Of Cats and Babies

One of the issues that rescues face is a cat being turned over when the owner becomes pregnant. The fear is of toxoplasmosis, but as I talked to doctors that I work with it became clear that there's a lot of bad information about being pregnant and having a cat.

That's why, as a last hurrah for my work blog, I wrote a blog post about toxoplasmosis, which can be seen here and features Teresa Frost, recent adopter of Madeline the cat.

While it wouldn't have been appropriate to mention it in the LifeBridge Health post, writing about toxoplasmosis did make me think about personal responsibility and pet ownership. There can be legitimate reasons for rehoming a pet, whether it's a child who develops a severe allergy to a family cat or a catastrophic illness that leaves an owner unable to care for a dog. These situations and people deserve our compassion and help. But being pregnant and surrendering or abandoning a cat is a decision based in fear, not science.  That said, both health care professionals and rescue workers should ensure pregnant women have the tools to keep their baby and cat safe, namely providing information like:

-Don't let your cat go outdoors.

-Don't feed it raw meat. Don't eat raw or undercooked meat yourself.

-Wear gloves when gardening or scooping litter.

-Provide commerical or dry cat food to the cat.

-If concerned, ask another member of your house to scoop the litter.