I'm pregnant and have a cat, how do I reduce risk of getting toxoplasmosis?

Posted by Dr Claire Jenkins on Aug 12, 2015 7:55:02 AM
Dr Claire Jenkins

Toxoplasmosis is an infection caused by a parasite called ‘Toxoplasma gondii’. Its main host is the cat but also affects livestock and humans.

Pregnant women do need to take precautions against toxoplasmosis. If caught for the first time during pregnancy it can be passed to your unborn baby. Your GP can test for antibodies and will be able to advise you further on this.

How do I get toxoplasmosis?

  • Eating undercooked meat or unwashed vegetables *** this is by far the most common cause! Far more than from a cat.
  • Infected cat poop (takes about 24hrs after being passed to be infective)
  • Gardening (cats pooping in the soil)
  • Sand boxes (as for gardening)

What steps can I take to reduce risk of infection? 

  • Only eat well cooked meat
  • Thoroughly wash vegetables to remove traces of soil
  • Have your partner or someone else be responsible for cleaning the cat tray ensuring the poop is removed ASAP and its cleaned daily
  • Wear gloves when gardening
  • Normal hand washing hygiene before food and always after petting your kitty.
  • Cover sand boxes
  • Don’t feed your cat raw meat

Want help? Chat with our vets

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Topics: online vet, Parasites, pregnancy, toxoplasmosis, video consultation