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Toxoplasmosis and pregnancy.

Species: Cat
Breed: Tabby
Age: 5-8 years
Hi there,

Ive recently found out I am pregnant (6 weeks) and wanted some advice about the risk of toxoplasmosis from my cat.

So i normally bring water to bed with me and from time to time I'll catch my cat drinking from it. I'm normally so careful but with the dreaded morning sickness etc Ive been lazy and left an old glass there for 2-3 days. So what did I do this morning, reach for and drink from the old glass. Well there was cat fur in the water and this nearly made me sick but now Im panicking about the risk of toxoplasmosis as he is an outdoor cat and does eat mice etc.

What do you think my risk would be and do you think it would be worthwhile getting my cat tested?

Lesson well and truely learnt dishes will be done asap from now on!

Thank-you


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Congratulations on your pregnancy!

I get asked a lot about toxoplasmosis and I can tell you that from what you have described you have absolutely nothing to worry about.

Because I get asked a lot about Toxoplasmosis I wrote an extensive article about it that you can read here:

Toxoplasmosis and pregnancy.

There are a few points that are relevant to your situation. In order for you to get toxoplasmosis from your cat, the following would have to happen:
  • You would have to have ingested some stool from your cat. (Just some hair would not be enough - it would have to have actual stool on it.)

  • The stool would have to have to be 24-48 hours old.

  • Your cat would have to have been infected with toxoplasmosis (i.e. from eating an infected mouse) 5-14 days previously. If the cat had picked up toxo months or years ago, then he would not be currently shedding cysts. They only shed cysts for 5-14 days after eating an infected mouse. This is why testing your cat is not helpful. If he came up +ve for toxoplasmosis he could have been infected years ago and this doesn't mean that he is currently shedding infective cysts.


As you can see, a lot of things have to happen in order for you to get toxoplasmosis from your cat. The vast majority of women who get toxoplasmosis get it from eating undercooked meat. In 13 years of practice I have yet to hear of someone getting toxoplasmosis from their cat.

I hope that helps! And I hope the rest of your pregnancy goes well! Let me know if you have more questions.

Dr. Marie.


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.