Getting a New Kitten While Pregnant,is It OK??

Updated on January 14, 2011
A.C. asks from Johnson City, TN
24 answers

I have been wanting a kitten for awhile now and my husband finally said OK.But I was reading my pregnancy book,I am almost 25 weeks pregnant,and it said not to get new cats or kittens while pregnant.I don't plan on changing the litterbox or anything like that,and I plan on taking the kitten to the vet for it's shots and checkup.Is it really not safe to get a new kitten? It has been raised indoors only.

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So What Happened?

Thanks for all the responses!! At this point I'm still torn about whether or not to get a kitten.I have had cats all my life,inside and outside,so I have probably already been exposed to those germs.Nothing is more important than our baby though,so I'm really not sure what I'll do.I plan on asking my doctor before I make my final decision,I just wanted to hear what others thought about this.Thanks for the advice!!!

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answers from Provo on

Got to say that I have never heard of that. I always had cats and kitties when I was pregnant. The only thing about the litterbox is that it can have toxoplasmosis germs. I always wore rubber gloves and washed my hands after dealing with the litter box. You say that you won't be dealing with this so it is really not an issue though. I think you should have no problems.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Charlotte on




answers from Jacksonville on

Many others have posted that as long as you don't come into contact with their feces, it is fine. But have you ever had a kitten before. They always have poop on them. They walk through it in their litterbox and because they are not very tall, it sticks to the hair on their hind legs. There is NO way to avoid it when you have a kitten.
The books say to wait and most of the books out there now are written by doctors who are not going off old wives tales. I say wait.

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answers from Minneapolis on

When I used to work at a humane society, they (secretly) frowned upon expecting moms coming in to adopt a dog/cat. Reasons were that the mom was usually "nesting" that's where the urge to get a new 'baby' cat/dog to care for came from. Then that mom would pour her hormone driven caretaking needs into the animal, until the baby is born, at which point the animal usually ended up BACK at the humane society. It was just too much to deal with a new baby and a new-ish animal.

I'm not saying they were right (all the time anyways), but their thought process was driven by previous experience.... so... it's something to think about.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

I've always had cats in the household, before, during, and after pregnancy. As long as the cat is healthy and your hubby scoops the little box everything should be fine.

My mother in law was an old Italian woman and she was more concerned with the cats jumping on the newborn infant and sucking the breath out of the baby. That didn't happen either. lol.

Hope you enjoy your new kitty.

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answers from Minneapolis on

Go ahead. By the time your baby arrives, the kitten should be well settled in your household.

Cats do not suck the breath from babies (LOL, OLD wives tale).
Cats do not sleep with babies and suffocate them.

Cats will not attack a baby because they are jealous of it.

The risk of toxoplasmosis is WAY overstated due to one study that was done in Britain where people regularly eat raw beef (a bigger cause of the disease).

We had cats before and after our baby arrived and had no issues. As with any pet, you will want to introduce the baby to the cat and make sure that the cat continues to get attention from you after the birth of your baby so that it doesn't start any annoying behaviors such as marking.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

I believe Toxoplasmosis is only a risk to the fetus in the first trimester. Check with your ob. BUT, is it fair to the kitten and the infant to be born? Babies don't know how to treat cats. Toddlers certainly don't and a kitten you get know will be a rowdy rambunctious creature anxious to play with your new infant. Just food for thought - certainly most people with cats don't get rid of them when they have a baby. But maybe the timing could be better.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

Kittens are okay, it's the bacteria in their waste that isn't that can cause toxoplasmosis and is dangerous for the unborn baby

So, you shouldn't be in the same room as the litter box after it's been used, or during/after it's been cleaning b/c the dust is going to be floating in the air as it settles.

Whoever cleans the box should disinfect the opening and sides and scooper after each cleaning, and make sure any rock pellets are always picked up.

Wash your hands after touching the cat and especially if it just used the litter box, again the litter/waste 'ash' is likely still on it's paws. If you get a little scratch from the kitten, wash and disinfect it and treat it immediately.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Johnstown on

I would wait until you make sure your baby isn't going to have a reaction to the cat before you bring one into your home. Just because you don't have an issue doesn't mean your LO won't.

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answers from Las Vegas on

They're just worried about the cat feces in the litter box. I got one of my cats when I was 6 months pregnant. Make sure hubby or someone is on board for the litter box, I had to pester my now-ex to do it lol.

I agree with sue with the old wives tale. My ex brought home a blanket with the baby smell while I was in the hospital and there was no problems. I have pics of the cat being asleep and the baby (she was army crawling then) sleeping on top of him. Not all cats will be mean towards babies.

