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Re: Cat Poop

>Date: Tue, 19 Jan 1999 15:14:02 -0500
>From: tvickers at conroe_isd.tenet.edu (vickers, thomas c)

>Secondly, Cat stuffing is bad stuff. You are not even supposed to
>compost it. (my wife screams about that part).  It has harmful nasty
>things in it.  They are bad for humans and probably bad for fishes.
>So, while I am not as scientific as the rest of the list, NO !
>and not just NO, but H_ LL NO!

Thank you for that warning. I'm sure you're referring to Toxoplasma gondii.
This is potentially harmful to pregnant women and persons with compromised
immune systems. However, your, or your wife's, hysteria is somewhat
unfounded. In fact, 30% of the population of the U.S. already is infected
with T. gondii and 70% of French citizens are infected, mainly due to
eating lamb cooked rare.  If you are already infected you will not have any
problems with exposure, even if you are pregnant.  In fact your chances of
getting infected by cat poop are very slim because of two factors.  If your
cat is always indoors there is no way it is infective and secondly even if
your cat goes outside and does get infected it will only shed T. gondii for
approximately two weeks.  That two weeks is the only time you could
potentially get infected.  Besides that when you change the litter you
would really have to play in the poop and then put your finger to your eye
or mouth.  I don't know about you but I always wash my hands after changing
litter. You are much more likely to get infected from eating undercooked
meat than handling cat poop. 

Dr. Karla Booth