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Take precautions around cats when pregnant, vet says

Thursday, 20th September 2012

It is sensible to take extra precautions around cats when pregnant, a vet has said.

Jo Inglis, writing for the Metro, was asked by a woman who had recently discovered she was pregnant if she should try to rehome her cat for the duration of her term.

The vet said that the risk from the parasite toxoplasma, which can be passed from cats to people, is very small and human disease is rarely linked to contact with cats.

The main risk factor, he said, is eating raw or undercooked meat, particularly mutton, goat and pork.

However, Dr Inglis said that it is sensible to take some precautions. He wrote: "[You can minimise risk] by having no contact with your cat's litter tray, which should be emptied daily by someone else; washing your hands after contact with your cat, and making sure all meat is well cooked before eating.

"If you follow these precautions, there is no need to consider rehoming your cat."

Surveys show that between 20 and 60 per cent of cats are infected with toxoplasma. It is primarily related to the ingestion of infected hosts, such as rodents and birds.