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Is Having a Cat Dangerous to My Newborn?

There is little risk of having a cat with a newborn as long as parents take precautions, says Dr. Christie Frakes, Arizona-based pediatrician and medical consultant with MVP Kids Care. “As with any pet, parents should make sure the cat doesn’t sleep around the baby because the weight of a cat is sufficient to obstruct the baby’s airway,” she notes. Cats may present a scratch or bite risk, so it’s important to introduce the family cat to the newborn under parental supervision, warns Frakes. In rare cases, a pregnant woman may be exposed to toxoplasmosis, a parasite infecting cats that is passed on to the unborn child, according to the Center for Disease Control. However, by taking precautions, such as making sure the litter box is changed daily and the cat is in optimal health, you can reduce the risk for you, your pet and your newborn.

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