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Discussion Starter #1
I just found out that I am pregnant and of course the first thing I think about is my cats and the litterboxes. There is no way I am getting rid of my cats, they are my babies and will stay here forever. I have done some research and have read that the reason pregnant women are not supposed to clean litterboxes are because of toxoplasmosis. I clean the litterbox daily and my cats are indoors only, which I have read reduce the chances of toxoplasmosis. I have been cleaning with gloves until my doctor's appointment where I intend to get tests done to see if I am immune or not. Has anyone had experience with cleaning litterboxes while pregnant or know anything about it? Thank you in advance!
 

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Using universal precautions, i.e. latex gloves, will ensure your safety.
It is similar to the everyday risks to doctors, nurses and hospital aides.
In other words, very low.

P.S. How is the little black and white doing?
 

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I've always heard that you should be safe as long as you use gloves and wash hands with soap of course. Congrats on the pregnancy!
 

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First of all...Congratulations! Is this your first child?

Cats contract toxoplasmosis when they eat contaminated raw meat, birds, mice, etc. Since your cats are indoors, and unless they're fed a raw diet, the risk of them contracting the disease is extremely low. Humans can contract toxoplasmosis through infected cat feces and/or by eating undercooked contaminated meat. If you want to be extra safe, you can wear gloves when you clean the litter box and wash your hands right afterwards, which would reduce your risk to virtually nil.
 

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Better safe than sorry, as you'd never forgive yourself otherwise. I obviously have a tremendous amount of experience considering I'm a male, but to this day I do the following:

1) I have a cheap regular dust mask (see home depot) that I slap on real quick
2) I use cheap oversize rubber gloves to slip into conveniently placed on a couple hooks.
3) I use four of the Omega Paw boxes, which mostly eliminate close handling of fecal matter and reduce dust:

And naturally wash my hands with antibacterial soap.

BUT, my cats do occasionally step in poo and they DO like to jump on my kitchen table and my counters, so I wipe those down w/ a disinfectant spray on occasion and naturally keep all cutting boards and such stored away since they will be directly contacting my food. :)
 

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Congrats on the news! I second everyone else's suggestions, wear gloves for sure. You may also want to wear a face mask as the dust from litter can be problematic as well.

"Therefore, pregnant women especially should be careful to always wear gardening gloves and wash their hands thoroughly after gardening. If cleaning a cat box isn't avoidable, then the same basic care must be taken. Wear disposable gloves, wash hands and don't inhale any of the dust from the litter box, since it can carry the parasite. Keeping the litter box very clean will also help to prevent the parasite from spreading. "
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I have been cleaning them with heavy duty latex gloves that are elbow high. I have also been wearing a dust mask now and then but wasn't sure if that was really necessary but yes, better safe then sorry. I of course wash my hands regularly, I usually clean them in the morning and at night and shower right after.
@Greenport Ferals: Little Sparta is doing amazing! She's next to me pulling on my shirt sleeve and climbing all over me as we speak. She has learned how to climb out of the birthing box and runs her little body into the hallway and waits to be let into the bedroom. Bella has basically adopted her now, she cleans and cuddles with her although they do have problems when Sparta tries to milk Bella. Haha! All in all she is doing amazing and the vet that said she wasn't going to make it couldn't have been more wrong.
@Susan: This is actually my second pregnancy, but my first ended in a miscarriage at 10 weeks. I'm doing everything in my power to keep this little one safe and praying things are better this time around.
Thank you for the congratulations, yes I'm excited, nervous of course but I'm happy that this little one will have a cousin that's close to his/her age!
 

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@Susan: This is actually my second pregnancy, but my first ended in a miscarriage at 10 weeks. I'm doing everything in my power to keep this little one safe and praying things are better this time around.
I wish you a happy and healthy pregnancy!
 

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Several years ago, I worked for a veterinarian who became pregnant. I learned some things about toxoplasmosis at that point. Your baby is only at risk if you are exposed to toxo for the FIRST time WHILE you are pregnant. If your cats were outdoor cats, it is likely that you would have been exposed already. The vet knew this, and given the nature of her work was quite sure that she had been exposed repeatedly. But just to be safe, she had some sort of test done at her doctors to confirm that she had already been exposed...but it turned out that she had not! Good thing she checked! She continued to do everything for all her clients cats, but she always wore a mask and gloves and washed carefully. Her baby is now a 10 year old, and he is fine!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thank you! I'm planning on having the doctor run that test on me as well to see if I have been exposed or not. If I have, looks like the fiancee will be cleaning them :p
 
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