Got a cat at home? That’s not a problem, except that your four-legged friend could be carrying the toxoplasma parasite. Cats can contract this parasite by eating contaminated meat like mice or uncooked meat. The parasite then ends up in the cat’s feces.

To reduce the risk of being infected, have someone else clean the cat’s litter box. If no one else is available to clean it, wear plastic gloves and wash them after use before removing them. Wash your hands thoroughly after taking off the gloves.

You can also reduce the risk of transmission if the litter box is cleaned at least once a day, since parasites present in cat feces take 1 to 5 days before becoming infectious.

Keep pets away when preparing food. Don’t let your cat climb up on kitchen counters or the dining table. Other precautions are listed in Preventing food-borne infections.

If you don’t have a cat and would like to get one, consider waiting until after you give birth.