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Cat litter & toxoplasmosis

(21 Posts)
Twinklelittlestar1 Sun 20-Mar-16 12:01:51

To people who have indoor cats- how do you manage changing their litter? I have told my partner that he will have to do it from now on because of toxoplasmosis risk. I read that the litter should be changed twice a day to avoid contamination which seems a bit unmanageable and expensive though?

Also, should I get my cat/ my self tested for toxoplasmosis? (Just found out I'm pg) she is usually an outdoor cat who sometimes hunts, but has been using the litter since we moved to a new house.


Fifi10 Sun 20-Mar-16 14:31:56

I have an indoor cat (turkish angora halo) and having weighed up the relative risks we have just decided that the cat litter box is now DPs job and he definitely doesn't do a complete change twice a day. I think it's only risky if the cat is already infected with toxoplasmosis, for example from coming into contact wih infected mice. Not sure how cheap/easy it is to get your vet to test the cat but you might be able to get a blood test for yourself via mw if you think your cat may have passed it onto you.

From what I've heard it is very unlikely to happen and good hygiene practices eliminate most of the risk. For time being I'd just get DP to do it, after all they don't say you have to stay away from cats entirely just the poop.

Pandora2016 Sun 20-Mar-16 15:22:09

Where did you read the twice a day part?

To be honest that sounds more risky as your DP will wafting cat shite around twice a day.

I have a cat and other than the cat litter being DP's job now we haven't made any changes.

Just keep everything clean and do not touch the litter yourself.

brookeberry Sun 20-Mar-16 15:28:57

I wouldn't worry too much, the risk is very low. Just get DP to do it from now on. My cats are massive outdoor hunters and I've never worried about it. I just don't go near the poop!

spacefrog35 Sun 20-Mar-16 15:34:05

DP did it most of the time, used litter tray liners and disposable plastic gloves so on the odd occasion something needed resolving quickly I could do it without too much worry.

NeedACleverNN Sun 20-Mar-16 15:37:31

Do your normal litter change.
Get dh to do it if you can.
If you have to do it, wear gloves and wash hands throroughly.


whiteychappers Sun 20-Mar-16 16:44:04

We've not changed, sometimes I do it and use gloves, sometimes hubby does it, you are more likely to catch it from gardening. Its not top of my worry list

TondelayaDellaVentamiglia Sun 20-Mar-16 16:47:29

you can be tested for immunity...I was when pg with my first, many many years ago.

having said that the odds of getting it from a domestic cat up to date with vaccinations and with you using even basic hygiene precautions are astonishingly low

you are probably more likely to be killed by a chicken falling on you.

Laquila Sun 20-Mar-16 16:55:47

I had toxo years ago (I don't have a cat and still have no idea how I caught it) and was tested for it as standard in fairly early pregnancy - I can't remember if it was at my booking-in or the appt after that.

HP07 Sun 20-Mar-16 17:31:49

Hi, just thought I'd put my 2 cents worth in. I'm a Vet Nurse so myself probably classed as at risk for toxoplasmosis. The midwife tested me at booking in appointment but I haven't got the results back yet. I cannot get away from changing litter but I use disposable gloves to do so and wash my hands thoroughly afterwards. Toxo is shed in 'old' faeces and you are far more likely to contract it from digging up your garden/flower bed where cats poo. The faeces has to sit for about 48hrs before it becomes infectious so as long as the tray is changed regularly you shouldn't be at risk. I would ask your partner to do it as a precaution but if it's unavoidable just wear gloves and don't lick the tray! ;)

Twinklelittlestar1 Sun 20-Mar-16 18:35:44

Lol HP07, comment about licking the tray made me laugh!

Thanks for all these responses, very helpful.

I used to change the litter myself, will now just get dp to do it. sorted.

emilygremily Sun 20-Mar-16 20:06:20

So does a cat only get it from hunting? Or is there other ways for the cat to get it? have two kittens who this week I have started to let out. Also I am planning on getting rid of the trays

ThePowerOfCake Sun 20-Mar-16 21:21:08

I did a fair bit of research about this before I got pregnant as I knew it would be me that changes the litter. From what I remember (don't quote me!) toxo is only a problem if you haven't had it before. Cats also only shed it in their faeces for a short while after they become infected. The cat faeces takes at least 24 hours to become infectious. I worked on the basis that my cats didn't go outside to eat infected things so were extremely unlikely to catch toxo and that provided I removed poo within a day, wore gloves and washed my hands thoroughly I should be absolutely fine. Obviously if there is someone else who can change the litter that avoids the issue completely!

Wolfiefan Sun 20-Mar-16 21:25:14

Litter changed twice a day or litter tray cleared of mess twice a day?

Osirus Sun 20-Mar-16 22:15:36

I've continued to change my cat litter tray and I'm fine at 27 weeks pregnant. I thoroughly wash and disinfect hands afterwards. As said above, it's only infectious after considerable time so as long as it's cleaned up quickly you'll be fine, and if you've had cats for a long time, as I've had, you're likely to have already been exposed to it.

Seekingmiracles Mon 21-Mar-16 08:06:13

The risk is sooo small. The likelihood is that if you're cats are indoor cats they're never going to come into contact with the bacteria anyway.
Also there's every chance you've already been in contact with the bacteria yourself in which case will have the immunity against it.
Don't sweat it - just let dh do as much as he can. It doesn't need to be completely emptied that often. We completely empty ours once a week and clean any poos/wees as soon as we notice them. Dh does it most times but there's are times when he's not here so I do it and wash my hands very thoroughly after.

HP07 Fri 01-Apr-16 09:42:15

Hi OP I just wanted to update you that I had a screening for toxo at my booking in appointment and I've just received the result to say I don't have antibodies against it. Well if I've been working for 8 years as a Vet Nurse and still not come into contact with it then the chances must be minute for you! Just wear your gloves when cleaning the tray. Thought you might be interested.

Twinklelittlestar1 Fri 01-Apr-16 10:04:41

Thanks HP that's interesting! There's so much scary information out there you can get yourself really carried away! Thanks

owl89 Fri 01-Apr-16 14:18:49

I have two indoor cats. My partner deals with the tray whilst I am pregnant. He scoops the poops once a day and clears the box out completely every 3/4 days. smile I think changing the litter twice a day is excessive - unless you meant scoop twice a day?

kiki22 Fri 01-Apr-16 14:30:00

I still do th poop because I cant stand the shit sitting their until dp comes home. I bought a box of disposable gloves scoop the poop down the loo then bin the gloves in a nappy sack and wash my hands. Dp cleans the whole tray out twice a week with some detol.

Pagetta Fri 01-Apr-16 17:47:11

Same as most others say - try to get DP to do it as much as poss. Scoop poo twice a day. Change every 2-3days. Standard good hygiene will prevent it and if you have to do it wear gloves and make sure you have good anti-bac soap.
My.hubby is away a lot so I have no choice but to do it. Had a blood test due to minor anomoly at 20wk scan and I was clear - had indoor cat for 10 yrs!

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