregnancy.
  • Cook food correctly: Foods need to be cooked to a safe temperature. When determining the internal temperature of meat, a food thermometer comes in handy. Meat that has been cooked to a temperature high enough to destroy toxoplasmosis cysts cannot be determined solely by color.


Is it OK to be around cats while pregnant?

Yes, you can keep your cat. You may have heard that cat feces can carry the infection toxoplasmosis. This infection is only found in cats who go outdoors and hunt prey, such as mice and other rodents. If you do have a cat who goes outdoors or eats prey, have someone else take over daily cleaning the litter box.

Can I cuddle my cat when pregnant?

Absolutely! Petting your cat will not result in becoming infected. As a matter of fact, while Toxoplasmosis is a danger to an unborn baby, the chances of actually being infected are very low.

Do indoor cats carry toxoplasmosis?

In addition, cats kept indoors (that do not hunt prey or are not fed raw meat) are not likely to be infected with Toxoplasma. But, if you are pregnant, planning on becoming pregnant, or have a weakened immune system, it is important to protect yourself from infection.

Can I kiss my indoor cat while pregnant?

People who should avoid close contact with cats include: Very young children. Pregnant women. Immunocompromised people (such as those with HIV or undergoing cancer treatment).