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Is It Safe?: Handling Kitty Litter During Pregnancy

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What you need to know about kitty litter and toxoplasmosis during pregnancy


Pregnant women need to be aware that toxoplasmosis (TOX-so-plaz-MO-sis) can cause problems with pregnancy, including abortion. Toxoplasmosis is an infection caused by a parasite called Toxoplasma gondii. This parasite is carried by cats and is passed in their feces (stool). However, people are more likely to get toxoplasmosis from eating undercooked meat or gardening than from contact with pet cats. By following simple safety tips, pregnant women can reduce the risk of getting toxoplasmosis from cats.

  • If you own a cat, have a non-pregnant person change the litter box every day. If there is no one else to change the litter box, wear gloves and wash hands with soap and running water after changing the litter.
  • Risk may be reduced if the litter box is changed every day.
  • Keep cats indoors.
  • Avoid adopting or handling stray cats.
  • Feed cats only canned or dried commercial cat food, never undercooked or raw meat.
  • Do not bring a new cat into your house that might have been an outdoor cat or might have been fed raw meat.

 

Source: National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Content last updated July 28, 2010. Content last reviewed April 30, 2013.

 

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