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Toxoplasmosis and pregnancy.

Species: Cat
Breed: tabby
Age: 5-8 years
Hi. I'm 15 weeks pregnant and worried about my two cats. I know how to avoid toxoplasmosis but both cats are typical outdoor cats and since ive been pregnant they have brought in at least one dead bird and three mice. They are also a nightmare for walking over the kitchen tops. I've been very sensible washing my hands after stroking them but today one if them put his tail in my face. What is the chances of being infected this way? and as one of them is 4 and the other 8 years (outdoor cats all the time)is it likely that they would have already had it? I'm so worried about the risks and its affecting the way I care for them as i'm always stressed around them and don't pet them as much as I have done.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

First of all, congrats on your pregnancy!

I am asked quite often about toxoplasmosis and pregnancy. The good news is that the chances of you getting toxoplasmosis in this situation is extremely small. Several things would have to happen in order for you to get toxoplasmosis:

-Your cats would have to eat an infected animal such as a mouse. Once they do then they are contagious for 5-14 days. After the first time they will not spread toxoplasmosis in their feces even if they eat an infected animal.
-Next, if the cat did get infected and passed toxoplasmosis cysts in their stool, the stool would need to be sitting for 24-48 hours in order for the cysts to be infectious to you.
-You would have to ingest some of the stool.

The chances that your cats were recently infected with toxo and that they had dried stool on them for 1-2 days and that you ate the stool are very very small.

You may find this other information on Toxoplasmosis helpful:

Toxoplasmosis and pregnancy

Questions about toxoplasmosis

Hopefully this has helped ease your mind. 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.