Cat Forum banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone - I'm hoping that you wise cat people here will be able to clear up some contradictory information I've read about the risk of toxoplasmosis during pregnancy. I have searched the forum for this topic and found some other threads, but still have some questions.

First, some background: I am 31 years old, and 6 weeks pregnant. I have had cats all my life, but only one cat for the majority of my life (nearly 20 years). He was an outdoor cat and I know he hunted a lot - he would often bring home his kills and I saw him eating them as well (I know, ick). So I know there is a fair chance I was already exposed to toxo from him.

Now my husband and I have two cats, and they are strictly indoors. I know I am not at risk from infection from them as they have never been outside and have always eaten commerical cat food. However, my husband is now changing the litter just as a precaution.

But here's my real issue: before we found out I was pregnant, we had committed to adopting a little kitten from the local animal shelter. This kitten was found wandering outdoors at about 8 to 10 weeks of age. He was very thin, but we really have no idea how long he was wandering or what he ate. He's been at the shelter now for about a month, as we delayed taking him home until all his needles and such were done.

Here's my concern: do I have to worry about picking up toxo from the new kitten? I have read in other places that toxo can only be transmitted for two weeks after the cat is infected, and the kitten has been at the shelter for longer than that, but I have not seen that info everywhere so I'm not sure how true it is. My husband will continue to change the litter, and we will switch to cleaning it out fully every day instead of just scooping it, but I'm not sure how much I really have to worry. Should we not adopt the kitten? I would hate to tell the shelter he couldn't come home, but of course I want to make sure my baby will be ok.

Big, big thanks to everyone in advance who has some advice or information to share on this problem!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
562 Posts
I have read in other places that toxo can only be transmitted for two weeks after the cat is infected
I am no expert, but that has always been my understanding from everything I have read. In my opinion, if your hubby is on litterbox duty, you should be ok. But again, I'm no expert - perhaps Dr. Jean could chime in.

I hope you get to bring the little kitten home! It would be a shame if he had to stay at the shelter! :cry:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for your response - hopefully it is true about the two weeks, because as I say the kitten has been at the shelter much longer than that.

The shelter manager just called me to tell me the results of the kitten's leukemia test (negative) and that he was ready to come home tomorrow - so I really hope we are still able to get him because it would break a lot of hearts if I said "no" now!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,101 Posts
First of all, you have probably already been exposed to Toxo and may have antibodies against it. Your doctor can do a blood test to determine that. If you already have antibodies, you are protected and your risk is zero. The kitten can also be tested. If the kitten got the disease from its mother, it would have shown signs by age 4 weeks, and in all likelihood would have died.

Your risk is also zero as long as hubby is on litterbox duty. Infected cats only shed the organism for 2 weeks, and the organism does not even become infective until it has been exposed to oxygen for 24-48 hours. Pooper-scooping once a day eliminates that risk.

You are at much higher risk of Toxo from gardening, handling raw meat, or eating rare meat than you are from the kitten! Good sanitary practices are, of course, of utmost importance during pregnancy!

Hope this helps! Go ahead and bring the kitten home; if you take ordinary precautions, you will be safe.

Cheers,
Dr. Jean
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,499 Posts
So, the next step is to post pictures of your new kitty, right? Hehe.

Glad to know you are safe! Congratulations on your pregnancy! And welcome to the forum!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,122 Posts
The risk for catching Toxoplasmosis through poorly cooked meat is by far bigger than catching it from the cat.

But like Dr. Jean said, all that takes is a blood test.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Just as an update - we brought the kitten home last night, and started in on the gradual introduction to our two older cats. So far so good. They've been a bit perturbed, of course, but they're all totally fine.

One last question for Dr Jean - the kitten has been dewormed twice but not with a full dose, as he's underweight. Should I deworm him again? Also, on the same subject, is there anything else I should look out for with a new kitten that might affect my pregnancy?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,101 Posts
If he was dosed with the right amount for the size he was at the time, it should be fine. I am always reluctant to give more drugs and chemicals than absolutely necessary!

He probably still needs a Rabies vaccination, that is best given after 4 months of age.

My only other suggestion would be to start right now getting him used to having his claws trimmed; you'll want to keep up on that with a little baby around! It's much easier to start training them as kittens! There's some how-to advice here:
http://www.littlebigcat.com/index.php?a ... how&item=1

Cheers,
Dr. Jean
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
That's great, thanks Dr Jean.

I have gotten all my cats used to having their claws trimmed as kittens, and you're right, it makes it much easier! All mine sit very quietly to have theirs done. We'll be training this one up too.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top