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Monday, September 22

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Toxiplasmosis can give pregnant moms grief! It is one of the very few diseases that is transmittable between humans and cats. However, the chances of contracting it from your cat are minimal. (People are more likely to get it from foods, such as pork.) Nonetheless, it is good to be aware that cats can carry it. You can have your vet run a check on your cat through a stool sample. (It seems that the highest risk for this parasite is in cat feces older than 24 hours.)

It is easy to avoid getting toxiplasmosis, and you don't need to give up your kitties during pregnancy. It just requires that you have minimal contact with your cats' stools. Have your spouse, a neighbor, or someone else change the litter box while you are pregnant. Not only will this make your risk of contracting this disease virtually nil, but it will also prevent any complications caused by breathing in the clay dust and residue from the litter.

Note: Bird feces contains a parasite that is dangerous to pregnant women! So definitely get someone else to handle cleaning the bird cages if you keep birds.

(This information came from Sally H., Jennifer V., Line Christin M., Ann D., Christine C., & Nany H. and can be found in our February 2001 Newsletter.)