Congratulations! You’re having a baby!
It is an exciting time for both parents as they care for the baby in the pregnant woman’s belly. Pregnancy can have its tough moments like morning sickness and body aches but many still regard it as a blessing and a miracle.
Many cat owners have reported that their cats behave rather differently during their pregnancies. This is because cats have an acute sense of smell and can detect the changes in a pregnant woman’s pheromones.
But do cats get clingy when you’re pregnant?
It seems that a number of pregnant women do experience this strange occurrence with their cats. It could be due to the cats being more intrigued by the hormonal changes in the pregnant women or they feel the need to be more territorial to compete for the attention of the pregnant owner.
Can Cats Sense Pregnancy?
There is a high chance that your precious pet cat knows that you are pregnant even before you take a pregnancy test or experience any symptoms.
Cats can are gifted with an amazing sense of smell that is 14x more sensitive than a human. When you are pregnant, your body goes through drastic changes in hormones (progesterone and estrogen) and hormonal levels.
These changes cannot be detected by us humans but to a cat, it can be as clear as night and day.
Cats communicate via scent with other cats which is why they need a refined sense of smell. This allows them to detect changes in pheromones in another cat and get a sense of what the other cat is trying to communicate.
Signs Your Cat Knows You’re Pregnant?
Even though cats do not understand the concept of pregnancy in humans, there are sharp and intuitive to detect certain changes in the early pregnancy stages.
Here are some plausible reasons for how cats sense pregnancy in humans.
Your Body Temperature Is Higher Than Normal
During your pregnancy period, it is normal for your body temperature to be running slightly higher than usual. The increase in temperature is around the range of 0.2-05 F.
Some women can experience higher body temperature during the early pregnancy stages, especially during the trimester.
This increase in body temperature is caused by the increased blood flow and volume in your body to cater for the growth of the new baby growing inside you.
Even though this increase in body temperature is so subtle, it can be easily detected by your cat. Cats have a higher basal body temperature than humans ranging around 100.4-102.5 F. Cats are very sensitive to changes in heat and their paws can detect very small changes in temperature.
To compensate for the heat loss, cats like being around objects that radiate heat like your heater, the window and in this case, you.
Given that you are now radiating more heat than usual, your cat might enjoy cosying up to you more often now to keep warm.
Your body temperature can increase more easily as your pregnancy progresses if you exercise or are out in hot weather thus making you an even bigger heat magnet for your cat with your warmer body temperature.
Your Cat Can Hear Your Fetus’s Heartbeat
Besides having an acute sense of smell, cats are also armed with ears that can pick up the slightest of sounds.
A cat’s ear is built like a funnel to channel and magnify sounds into the ear canal. They can pick up on low frequencies like humans but can detect much higher frequencies that are beyond our hearing capability.
This is why cats are not fans of sounds that are loud and high pitched as it is too jarring for them.
Your cat might be able to pick up on the sound of the baby’s heartbeat in your tummy. And this sound gets louder as the baby grows bigger.
Cats are very curious and inquisitive creatures and can be intrigued by many things. It could be that your cat is very curious about the heartbeat that is emitting from your tummy and wants to be close to you to investigate.
Your Cat Has Been Noticing Your Behavioral Changes
Pregnancy is a tough period for any woman both mentally and physically. Not only is it tiring to be carrying a growing baby around in your tummy, but the crazy hormonal changes in you also can cause severe mood swings daily.
You will be feeling moody, irritable, nauseous and tired for most parts of the day. Chances are you will feel less inclined to feed your cat in the mornings or play with it during your usual playtime.
Your partner or someone in the family will have to pick up the slack.
Cats are sensitive to changes in their surroundings and owner’s behavior and will be able to detect this sudden change in their daily schedule.
Your cat will be wondering why and what is causing this change and will be more inclined to investigate to satisfy its curiosity.
Do Cats Become More Affectionate When You’re Pregnant?
It largely depends on the cat and the bond that you have with your feline friend. If you have always had a very tight bond with your cat, these changes in your body language and mood can throw your cat off guard.
Given that your cat can sense a living thing growing within you and that your attention has been diverted to handle all the baby stuff, it can start to become more affectionate and clingy when you’re pregnant to try and win back your affection and attention.
Why Do Cats Attack Pregnant Women?
Not all cats will turn into lovey-dovey affection feline friends when their owners are pregnant. They have been reports of cats turning violent and exhibiting aggressive behavior towards pregnant women.
Cats are creatures of habit and don’t do well adapting to chances. This can be even more so for cats that have been with you for many years and have a fixed daily schedule.
