Mama,  Pets

Pregnancy And Cat Litter: When To Stay Away

Pregnancy and cat litter are not two things that go together. Women are told that once you’re pregnant you have to quit cleaning out the litter box. Now, if you’re wanting to get your husband to clean the litter box for the next 9 months you shouldn’t read this with him in the room.

Just kidding, but I want you to know where to draw the line with cleaning the litter box.

Being a Licensed Vet Tech and also being pregnant I think I lucked out when my OBGYN told me he used to be a Veterinarian.

True story!

He practiced Veterinary Medicine for 8 years before deciding to become an OBGYN. I knew at that point I was in good hands.

Hearing about Toxoplasmosis risks while being pregnant had me concerned. I mean, I clean litter boxes every day at work, so am I supposed to stop working? Is it the dust? The cat? Where is the line drawn?

cleaning the litter box while pregnant


Toxoplasmosis is a disease from Toxoplasma gondii. A parasite occured from eating undercooked contaminated meat, infected cat feces, or mother-to-child transmission during pregnancy. Did I mention that it’s one of the world’s most common parasites! 

It’s a microscopic parasite transmitted through cats after they have “hunted their prey” or eaten a mouse. These Toxoplasmosis cysts end up in the feces. Thus, ending up in the litter box.

So I asked my doctor, because for the past couple weeks when I went to clean the litter box I would wear pants and long sleeves. I had my gloves. I would take a bandana, get it wet and wear it around my face so I didn’t inhale anything. My husband thought I was nuts, but I was protecting me and my baby, dang it!

Okay, maybe it was a little extreme. But do you blame me being a first time mom?

Well come to find out, all of that wasn’t necessary. I’m here to share with you where to draw that line at cleaning litter boxes.

You have 48 hours.

It takes 48 hours for the Toxoplasmosis cysts to become infective.

They are not in the air. They’re not in the litter dust, nor are they on the cat. They are only in the feces.

Changing the litter box daily will keep the cysts from being infective. After 48 hours, don’t do it. Either have someone else do it or be prepared for a zombie apocalypse like I was.

It can make you sick. It can make your baby sick. Your immune system is down because it is growing another human and these little nasty creatures can take advantage of that.

It’s always necessary to where gloves and wash your hands after cleaning the litter box, because well you’re handling poo. Even with a litter scoop it’s gross, but we love our cats so we do it.

There you have it, you have 48 hours as a pregnant woman to clean out the litter box. But we can just keep telling our men it’s not safe. I won’t tell if you wont. *wink*

Cleaning The Litter Box While Pregnant
Cleaning The Litter Box While Pregnant

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  • Tisha Ross

    Yes Jennice, the Toxoplasmosis cysts are a parasite transferred from rodents that sporulate after 48 hours. Those spores are what are dangerous. Thanks for commenting!

  • Jennice

    I am currently 14 weeks pregnant and I ha e 2 cats. I just want to know if what you are saying is that Im only really at risk if my cats was eat mice? Thanks for the info!!!

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