Yes, cat poop can definitely make you sick. I was just going to give you all the usual reasons, but your question got me thinking, and I did a little research. It turns out cat poop can cause more than the usual sicknesses, and women are especially vulnerable.
All feces can harbor deadly bacteria, or at least some bacteria that will make you really, really sick. Anytime you directly or indirectly come into contact with feces, including your own, you should wash your hands.
Interestingly, your friend’s claim about cat poop does have some basis in fact, but her statement is not exactly right. It turns out cat feces can harbor a single-celled organism called a protozoa. This particular protozoa is named Toxoplasma gondii. It survives inside animals and some get pooped out of infected animals. This protozoa’s favorite animal is the cat because cats don’t get sick from it, so cats can be their host for lifetime of the cat.
The problem is that humans can get infected with these pathogens. In bad cases, they enter the brain and the muscles, creating little cysts that can cause all sorts of problems, but nothing usually too serious. The human body seems to fight off this little pest pretty well, and most infected people believe they only have a cold.
The biggest problem is in pregnant women. This protozoa can travel from an infected mother to the unborn baby. Since the baby is so vulnerable, it often dies inside the womb if it gets infected.
Now, the new problem with cat poop that I have just come to learn is that it can make you crazy. Scientific studies have shown that there is a link between Toxoplasma gondii infection and schizophrenia. It is believed that these protozoa trigger the body into producing a chemical that mimics powerful hallucinogenic drugs such as LSD. This chemical causes the person to become unbalanced and hallucinate, usually requiring hospitalization or a strict form of home care.
Cat lovers, vets and doctors all agree that the risk is minimal as long as you follow standard precautions of cleanliness. Always wash your hands, and wear gloves when cleaning the cat box.
Posted 1740 day ago