Monday, May 30, 2005


Two women wrote in today to say they wanted to give up their cats because they were pregnant. One I think, used her pregnancy as an excuse. The other was really upset because her doctor had told her that it was possible that if she inhaled cat hair it might go into the foetus.

I'm not sure if she misunderstood her doctor or why the doctor told her that because when I called a doctor friend she explained that it's medically impossible for that to happen. Hair is already trapped in the nose she said, and is stopped at another level. Plus the nutrients from the babies need to go through the blood stream - meaning that the hair would need to go into the blood, which isn't possible at all.

We do find quite a few people say they give up their cats just to be safe, or the doctor will tell them to do it just to be safe. I met an American lady once who told me that in the US now, if you told pregnant ladies to give up their cats, you'd be laughed out of the clinic.

My mother had cats when she was pregnant with me and never contemplated giving them up. I was born a nice healthy, chubby baby.


Blogger Three said...

It is disappointing how ignorant people are about this, or simply don't love their cats enough to find factual scientific evidence before giving them up. These days, such information is available within seconds with the Internet, yet they'd rather believe hearsay than well-documented studies.

30/5/05 7:06 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Yes - if people have a valid concern, I can understand they might have to give up their cat if there was a conflict with their child's health, but so far, in 99% of the cases, it seems that they do it 'just in case' even though they don't have to.

30/5/05 7:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think people here are still too reliance on their doctors who may be as ignorant as they are!
And some doctors will tell their "clients" what they think the clients want to hear!
We are still pretty far back compared with people in the west in empowering ourselves with knowledge to be an active partner in managing our health.
Perhaps we are just too lazy to pop by the library to read up or to even surf the internet to find out.
And some people are under pressure from "well meaning" in-laws to give up the cats for their precious descendents that they are just too happy to say...well..i wanted to keep the baby but the doctor say..cannot leh....
so the blame is passed onto the "good doctor".

31/5/05 11:49 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Yes it could be all the reasons you mentioned. The funny thing is that studies have found that children living on farms in Finland are much healthier and less likely to have allergies and asthma than children living in Japan, where everything is really clean.

1/6/05 2:05 AM  
Anonymous slushy_mushy said...

I kept my cat whilst I was pregnant with my daughter and even now. Some of my friends did ask me why I didn't get rid of him and were quite surprised that I didn't. Think most people without pets immediately associate pregnancy as a time to have no pets. Now, we're only worried that he'll think she's a toy but I'm definitely looking forward to the day when she can play with him.

1/6/05 12:43 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

It's great to hear there are more people like you around! We have another volunteer who has three cats and two children and one of the cats especially is SO good with the kids.

1/6/05 1:07 PM  
Anonymous siew kah said...

I know of a doctor who thinks that all house pets are dirty and he will probably not recommend that anyone keeps them. this is the power of modern medicine - medical practioners and scientists decide what is dirty and influence the rest of the world to accept their decisions.

1/6/05 1:08 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

The sad thing is that more and more science seems to say that keeping animals IS good. As Three said, a simple Net search will pull all these articles up - but some people don't bother to read up.

1/6/05 1:10 PM  
Blogger Three said...

Yeah. Perhaps when I have a human kid, I'll start a blog: Cats and Kids. :D

A sample blog entry:-

This week only: How Tux trained Sam how to babysit human baby Kate.

1/6/05 3:26 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Nice :) I like that!

1/6/05 3:36 PM  
Blogger Three said...

:D BTW, after reading your post and feeling rather outraged, the cats got together and Googled up some information about pregnancy and cats:

They (and I) were surprised at how difficult it is, really, to catch Toxoplasmosis. Here's a blurb:

If you are pregnant, keep your cat. Have your partner clean the poo pan daily. That's all.

FACT #1: Toxoplasmosis is usually caught by outdoor cats, and if you have had your cat for a long time you're probably immune.

FACT #2: You can only catch it (assuming you're already not immune) through eating cat poo.

FACT #3: Toxoplasmosis can only be incubated in a cat's poo over 3 days so if you clean the poo pan daily, the bug won't hatch.

FACT #4: You'd sooner catch Toxoplasmosis through eating raw or uncooked food than from your cat's poo.

2/6/05 12:06 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

This is a fantastic post - the cat researchers have been hard at work!
An article in the British Medial Journal said that contact with cats is not a risk factor. As you pointed out, it seems that ingesting the infected faeces is required in order to get infected - which pregnant woman should not be washing her hands before eating?

2/6/05 12:21 AM  
Anonymous slushy_mushy said...

ha, I think the thing is that it's hard to get Singaporean men to clean the litter box! Ok, that was mean...

I've got a blog on my kid and my cat!

2/6/05 9:48 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Would love to see your blog. Do let me see.

2/6/05 10:00 AM  
Anonymous slushy_mushy said...

HI Dawn, you've seen it (follow link from this comment)...most of it is about the kid though, as she's not really old enough yet to appreciate the cat and vice versa. When she first came home, he thought her moving hands were like his mousey toys and tried to swat them! He was also acting jealous and out of sorts; he would hide and ambush people carrying her. But now he's more used to her and only looks at her in a detached, can't be bothered way (that only cats can do). Oh, and about my earlier remark, think I was very fortunate that my husband cleaned out kitty's litter whilst I was pregnant. :) But somehow does it strike you that in Singapore more women than men like cats...or is it everywhere?

2/6/05 10:24 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Oh yes I have! :)Lovely website!
I think that there is generally this impression that more women then men like cats everywhere, but I do see it changing.

2/6/05 10:35 AM  

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