Is it true that pregnant women should avoid cats?
Cats, no. Cat litter, yes. Or at least pregnant women should be very careful about cleaning the litter box. That’s because cat poop (and soil or sand where cats have been) can carry a parasitic infection called toxoplasmosis. If you get toxoplasmosis while you’re pregnant or even a few months before you conceive, it can cause serious birth defects such as eye and brain damage. So now you have a good excuse for having someone else take on the task of changing kitty’s litter! If for some reason you’re the one and only, clean the litter box daily rather than putting it off — the parasite doesn’t become infectious for one to five days. Use gloves when you change the litter, and wash your hands well with soap and water afterward. You can just as easily be exposed to toxoplasmosis if cats have been in your garden or sandbox. Take the same precautions of using gloves and washing your hands if you’re gardening or touching sand in a sandbox. To allay your fears, you might want to have a blood t