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answers from Raleigh on

There is a screening test available to see if you have previously been exposed to toxoplasmosis-meaning you have immunity to toxoplasmosis. Might be worth checking out if you are in a situation where you may have to scoop the litter box.



answers from Portland on

You can do your own research by googling "cats and pregnancy risks" and decide from there. Be honest about weighing the risks; it's so easy to not put much weight on answers we don't want to hear.


answers from Pocatello on

Well I know people that have cats while pregnant and everything is fine. I just remember reading that it's not only the germs in the litter box. Once the cat has used the litter box that bacteria that is dangerous to the baby is under their claws and on their feet. So if the kitten scratches you and breaks the skin then there you go you've got the bacteria in your blood stream. I honestly just try and stay away from cats while pregnant. why risk it? My MIL has 4 cats in her house so I just don't let them climb on me or anything when I am there. I feel that my baby is way more important than a cat.


answers from Tampa on

Most cats who are always indoors are not infected with the toxoplasmosis parasite. Even if it were, using gloves and a face mask are enough precautions to take while changing the kitty litter. An animal (even the ones you eat from the store) who is around a lot of dirt, eats poop eating bugs (like cockroaches, flies, etc), or eats an infected animal will get it.

I would say the kitty would be a great choice! It's a wonderful stress reducer and makes a wonderful QUIET companion. I have 11 cats, a 5 y/o and am 3 months pregnant.



answers from Dallas on

I would wait. I mean a few more weeks won't make a difference and it's better to be safe than sorry.


answers from Kansas City on

Changing the litter box should not be a problem if you are hygenic about it. I did it quite often during all my pregnancies.

The problem with getting a new kitten is that the virus that can cause cat scratch fever and that can cause defects in a baby is most often past in the kitten stage when they have such sharp little claws. Cat scratch fever is not so often found in older cats that live indoors. Any cat that spends time outdoors poses a certain amount of risk for a pregnant mom and her child.

If they did blood tests on most of us, we usually carry antibodies for this. Most of us have had it at some point and never knew it. The chances of getting it bad enough to be diagnosed or cause problems is very low. But the problems can be so devastating that it's worth waiting I think.



answers from Nashville on

It is fine, we had a cat, just can't change the litter



answers from Eau Claire on

When I became pregnant with our first we got rid of our cat. She liked to snuggle in our bed at night and I was afraid that she would get into the baby's room and snuggle with her. There have been stories of cats curling up around babies heads and suffocating them. It's not just the litter box you need to worry about, the biggest thing is how the cat is around the baby. You also should think about if you get the cat and give it a lot of attention it may be jealous when you bring the baby home and try to bite at it or scratch it. People make it work all the time, just weigh out the pros and cons.


answers from Modesto on

If you dont come in contact with the feces you'll be okay. I had cats while pregnant and while my kids were growing up. People do it all the time. Just make sure everyone know that you are not to be cleaning the catbox. And everyone needs to wash their hands after handling it. I seriously doubt you will have any problems. But you could be one of the exceptions to the rule and why they warn about cats....
If I were to get pregnant today, I wouldnt get rid of my cat. I would just wash my hands after handling her or her pooper scooper. I'm pretty sure it's rare to get sick..... I've never know anyone to have the problem they speak of about the cat poop and pregnancy.


answers from Rochester on

I've never heard of that, either, and we did get a kitten when I was pregnant with my first child (we already had a cat at the time). The vet never mentioned anything, neither did my OB, that was a concern, aside from recommending I avoid the litter box. (They did suggest that since I've always been around cats and our cat is indoor-only, the litter box is more of a blanket precaution since I'm probably immune to toxoplasmosis or whatever.) The only issue we had is that the kitten actually had feline leukemia and passed away before we had the baby and we had to wait about 8 weeks to test our other cat, so it was an extra stressor and obviously quite sad. I'm not sure what book you're talking about, but if it is What to Expect When You're Expecting, I would take just about everything in it with a grain of salt and ask my doctor. If there is no legitimate medical reason according to your doctor and/or vet, go for it. I'm a complete cat person myself. =) Our cat is wonderful with our kids and has been all along. If you're worried about scratches (people or furniture since kittens can be rowdy) you can ask about SoftPaws or consider declawing, but that is a very touchy issue for a lot of folks.



answers from Minneapolis on

Does your book give a reason as to why you shouldnt get a kitten? i have never heard of that.
I worked as a vet tech through my whole pregnancy and had a cat at home and never had a problem. As far as changing the litter box. A) your cat would have to have toxoplasmosis in its system--which is highly unlikely this day in age B) you would actually have to ingest the poop somehow to contact this disease (not wash your hands, have it under your nails) It DOES NOT come from the dust in the air from the litter.
The only other thing I could think of that would be a risk, is if it bit you and broke the skin. Cat bites can be very dirty and hard to treat if you are pregnant.
Im sure it is fine. Good Luck with your pregnancy.



answers from Louisville on

i think you would be fine sounds like you know to stay away from the litter box



answers from Raleigh on

There is a disease that some cats carry and it can make you miscarry or have a child with birth defects. It is serious and is transmitted through saliva and other bodily fluids. You may have been exposed to this virus already while not pregnant (especially if you had pets growing up). However the only way to know if you are already immune (you are if you were exposed previously) is to get a blood test from your doctor. If you already have the antibodies you will probably be safe getting a cat if you don't have the antibodies it is probably better to wait. I am sure you don't want to risk a miscarriage just for a cat.



answers from Nashville on

i would just make sure to take it for all it's shots first thing. with the litter box if you have to clean it you need to use disposable gloves and wash you hands real good. good luck and enjoy your new baby and your new baby kitten., R.

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