Pregnancy and Cats some tricks and myths busted!

Life as a pregnant mum with a toddler and family cats


Today we are going to talk about what life as a pregnant mum with a toddler and family cats is like. We are going to talk about some common misconceptions and some day to day things you will probably experience or have concerns about.

As a first time mom there are so many wild claims about babies and cats. I have 4 indoor/outdoor rescue cats, my husband and I care for a colony of over 30 cats. I also have a toddler and a newborn and while sometimes my cats are frustrating they are part of the family and are not going any where. Some myths are true some are false some are half truths. Let’s dive into a few of them.

Is Toxoplasmosis dangerous for newborns

I have to get ride of my cat because of toxoplasmosis! – No just take precautions

What is toxoplasmosis? Toxoplasmosis is a disease you can get from being infected with a parasite. The parasite is called Toxoplasma gondii. This parasite is found in soil and even water in most of the world. The parasite is largely harmless to most humans except those immune compromised and pregnant women who are not generally at risk themselves but there pre and post natal babies can be. If the mother gets an infection she can infect her unborn child which is called Mother-to-child (congenital) transmission and can be serious sometimes deadly for the baby.

Toxoplasmosis can be transmitted from a variety of things so as a pregnant women you should take precautions from theses things as well as modifying cats duties in the house. From the CDC : A Toxoplasma infection occurs by one of the following:

  • Eating undercooked, contaminated meat (especially pork, lamb, and venison) or shellfish (for example, oysters, clams or mussels).
  • Accidental ingestion of undercooked, contaminated meat or shellfish after handling them and not washing hands thoroughly (Toxoplasma cannot be absorbed through intact skin).
  • Eating food that was contaminated by knives, utensils, cutting boards and other foods that have had contact with raw, contaminated meat or shellfish.
  • Drinking water contaminated with Toxoplasma gondii.
  • Accidentally swallowing the parasite through contact with cat feces that contain Toxoplasma. This might happen by
  • Cleaning a cat’s litter box when the cat has shed Toxoplasma in its feces; (this can only happen between 1-3 weeks after a cat is infected)
  • Touching or ingesting anything that has come into contact with cat feces that contain Toxoplasma;
  • Accidentally ingesting contaminated soil (e.g., not washing hands after gardening or eating unwashed fruits or vegetables from a garden)
  • walking barefoot, gardening, veggies

YOU DO NOT HAVE TO GET RIDE OF THE FAMILY CAT BECAUSE YOU GET PREGNANT. In fact please don’t, cats can be the best thing for your baby and toddler. Do not let fear and lack of knowledge scare you into re homing your feline. To got toxoplasmosis from a feline the cat first has to be an outdoor cat so it can even come into intact with infected soil, or the rodents it hunts. Even then those rodents have to have come into contact with toxoplasmosis and currently be infected. Then the cat has to shed the parasite via ? and then after a week to week 3 is a window in which you can catch it. So a lot if things have to fall into place to catch toxoplasmosis from your feline friend. Reference.

The risk from cats is much lower than previously thought. Although it is wise for a pregnant woman to observe good hygiene, chances are, if you catch toxoplasmosis — it won’t be from your cat.

If you have a cat you need to take extra precautions. If possible get someone else to take over litter duties, change the litter daily, and if you have to do it wear a masks and gloves and throughly wash your hands (90 seconds in hot water) after cleaning the litter box.

I have 4 indoor outdoor cats. During pregnancy we cut down as much as possible on garden time. They always have the boundaries of not getting on table tops or counters. However I am sure they do so I also obsessively wipe them down before and after preparing food or eating food. I try and keep them off of the beds (not always successful). I absolutely keep them out of the children’s rooms. (I keep all the door shut. When I air out the house my cats go in the garden.) A trick to keeping cars out of the baby items I use tin foil. I do not know why but they can’t stand it. So after I clean or use the baby things I just put tin foil on it and the cats avoided it.

Cats hate tin foil .


In addition I am also extra careful about food prep and have different cutting boards for veggies and meat. Which you should have anyways. In our house the wood ones are for veggies and plastic are for meat. Keeps things simple and easy to remember. An excellent source for food preparation and nutrition and meal ideas while pregnant is the book Real Food for Pregnancy: The Science and Wisdom of Optimal Prenatal Nutrition

I also spoke with my OBGYN and honestly he was more concerned with food preparation, walking barefoot (even inside), and told me to just stop gardening while pregnant. We also did monthly blood work and one of the test we did was to check for toxoplasmosis. Threw out both pregnancy and many cats I did not have toxoplasmosis because of proper hygiene and precautions. My garden however was a hot mess both pregnancies.

As a happy side effect of these precautions is that my husband took over cat litter box duties. Which after 10 years of doing it twice a day I was ready for a break. With in one month he had ordered a self cleaning litter box. Which is a gift for everyone. I should have asked him to do the litter boxes long ago if I knew I would get a self cleaning litter box so easily that way.

Life as a pregnant mum with a toddler and family cats
Life as a pregnant mum with a toddler and family cats

Guidelines From the CDC :

  • Ensure 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.
  • Avoid changing cat litter if possible. If no one else can perform the task, wear disposable gloves and wash your hands with soap and water afterwards.
  • Keep cats indoors. This is because cats become infected with Toxoplasma through hunting and eating rodents, birds, or other small animals that are infected with the parasite.
  • Do not adopt or handle stray cats, especially kittens. Do not get a new cat while you are pregnant or immunocompromised.

  • Feed cats only canned or dried commercial food or well-cooked table food, not raw or undercooked meats.

As a Reference and for more information visit the CDC Toxoplasmosis page.

