There is a presumption that keeping a cat while pregnant can harm pregnancy. This certainly makes pregnant women who have cats at home worry. However, is it true that keeping a cat can harm pregnancy?
It really does not matter for pregnant women to be near cats or other pets, as long as the pet is healthy, well maintained, and maintained cleanliness.
However, if pregnant women are often near unmaintained animals, such as wild animals, this can certainly pose a risk to the health of pregnant women and the condition of the fetus in the womb.
Beware of Contact with Cat Stools
If Mom keeps cats at home, be careful when cleaning cages or cat feces. This is because cat feces or objects that are at risk of cat feces, such as soil or sand where cats dispose of feces, can put pregnant women at risk of exposure to the Parasite Toxoplasmosis gondii.
Transmission begins with feral cats or unkempt cats consuming rats or other food that has been infected with the parasite T. gondii. Next, the parasite will get into the digestive tract of the cat and breed there. The parasite will be removed from the body of the cat through its feces.
If pregnant women are exposed to animal feces, whether wild animals or pets, containing the parasite T. gondii, then touching the mouth, eyes, or face without washing their hands first, pregnant women are at risk of being infected with the parasite or also known as toxoplasmosis.
Dangers of Toxoplasmosis in Pregnancy
Toxoplasmosis or parasitic infection T. gondii that occurs before or during pregnancy is a condition that can harm the womb. These dangerous parasites can pass through the placenta and cause disturbances to the fetus, miscarriage, or premature birth.
This is what makes some people think that pregnant women should not keep or be near cats. However, to ascertain whether the pregnant woman or fetus suffers from toxoplasmosis or not, a medical examination is required by the obstetrician.
Diagnosis of toxoplasmosis can be done by a doctor through physical examination and supporting examination, such as blood tests and amniotic fluid tests to monitor if there are genetic abnormalities in the fetus, as well as TORCH and ultrasound examinations.
If the pregnant woman is diagnosed with toxoplasmosis, the treatment steps are immediately taken. Doctors will usually give toxoplasmosis drugs such as pyrimetamine 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 from occurring, Mom can do the following tips:
1. Keep the cat cage clean
The cat cage should always be cleaned and the feces discarded daily. However, it would be nice if this activity was not carried out directly by Mom, so that it could avoid direct contact with cat feces. Ask the couple for help cleaning the cage and removing the dirt.
However, if no one can replace this task, wear disposable gloves when cleaning the cat cage. After that, discard the gloves that have been worn in the trash, then immediately wash your hands using soap and running water until completely clean.
2. Be careful when gardening
The same is true if cats defecate in the garden or elsewhere around the house. Avoid direct contact with the soil while gardening and immediately ask others for help cleaning it.
If it is not possible to ask others for help, cat feces can be cleaned with the steps mentioned above.
3. Don’t let pet cats play outdoors
Make sure the cat is always in the house or the surrounding environment of the house, so that its cleanliness is maintained and does not consume wild animals, such as rats. Mom is also recommended not to adopt a new cat for a while, especially feral cats that may have contracted the parasite T. gondii.
4. Pay attention to the food that cats consume
Do not give pet cats raw or half-cooked meat that may contain parasites. This is done to prevent the risk of parasitic infection in cats. It is better to give dry food or cat-only canned food.
Well, Mom doesn’t have to worry anymore when keeping cats at home while pregnant. If Mom performs the above ways, the condition of Mom and the fetus will remain awake. However, if Mom is worried about contracting toxoplasmosis, check the pregnancy condition regularly to the obstetrician.
The doctor will perform an examination to ascertain the condition of Mom’s pregnancy and the fetus. If necessary also check mom’s pet to the veterinarian regularly to keep his health guaranteed and free from various causes of disease.