Advertisement

How safe is it to clean out a litter box while pregnant?

It may not be safe to clean out a litter box while pregnant. It is best to avoid contact with cat feces while pregnant because a cat's feces may contain Toxoplasma gondii. This is a parasite that causes toxoplasmosis, a disease that can be harmful to the brain and vision of a developing fetus. A pregnant woman can become infected by exposure to a cat's feces while changing a litter box or eating anything that has been infected by the cat's feces, particularly from its paws on the kitchen counter. Some people have been infected and can be tested to see if they are immune.

Pregnant women should avoid changing cat litter due to the risk of toxoplasmosis, which can be transmitted from cat feces.

Whether you have an indoor-only or outdoor cat will affect how safe it is to clean its litter box when pregnant. There is a risk for toxoplasmosis.

Dr. Peter T. Nassar, MD
OBGYN (Obstetrician & Gynecologist)

The litter box is kind of a dangerous place for pregnant women. It's more than just a messy task; it can cause an infection called toxoplasmosis which is a parasite found in cat feces. If you get infected with toxoplasmosis, which is pretty rare, it can lead to problems with the baby, including stunted growth and low birth weight. It can also cause jaundice, mental retardation and convulsions or seizures.

Avoid the kitty litter—put that on someone else in the family while you are pregnant, or have the cat go outside. If you work in a veterinary office, avoid dealing with cat feces altogether.

Continue Learning about Pregnancy, Fertility and Childbirth

Do You Know What Meds Are Safe to Take While Pregnant?
Do You Know What Meds Are Safe to Take While Pregnant?
Pregnancy—even in our high-tech era—still seems a bit magical. So it’s not surprising that there have always been some pretty far-out ideas about what...
Read More
How is pregnancy treated?
Paula GreerPaula Greer
Pregnancy is a state of being and not an illness. It is not treated but enhanced with good prenatal ...
More Answers
Should You Hire a Doula? 10 Things to Keep in Mind
Should You Hire a Doula? 10 Things to Keep in MindShould You Hire a Doula? 10 Things to Keep in MindShould You Hire a Doula? 10 Things to Keep in MindShould You Hire a Doula? 10 Things to Keep in Mind
Though only six percent of women hire them to help with pregnancy, doulas offer real benefits.
Start Slideshow
When Is the Proper Time to Tell Your Child They Have a Sibling On the Way?
When Is the Proper Time to Tell Your Child They Have a Sibling On the Way?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.