Question On Toxoplasmosis

5 Replies
NVgirl - February 23

I have a cat that is indoor/outdoor. Even though he is an outdoor cat, he does use his litter box when he is in the house. When I was pregnant my OB/GYN said not to change his litter box becuase I could get Toxoplasmosis. Since my M/C in October I have been changing the litter box, but now that my DH & I have been TTC, I am scared of changing the litter box because of the possible Toxoplasmosis exposure. It needs cleaning and DH is useless when it comes to the litter box because he hates cleaning it. Should I just put a painters mask on and rubber gloves and clean it or insist that DH clean it?

 

parkermegan - February 23

I have read that if you have had a cat for a while you probably already have the disease and have become immune to it. I would think you could get away with changing it with a mask and gloves. If it was me I would definately call and ask my dr first!

 

Susan W - February 23

I am a veterinarian and vets get more education on this than most doctors. . . .. . First off, because your cat is an outdoor cat, he is at risk of being infected if he is not already immune. Secondly, you may already be immune if you've had cats for a while, garden or eat meat. The risk is only if you are exposed *for the first time* during pregnancy. Therefore, you should ask your doctor for a toxoplasmosis t_ter so you know if you are even at risk. If you are positive, it means you have already been exposed and therefore there is no risk. If you are negative, you are at risk. DH needs to clean the box every day, in that case, to minimize the risk to you. I would simply tell him there is no discussion on it, that he should protect you and his unborn child and clean the box daily; parenthood is full of doing things we don't want to do, and he might as well start doing some of them now. Make it easy for him to do: box in a convenient place, good scoop with good clumping litter (if your cat will use it), bags to put the dirty litter in close by, so forth. If he won't do it, you should wear a face mask and gloves and wash your hands after cleaning the box. Even if you are immune, the day will come that you won't be able to get down (or get up!) to clean the box once you are pregnant and kind of far along, so he might as well get used to it now! LOL Good luck!

 

Kara H. - February 23

I found it was easier to get my husband to do it if we switched back to a clay cat litter. He found digging thru the clumps very demoralizing and gross. But he didn't mind dumping the whole box every other day and refilling it. He puts the whole pan inside the gabarge bag and flips it over. That way he doesn't have to look at it or smell it. Now on occasion I will change it if he has to work over or go out of town. But I followed the advise Susan gave me on another thread and use the gloves and mask ;)

 

NVgirl - February 24

SUSAN: Thank you for the information. That is more than what my OB/GYN said to me back in September on Toxoplasmosis. I have always had cats as pets for as long as I can remember… I do eat meat… and come from a family that loves gardening… My grandfather was a produce farmer. So I bet that I have already been exposed at one time or another… maybe. Nonetheless, before I read your comment today, I went into the garage and put on a painters respirator mask, a pair of rubber gloves and cleaned the litter box. I have a really cool litter box, it requires no scooping. It is a 3 layer design with a sifter (that lets the litter sand fall through, but not the clumps or poop). So you never need a scooper. It is done in 1 minute flat. Anyhow, thanks again for the info!!

 

Susan W - February 24

If it's that easy to clean, your DH has no excuse, LOL!! Why do we get stuck with the icky jobs?! But you will be safe with what you are doing, and it is very possible you have already been exposed anyway. And warn him eventually you won't be able to bend down, squat down, whatever, to do it!! Seriously! With my first pregnancy, I got to where I had to put the cat food bucket on the washing machine or I couldn't reach the cat food. And to get feed for my horses was impossible. Someone else had to set up my feeds! It's like trying to bend around a beach ball fastened to your backbone.

 

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