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Do Cats Know When You Are Pregnant?

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Can cat smell pregnancy? According to animal experts, they may or may not be aware of your pregnancy; however, they are profound observers (1). They can note your subtle body and behavioral changes during pregnancy (2).

Cats are possessive about their owner, living place, and favorite food. Therefore, it will be a good practice to acclimatize your cat before your baby’s arrival to the new ambient toys and baby’s crib.

Read about how cats may spot your pregnancy and express their feelings.

How Early Can Your Cats Sense Pregnancy?

Your cats might be aware of your pregnancy even before you take a pregnancy test. Being a cat owner, your cat might be noticing you more than you think they are. They may express their feelings for your changed mental and physical state during pregnancy with their altered gestures.

During pregnancy, you may undergo several hormonal and bodily changes. Your body will be producing a higher level of pregnancy hormones such as progesterone, estrogen, and human chorionic gonadotrophin (HCG). The hormonal changes could make you smell, which is unnoticeable for the human nose to detect. But, it might be possible for cats with a greater sense of smell to detect those chemical signals.

Cats have a well-developed olfactory bulb and can smell better than humans (3). They have nearly 200 million smell receptors (4). Cats have a specialized organ, called Jacobson’s, dedicated to undetectable smell (5).

How Do Cats Interpret Your Body Changes During Pregnancy?

Cats may smartly notice the subtle behavioral difference you showcase during pregnancy. Some hormonal changes may dictate your altered behavior. They include (6) (7) (8):

  • Human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG): The zygote implantation occurs on the uterine wall at the beginning of pregnancy. From implantation until delivery, the placenta takes care of fetal nourishment and waste removal.
    The placenta secretes a unique pregnancy hormone known as HCG. The presence of HCG is used as a confirmatory test for detecting pregnancy.
    The HCG hormone may make you nauseous, and you may like to visit the bathroom more frequently. Your cat might notice the change in your behavior and health.
  • Progesterone: The rising progesterone level in the first trimester can make you tired and sleepy. You may not be able to give time to your cat, and you may not cuddle your cat more often. Your cat may feel the change in your behavior.
  • Being preoccupied: The pregnancy comes with extra work. You may also like to keep some time for yourself and plan for your younger self’s arrival. Your cat might be missing your attention.
  • Skin and hair changes: You might be having skin and hair changes due to hormonal changes. You may like to use different skincare and hair care products. Your cat might notice the difference in the smell of the products.
    Cats are body language experts; some pregnancy body changes that your cat may sense are:

Can Your Pregnancy Affect Your Cat’s Behavior?

Pet cats may behave in a possessive manner. They would like to have your undivided attention. However, when you channelize your attention during pregnancy to other work, your cat might notice the gap in attention.

During your pregnancy, your cat may become more:

  • Alert
  • Curious
  • Protective
  • Possessive
  • Clinger

What Is Your Cat’s Reaction To Your Pregnancy?

Your cat may show rebellious behavior in response to your pregnancy:

  • Peeing randomly
  • Scratching objects
  • Likes to hide
  • Refuses to eat
  • Adamant to follow a daily routine
  • Snuggles around you
  • Rubs against your body
  • Sits on your bulged belly
  • May like your elevated body temperature
  • Might become a litter box

How To Prepare Your Cat For Your Baby’s Arrival?

Your cat might be possessive about you and would always like to be loved and cuddled. When you are an expectant mother, you may need to prepare your cat before your scheduled delivery. This is important to follow because your cat might feel less loved on the arrival of your child.

Some measures you may follow to make your cat more comfortable while introducing your child are:

  1. Before delivery, start introducing baby items to your cats. Let the cat acclimatize to the new ambiance.
  2. Place the baby’s bed away from your cat’s cozy place.
  3. Let the cat adjust with the baby cry by playing the crying sound
  4. Let your cat smell and get comfortable with your baby on your baby’s arrival.

What Precautions To Take During Your Pregnancy When You Have A Pet Cat?

Some precautions you may take for your cat during your pregnancy are:

  • Follow a routine for your cat’s food and play hours.
  • Don’t let your cat stay alone with your baby for longer.
  • Follow a grooming routine for your cat to minimize its fur and dander. This will help reduce the risk of allergy to the newborn.
  • Supervise your baby while sleeping, and don’t leave your cat with the newborn unattended.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I be around cats when I am pregnant?

You may maintain your intimacy with your cat during pregnancy. However, it is a good idea to:

  • Keep a regular grooming session for your cat
  • Keep yourself away for a while from your cat every day. This may help your cat cope up with possessiveness.

2. Do cats get clingy when I am pregnant?

Your cat may become clingy while you are pregnant. The cat might have already started noticing a change in your behavior and bodily changes. It may be your cat’s way of expressing its feelings.

Cats are possessive creatures and may behave differently during pregnancy, showing rebellious behavior. To prevent your cat’s furry, you may like to acclimatize your cat before your baby’s arrival. You may also like to follow some preventive measures so that the cat may not harm your baby unknowingly.

References:

MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
  1. Cats and dogs: Best friends or deadly enemies? What the owners of cats and dogs living in the same household think about their relationship with people and other pets.
    https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0237822
  2. Emotion Recognition in Cats.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7401521/
  3. Inside a mystery of oncoscience: The cancer-sniffing pets.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6855366/
  4. Cat Senses—How Felines Perceive the World.
    https://www.pawschicago.org/news-resources/all-about-cats/kitty-basics/cat-senses
  5. Why Cats Sniff Rear Ends.
    https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/why-cats-sniff-butts
  6. Pregnancy Test
    https://medlineplus.gov/lab-tests/pregnancy-test/
  7. Nausea and Vomiting of Pregnancy
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3676933/
  8. Skin and hair changes during pregnancy.
    https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000611.htm
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Anshuman Mohapatra

Anshuman Mohapatra is a biotechnology scientist with more than six years of research experience in analytical chemistry and biotechnology. He has submitted his Ph.D thesis at the Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati (IIT Guwahati) and served as a research fellow (JRF/SRF) during his Ph.D tenure. His research interest includes analytical chemistry, neurobiology and lipid disorder diseases. Three of his research... more