Here are a few reasons that can cause your cat to act hostile towards you when you’re pregnant:
- Your cat feels neglected and unloved
- Your cat isn’t a fan of the changes at home
- Your cat is starting to feel territorial
- Your cat is afraid
- Your cat is feeling stressed
When cats feel this way, they can lash out at their pregnant owners or display bad behavior at home. You can find your cat hissing and being in a defensive posture when you try to pet it. Your cat can also try and attack your feet out of the blue when you walk by. Or it can start to pee outside out its litter box or pee in your laundry basket full of clothes.
All these behavior can be harmful to you and needs to be addressed as soon as possible.
Cats Protecting Their Pregnant Owners
Some cats can also turn into personal bodyguards when they sense pregnancy in their owners. Cats aren’t really known for their protective qualities as compared to dogs. You won’t see a sign that says ‘Beware Of Guard Cat’ outside someone’s house.
That being said, there are some cats that have been known to guard their family member against aggressive dogs and wild animals.
Do not underestimate how fierce and ferocious cats can be. Their sharp teeth and claws can do a lot of damage.
Sensing your pregnancy, that might have triggered the protective trait in your cat. If your cat has just given birth and is nursing kittens, she might regard your baby as part of her litter and start being more protective than usual.
This can be seen as cute and a loving gesture by your cat, it can be problematic if your cat gets too overprotective of you and prevents anyone from getting close.
They will start to hiss and meow at any human or animal that wants to approach you. This can make it difficult for your partner to take care of your needs.
Help Your Cat Adjust To Your Pregnancy
You need to understand that your cat isn’t acting aggressively or undesirable because it is being a monster but because it cannot comprehend what is going in during your pregnancy.
The number one rule to remember is to not neglect your cat when you are going through your pregnancy.
Don’t forget that your cat is also part of the family and wants to be involved in nurturing the welcoming when the baby arrives.
Try and do your best to stick to the daily routine that you have with your cat in terms of feeding schedule and playtime. Spend some time every day just petting your cat and talking to it about your pregnancy. It won’t understand the meaning of your words but your calm and gentle tone will give your cat the assurance that you still love it to bits.
It is understandable that it can be more challenging to do so as your approach your delivery date. Get your partner or someone that you trust to stand in for you during this period.
Don’t be so paranoid about letting your cat near your pregnant stomach or baby stuff. Your cat is just being its curious self and wants to be part of the action.
Don’t punish or raise your voice at your feline friend if it gets too much in the way, just redirect its attention to another part of the house where it can be kept occupied.
Precautions To Take With Cats During Your Pregnancy
As much as you should still maintain the bond with your cat during your pregnancy, there are a couple of things that you should refrain from doing.
Avoid Cleaning The Litter Box
Cats can spread a virus called Toxoplasma. This happens when a cat eats infected prey like a rodent or a bird outdoors.
Cats can shed millions of these parasites in their feces after they have been infected. Why this virus is harmful to pregnant women is because it can affect the unborn child and cause birth defects.
It would be best to get someone else who isn’t pregnant to clean out your cat’s litter box. If you really need to clean out your cat’s litter tray, make sure to use a pair of gloves and face mask while doing so and sanitize your hands well after.
If your cat has always been an indoor cat and is on a commercial pet diet, the chances of it catching toxoplasmosis are very slim. But it is still good to be on the safe side.
Avoid Touching Any Stray Cats
If you are a big cat lover like me, it is hard to not want to touch and pet any stray cat that you see. Especially if the cat is friendly and well socilaized.
However, it would be best for you to avoid doing so during your pregnancy period. Some stray cats might be carrying diseases and parasites that aren’t harmful to humans per see but they can be for your unborn child.
You don’t want to risk getting scratched or bitten by a stray cat that can cause an infection as well.
So just admire them for a far for now.
Can Cats Sense Miscarriage In Humans?
Some cat owners believe that as much as their cats can sense their pregnancy, cats too can sense when something isn’t right with the baby like a miscarriage.
Although there is no documented proof of such incidents, there are a number of stories being told in forums about it happening.
What these cat owners noticed is that their cats behaved more frantic around them like pawing and meowing at their pregnant tummies.
If cats can sense pregnancy then they might be able to sense miscarriages too.
If you do notice that your cat starts getting more clingy and affectionate towards you when you’re pregnant, embrace it instead of discouraging it.
Remember to keep clear of your cat’s litter tray and stray cats to minimize the risk of getting any infections.
Start getting your cat used to having a baby in the house so that they won’t be afraid or territorial when your baby arrives.
For all you know, your cat will make a wonderful big brother or sister to your newborn.