Any woman expecting a baby, and who has a cat or cats, has probably had someone warning her about a terrible disease, toxoplasmosis, that she can get from cats, so she better hurry to get rid of her kitty or kitties. This is nonsense.

Yes, it is POSSIBLE to get toxoplasmosis from cat potties (bowel movements, as the vets call them.) But it is not easy to get it.

More on this in a bit, First let's talk about what toxoplasmosis is.

Cats can get toxoplasmosis (Let's just call it tox.) from eating cntaminated raw meat, birds, mice or dirt. Yes, other creatures can get tox. But cats are the only creatures who can get rid of the infectious stage of this disease in their potties. Humans can get tox, too, from meat that is infected and not cooked enough to kill the parasites that carry the disease.

Even if your cat has tox, it's not easy to pass this disease from Kitty to her human.

That's because only cats who EAT the meat containing the disease get infected. That leaves indoors cats mostly out! Now we're talking about outdoor cats who hunt and eat rats or mice, or Indoor cats whose humans give them raw and infected meat. On top of that, only after a cat first eats the infected meat does his/her potties contain tox, and then only for two weeks. A cat who hunts outdoors may eat some of this bad meat as a kitten, and so as he gets a bit older, the tox is out of his body.

Further, since the disease can infect only for five days after the cat eats infected meat, a litter box that is changed each day is almost impossible to transmit the disease to a human. The only way a human could get tox would be if the person touched the infected cat potties, then, without washing hands, touch their mouth or any other place where the disease could get into the human's digestive system. So, we can see it is practically impossible for women expecting their kittens (called 'babies',I understand) to infect themselves with tox.

But 'practically impossible' does not mean 'impossible.' And considering the really bad effects tox could have on a woman's unborn kitten -- oops, I mean baby -- there are ways to cut this danger down from slim to none.

1. Don't eat undercooked meat.

2. Wash uncooked vegetables thoroughly.

3. Wash the cutting board, knives, forks, or anything else that came in contact with the meat before using those things again.

4. If you're going to do garden work or anything else that gets your hands into outdoors dirt, wear gardening gloves. Or, if you stick your bare hands into the dirt, wash, wash, wash them well after you finish.

5. You could get your tom (husband, as the humans say) to manage the kitty box while you're expecting the baby, and as long afterward as you can manage! (Yes, good luck with that one unless he's as fond of kittes as you are.)

6. Or if you just _must_ change the kitty box, wear rubber gloves and wash hands thoroughly afterward.

Getting rid of your cat(s) is NOT necessary, nor is turning your indoor cat outdoors to face alone the dangers of speeding cars, savage dogs, wild animals and nasty humans. Keep your cat(s) and keep loving them, and your little one will learn how to love and care about animals, too.


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