Categories: Infection

Women who have a cat and have just become pregnant should read this

In the UK, 1 in 12 pregnant women get rid of their cat because of the fear that the cat might harm their unborn baby through a toxoplasma gondii infection. Yes, they believe that their unborn child will get toxoplasmosis and be brain damaged.

Wise counsellors say these women are wrong because simple precautions can be taken. But I have gone further in this post.

I quickly found two studies which inform woman on (1) how often they are infected with toxoplasma gondii because of their cat and (2) whether treatments are available to cure a toxoplasma gondii infected pregnant woman. website records a study called: Sources of toxoplasma infection in pregnant women..[link]

I’ll jump to the conclusion.

“Risk factors most strongly predictive of acute infection in pregnant women were eating undercooked lamb, beef, or game, contact with soil, and travel outside Europe and the United States and Canada. Contact with cats was not a risk factor. Between 30% and 63% of infections in different centres were attributed to consumption of undercooked or cured meat products and 6% to 17% to soil contact.”

I think that sums it up nicely. There is no reason to give up your cat. Cat haters will say the ultimate source of the infection is a cat even if undercooked beef infected the women but the article is about whether family cats living with pregnant women infects them. The answer is a resounding No.

Secondly, I’d like to refer to another study published on the website: Toxoplasmosis during pregnancy: a case report and review of the literature. [link]

A 26-year-old healthy woman was found with toxoplasmosis in the 13th week of pregnancy. She was treated with spiramycin (1gr x 3) from the 16th week of pregnancy. She had a cesarean delivery because she had history of this sort of delivery. The newborn baby was a healthy girl weighing 2880 gr. After two years she remained healthy. Spiramycin is a macrolide antibiotic and antiparasitic. It is used to treat toxoplasmosis.

This satisfactory conclusion is also self-explanatory.

Pregnant women should hang onto their cats. Another reason why they should do this is because they nearly always regret getting rid of them. Read another article on this.


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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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  • Lets get real here. Clean litter boxes on a regular basis. I sit mine in the sun for a few cays after mild bleaching. Change the litter on a regular basis. If the litter box looks like a crap cake you are failing your cats. Wear disposable gloves and wash your hands after handling the waste. That should go without saying but you know...Wear shoes I have clogs I wear in the litter box room and no where else. Invest in an electric broom or stick vacuum. Like most of you my time during the week is limited and dragging out Optimus Prime isn't something I'm thrilled about doing. It goes without saying that the partner in the home should take up litter box duty.
    While it's well know to most cat owners where Toxoplasmosis comes from it can be scary and don't count on your human doctor as a reference for information.
    Last thought. If you are so scared of catching Toxoplasmosis from your cat why did you get one in the first place probably knowing you would choose to reproduce before the cat had passed of natural old age ? That cat has a right to live in it's home and not be discarded like yesterdays trash.

      • Animals are lifetime commitments. I have said jokingly and it's probably true our weeks of debate over keeping Frog and Toad probably had more thought put into it than many who decide to have a baby.

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