It’s a fact that felines have developed senses better than humans. So, it’s not far-fetched to assume that they can also sense when a person is pregnant. But how do they react? Do cats get clingy when you’re pregnant? Or do they become aggressive?
How do they even know for sure? What is it that they sense that tells them a person is pregnant? And why does a change in their behavior occur?
Well, although it hasn’t been proven, cat behavior specialists firmly stand by the belief that our furballs can tell. There are a few indicators that point to this theory, and we’ll go over all of them.
They’re based precisely on the feline’s extraordinary senses. They can feel the change in a pregnant person’s body, and it causes a change in how the cat treats them.
How do cats sense pregnancy?
Despite it not being proven yet, so many people swear that cats can simply tell! And there are reasonable ways to explain this. So, how exactly do felines figure it out? Let’s take a look at all the ways a furball might know you’re pregnant.
1. Hormonal changes
It’s no secret that pregnancy comes along with some major hormonal changes. And thanks to their amazing sense of smell, cats can sense these changes. This is due to your personal scent changing during those nine months.
Their little noses are so strong that they can sense this shift even before pregnancy tests. Their snouts contain up to 200 million scent receptors. And that makes their sense of smell more than 10 times stronger than ours.
But what hormonal changes are they sensing to be exact? Well, the two main hormones during this period are estrogen and progesterone. Estrogen is in charge of forming blood vessels in the placenta for better flow of nutrients from mother to child.
Progesterone, on the other hand, has the job of loosening the joints so there’s room for a baby. It also helps form the uterus. These changes all affect the way you smell and although humans can’t tell the difference, cats definitely can.
2. A change in temperature
A change in temperature is closely tied to hormonal changes. Different levels of hormones, as well as increased blood flow, lead to a rise in body temperature. This difference is so small that it’s nearly impossible for a human to notice.
But since cats are naturally drawn to warmth, this change is irresistible. So, do cats get clingy when you’re pregnant? Absolutely. But, this is just one of the possible reasons behind it. You might also start getting heat flashes that basically make you a comfy heater for them.
And no kitty would choose to relax near a heater or under a sunbeam when they could cuddle with their owner. They’re getting the warmth they need while also bonding with their favorite person in the world. What more could they ever want?
3. Changes in behavior
Cat owners are perfectly aware of the fact that their cat is basically following their every move. They might seem cool and aloof, but they take care to notice our daily routines and habits. They know when we’re sad or stressed based on our eating habits, crying, and so on.
I know my cat always comes running when I’m stressed. She knows exactly what to do and how to help. Our felines love us just as much as we love them, if not more. And they aren’t shy about studying us and our behavior.
So, it’s only natural for them to notice the changes that occur when you’re pregnant. You’ll be spending more time in bed, eating different foods, experiencing morning sickness, etc. All of these things affect your cat’s routine as well.
You resting in bed more means that you’ll cuddle with her more. Or you might start playing with her less because of exhaustion. Whatever the changes are, she’ll be sure to notice. And she’ll try to take advantage of the situation as much as she can by increasing her snuggle time.
4. Baby’s heartbeat
Sometimes we forget just how powerful feline ears are. This is mostly due to our cats choosing to ignore us when we call them. We might try to convince ourselves that they didn’t hear us. But the truth is that they just don’t feel like coming over to us.
Well, it’s very possible that their ears are so sharp that they can hear the baby’s heartbeat. Aside from the warmth, this could be another reason why they snuggle up on the belly. We have no way of knowing for sure, but it’s a definite possibility.
And even if they can’t detect the heartbeat in the beginning, they probably hear it the stronger it gets. Listening to a heartbeat can have a soothing effect on both humans and cats. So, it’s no wonder you make the best napping place when you have two!
Kitty pregnancy detectors?
So, we know that felines can definitely sense the changes in your body. But just how soon can they feel the difference? A lot of women have said that their cats picked up on their pregnancy even before they got tested positive.
It depends a lot on both the individual women and felines. Some can detect a pregnancy as early as the first three weeks. It’s certain that your cat can sense all of the symptoms. However, there’s no proof that points to your furball understanding what’s going on.
She knows that you’re going through some sort of change. But, we don’t know if she can link it to a baby forming inside of you. Cats make for some pretty good detectors, but we still suggest getting a pregnancy test to be sure.
Do cats get clingy when you’re pregnant?
Feline behavior when their owner is pregnant varies from cat to cat. But one of the most common reactions to pregnancy is a furball becoming clingy. She’ll start spending more time with you, following you around and cuddling next to you or on your belly.
