July 15, 2008,
M.H. asks from Des Moines, IA on July 11, 2008
Pregnancy and Cat Litter
I am not pregnant yet (that I know of:) but we have 2 inside cats. I am usually the one who cleans the pans and I know that once I get pregnant my husband will need to take over this chore. He has no problem with it. I would like to know if that is the only precaution we need to take or if simply being around the smell of the cat pan could harm the baby as well. Even cleaning it everyday there is still an odor especially right after the cats use it. The smell can be very strong. My husband works long hours so it's not like he's there to clean it everytime they use it.
A.N. answers from Minneapolis on July 12, 2008
Toxoplasmosis is acquired through the oral fecal route, I do not think it is air borne...smell should not carry the parasite.
L.B. answers from Sioux Falls on July 11, 2008
Cats carry a disease that causes miscarriages. It is in their stools, so you arent suppose to touch them, or breath it in, like the dust, which would be contaminated by the stool. Not all cats carry this, however more often then not, a cat has it. It doesnt affect the cat itself, however humans and other animals, like sheep, miscarry because of it. Good Luck!
PS its always better to have someone else do it anyways :D right now I have my son do it, just because I hate the bending over. he is lower to the ground ;)
S.K. answers from Minneapolis on July 12, 2008
The issue is in the cat feces. Cats can carry toxoplasmosis. It is symptom free (so you will never know your cat has it) and comes from contact with insects, rodents or other animals who carry it, so any indoor or outdoor cat can get it.
If you scoop the cat feces, you can get the toxoplasmosis. It won't do a thing to you, but can be harmful to the development of the baby. It is very rare, (so you will meet women who say "I always changed the cat box and nothing bad happened") but all 3 of my OBs have said that I was not to change to litter just in case. (My husband thinks it is a conspiracy between female OBs and their patients.)
1 mom found this helpful
P.K. answers from Minneapolis on July 11, 2008
We also have cats, of which my hubby and I have taken precausions (I'm due in Sept)
I've been told it's changing the litter, because of the dust that is usually inthe air. The strong smell of the urine/fecies is not harmful, however...I've been taking the precausing and just staying away from the area if it's strong smelling, or just after my husband has changed the litter box. If he changes it (or cleans it out), I don't go near it until the next day, to ensure that the dust settled and I won't be breathing in it. That is the extreme precausion, because I've been told that you actually can change it when pregnant, you just have to NOT touch it and wear gloves and a brething mask to protect your airways from enhaling the toxins.
Hope this helps. :)
C.D. answers from La Crosse on July 12, 2008
Misty, just to let you know that both times I was pregnant, it was my husband's responsibility to ensure the cat litter was changed as needed and he usually failed to do this. It was a disgusting mess in our basement and to this day I am still upset about it, because it could have caused terrible problems for me and our babies. However, my point is that I lived in a household with filthy cat pans and never once suffered the effects of the toxicity it can cause. I believe it is rare that people get ill from this sort of thing. You may very well be more likely to get sick from a tomato or a store-bought cookie these days anyhow.
J.A. answers from Madison on July 13, 2008
Being around the smell is not harmful - just annoying!
Before you get pregnant, you might consider getting tested for toxoplasmosis. You might have it already and not know it. If you do have it, it won't harm your pregnancy, but then you will know when you do get pregnant. I was tested during my pregnancy and found to be positive for it, but they weren't sure if it was a new exposure or something I had had for a while. Getting tested before you get pregnant can just save you some worrying during your pregnancy.
A.M. answers from Eau Claire on July 13, 2008
If your cats are only indoor cats then you don't have to much to worry about, even if you can smell it. If they are also outdoor then you should be more careful. I was worried about this when I was pregnant also, but my doctor reassured me that even if I had to empty the litter box it wouldn't be that big of a deal as long as they were strictly indoor. I didn't tell my husband this:)
K.B. answers from Minneapolis on July 11, 2008
The smell of urine is nothing to worry about, as long as you can stand the smell. Not sure what litter you are using, but I have never been able to smell the boxes, even if they are dirty. We have the type with a cover and a flap for the door. They say not to clean the litter box when pregnant, but my sister did when pregnant with all 3 of her kids. She just wore gloves and a mask.
Many people think they have to get rid of a cat when they become pregnant and that is so untrue...
H.R. answers from Rapid City on July 13, 2008
It's not the odor that is dangerous, but the dust from the pans. You will need to ensure that you are not breathing the dust when the pans are being cleaned or used. You will also need to stay away from areas where the dust collects and have them cleaned regularly with antibacterial/germicidal disinfectants.
T.V. answers from Lincoln on July 12, 2008
I don't think there is any problem with the smell causing problems. As far as I know as long as you don't come in contact with the cat poo itself it should be fine. I sometimes had to clean our litter box while I was pregnant and I used gloves and a mask to keep the dust, and any germs that might float around, out of my nose and mouth. Good luck.