Let’s shed some light on this theory that you can’t have cats while you are pregnant or have a newborn child at home with cats.
First of all, cats will NOT take your baby’s breath away! It is true that cats are cuddly and love to cuddle up to warm bodies, and since newborns can’t turn their heads a danger could exist, but there are precautions you can take to keep your cat out of the crib.
Before the baby comes put double sided sticky tape inside the crib as this annoys cats. You could also put inflated balloons inside the crib to deter your cat or the ultimate way to keep your cat out of the crib is to buy a light mesh tenting and put it over the crib.
I’m sure you’ve also heard about the mysterious illness pregnant women can get from cats. Well, there is something called, Toxoplasmosis. Toxoplasmosis is a protozoan which can be spread to humans by eating or handling undercooked meat, touching contaminated soil, consuming unpasteurized dairy products or handling cat feces (a cats’ feces does not become infective for 24 hours).
The fact is most people and cats have already been exposed to this disease and once exposed become immune. There are very few cases of prenatal toxoplasmosis that have ever been caused by a cat.
Simply ask your doctor to run a toxoplasmosis antibody titer that measures for past or present infection. Previous exposure to the disease will cause a positive titer, which means you are immune. A negative titer means you are at risk and must take the proper precautions.
What can you do? First, bring your cat’s fecal sample to your veterinarian to see if your cat is positive for this coccidium also know as Toxoplasmosis Gondii. Be sure to keep your cat indoors; cats usually get this protozoan through ingesting mice and birds. If he’s inside you don’t have to worry. Then hand over the litterbox duty to your husband or other family member or wear rubber gloves when cleaning the box and clean the box daily!
Also, if you work outdoors in soil always wear gloves and always wash your hands afterward. Be certain to cook meat at a heat of 150 degrees Fahrenheit and again, wash your hands after handling raw meat.
The bottom line is that by taking these precautions you should be able to keep you, your cat and your baby healthy. There is absolutely no reason to give up your furry friend as long as you take precautions.