Will cats smoother your baby

We have all heard people say cats will smoother your baby. But is this really true, keep reading and we will find out below.

Out of statistics and real life this is actually very true so just stay vigilant and protect your loved ones.

Cat lovers please do not come for me, I am one of you. However I absolutely 100% know this is true. I don’t know why cats want to snuggle your newborn. I don’t believe the old wives tail that cats want to steal the souls of babies. That is obviously rubbish. Who knows why cats do anything. Are they looking for a heat source? It is because they like the smell of the baby? I don’t know but I do know that cats will snuggle your baby given the chance so stay vigilant and only allow supervised interactions due to smothering until at least the first year and a half.

Life as a pregnant mum with a toddler and family cats
Newborn and Family friend

It may sound a bit extreme that you should be so vigilant even when the baby Is a bit bigger. It’s doesn’t matter it’s can happen even when they are older. A recent example is a 9 month old baby who was smothered by the pet cat in the UK. The article says the cat was attracted to the baby bc of the smell of milk. That’s speculation who knows why the cat decided to nap on the baby’s face the cat just did.

With my three year old and my newborn I make sure all of the felines are NOT in the room they are sleeping in. It’s a risk I don’t want to take. Even with my toddler she’s a heavy sleeper and sure at three she can move any of the cats while awake. I am not going to test and see if she can at night.

I have a male rescue cat I think he is a Norwegian Forest cat. He’s a BIG a cat 15lbs. Now he loves to cuddle and that’s fine typically not with me. However one day after 3 years for whatever reason he decided to sleep on top of me and I woke up with him laying on my chest. Now just think if he decided he wanted to sleep on my 6 lb newborn?? Or now 11 lb 3 month old? That’s a tragedy waiting to happen. Just because your cat has never done something before does NOT mean they won’t ever do it. This is a mistake cat owners fall into this compliance of feline predictability. This is a fallacy do not be compliant with your babies life at stake.


Life as a pregnant mum with a toddler and family cats
Family cat napping with dirty paws

Cat Tax
Shortly after this I took my nursing pillow to feed the baby and he tried to lay on top of my baby. Not because he hates the baby but because he loves my nursing pillow and wanted to be on top of it.
Stay vigilant.

Two of my other cats are just obsessed with the baby. Whenever he is sleeping they come running to cuddle him. It’s cute. However I only allow it when I am right there if I can’t watch them I shoo the kitty away.


Our cats want to squishy our toddler
Our cats want to squishy our toddler

She would sleep on him if I allowed it. She grooms him, tries to make biscuits on him. She’s in love with him and her love can be dangerous to him.


I am happy to say that cat induced infant fatalities are becoming more rare. Not because cats are changing there behaviour but because parents are being more watchful. Cats are perfectly safe around babies if you supervise the interactions and do not allow cats (or any animal) around a sleeping baby.

Do I need to prepare my cats for my babies arrival


It’s is actually scientific that cats can detect a change in a women’s scent based of her hormone levels that change when pregnant. This in turn can change a cats behaviour. Some cats become affectionate, some anxious it really depends on the feline. One of Mine decided to scent make everywhere, another just started peeing, and one became super snuggly. The peeing was not fun but we got threw it. The good thing about baby items they can all be taken apart and washed really easily.

I find the ASPCA has a great source on how to prepare cats for babies. Once the babies arrived I did leave baby blankets everywhere so the cats did get his smell added to the family house of smells rather quickly. I did allow supervised interaction on the felines terms starting from around 3 months old. They could come and sniff the baby, and the baby could look at and touch them. I tell my current 3 month old gentle while he looks at his cats and when they come to see him we gently touch the cats back. These early positive interaction started the road to positive toddler interactions.


Toddler with sleeping cat
Toddler with sleeping cat

My daughter and one of her kitties at a year old. Positive interactions = life long friendship.

Can Toddlers and cats be friends

Another thing you need to consider in your life as a pregnant mum with a toddler and family cats is if your toddler and a cat can become friends. I organically built up relationships with my children and our pet cats. Based on respect, play, and of course food. Before my toddler could even walk she would pick up a cat teaser (the long ones with feathers) and interact with our cats that way. She would sit on my lap and wave it around and my cats would come play. I always supervised and I always narrated cat behaviour for her. “Oh look his face looks grumpy he’s not happy now so let’s leave him alone” “ oh look Zoi is feeling playful but her paws hurt so let’s not get to close’

Life as a pregnant mum with a toddler and family cats
Life as a pregnant mum with a toddler and family cats

Interactions on the cats terms lead to respectful baby and feline relationships.

When my daughter started walking I let her participate in the cat care. (Except the little box) She knew where the cat water bowls were we never hide them we just explained that the cats drink out of them. She played in them a bit but not a lot. If she wanted water play I would say “oh you want to play in water well the kitties drink that water let’s get you your own water to play in.” Worked amazingly well.

The biggest thing is that we let her feed the cats. I gave her a tiny spoon and let her feed the cats a small can of wet food every day. It was love then from all of the kitties and to this day they are best buddies.

Cat relaxing with todlder
Cat relaxing with toddler

A 2 year old with her kitties. They are always around they do not bother each other and most interaction are positive except when the cats try and steal her lunch.


We hope you liked reading about our Life as a pregnant mum with a toddler and family cats article. This is our personal experiences and may different to yours. We just wanted to help you out with the little knowledge we acquired over the years and give you some pointers. Ultimately you will have to find what works best for you and this is very personal based on your needs and lifestyle.

If you enjoyed this article you can find a lot more things we write about babies and kids below.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *