Fram and Sax Cat Care and News July 2017
01 July 2017
For the first year in a while, the weather in spring and early summer has been kind to our fundraising volunteers. What a difference it makes not to be bundled up in coats and wet-weather gear at outdoor shows! We look forward to seeing more of our supporters at Heveningham Hall Country Fair on 8-9 July and at the Woodbridge Regatta on 16 July.
Cat care: Cats and pregnant women: Despite a number of sensational headlines, catching toxoplasmosis during pregnancy is rare.Toxoplasma is a microscopic parasite; infection in humans is common but rarely reported as often there are no symptoms. If you have a pet cat, or you've had them in the past, it's possible that you've already been exposed to the infection, meaning you may be immune to toxoplasmosis. Nevertheless, pregnant women and those with weakened immune systems should be more cautious about toxoplasma, because it can lead to serious complications as well as birth defects.
The parasite that causes toxoplasmosis is found in infected food and in the poo (faeces) of infected cats. Cats become infected by eating contaminated prey. If you own a cat and are starting a family, toxoplasmosis can sound alarming and you will naturally want to avoid possible risks, and cats are not the only carriers of toxoplasma. Contracting it from eating unwashed fruits and vegetables or undercooked meats is in fact more likely than catching it from your feline friend.
Whilst pregnant you will greatly reduce your risk of picking up the parasite if you: wear gloves while gardening or handling soil; clean cat litter trays daily wearing gloves (theparasite does not become infectious until 1 to 5 days after being excreted); wash your hands before handling food; do not eat raw or undercooked meat; wash utensils and other kitchenware thoroughly after preparing raw meat; wash fruit and vegetables thoroughly.
There really is no reason to part with your feline friend. Follow common sense hygiene and you will be able to live safely with your cat throughout your pregnancy. Cuddling and stroking your cat cannot spread the infection to you. The large majority of toxoplasma is shed in poo during the first year of a cat’s life so an older cat may still shed but at very infrequent intervals (the longer you’ve had your cat, the less likely the risk). Growing up with a pet is a wonderful way for children to learn about caring for animals, so don’t be troubled by misconceptions.
Catology:When your cat greets you with a head butt, it is saying, 'I love you very much, but want you to smell just like me!'. Head 'bunting' (it's technical name), is activating the scent glands in the area of the cat's head just above the eye but below the ear, thereby marking you out as part of your furry friend's pride.