11 answers

Concerned About Cats & Germs

Ever since my baby was born last year, I have been concerned about our indoor cats. It's not JUST the hair (and there is a LOT of it), but it's more so a concern of germs being transferred from their food bowls and litter box to other areas of the house. I know litter boxes have ecoli and have heard food bowls often have salmonella. The cat box and bowls are kept in the laundry room which is adjacent to the kitchen. Mopping the kitchen floor every day just isn't going to happen. I sweep every day and wipe down the counter tops, but it's like a loosing battle. I feel so guilty considering finding the cats another home, but the more and more the baby crawls around, I feel like he is just up to his elbows in cat germs. Anyone out there go thru similar anxiety? Or can anyone assure me my house isn't crawling with cat cooties?

Thanks girls!
D

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Featured Answers

I'm having the same issues. Luckily my youngest is 3 and can't stand the smell of the cat food or the litter box, but I'm worried about the cat germs too.
I inherited three kittens from my mother who ran over thier mother! I had to have one put to sleep last week, but the other two are doing really well. My children have grown to love them as we've bottle fed them up until two weeks ago. They're wanting to keep BOTH kittens. I'm taking them this weekend to have all of their shots and such, but I'm worried about germs and such too. I hope you get some good responses because I'd hate to break my kids' hearts!

1 mom found this helpful

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I have 2 indoor cats and 3 kids under 5. The litterbox is in under the kids' bathroom under the counter. It has child locks and a kitty door on the side by the toilet. Their food & water bowls are on the floor in the laundry room. We have laminate & tile floors, and I do not mop daily. We have never had any problems from the kids coming into contact with germs from the cats. I remember reading that kids with pets have a lower risk of asthma because of early exposure to those types of things. One thing I don't allow is for the cats to sleep on the kids' bed/pillows ... that is a little gross. FYI: stainless steel or ceramic pet food bowls don't germs like the plastic ones. It's normal to worry, but I don't think it's a problem. Besides, it's very hard to rehome grown cats ... everyone wants cute little kittens.

3 moms found this helpful

D.,
It might be a good thing to have cat germs in your house. Recent studies say that kids that allowed to get down and dirty and hang out with pets have fewer allergies and stronger immune systems.

Get over the germs. Have more kids. Then you won't have time to worry about things like this, germs are a common worry for first time moms (till they have the 2nd and then perspective changes) ... On the worry scale, cat germs should be down around a 1.

Enjoy your baby, stop worrying.

3 moms found this helpful

I really think it's ok to relax about the cat thing. I grew up with cats, my husband grew up with cats and we have 2 now and none of us has ever had any problems. Do your regular cleaning process and all will be good.
God bless
T.

2 moms found this helpful

I don't think you have anything to worry about - unless you're going to serve your family in the cats' used food & water dishes (or worse - the litter box). Since your cats are indoor cats, they aren't bringing in things from the outside and cats usually some of the cleanest animals.

If you're concerned, just use clorox wipes on food sufaces before prepping meals or eating that the table. And, of course, the MOST important thing you can, is practice good hand hygiene. More germs are passed between people's hands than you would imagine. Always wash hands after using the bathroom. Always wash hands before touching your face/eyes/mouth. Always wash hands or use antibacterial gel after you cough/sneeze. Always wash hands before cooking or eating. The same with your children. Teach them good hand hygiene and they'll be less sick than their friends when they start to attend school.

2 moms found this helpful

D., I have raised 3 boys and 2 girls from their birth with cats. None of them ever got sick from our pets. They get sick from other kids ( Day Care & school) easier than from their pets. We have 3 cats and 1 dog right now. Indoor cats don't bring in as many things as outside/indoor cats. I always worried more about the kids hurting the cats than the cats hurting the kids. You don't have to worry as long as you keep a clean home.

2 moms found this helpful

You can always use SoluMel...it kills dustmites and allergens and helps keep things clean. It's safe for pets and children, so even if they "touch it" after you spray they are safe. There's also SolUGuard which is alot stronger...You can spray the solumel on carpets, countertops, furniture, pet beds etc. The soluguard i'd use on the countertops, on the floor.

Good luck!

T.

1 mom found this helpful

I think you may be a bit over worried here. My vet (also a mom) told me that you're more likely to catch these things from produce than from your cat. Look at the recent issues with tomatoes for example.

Of course you want to keep your house clean and should empty the cat box out regularly. It sounds like you do this already. Make sure your pets see their vet regularly and are in good health. Wash hands frequently. Otherwise, I wouldn't worry about it.

There's a lot of advertising out there scarying us about "germs". It's the big bogeyman for moms so they target ads for us since, usually, we're the ones doing the cleaning.

1 mom found this helpful

I have 2 cats and a 2 year old. The litter box is in the extra bath and she doesn't go in there often. The litter is scooped daily (by my husband becuase I am pregnant) and completely cleaned every 3 to 4 weeks.

The food is out on the floor in the kitchen. The wet food bowls get replaced each time we feed them. The dry food sits out all day and we clean those bowls every few weeks. She's tried to eat the dry food before. It freaked me out at first, but then I remembered my sister eating dog food when we were little.

Cats are actually fairly clean animals, considering. Especially if they stay indoors. Just make sure the table where you eat is clean and their little hands are clean as well. They are more likely to get germs from chewing on someone else's toys or from unwashed hands.

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