Wondering if it’s safe to sleep with your cat when pregnant? Find out!
Cats are wonderful companions. However, when you’re pregnant, it’s important to be aware of the risks associated with sleeping with your pet cat. While some people may think that snuggling with their cat at night is harmless, there are a number of potential dangers that you need to consider.
In this article, we’ll discuss why it’s unsafe to sleep with your cat when pregnant. Additionally, we will also discuss what you can do to ensure both you and your cat stay healthy.
Why Is It Unsafe to Sleep with Your Cat When Pregnant?
There are several reasons why it’s unsafe to sleep with your cat when pregnant. Let’s explore each one in detail.
Risk of Toxoplasmosis
Toxoplasmosis is a parasitic infection that can be transmitted from cats to humans. While most healthy individuals may not experience any symptoms, the infection can cause serious complications in pregnant women, including miscarriage and birth defects. Pregnant women are particularly vulnerable to toxoplasmosis because their immune systems are weakened during pregnancy.
Cats can become infected with toxoplasmosis if they eat raw or undercooked meat. Especially if they come into contact with contaminated soil, or ingest infected prey animals. The parasite can then be shed in their feces. If you come into contact with contaminated litter or soil, you may become infected.
It’s important to note that not all cats carry the parasite, and even those that do may not be shedding it in their feces. However, there’s no way to know for sure if your cat is infected or not, so it’s best to err on the side of caution.
Risk of Cat Scratch Disease
Cat scratch disease is another potential risk associated with sleeping with your cat when pregnant. It’s a bacterial infection that can be transmitted through scratches or bites from infected cats. Symptoms may include fever, fatigue, and swollen lymph nodes.
While most cases of cat scratch disease are mild and don’t require treatment, pregnant women are at higher risk of complications, such as infections that can spread to the baby.
Risk of Allergies
If you’re allergic to cats, sleeping with your feline friend can trigger an allergic reaction. Allergies during pregnancy can be particularly problematic because they can exacerbate other conditions, such as asthma, and may lead to complications such as premature birth.
Risk of Accidental Injury
Cats are playful creatures and may jump on or scratch you during the night, potentially causing accidental injury. This is especially concerning during pregnancy, as any injury can have serious consequences for both you and your baby. Cats are known for climbing and sleeping on top of humans at night. If they climb on to your belly while you are sleeping, it may have a negative effect on your child.
Risk of behavioral changes during pregnancy
Cats are sensitive creatures and may notice changes in their owner’s behavior during pregnancy. Some cats may become more protective or aggressive, especially if they perceive a threat to their owner or their territory. This could potentially lead to increased risk of injury, even from a cat that is normally well-behaved.
Risk of suffocation
While rare, there have been cases of cats accidentally suffocating infants in their sleep. Although this is not directly related to sleeping with your cat during pregnancy, it is important to be aware of the risks associated with sharing a sleeping space with any pet. It is recommended to keep pets out of the bedroom altogether to minimize the risk of suffocation.
Alternatives to sleeping with your cat during pregnancy
While it may be difficult to give up the comfort of sleeping with your cat during pregnancy, there are alternatives that can help you maintain a strong bond with your pet cat while keeping both you and your baby safe.
- Encourage your cat to sleep in a separate bed nearby, so they are still close to you.
- Place a comfortable blanket or bed in a cozy spot that your cat will love.
- Spend quality time with your cat during the day, such as playtime or snuggling, to maintain your bond.
- Get other family members involved in caring for your cat, so they still receive plenty of attention and love.
- Consider using a baby monitor to keep an eye out for your cat during the night.
While it can be hard to resist the temptation of sleeping with your cat during pregnancy, it is important to consider the potential risks to both you and your baby. From the risk of suffocation to the potential for injury, there are many reasons to avoid sharing a sleeping space with your furry friend. By following the alternatives suggested above, you can still maintain a strong bond with your cat while ensuring the safety of you and your baby.