About Pet Blogs United

Pet Blogs United aims to support our fellow pet bloggers by encouraging members to visit other members and leave comments. It’s a great way to find great blogs & new friends.

Pet bloggers are some of the kindest people we’ve come across, so we know that with your help, this site will become a great place for everyone.
We will have a featured blogger every week once we get going and that person will hopefully be showered with comments from our members.

To be a PBU featured blogger, first become a follower through Google Friend Connect (juct click the follow button you always see). Then just send an e-mail to Pet Blogs United. We'll contact you, have you pick some of your favorite posts and feature you when your turn comes up on the list. Pet Blogs United will only feature blogs about, by or for pets & animals.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Pregnancy, Babie and Cats

By Dr. Jessica Vogelsang for The Daily Cat

Pregnancy, Babies and Cats
Pregnancy is a time of joy, but for many women, a time of unprecedented worry. Along with the admonitions about caffeine, lunchmeat and wine, many pregnant women are told they should get rid of their cats because of health risks. With a few basic safety precautions, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that pregnant women do not need to give up their cats.

Most concerns about cats have to do with an organism called Toxoplasma gondii, a microscopic parasite carried by cats. If a woman is exposed to the organism for the first time during pregnancy, the organism can pass to her unborn baby and cause severe medical problems.

When a cat is first exposed to the Toxoplasma organism, it sheds the organism in its feces for approximately two weeks. Once shed in the feces, it takes one to five days before the organism develops into the infectious state. After that single period, they are no longer infectious.

Women who have been exposed to Toxoplasma before becoming pregnant are not at risk of infecting the baby. A blood test exists to determine if you have been previously exposed. In order for a woman to pass on Toxoplasma to her baby from her cat, both the cat and the woman must be exposed for the first time during the woman’s pregnancy.

Common sources of infection include undercooked meat, unwashed produce and ingestion of oocytes (the infectious agent) while gardening -- usually not from the family cat.

If you are pregnant, here are some of the basic steps recommended by the CDC to minimize exposure to Toxoplasma:
  • Change the cat litter daily. Better yet, have a housemate take over litter duties for the duration of the pregnancy.
  • Cook meat thoroughly.
  • Wash hands frequently, especially after gardening.
  • Avoid feeding your pet raw meat.

Dr. Jessica Vogelsang is a small-animal veterinarian from San Diego. When she's not at work or with her family of two and her four-legged creatures, you can find her blogging about life with pets at PawCurious.com. Dr. Vogelsang's blogs have previously appeared on The Daily Cat.


Mariodacat said...

Super write up pal. When M was pregnant with her daughter, they had a cat. Everyone was so afraid the cat would snother the baby in the crib, Of course, Pepper really didn't want anything to do with the wiggly, screaming, crying baby. All you have to do is exercise good judgment and be as clean and sanitary as possible without going overboard.

~*Connie*~ said...

if only we could get this information out to EVERYONE who ever even THOUGHT of getting rid of the cat due to toxo. it is such a small small risk, that is overwhelming that someone would think that getting rid of a pet is the right thing to suggest. If they think any risk is too great, then they should be suggesting that the woman sit in a corner and never move.

Tamago said...

Great post! I hope people won't give up their kitties without knowing these basic things to avoid infection.

speedyrabbit said...

its not rocket science is it?

Ann Paws said...

I worked my entire pregnancy at a vet clinic handling animals 5 days before I had my second daughter. I became exposed to leptospirosis from a dog and when I called my doctor's office to tell them, they seemed much more concerned that I had been handling cats without wearing gloves... I wanted to laugh at them but refrained. I didn't handle litter boxes or cat feces and did wear gloves handling kitties who were a little more dirty or had diarrhea.

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