Toxoplasmosis From Kitty Litter

16 Replies
krc - May 6

Okay, im freaked out lately about toxoplasmosis. Ive heard it can be devastating to a fetus and you get it by coming in contact wth cat feces via changing cat litter. But.... the cat has to have the sickness for one and if they are strictly indoor cats the risk is low. Anyways I have 2 indoor cats who use scopable litter which I scoop daily. I am 28 weeks pregnant and my midwife got upset with me when I told her I do the cat litter. I also read the chances of getting toxoplasmosis is like 1: 10,000 or something like that. Maybe it was 1:100,000. Do any of you ladies know of anyone who actually had this and have any of you changed cat litter somewhat regularly and your child came out fine?

 

kelley32 - May 6

One of my friends mothers teaches mentally handicapped children and she told me that she had taught several over the years that their mothers were exposed to toxoplasmosis while pregnant. I scooped the cat litter while pregnant with my daughter and am scooping again this time, but I wear gloves and wash my hands right away afterwards. I have read that if you are a long time cat mom that you have probably already had toxoplasmosis , which makes you and your baby immune ... and they're indoors cats which does make the risk smaller like you said. Just be aware that you can also get it from gardening where a cat has pooped, and you can also get it from under cooked meat. I hope this helped ... good luck with everything, take care.

 

Steph - May 6

I know plenty of people who have changed the kitty litter and had normal babies. If your not playing in the litter or eating in or sticking your head in the box just "hanging out" your going to be fine. Google toxoplasmosis and you'll see that if your cat never has been outside, I don't beleive you can get it and you have more of a chance of contracting toxo from undercooked or raw hamburger meat. Also, make sure you always wash your hands afterwards... :o)

 

monkey123 - May 7

Your cats can only get it if they go outside or are catching mice.

 

Deb - May 7

Or if they eat raw meat that has fallen on the floor while you are cooking.

 

Alycia - May 7

As everyone else is saying, your kitties couldn't have toxo anyway, unless you're giving them raw meat. Also, it takes only six weeks for a toxo-infected kitty to clear it from its system, so even if your cats ate some raw meat months ago, don't worry about it. I've been scooping this whole pregnancy without gloves - I just wash my hands afterwards. Toxo is spread through the fecal-oral route, so thorough hand-washing should do the trick even if your kitties were infected. A friend of mine scooped her kitty's litter throughtout her pregnancy even though it was an inside-outside cat (her husband was in Afghanistan, so she had no choice). Her baby turned out just fine.

 

Mandy1984 - May 7

i found this article and thought it was pretty useful http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dpd/parasites/toxoplasmosis/factsht_toxoplasmosis.htm

 

krc - May 7

thanks guys..it makes me feel better to know im not the nly one still scooping !!!! I've had cats my wole life..both indoor and outdoor and the 2 cats I have now refuse to eat people food. So i guess im in the clear !! Besides.....it's not like I go picking up fresh poop with my bare hands! haha yuck

 

tiffiny090180 - May 8

I worked in the vet field through two pregnancies, and the biggest thing is to wear gloves ALWAYS and to avoid HOLDING the cats much while pregnant. There is a very small chance of them having it, as others have stated, but being scratched by claws that having been stepping in feces is not a good idea no matter what king of animal it is!! It would be like drawing up feces in a needle and injecting it under your skin. Both my babies are HEALTHY!!!!!

 

Steph - May 8

I have never heard that your supposed to avoid holding cats while you are pregnant. I've never seen any article about that nor any doctor advocating the same. That, to me, sounds like a bunch of c___p...trying to freak out pregnant ladies.

 

moucheka - May 8

If you are really worried, why not go to the doctor and get the blood test for toxoplasmosis? It wil tell you if you already have antibodies, in which case you won't need to worry. In the meantime it is a great excuse to make hubby clean the box :)

 

krc - May 9

well if I wasn't a single parent I'd get my " hubby " to do it. I think they will do a test at my next apointment. If not I will ask just to ease my mind.

 

sarahbaby11 - May 11

i cahnged luter my whole pregnancy and my firszt came out fine. my docotr told me if you have been exposed to the cat liter for a long time you have already come in contact with it probably and it poses no risk to you or the baby.

 

ma2aiden - May 12

you can bring a stool sample from each of your cats to the vet and they can check for toxo, or have them run a blood test to see if you need to worry... i work at a vet and did through my pregnancy and also changed the cat litter the entire time - i would wash my hands immediately (if not wearing gloves) and would try to hold my shirt over my mouth to avoid the dust (wear a mask)... if they've been indoor cats, your likelyhood of there being a problem is next to nothing (and most likely you've been exposed in the past)... good luck!

 

firsttimepg - June 15

I know a couple of foster parents that care for a 6 year old with severe retardation from toxoplasmosis. I would definitely think twice about cleaning that litter box.

 

snugglybugglys - June 15

Also if you scoop it within 24 hours it isn't "contagious". I read it on a website cause I have an indoor outdoor cat, and aslo I asked my dr about that too.

 

krc - June 15

well i scoop daily !!!

 

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