If you’re pregnant and wonder if your cat can sleep with you, you can, but it’s not ideal. Of course, you can sleep with your cat if you’re pregnant since your cat won’t harm. Cats tend to be cuddly and sweet to a pregnant person. However, you’re putting yourself and your baby in danger of infection when you get close to your cat.
What can happen if you sleep with your cat while you’re pregnant?
If you’re used to having your pet cat in your bed as you sleep, this idea may pose a problem—the same thing for those who used to cuddle with their feline pets.
For this reason, I did some further research to help clarify your questions related to this topic.
Let’s get into it!
Can a pregnant woman be around cat urine?
Pregnant women can be around cats, but not their urine. A pregnant woman should stay away from their litter boxes, which includes feces and urine.
The reason for this is that their urine and feces may carry a parasitic infection. To be particular, this is what we call toxoplasmosis.
While it’s a rare thing for felines to carry, they may do, affecting both the women and the baby.
For this reason, a lot of pregnant women receive advice to stay away from cat litter as much as possible.
But why is cat litter a risk for pregnancy? How does this parasitic infection affect both the pregnant woman and her baby?
Problem – My cat does not recognize me
Why is cat litter bad for pregnancy?
As stated above, cat litter is bad for both pregnant women and their babies. However, it affects the latter the most.
According to the CDC, Toxoplasma can be quite harmful to an unborn child more than it is to the mother.
Felines receive this parasite from eating infected rodents, birds, and other small animals. Thus, the parasite transfers to the feces and urine.
Adult kitty and kittens can carry and release parasites for three weeks after getting infected.
With these facts, it’s quite hazardous to stay near your felines, much more to its litter.
The infection can only be possible through contact with its litter. For this reason, it’s not necessary to take your pet away, or worse, get rid of them.
Still, it’s also not ideal to sleep with cats near you, as they may release these parasites anytime.
Problem – My cat doesn’t want to come home
Effects of Toxoplasma to an unborn child
A pregnant woman infected with toxoplasma during pregnancy may pass it to her unborn.
The infected child may not show symptoms at birth, but it can affect them later in life. Among the many effects of toxoplasma are:
- Blindness and other eye problems
- Mental disability and other brain damage
- Miscarriage or stillbirth
Occasionally, infected newborns may suffer from severe eye or brain damage.
Now, what are the signs of toxoplasmosis to pregnant women, and how can you know it?
Cats and depression and anxiety – learn more here.
What are the signs of toxoplasmosis in pregnancy?
Most infected people show no signs of toxoplasmosis. Thus, it can be quite challenging to see and diagnose this kind of infection.
According to a study, 65% up to 85% of pregnant women are prone to getting toxoplasmosis. While toxoplasmosis isn’t only from cats, a significant percentage of it comes from them.
A pregnant woman may not know if she has the infection. In most cases, it doesn’t show symptoms. For some people, though, there may be symptoms. These are:
- Achy muscles
- Fatigue (tiredness)
- Swollen glands
Getting this infection during pregnancy has a 30% chance of passing it to the baby.
The chances of the infection get higher as your pregnancy develops. However, it is likely to cause severe problems to your baby in the early stages.
There is a test called amniocentesis that you can do to see if your baby gets infected. It will take some amniotic fluid around your baby, and you can take it on your 15th to 20th week of pregnancy.
Thus, if you’ve been in contact with cat litter while pregnant, it’s best to consult your doctor.
Now, this doesn’t mean that you should stay away from your feline pets.
Cats only get such parasites from eating small animals, and they usually get it outside. Thus, if your pet stays indoors almost all the time, it won’t usually have that risk.
To be sure, be mindful of your interaction with your cat, and avoid its litter as much as possible.
Can cats recognize pregnancy? Read more here.
Is it safe to have an indoor cat while pregnant?
Having an indoor cat during your pregnancy isn’t something genuinely worrisome.
If you’re thinking of getting infected by toxoplasmosis, it’s less likely to happen. Just try to stay away from cat litter as possible.
Further, studies even show that indoor felines rarely have this infection. They usually get this from sand or soil outside. If your pet stays clean and indoors, it won’t be a problem for you.
On the other way around, having an indoor cat may even help ease your mind and help you relax.
Cats are fascinating pets, and they can be the sweetest companions. Thus, sleeping with them around is quite tempting. However, for the sake of your health and your baby, it’s best to refrain from doing so.
You can always play and pay attention to your cat anytime. Just be mindful of your interaction, and it’s best to be cautious. In the end, it’s always for the good of your baby.
CDC study about Toxoplasmosis and pregnancy
MotherToBaby study about Toxoplasmosis
Amniocentesis test for Toxoplasmosis
Image credits – Photo by Ramiz Dedaković on Unsplash