There are a few reasons why your cat might become clingy. It depends on the individual feline and your general bond. Their behavior is usually a mixture of multiple reasons off his list though. Let’s take a look at what they are.
1. Affection and protection
Cats might not be one of the most social animals, but they do form very deep and lasting bonds. She shares a home and a life with you, so it’s no surprise she’d want to protect you and keep you safe. Especially when you’re at your most vulnerable.
So, she might snuggle with you more to make sure you don’t feel alone. And she’d act the same if she was pregnant. If you own a female cat, that is. It’s her way of showing love, trust, and affection. Take advantage of this to cuddle her as much as possible!
Petting her and feeling her purr can be very beneficial for you as well. It can boost your energy, lower your stress levels and manage mood swings and depressive episodes. So, during the hardest parts of your pregnancy, you’ll want your little pal right there next to you.
2. Taking the opportunity
If you’re someone who works a lot and doesn’t normally have much time for your cat, this could be it. Pregnancy makes you spend more time at home and in bed which gives your feline the perfect opportunity to bond.
They’ll use this chance to spend as much time with you as they can. So, they’ll probably refuse to leave your side. They’ll follow you around, sleep on your belly and try to get you to play with them. You’ll be more available for all the cuddling they need.
Do cats get clingy when you’re pregnant only out of affection? Not necessarily. It could be purely for their own gain. We’ve already spoken about the changes in your temperature, from an overall increase in body heat to sudden heat waves.
And since cats love resting in warm places, you become the perfect place for their afternoon naps. Not only are you warm, but you can scratch them, too. Win-win! But, this normally isn’t the only reason. It most commonly comes as a mixture of the previous reasons.
There are just too many good things happening at the same time. Your cat senses your happiness and excitement and feels your warmth and contentment. It’s enough to build a little kitty paradise right there in your bed.
4. Using the routine changes
This is less of a reason behind their clinginess, and more of a perk that comes with it. They probably noticed the change in your eating habits and are seeking out the benefits for them. They might get an extra treat when you’re making a sandwich.
Or they might get to try new foods. Either way, your lifestyle change can be very pleasing to your little furball. From the extra treats and warmer naptime to more time for playing and cuddling. It’ll be an exhausting nine months, but at least you’ll have your little supporter right there next to you.
As long as you don’t shut her out, that is. Changing habits and shaking up the routine can be good only to an extent. If you don’t make sure your feline feels involved, your pregnancy will become extremely stressful for her.
Can cats react negatively to your pregnancy?
It is possible for your cat to also have a negative reaction to your pregnancy. This happens if you start neglecting her needs because of exhaustion or obligations. It’s important to fix this issue during the pregnancy period because you’ll only have more work once the baby is born.
And no one wants an aggressive feline. The better you treat your furball during these nine months, the better your cat will treat your baby. Pregnancy is extremely tiring, so don’t be ashamed to ask family and friends for help. Or even professional help if needed.
1. Destructive behavior
If your cat feels neglected, she might start destroying things to get your attention. This includes knocking things over, scratching furniture, or even messing with their litter box. She shouldn’t have to go through an attention and love deficit just because a new baby is entering the house.
The whole situation can be extremely stressful for her. Your cat needs time to adapt to these changes just as much as you do. So, don’t neglect her and get lost in your own feelings. You’re responsible for both your baby and your furbaby.
Biting also occurs because of neglect. Their stress and frustration turn into anger and the easiest way for them to convey it is to bite you. You might be skipping their playtime, giving them their dinner much later than usual, or just not showing enough love.
It’s very difficult to communicate with a creature that doesn’t understand us. So, we’re both bound to end up confused about some things. Just remember that a bite isn’t a sign of hate, but frustration. It’s a call for help, so don’t dismiss it.
Excessive meowing often comes as a warning sign. She’s probably trying to get your attention in a nice way. If she sees that it isn’t working, she’ll probably resort to things like biting and destructive behavior.
It’s important to remember that having a pet is almost the same as having a baby. They both have needs that should be met and they require regular love and care.
It would be entirely inhumane to push your pet aside when you’re pregnant. I know you’re probably very excited and nervous about the new arrival, but don’t allow yourself to forget about your cat.
If you don’t think you can handle both at the same time, then maybe one should wait. Don’t get both if one is going to be neglected most of the time. Always think things through before signing up to look after a living being.
4. Overprotective behavior
Do cats get clingy when you’re pregnant? Yes, and they can get very protective too. It’s not a very common occurrence, but some felines can become aggressive toward other people. If you and your furball share a strong bond, she might become overprotective of you.
