Pregnant Nicole Ritchie and Her Cat

Nicole Ritchie the socialite is pregnant and it’s made big news. Yeh, that’s normal. You may remember her cat fell 10 stories some time ago last year and survived (cats are very good at falling a long way and surviving in part because of the self righting mechanism, which is really sophisticated). The cat seemed to have suffered a broken leg or at least an injury to her/his leg.

Although I don’t want to be too critical, allowing your cat on a balcony (that is not secure) ten floors up, without supervision is possibly careless. Although we are all human.

Anyway, being pregnant, she has decided to let her Dad (Lionel Ritchie) look after her cat. Good Dad. This may also look a bit careless (not because Lionel is careless) but I think it has been carefully thought out.

Apparently, cats can present a risk to pregnant women. There can be a parasite in cats feces (and therefore cat litter) called Toxoplasma gondii. It can also be present in raw or undercooked meat, for example.

Of the two there is a far greater risk of ingesting the parasite from meat than a transference from hand to mouth from a cat’s litter. The risk from the litter is very low indeed, it seems. The parasite causes an infection called toxoplasmosis.

If you have never had toxoplasmosis you can get it, if you have had it before you are probably immunised naturally. But you probably wont know. Two thirds of women in the USA have not had toxoplasmosis.

Toxoplasmosis may, it seems, increase the chance of birth defects if there is an infection during pregnancy.

So, there is your answer. Sensible Nicole maybe. But she could have taken a kinder precaution for the cat and worn gloves while doing the litter or have someone else do it. And she should wear gloves when gardening (if she gardens) as the parasite lives underground for 18 months.

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