If you're single and there's no one you can rely on to clean your cat's litter box, you might be worried. Cat fecal matter can carry toxoplasmosis, which is a dangerous pathogen that can harm pregnant women and their fetuses. If you have a cat and don't know how you can keep it and stay safe, read this guide for advice.
Since toxoplasmosis is transferred through a cat's poop, one of the best ways to keep yourself safe it to never touch it. One option that will allow for this is to buy a self-scooping litter box. Make sure to choose one that scoops the poop into a disposable receptacle so that you never have to actually make contact with any of the dirty litter or your cat's excrement.
Even if you live alone, you can still get a little assistance with the cat box easily enough. Consider contacting a cat sitter to see if they'd be willing to swing by once or twice a day to clean the litter box for you. Since this is part of a cat sitter's normal responsibilities, if you're in their area, they should be willing to do this for a small fee.
If you can't find a cat sitter, you could always ask a neighbor, or see if any of their kids are looking for a job to pick up a little extra cash.
If you absolutely can't avoid cleaning the litter box yourself, take these precautions and be careful.
You should purchase and make sure to always wear a surgical mask or respirator mask before cleaning the box. Breathing in any particles of dirty litter or cat fecal matter could potentially put you at risk.
In addition, wear disposable gloves while you scoop the box; turn them inside out and throw them away when you're done so you never touch anything dirty.
Finally, thoroughly wash your hands when you're finished. According to the CDC, you should scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds to get completely clean.
Your cat deserves to keep their home while you're pregnant, but you also deserve to be safe. Try these tips to protect yourself from toxoplasmosis and let your kitty stay where they belong. If scooping the box at all is too hard, see if you have a friend who can take your kitty while you're pregnant, or if your veterinarian has any advice for you. Contact a company like Phoenixville Animal Hospital - R B Wolstenholme DVM for more information.