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Animals and pregnancy

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Is it true that the dust from cat litter is harmful?

and are they animals that aren't okay to be around while pregnant?
and for what reason?
curious because I live in a house with 5 cats and 4 people
[very stressful environment]

I've never been told what's really okay and not with a pregnancy
other than no lifting, lots of rest, lots of fluids and that most cleaners and cat litter are bad to be around
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replied October 5th, 2008
Especially eHealthy
It's not the litter itself that's really dangerous - it's the cat feces. Toxoplasmosis can be tranferred to you through handling your cat's feces if the cat is infected with the parasite. There are simple things you can do to avoid it though. Either have someone else handle the litter box duties, or wash your hands immediately after handling litter every time. You can also ask your vet to test your cats to see if they're carriers for the parasite.

Cats are perfectly fine to be around, as long as they're clean and healthy. Just be careful around their waste and you'll be fine.

Cleaners are also fine to be around, by the way, as long as the area is well ventilated.
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replied October 5th, 2008
Experienced User
Well I have extreme allergies to anything that's a powder
and mold

I woke up feeling sick after seeping in my room where the cat box is
my head hurt and it was hard to breathe
but I'm fine if I sleep on the couch
any suggestions as to why?

and I'm allergic to most cleaners out there

and isn't bleach harmful to be around at all?
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replied October 6th, 2008
Especially eHealthy
If you have extreme allergies, that's another story. That's your own personal health issue and does not have anything to do with pregnancy - it sounds like it's something that affected you even when you weren't pregnant. You should avoid things that make you ill whether you are pregnant or not. Your question involved pregnancy, which is why I answered the way I did.

Bleach is not harmful to be around as long as you are in a well ventilated area. Cleaners in general are fine as long as you don't overwhelm yourself with the fumes. Many pregnant women work in maintenance fields every day, as well as the average woman who cleans her home. Again, if you are allergic to cleaners you should avoid them, pregnant or otherwise. But if you are not allergic to cleaners, you will be fine as long as the area is well ventilated.

You should speak with your doctor about your reaction to your cat's litter box. He might suggest you switch litter brands to help avoid the dust since it's affecting your allergies. There is a brand of litter called "Yesterday's News" that is made of recycled newspaper and does not have dust. Or you could move the litter box to another area if it's affecting you that severely.
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replied October 6th, 2008
Especially eHealthy
Just to add...

Lifting is also fine for pregnant women, as long as you don't lift more than 25-30 pounds. Lift using your legs, not your back. Many pregnant women have other children that they lift every day. As far as "lots of fluid", it's really water that you need. Lots of water. Rest isn't essential to a pregnancy - rest when you feel tired, but otherwise you don't have to treat yourself like you're ill. You're not dying - just pregnant. Wink

And to add about the cleaners and the cat litter - you can also wear a mask while you're cleaning or emptying a litter box to help cut down on fumes and dust. But again, a well ventilated area is most helpful. If you're cleaning the bathroom for example, don't keep the door closed, and consider turning the vent on or opening the window as you work.

There's not much at all that pregnancy will restrict you from. You can pretty much carry on like you did before you were pregnant - just be smart about it. Don't drink, don't expose yourself to cigarette smoke, and listen to your body's cues. Other than that, don't let pregnancy hold you back from your life. tiphat
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replied October 6th, 2008
Experienced User
Well I don't have a doctor, I'm not one for Modern Medicines
I've always followed herbal remedies

and my pregnancy does stop from a lot because I'm in pain nearly every second of the day
if it's not a headache, it's a bad cramp or a stomach ache
I always eel ill

that's why I treat myself as such
i sleep probably half of the day
and am restricted to a wheelchair if I'm going to be doing excessive walking
because I faint and fall down and haven't found why

I went to the ER and they told me it was either my anxiety or the change in blood pressure
I'm used to having high blood pressure and was told pregnancy drops it

so yea, this pregnancy has drastically changed my life
I used to be a fairly active person
biking and walking everywhere
but it seems to have triggered asthma in my system
cuz I can hardly breathe if I try to do anything like I used to

and I was wondering if having a pet rat is bad for me
I had one before I was pregnant and it died not that long ago and my fiance just bought me a little baby one
he thinks he needs to clean the cage, because he wants me to stay way from the animal crap
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replied October 6th, 2008
Extremely eHealthy
Try using chicken feed as a cat litter. It is more environmentally friendly, clumps, doesn't smell, and really less dusty.

Try using apple cider vinegar as a cleaning agent. For really big messes sprinkle baking soda, then spray with acv.
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replied October 6th, 2008
Experienced User
I don't clean the litter, that is my roommates issue
she's the one with cats

she refuses to buy a hood for it, even though I have developed an allergy to dust being in this residence

so I don't know what to do
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replied October 7th, 2008
Especially eHealthy
It sounds like you do need to see a doctor if your pregnancy is having that sort of effect on your body. A normal pregnancy would not cause that kind of reaction in an otherwise healthy woman. You need to be evaluated to find out what your health issues are so that they may be treated. Leaving a dangerous condition untreated could be life-threatening. Perhaps you should go back to the ER and ask them to evaluate you. It's not normal to be in pain every second of the day or to always feel like you can't breathe. In fact, many pregnant women work a full-time job up until the day they deliver. Your situation is not "normal" and you really need to have yourself evaluated for health issues.

Pregnancy does not drop high blood pressure. Pregnancy increases your blood volume, which in turn may increase your blood pressure as well. Pre-eclampsia is pregnancy-induced high blood pressure. It could be responsible for your fainting spells, and is serious enough that you need to be monitored by someone medically trained.

Pet rats are fine to own. Your fiance needs to clean the cage at least twice a week to avoid the unpleasant smell. Rat waste is not terrible for a pregnant woman to handle, as long as she washes her hands afterward. And again, you can wear a mask if you prefer while cleaning the cage. But if he's offering to clean the cage for you, I think that's very nice of him.

Have you spoken with your roommate about switching to another brand of litter? There are brands of litter that have less (or no) dust. Or, if she's unwilling, is there an option for you to either have the litter box moved to another area of the house or possibly move your sleeping arrangements to another room?
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replied May 1st, 2009
my pregnancy vs. my cat
My cat recently may have gotten out and I suspect that she is most likely pregnant however I was wondering if my cat is changing her deminer because I am 33 weeks pregnant.
What I mean by changes is she went from only being attached to my husband to now. She actually sleeps under the covers with either of us, she needs to be close. Also she has alway sbeen a talkative cat but it seems lately she is whinning more than talking and it seems she is always looking out the window even late at night, I was thinking she may be looking for the soon to be daddy. Call me crazy but I just dont know if she is acting this way becasue of my pregnancy or because of her own!
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