If you’ve ever heard of toxoplasmosis before, then odds are you know it as this scary disease you can get from your pet cat. You may have also heard that toxoplasmosis is particularly threatening to pregnant women.
Technically speaking, those things I mentioned are true, but there’s more to toxoplasmosis than just those descriptors.
In this article, I want to address some of the myths and misconceptions about toxoplasmosis so that people will be able to understand the disease better and respond accordingly.
Myth: You Can Get Toxoplasmosis from Touching Your Cat
It’s important to point out that the parasite that can cause toxoplasmosis only becomes infectious to humans once it is present in a feline’s feces. You must first make contact with some poop before you are at risk for being infected.
As noted by WebMD, you won’t get toxoplasmosis from just interacting with your pet.
Myth: You Can Get Toxoplasmosis from Cleaning Up Any Cat’s Poop
One of the more persistent myths concerning toxoplasmosis is that you can get the disease from any cat’s feces and that simply is not the case.
Cat poop does not contain the toxoplasma gondii parasite by default. It will only be present in the poop if the feline itself has consumed tissue cysts infected by the parasite. According to the Humane Society, cats likely to eat those infected tissue cysts are the ones who prey on rats or have raw meat diets.
If your pet doesn’t eat raw meat, the chances he/she is infected with toxoplasmosis are very low.
Myth: Touching Infected Feces Causes You to Contract Toxoplasmosis
Getting infected with toxoplasmosis is harder than you think. For starters, only pregnant women and people with compromised immune systems are at real risk for contracting the disease.
Furthermore, the problematic components of the parasite only become infective after the poop has been left alone for one to five days.
Even if you do end up touching some infected feces, you can get rid of the parasite by thoroughly washing your hands. You should be in the clear as long as you don’t bring your dirty hands close to your mouth.
I get it. Any type of disease that can infect you while you’re pregnant is scary.
Still, toxoplasmosis is not something you can contract easily. Even if you are pregnant, your fear of that disease is not reason enough to get rid of your beloved pet cat.
Do you need someone to keep a close eye on your cat as you’re dealing with your pregnancy? We at TAILored CAT Services are more than happy to serve as that guardian. Call us at 425-923-7791 or go to our website to find out more about our services.