Many people don’t realize that human medicine and veterinarian medicine often overlap. This is because many animals and pets can carry diseases that have the potential to spread to humans. For this reason, it is vital for pet owners to make sure that their pets receive their vaccinations on time.
This is also an important reason why women should not scoop cat litter while they’re pregnant. For those who have been pregnant before, this advice might ring a bell. Anyone who has not heard this information should read below, especially if a pregnancy is in the future plans.
It’s the Cat Feces, Not the Litter
It is a common misconception that handling cat litter while pregnant can lead to possible birth defects; however, it isn’t so much the cat litter but the feces in the cat litter that causes the problem. People who have scooped cat litter before know that the cat litter can create a cloud when it is scooped. If there is cat feces in the litter, this cloud can transmit bacteria and viruses from the cat litter into the nasal passages of the person scooping the litter. This is how diseases are transmitted.
What Diseases Are Transmitted in This Fashion?
The disease that people need to be concerned of when pregnant is called Toxoplasmosis. Toxoplasmosis is a parasite that lives in the feces of cats and can be transmitted from the feces to humans when people scoop cat litter.
Toxoplasmosis is not a problem for people who aren’t pregnant and have a healthy immune system because it is a relatively weak parasite that the body fights of without any issues. In fact, many people have been exposed to this parasite and don’t even know it because it didn’t cause any problems; however, it someone is pregnant, the parasite can cause birth defects.
Toxoplasmosis can Cause Birth Defects?
Toxoplasmosis has the potential to cause birth defects in the baby of women who were exposed to the disease while pregnant. Among the many birth defects are eye infections, jaundice, enlarged liver, enlarged spleen, blindness, seizures, and developmental delay.
While it is possible that pregnant women can be exposed to Toxoplasmosis and have a healthy baby, it is also possible that the baby could be a stillbirth if exposed to this disease in utero. For this reason, it is better for women to avoid scooping cat litter while pregnant. It is an unnecessary risk.
Who Scoops the Litter While I’m Pregnant?
For women who are wondering what to do with their cat litter. It is better to have a significant other, a child, or a friend scoop the cat litter for the duration of the pregnancy. If this is too much of a hassle, it is recommended to wear a mask while scooping to litter to decrease the risk of transmission.
Anyone who is thinking of becoming pregnant should avoid scooping cat litter while pregnant, if possible. People with questions about the transmission of Toxoplasmosis and its relationships with their cat should contact us today with any questions. We are here to help our patients and their families.