The dangers of kitty litter ~ Almost a dad

The dangers of kitty litter

Many people pass off the notion that pregnant women should avoid changing kitty litter as an old wives' tale. However there is a real threat in living with cats during pregnancy.

Cats, while lovable pets, are the source of a serious infection that can be a hazard to the fetus. This infection is caused from a tiny parasite named Toxoplasma gondii that can be found almost everywhere.

Toxoplasmosis is a parasite which cats pick up from the stool of other infected cats or from eating raw meat. These parasites are then shed in the stool of the infected cat. Thus, a pregnant woman can pick up this infection from the litter box (or soil) in which the cat defecates.
- from iVillage

Making sure that pregnant women don't change kitty litter and wash their hands regularly will limit risk to the fetus and mother. has a list of 11 ways to prevent toxoplasmosis.


Ricky said...

Good advice. I passed this onto my wife and friend of mine who's pregnant.


Anonymous said...

Its even more dangerous if they get scratched by a cat because it enters the blood stream faster.

Anonymous said...

Joy that is not correct. You can't get toxoplasmosis from being scratched by a cat. This is directly from the CDC website:

"Can cats transmit toxoplasmosis to me?

Yes, but not by direct contact with a cat. Toxoplasmosis is passed to people from contaminated cat feces (stool). People can get toxoplasmosis by cleaning kitty litter or touching dirt where cats might have been, including garden soil. Toxoplasmosis can also be passed to people when they eat meat that is not cooked completely, especially pork, lamb, or deer meat."

"Toxoplasmosis (TOX-o-plaz-MO-sis) is a disease that can come from cats, but people are more likely to get it from eating raw meat or from gardening."

The Humane Society of the United States has a very good article about this as well. I recommend reading it before you let anyone scare you about having cats while pregnant.

Salicia said...

Anonymous, cat scratches may not transmit toxoplasmis but they are still dangerous and can become infected.

It is extremely dangerous to be bitten by a cat, you could lose a limb! Their mouths are filthy.

To the Almost a Dad Blogger, if a pregnant woman has lived with cats for a long time before she was pregnant it is likely that she already has toxoplasmosis bacteria harbored in her brain and is therefore immune to it. The fetus shares the mothers immunity while it is the womb but once it is born I would keep the baby FAR away from kitty litter.