House Cats Cause Illness in Babies?

January 17th, 2002 our first grandchild was born. Our son and his wife

live in the same city as we do. The pediatrician told our

daughter-in-law that house cats can give diseases, illnesses, to her

son (our grandchild) of 10 months.

What can you find out as far as true or not, what conditions cause

illnesses and what we can do to get our grandson to visit us and still

keep our 2 kittens 8 weeks old.

2 thoughts on “House Cats Cause Illness in Babies?

  1. Hi again,

    The FAQ page from the rec.pets.cats newsgroup lists diseases that can

    be caught from cats, and says:

    "Anyone with an impaired immune system is at risk of exposure to germs

    and other things from cats that healthy people would not contract;

    this is regardless of the health of the cat.

    You are more likely to contract diseases from other people than your

    pets. Transmission of disease generally requires close contact between

    susceptible people and animals or their oral, nasal, ocular or

    digestive excretions. Use common sense and practice good hygiene to

    reduce your risks."

    Obviously a baby has a less effective immune system than adults. But

    the point that "you are more likely to contract diseases from other

    people than your pets" is a good one.

    The only problem I can see is that young children don't understand

    cats, and kittens don't understand humans, so the chances of the baby

    being bitten or scratched is quite high if he or she plays with the

    kitten. My personal opinion is that if there is no contact between the

    cat and child, and if the cat appears to be healthy, then it would be

    as safe as any other environment.

    A lot of the information on this FAQ page relates to cat disease being

    passed to humans:

    This short article at BabyCentre has some tips:

    How can we make sure our pets and our new baby will live together


    Search strategy:

    cats disease children FAQ


    Best wishes,


  2. More detail can be found via the links, but it is worth mentioning in

    brief here:

    Toxoplasmosis appears to be the most likely source of any danger to

    the baby. It is a relatively common parasite that can be carried and

    shed by cats in their feces, and is of particular danger to pregnant

    women (if any more grandchildren are on the way). To be safe:

    – Keep your cat free of infection by feeding only cat food (no raw

    meat) and keep him indoors so hunting is eliminated. Keep any

    children's sandboxes covered.

    – Since FRESH feces pose very little risk, clean the litter box and

    change cat litter daily. If possible, someone other than the expectant

    mom should have this responsibility.

    – Do not eat raw or undercooked meat. Any vegetables that could come

    into contact with cat feces (do any cats "go" in your garden?) should

    be washed well.

    – Wear gloves and wash hands after changing litter, working in the

    garden or handling raw meat and vegetables.

Leave a Reply

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