Toxoplasmosis and Pregnancy

  • Disease caused by a germ found in undercooked meat and in the feces (stool) of cats that may have eaten mice.
  • Can be passed from the pregnant woman to her developing baby and may result in miscarriage or birth defects.
  • Toxoplasmosis may also cause problems for the baby later in life, including blindness or mental disability


  • Cook meat well (according to Safe Food Handling Guidelines)
  • Wash all surfaces that have touched raw meat
  • Avoid changing cat litter if possible. If no one else can perform the task, wear disposable gloves and wash your hands with soap and warm water afterwards.
  • Ensure that the cat litter box is changed daily. The Toxoplasma parasite does not become infectious until 1 to 5 days after it is shed in a cat’s feces.
  • Feed your cat commercial dry or canned food, not raw or undercooked meats.
  • Keep cats indoors.
  • Avoid stray cats, especially kittens. Do not get a new cat while you are pregnant.
  • Keep outdoor sandboxes covered.
  • Wear gloves when gardening and during contact with soil or sand because it might be contaminated with cat feces that contain Toxoplasma. Wash hands with soap and warm water after gardening or contact with soil or sand.