Dear Pet Expert,
I'm 3½ months along with my first child. My husband and I just got a new kitten, and I've had seven different relatives tell me that I can't touch cat litter. Is there any truth to this anymore, or was this a problem years ago and the new litter has different effects, or is it just the urine?
Is there anything else I should know about kittens and pregnancy? Is there any possibility of baby developing allergies because we have a cat?
Hello and congratulations! The concern is about Toxoplasmosis from contact with your cat's stool. Here is a helpful article on this topic.
You can decrease this risk by keeping your cat indoors and following proper sanitary protocol. Use proper hand washing techniques when cleaning litter or any interaction. If you feel more comfortable, have someone else do the litter but even that is not necessary. There is very little risk with every day duties of cat ownership.
I have always had cats and I enjoyed allowing my husband to handle that chore during my pregnancies. There were many times that I did clean the boxes and wore gloves and washed my hands following.
All too often people surrender their feline friends out of fear but that is not necessary! So, enjoy your cat and I recommend you visit Cat Behavior Associates, LLC as it has wonderful information that you might also find helpful!
I have had cats all through my pregnancies and have never experienced any problems. Use proper hand washing techniques when cleaning litter or any interaction. If you feel more comfortable, have someone else do the litter but even that is not necessary. There is very little risk with every day duties of cat ownership.
There is a great deal of information out from the humane society and actually studies indicate cat and dog exposure early on in infancy help prevent allergies.
So, enjoy your cats and follow regular precautions.
Jennifer Shryock, creator of Dogs & Storks™ DVD and national program, is a stay-at-home Mother of four and a certified dog behavior consultant, specializing in safe Kid and K9 interaction. Believing the relationship between dogs and their family is precious, Jennifer created her business, Family Paws to offer opportunities to families to enhance their relationship with their dog/s. Jennifer uses only positive dog and kid friendly techniques that anyone can perform in their own home. Jennifer's combination of passion and experience as a parent, special education teacher and certified dog behavior consultant allows her to connect and support families in a unique way.
Jennifer is certified through the International association of animal behavior consultants, and maintains professional membership with Association of pet dog trainers. Jennifer is also the U.S. rep for Doggone safe, a non profit organization dedicated to dog safety. Jennifer has been featured in such publications as the Wall Street Journal and Dog fancy as well as been a popular guest various radio programs.
Jennifer and family share their home with 4 rescued dogs. Carin mal/shep mix, Bailey, siberian husky, Duke, German shepherd, Windsor, pit bull and 5 cats.