Table of contents:
- Beware of Contact with Cat Feces
- The Dangers of Toxoplasmosis in Pregnancy
- Safe Tips for Pregnant Women Who Keep Cats
There is an assumption that keeping a cat while pregnant can harm the pregnancy. This of course makes pregnant women who have cats at home worry. However, is it true that having a cat can harm pregnancy?
Actually it's okay for pregnant women to be near cats or other pets, as long as the pets are he althy, well-groomed, and kept clean.
However, if pregnant women are often around animals that are not cared for, such as wild animals, this can certainly pose a risk to the he alth of pregnant women and the condition of the fetus in the womb.
Beware of Contact with Cat Feces
If pregnant women keep cats at home, be careful when cleaning the cage or cat litter. This is because cat feces or objects that are at risk of being exposed to cat litter, such as soil or sand where cats litter, can put pregnant women at risk for exposure to the parasite Toxoplasmosis gondii.
Transmission starts from stray cats or cats that are not cared for by eating mice or other food that has been infected with the T. gondii parasite. Next, the parasite will enter the cat's digestive tract and breed there. The parasite will be removed from the cat's body through its feces.
If pregnant women are exposed to animal feces, both wild animals and pets, which contain the T. gondii parasite, then touch their mouth, eyes, or face without washing their hands first, the pregnant woman is at risk of becoming infected with the parasite or also known as called toxoplasmosis.
The Dangers of Toxoplasmosis in Pregnancy
Toxoplasmosis or infection with the T. gondii parasite that occurs before or during pregnancy is a condition that can harm the womb. This dangerous parasite can cross the placenta and cause fetal harm, miscarriage, or premature birth. Untreated toxoplasmosis can also increase a woman's risk for having difficulty conceiving.
This is what makes some people think that pregnant women should not keep or be near cats. However, to determine whether the pregnant mother or fetus has toxoplasmosis or not, a medical examination is required by an obstetrician.
The diagnosis of toxoplasmosis can be made by a doctor through a physical examination and supporting examinations, such as blood tests and amniotic fluid tests to monitor whether there are genetic abnormalities in the fetus, as well as TORCH and ultrasound examinations.
If a pregnant woman is diagnosed with toxoplasmosis, treatment steps are taken immediately. Doctors will usually give toxoplasmosis drugs such as pyrimethamine and sulfadiazine.
Safe Tips for Pregnant Women Who Keep Cats
Pregnant women are still allowed to keep cats, as long as they can maintain cleanliness and take good care of them. To prevent toxoplasmosis, pregnant women can do the following tips:
1. Keep the cat cage clean
Cat cages must be cleaned and littered every day. However, it would be nice if this activity is not carried out directly by pregnant women, so that they can avoid direct contact with cat feces. Ask your partner to help clean the cage and remove the feces.
However, if there is no one to replace this task, wear disposable gloves when cleaning the cat's cage.After that, throw the used gloves into the trash, then immediately wash your hands with soap and running water until they are completely clean.
2. Be careful when gardening
The same applies if the cat defecates in the garden or other places around the house. Avoid direct contact with the soil when gardening and immediately ask someone else to clean it up.
If it is not possible to ask someone else for help, cat litter can be cleaned using the steps mentioned above.
3. Do not let pet cats play outside the house
Make sure the cat is always in the house or the environment around the house, so that it is kept clean and does not consume wild animals, such as mice. Pregnant women are also advised not to adopt a new cat for a while, especially stray cats that may already be infected with the T. gondii parasite.
4. Pay attention to the food the cat eats
Do not give your cat raw or undercooked meat that may contain parasites. This is done to prevent the risk of parasitic infection in cats. Better give dry food or canned cat food.
Well, pregnant women don't have to worry anymore if they keep a cat at home while pregnant. If the pregnant woman does the above methods, the condition of the pregnant woman and the fetus will be maintained. However, if pregnant women are worried about contracting toxoplasmosis, check the condition of their pregnancy regularly to the obstetrician.
The doctor will conduct an examination to confirm the condition of the pregnant woman and the fetus. If necessary, also check pregnant women's pets regularly to the veterinarian so that their he alth is guaranteed and free from various causes of disease.