Are Cats Dangerous to a Pregnant Woman?

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Today my husband called me from work, out of his mind with worry. He was begging me to Google stuff about cats and pregnant women, because a colleague of his freaked him out. Apparently, he claimed I should be nowhere near our cat because their whiskers are somehow dangerous. I tried to tell him there’s nothing to worry about, but he was so freaked out! I ended up Googling it for the umpteenth time just for his sake.

Ten minutes later, he calls me up again. Another colleague claimed we should throw our cat out because this time, their hair is somehow super dangerous. Having had a nervous breakdown a couple of hours earlier (thanks, bed rest), and having felt all kinds of sad and angry this morning, I got so pissed off I can’t even begin to explain it.

The icing on the cake was me seeing articles that advise women to put up their cats for temporary adoption when they find out they’re pregnant. All of that led me to write this piece that answers the big question: Are cats dangerous to a pregnant woman? – as simply and precisely and possible.

Are Cats Dangerous to a Pregnant Woman?

In short:

With minimal precaution, no.

The only part of a cat dangerous to pregnant women is their poop. That’s is why pregnant women and cat litter shouldn’t mix. Cats can sometimes have a parasite that causes toxoplasmosis. Now, while you’ve probably already suffered from it and developed immunity, in an off case you haven’t, it can be dangerous for a fetus. Depending on when you contract it during pregnancy, it can cause mental debilitation and eye issues.

However, cats can only transmit it to you via their feces, and only if it’s older than 24 hours. That means, as long as you stay clear of it – aka, have your husband do it (like I do) or wear gloves and carefully wash your hands after handling it – you and your baby will be just fine.

In fact, gardening (due to cat feces in the ground) and handling raw meat are far more common ways to get toxoplasmosis. Therefore, you should stay clear of those two as well. What’s more, if your cat is a 100% indoor cat, and you don’t feed it raw meat, there’s no way for it to contract toxoplasmosis in the first place.

Are Cats Dangerous to a Pregnant Woman – Bottom Line

While toxoplasmosis can be dangerous for a pregnant woman, so long as you stay clear of a cat’s feces, raw meat, and gardening, you have nothing to worry about. So if anyone’s telling you to get read of your pet as if it was a piece of furniture… Well, you can send them this article!


A 27-year-old married mom-to-be, trying to have it all. I have a full-time job I enjoy, a home I’m in love with, and plenty of hobbies I try my best to have the time for. A psychologist by vocation, with the goal of helping young women live their best lives.

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