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Women's Health: Postpartum Community
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Avatar universal

Toxoplasmosis and cats - Please help!

I am almost 22 wks pregnant and last January, my husband and I adopted a cat - he was 18 mos old or so when we got him from a reputable shelter.  We took him to the vet for all of his shots.  He is my very first pet, my husband grew up with cats though.  I have only changed his litter one time (back well before I was pg - like in Mar. and I got pg in June) and he only had one or two minor pooping accidents around the house when we first got him, never since.  He is strictly indoors and never eats anything besides commercial cat food.  When I first got pg, the dr. just told us I should not change his litter which I don't.  He said there was no reason to find him a new home.  Also, he is an indoor only cat so I don't see how he can still carry toxoplasmosis, if he ever even did.  I hear they shed toxo for only 2-6 weeks after initial infection and not after.  

I'm writing cause I read recently that I should have been tested when first pg and I wasn't and I also read that the litter should be changed daily and my husband was only changing it 1x/week or so.  I also read baby could be in danger if I caught toxo even 6 mos before getting pg but I've read that isn't true as well - I'm not sure what to believe!  Should I be worried or figure I'm ok?  I need some advice - BAD!  I have to stop worrying!!!!
10 Responses
Avatar universal
Here is a link for you, that goes into pretty great detail about it.

http://www.drgreene.com/21_1644.html
Avatar universal
Thanks christie - I read this and judging from it, it sounds like there is little chance I am at risk.  You agree right?  It made me feel a bit better.  Thank you - I may ask my dr. if he feels I should be tested though.  If anyone else has any info, I'd appreciate it - thank you, Christie.
Avatar universal
It wouldn't hurt to be tested at all.
Avatar universal
I agree but I heard that they can't tell if you have an active infection or just had one in the past but I'll inquire about it - like you said, it can't hurt.
Avatar universal
Hey susanelizabeth,
I have a 10 yr. old son and when I was pregnant with him I had three cats and I even changed the litter! The chances of getting toxo is quite slim. I think it is a problem when cats eat small animals and poop in your garden and then you eat tomatoes and whatever is growing in your garden that is infected....if they are kept indoors not to worry. Also, stay away from dusty litter! Try to get litter that is 98% dust free. Hope this helped  - Emi
Avatar universal
I have 2 cats and have changed the litter boxes every week at least 2-3 times a week.  I am 38weeks and nothing has happened. The doctor said that as long as I wear gloves and a mask then nothing will happen. Plus once you have it you can't get it again. I have never heard of it harming the baby. I have no plans on getting rid on my 2 cats.
Avatar universal
Thanks for that - I eel better - I haven't changed the litter and am careful not to go near it and if I did, I would wear a mask and gloves - plus we have a lid on our box and it is in the basement where I rarely go.  Thanks so much, ladies!
Avatar universal
I just spoke to my vet about it and here is some of what she said:

1. It takes about 3 days for the spores to form on the feces, so if the litter is changed daily, there is absolutely no way to get it.

2. Scooping the litter 1 or 2 times daily is recommended, as well as completely changing out the litter weekly and bleaching the litter pan.

3. Testing for it in either the animal or yourself will not show anything unless the titer is unusually high, signaling an infection. Most of us have been exposed at some point, but she did say it was still possible to get it if the inital exposure was minimal.

4. Surprise! The biggest risk for getting it isn't the litter box or undercooked meat, it is gardening! Who changes the soil in their garden daily, and what seems to be natures litter box. Always wear gloves when gardening and be careful : )

Overall, the risk is very low, but it is always better to not take chances. We just invested in a littermaid (49.99 + free shipping on eBay, this seller has a lot) so that helps cut down on needing to scoop.

Good luck!!

Andrea
Avatar universal
I just spoke to my ob and he says he knows quite a lot about this.  He said that in all his years, he's never seen a case of toxo in a baby from the womb.  He said that since my cat is indoors and eats only com'l cat food, he would have no opportunity to catch it and therefore I couldn't catch it from him.  I don't garden much but when I did it was pre-pg and I wore gloves, I never see stray cats in my neighborhood anyway.  He will test me if I want but as you said, the tests aren't very reliable.  It's really only reliable to test before pregnancy and then again, during.  I think my mind is at ease now and I'll quit worrying.  Thanks for the tip on littermaid - we actually recently got a box just like it!
Avatar universal
to everybody
I know this is an old comment but if anybody need the info:
Toxoplasmosis is just an infection ( not a disease)
I am toxo (+) positive.. means that i got it once and now I am inmune to it, I am almost  4months pregnant 3 dogs and like 8 cats and we are perfect. My cats are indoor so i dont  worry ..( if you cat goes outside, please keep him inside the house while pregnant so he wont be licking or biting dead birds or else)

i did a  lot voluntary work before for shelters and i did eat a lot of sushi...so not to sure from where i got it from..just glad i did had it (lol) So I am immuned to it today.


I do clean my litter box but i use gloves and a mask to cover my nose because of the litter dust and of course the smell.  The litter had to be clean twice a day if you have more than 2 cats..or just once a day if you have only 1 cat...anyway if you buy a litter robot ( google it) or go to amazon.con  buy one  and just with pressing 1 botton your litter will be clean..amazing!..$ 300 a little bit expensive but  whay is $300 to keepyour cat happy, you wont have much work and your house will be clean..

if your cat is in indoor cat you have nothing to worry, if your cat comes and go  just be carefully and not touch the poo poo by mistake ..use gloves!



Also..attention: Toxoplasmosis is not only in cats.... its in raw meat (any) in the garden when planting flowers or in the vegetables, just wash your vegetables and cook your meat well...ahhh and  imported cheese!..read carefully   be aware...

Toxo, its dangerous when is the first time you get the "infection", but if you had it alreay and then your will be inmune, just be careful anyway you dont want to get sick of anything ( even a flu) when pregnant... ( think about worse like aids, drinking, drugs)

also be aware that toxoplasmosis is like a flu, you feel a little bit warm, troath hurts a little bit...its just an infection and most likely you will get it from your food ( raw meat, raw sushi, raw fish, unwash vegetables....your garden!)  just go to the doctor and they will sedn you a prescription.

this is from a proud mom of a lot of furry babies....they rock!..i love them and i can not wait to teach my baby to defend them and probably be a future vet to care for them!.....
god bless you all!
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