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FAQ Frequently asked questions
I'm pregnant and I have a cat. Do I need to worry about toxoplasmosis?
Cats can pass on a parasitic infection called toxoplasmosis that can cause infection in pregnant women and lead to birth defects. However, by taking simple hygiene precautions such as washing your hands after handling …
Can having reptiles or amphibians in the house be a problem if you have a young baby?
Reptiles such as lizards, turtles and snakes, and amphibians such as frogs, can carry Salmonella bacteria which can cause serious illness in small children. You may wish to remove them from the house, or …
What diseases can pets pass on to children?
Pets can carry a range of bacteria, fungi and parasites that can be passed on to children, either by contact with the pet or contact with contaminated feces (poo). Good hygiene, particularly after handling pets, can help reduce the risk of …
How can I prepare my cat for the arrival of my baby?
The arrival of a new baby is a big change in a household routine. Cats are very sensitive to routines, so you can help by gradually making changes in how you do things in the months before the baby arrives.
Is having birds in the house a problem if you have a young baby?
Birds and their feces (poo) can pass a number of infectious diseases on to people, and babies can be more at risk because their immune systems are not fully developed. It is important to be careful with hygiene, particularly …
Can my child kissing a pet increase their risk of disease?
Kissing a pet can increase the risk of contracting a disease from them. To reduce any risk, it is best to teach children not to kiss pets.
Is it safe to leave my child alone with a pet?
It is important to supervise all contact between young children and pets. Small children often do not pick up on cues that their behavior may be upsetting an animal. This is particularly true with dogs.
Can contact with dog or cat feces (poo) cause illness?
Contact with dog or cat feces (poo) can spread infection to humans. Cleaning up after your animals regularly, paying particular care to areas such as sandpits where children play, can help to reduce the risk of illness.
About this article
Author: Dr Idan Ben-Barak PhD, MSc, BSc (Med)
First answered: 03 Oct 2014
Last reviewed: 19 May 2018
Rating: 4.7 out of 5
Votes: 971 (Click smiley face below to rate)