More than 60 million people in the United States are infected with Toxoplasmosis gondii (a.k.a. “toxo”), a parasite. The tiny organism is present in cat feces. If humans touch and ingest it, they can become infected. This is why doctors warn pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems to avoid handling cat litter.

People with healthy immune systems can stop the parasite from making them ill. But others may get flu-like symptoms that vanish after a month or so. To avoid toxo, observe these simple safety precautions: Wear disposable gloves to change your kitty’s litter box each day then wash your hands with soap and water; keep your cat inside; don’t pet strays; and don’t feed your cat raw or undercooked meats.