pregnant women with cats

Toxoplasmosis and Cats

Toxoplasmosis is a disease that affects cats and other mamals that caused by a microscopic protozoan called Toxoplasma gondii, an intestinal parasite.

Cat Owner 7 Months Pregnant

Hi Simba, I am 7 months pregnant and just got a new kitten.
What are my risks for toxoplasmosis? Can I still get it this far in my pregnancy? Brandi is 5-weeks-old and we plan to have her as an indoor cat. Also, Brandi has fleas. We are using a flea comb on her. Is anything else we can use to kill the fleas? brandi

Hi brandi,
Congratulations on the baby and on your soon to be born child! First a little background on toxoplasmosis.

Toxoplasmosis is a disease caused by a microscopic protozoan called Toxoplasma gondii. This is an intestinal parasite that infects cats or other mammals that eat small animals, birds, or other anything that carry Toxoplasma cysts (another reason to keep your cat indoors).

When consumed, these cysts develop into eggs inside the intestine. These eggs are then shed in feces, where they develop further. According to the CDC people are more likely to get toxoplasmosis from eating undercooked meat or gardening than from contact with pet cats. However, a risk exists just the same, so here are some steps involved to guard and protect against the risk.


  • Continue to keep Brandi indoors Remember that toxoplasmosis is transmitted via infected prey...keeping Brandi indoors will reduce the risk of his/her becoming infected.
  • Feed Brandi canned or dried commercial kitten food undercooked / raw meat.
  • If you feed her home meals, thoroughly cook any meat you give her(this goes for people too).
  • Thoroughly wash your hands after handling any raw meat.
  • Avoid eating raw or undercooked meat
  • Have another family member clean and disinfect the litter box on a regular basis.
  • Be extra vigilant performing litter box duty...a litter robot may be a good investment.
  • Do not adopt or handle stray cats or bring in any cats that may have been outdoor cats.
  • Wear gloves outside if you like to garden...
  • wash your hands with soap and water when you are done.
It is good idea to discuss these matters with your vet at brandi's next visit. At 5 weeks she is probably due for her shots.

TESTING FOR toxoplasmosis

  • A vet can test for Toxoplasmosis by performing a examining the cat's feces for presence of the eggs.
  • In addition, blood tests can determine if antibodies have been activated to respond to Toxoplasma. What makes this difficult is that cats rarely show signs of toxoplasmosis, although some infected kitties may have fevers, coughs and swollen lymph nodes, or may experience a loss of appetite.
As to Brandi's flea problem, check out the the Fleas section. Be sure to discuss with your doctor and follow whatever precautions are recommended for pregnant women. Keep me posted. Simba

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