What Women Need to Know About Pregnancy and Pets

What Women Need to Know About Pregnancy and Pets

Veterinarian Cheryl Waterhouse discusses dangerous correlation between cats and pregnancy.
When a woman learns she's pregnant, there are a lot of things to start taking into consideration to keep baby safe. Pets, and more specifically cats, should be at the top of that list. 

Dr. Cheryl Waterhouse of Waterhouse Animal Hospital in Fresno explained cats can carry a disease called the toxoplasmosis. According to the Centers for Disease Control, they become infected by eating infected rodents, birds, or other small animals. The parasite is then passed in the cat's feces. Cats are the only animal that can carry the parasite through its lifecycle.

If a pregnant woman contracts toxoplasma, it can affect the unborn child with serious eye or brain damage at birth, or blindness or mental disability later in life.

"It doesn't mean you have to get rid of your cat, you just have to take precaution," said Dr. Waterhouse.

She added ways to avoid toxoplasma are by not changing a cat's litter box (or wear gloves if need be), not eating rare meat, and wearing gloves while gardening to avoid exposure contaminated soil.

Watch the video for much more on this topic.

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