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Pet Care, Cats

I just found out I’m pregnant, and I have two cats. Is it safe for me to change their litter?

Our Mommy MD Guide’s reply:  No, it isn’t. When I found out that I was pregnant, I asked my husband to change the cat litter box for me. Cat feces can contain a parasite called Toxoplasma gondii. The parasites multiply in cats’ intestines, and they are shed in their waste. When people handle cat waste, they can contract the parasite and get an infection called toxoplasmosis, which can threaten the health of an unborn child.

My husband is a surgeon, and when he was on call or out of town, I’d use a disposable cat littler box instead. You simply pull off the wrapper and throw the whole box away when it’s full. That way I never had to handle the litter.

Mary Mason, MD, a mom of a nine-year-old girl and six-year-old boy, an internist, and the chief medical officer for a multi-state managed care company that coordinates care for about 70,000 pregnant Medicaid moms a year


The information on MommyMDGuides.com is not intended to replace the diagnosis, treatment, and services of a physician. Always consult your physician or child care expert if you have any questions concerning your family's health. For severe or life-threatening conditions, seek immediate medical attention.