Is Cat Pee Bad For Pregnancy? (Should I be Concerned?)
If you have a cat, or close to one whole pregnant you may have heard people say it’s bad for pregnancy. But, is this true, or not?
Is cat pee bad for pregnancy?
Cat pee is bad for pregnancy. It is incredibly high in ammonia. Breathing it in when you are pregnant can be deadly to a child. Too much ammonia can lead to birth defects and in rare cases can cause a miscarriage. This is why it is vital that you steer clear of any area where a cat may have urinated.
If you can smell the urine, then this is a bad thing. If you are constantly exposing yourself to the stench of the urine, then the risk of birth defects will shoot up.
But, do you need to get rid of your cat if you are pregnant? What is Toxoplasmosis, and how is this related? How can you reduce these risks? Keep reading for these answers, and so much more.
Do I have to get rid of my cat while pregnant?
You do not have to get rid of your cat while you are pregnant. In fact, you can continue to interact with your cat normally. Although, you may have to hand certain parts of your pet care over to other family members e.g. dealing with the litter tray.
There is no risk of getting infected by toxoplasmosis by merely petting a cat (Click here if your cat bites when you do this), or even playing with it. The only time you will be impacted is if you touch something that has come into contact with their feces or urine. This means that there is a very small chance that you could contract the condition if your cat has urinated or passed a stool outside of their litter box.
You will only run the risk if your cat has toxoplasmosis, which they are more likely to contract if they are an outdoor cat that snacks on birds and other small animals. The risk is minimal if they are kept indoors at all times.
Why is smelling cat litter bad for pregnancy?
Cat feces can contain a parasite known as toxoplasma gondii. This can result in an infection known as toxoplasmosis. If you get too close to the cat litter i.e. within smelling distance, then there is a small chance that you can catch the parasite and suffer from an infection.
It is important that you steer clear of cat litter when you are pregnant if you have never had toxoplasmosis before. While it is rare, toxoplasmosis can cause birth defects and, in very rare cases, miscarriages. Obviously, you will want to be cutting the risk of this happening as much as possible.
Note: there is no issue in smelling cat litter that is unused i.e. fresh out of the bag. As long as it has not come into contact with the litter tray, then everything should be fine. This means that you can feel free to fill up the litter tray, just make sure you do not get so close that you could ingest the parasite.
What is Toxoplasmosis?
Toxoplasmosis is an infection. It comes from a parasite known as Toxoplasma Gondii. Once this parasite gets into your system, your body will likely be able to fight it off. Most people will not realize that they have toxoplasmosis.
It is such a weak infection that it barely displays any symptoms. Your immune system will fight it off just like any other foreign body that enters you.
It is likely that you will only catch toxoplasmosis once in your life. While further studies will need to be carried out, there is evidence that once your body has built up an immunity to it, you will never be able to suffer from the infection again. Obviously, you could still ingest the parasite, but your body will know how to deal with the problem before it causes any damage. This means no symptoms.
What are the signs of toxoplasmosis in pregnancy?
In most cases, there will not be any symptoms that you are suffering from toxoplasmosis. This applies to both pregnancy and outside of pregnancy. If you do exhibit symptoms, then it is likely that they will be flu-like in nature.
This means a fever, chills, intense headaches, etc. If this happens, then it is important that you talk to your doctor. These symptoms can be related to a whole host of other conditions, and a lot of them will be a lot more serious than toxoplasmosis.
There is a 40% chance that if you contract toxoplasmosis during your first pregnancy, it will pass onto the child. However, the chances of you catching toxoplasmosis for the first time with your first child are so low that you will barely need to worry about this.
How can you reduce the risk of getting toxoplasmosis while pregnant?
If you can, you should be asking other people to clear the litter tray for you. If you have no choice but to clean it yourself, then make sure that you wear some good, strong rubber gloves. You should avoid doing any gardening too because you never know whether cats have urinated or passed a stool in the soil.
Outside of this, you should avoid eating any meats that are raw or undercooked. Any fruits and vegetables should be cleaned properly before you eat them.
It will require a little bit of effort, but this should be more than enough to keep most cases of toxoplasmosis at bay.
Is Toxoplasmosis during pregnancy quite common?
Around a third of people will have toxoplasmosis at least once in their life. While the odds of suffering from the condition are higher when you are pregnant, the risk is still going to be pretty small. If you do suffer from it, you may not even exhibit any symptoms.
The chances of a baby being born with toxoplasmosis are 1 in 1,000, which goes to show just how rare the condition actually is. The only time the toxoplasmosis will impact a baby is you catch the condition for the first time during your first pregnancy.
Although, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be taking action to help protect yourself against it.
Do pregnant cats pee a lot?
Just like humans, cats are going to be peeing a lot more when they are pregnant. This is because they now have some extra pressure applied to their bladder. Some cats may only pee once or twice per day, while pregnant cats may pee double, even triple, this amount.
Is it bad to breathe in cat pee?
While it is never really recommended to breathe in cat pee, it is going to be worse if you are suffering from a respiratory condition. For example; if you have breathing difficulties, or have a lung or throat infection. In those cases, it could potentially be deadly to breathe in cat urine.
What are the symptoms if the cat urine is affecting you?
The symptoms that cat pee is affecting you are much the same symptoms as if you were suffering from an allergy to a cat. This means that you may start to exhibit the following symptoms:
- Runny nose
- Red eyes
- Itchy skins
If you notice any of these, and you either breathe in or have touched cat urine, then it may be an allergic reaction. Remember; allergic reactions can develop over time. You may not necessarily be allergic to the cat urine at the start of cat ownership, but it may end up happening eventually.