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ERAnimalNurse, Emergency Critical Care Nurse
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Experience:  16+ years of veterinary experience
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Can you get toxoplasmosis from a cat scratch I am pregnant ...

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Can you get toxoplasmosis from a cat scratch? I am pregnant and I would really like to know so it would ease my anxiety about passing it on to my unborn child.

HI Ashley,

You cannot get Toxoplasmosis from a cat scratch. Chances are much higher that you will become infected with toxo from eating undercooked meat than from your cat. Toxo is notoriously hard to identify on a fecal sample without sending the sample to a lab for expert evaluation, so unless your cat has a definitive diagnosis from a pathologist, you can relax a little bit. Every cat does not carry toxo, it is something that is over publicized when it comes to pregnancy and cat ownership. If your cat does happen to be infected or a carrier, you would need to be careful about cleaning the litterbox. However, it takes 48 hours from the time the cysts are shed in a bowel movement for them to become harmful to humans (and this can only happen if you get fecal material in your mouth). You or another member of your family should scoop the litter box at least once daily, twice daily if it makes you feel better. Practice good hygiene, wash your hands regularly especially after cleaning the litter box.

See the following website for more information on Toxoplasmosis. It is not necessary to get rid of your cat, or to toss kitty outside.

If your kitty is having diarrhea or some other symptom that has you concerned about intestinal parasites, he should see a vet for a fecal panel if he has not already. Intestinal parasites are pretty common in young cats, and they require safe prescription drugs that you can only get from a veterinarian. There are many other parasites that are more common and more likely to be infecting your kitty, and if you do not practice good hygiene, can be transmissible to humans.

I hope that this information eases you concerns and makes you feel better. Let me know if I can be of further assistance, best wishes for a safe and happy pregnancy. If this has been helpful, please hit the green accept button.

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