She may start hissing at other people or even biting them. It’s important to show her that they’re not a threat. However, if she continues to be aggressive, you might need to distance yourself from her for a short while. Just until she calms down. You should also consult a vet in this case.
Jealousy is a green-eyed furry monster
If you’re sure you haven’t been neglecting your cat in any way and she still acts out, she’s probably jealous. In that case, you’ll need to contact a veterinarian. They typically offer classes and training for baby readiness.
You’ll need to make sure to fix this issue before the baby is born. Once your child arrives, it’ll be difficult to change your cat’s behavior. You’d also be putting your baby at a significant risk of feline fury. Just don’t change her routine too much or you’ll get a countereffect.
The baby readiness training usually also consists of getting your cat used to loud sounds and the baby’s stuff. Your child will keep you up for nights upon nights and you’ll need to make sure your cat doesn’t react badly to the noise.
As for the baby’s things, your cat needs to learn to tell the difference between her toys and the child’s. Regardless of how well-kept your feline is, the baby shouldn’t be putting the same stuff in her mouth. Nor should the cat be ripping the kid’s clothes or eating baby food.
Are cats safe for babies?
Now that we’ve answered, “Do cats get clingy when you’re pregnant?” with a yes, there’s another problem. Are cats safe for babies? A lot of moms tend to worry about their feline lying on their bellies. They fear that the cat’s weight or heat might harm the baby.
And thankfully, this is nothing but a myth. Cats aren’t heavy enough to cause any damage, not even the biggest breeds. Nor are they warm enough to hurt the baby. In fact, having a cat on you has some positive effects like improving your mood and lowering blood pressure.
However, there are some other concerns when it comes to a baby and a cat sharing a home. These things are definitely manageable and don’t play a large role if you maintain good hygiene. Just keep yourself, your cat, and your home clean and there’ll be no worries.
Toxoplasmosis is a disease caused by a parasite called Toxoplasma gondii. It’s found in feline feces, and it can affect both cats and humans. The parasite isn’t visible to the human eye which makes finding it extremely difficult.
Most cats that carry this parasite never show symptoms of it, so you can’t be sure if your feline is infected. If the disease is transferred to you while pregnant, it can cause serious issues for the baby. These include birth defects and even brain damage.
Thankfully, it can only be transferred through feces. So, to lessen the possibility of getting infected, always wash your hands thoroughly after cleaning her litter box. Cleaning the box daily also lessens the risk of contracting the disease. A face mask and gloves would be of great help, too.
If you’re still afraid of a possible infection, consider hiring someone or getting a friend to do it. You and your baby will be much safer. (Plus, you won’t have to clean up feces for nine months.) Better safe than sorry, right?
Well, you might not need to worry that much at all. The parasite doesn’t magically appear in your cat. It’s ingested through raw meat. So, if both you and your feline aren’t eating undercooked meat, there’s absolutely no need for concern.
During your pregnancy, your immune system will definitely change. In some women for the better, in some for the worse. This can cause you to develop allergies to things you previously had no reaction to. Or lose the reaction to stuff you used to be allergic to.
And if you’re exposed to a cat on a daily, it might induce an allergy to felines. Or boost your immunity against them! It could really go either way. If you do start noticing symptoms of an allergy to anything, contact your doctor. He’ll be able to test you and give you the right medication.
However, there’s absolutely no reason to fear your cat or consider getting rid of it. People are prone to exaggerating everything, so pets tend to get a bad reputation during pregnancies. If anything, your cat will be a positive influence and your best friend during these tiring times.
Are cats the perfect pregnancy pals?
Do cats get clingy when you’re pregnant? Do they get affectionate and protective? Do they make those incredible months even better? Absolutely yes! Felines might just be the ideal little pals to spend your time with during your pregnancy. And everything written in this article proves it.
They’re soothing and comforting, fun and playful. They’ll be right there with you through all the highs and lows. And if you treat them right, you shouldn’t run into any major problems. Even if they end up getting a bit jealous, there are ways to fix it, and professionals that are there to help.
Just make sure to keep them and the house clean and you’ll avoid any medical issues as well. Overall, the pros of owning a cat during a pregnancy overweigh the cons. Their adorable clinginess makes anyone lucky to have them as companions, especially during such times.
We hope you spend these amazing nine months filled with nothing but love, support, and endless cuddles. There’s no doubt that both you and your feline will enjoy this time. And your bond will become even stronger than it ever was.