Home HealthTopics Health Centers Reference Library Research
Join us on Facebook Join us on Facebook Share on Facebook

Infectious Diseases

Bad smell of cat faeces

03/01/2002

Question:

hi,

I am 5 weekd pregnant. I read that cat faeces probably has toxoplamosis parasite is harmful to foetus and baby development. My backyard always has cat faeces of stray cats. It is smelly until my gardener comes to clean it.

Question.

1. could a person get infected by inhaling the smell?

2. could it cause defect to foetus and baby?

Thank you.

Answer:

The oocyst of Toxoplasma gondii is present in cat feces and can be excreted by cats. This is not the only source for this pathogen since it can be found in under cooked meats, particularly beef. You can acquire toxoplasma if it is aerosolized from feces, and it can cause problems in unborn children if the fetus is infected. Just smelling the feces won`t cause infection. The manifestations usually relate to invasion of the brain. However, since the cat feces is outside and not in a litter box that you handle, the chances of you acquiring the infection if you do not clean up that area are slim to none.

For more information:

Go to the Infectious Diseases health topic, where you can:

Response by:

George S Deepe, Jr, MD George S Deepe, Jr, MD
Professor of Clinical Medicine
Director of Infectious Diseases
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati