Can Cats Sense Pregnancy?

September 3, 2020

Finding out you’re pregnant can come with a lot of surprises — the positive test, the suddenness of morning sickness, and the frequent urge to urinate. You also deal with a wide range of emotions as you tell your loved ones and — if it’s your first pregnancy — navigate uncharted territory. But, what you probably never saw coming was your cat somehow sensing that you’re expecting a baby. Is it all in your head, or is your kitty really reacting to your new reality?

Can cats sense pregnancy?

You’re not imagining things. Cats can detect a change in hormones in your body through their sense of smell — which is infinitely superior to that of humans. When a woman is pregnant, the body produces higher levels of estrogen, progesterone, and hCG. These changes have an effect on your natural scent. While in the beginning, these changes may be negligible, your cat can definitely notice the difference. Therefore, they can be keenly aware of a monumental change — such as pregnancy — even before you find out. In addition, being pregnant produces more heat to emanate from your body. Since cats love to rub against their humans when they are seeking love and attention, they notice this change as well.

Can pregnancy affect a cat’s behavior?

Yes, pregnancy can affect a cat’s behavior. However, it doesn’t occur the same way across the board. As you are probably aware, cats have distinct personalities, and they will each act according to them. That said, some of the most common behaviors upon finding out their human is pregnant include the following:

1. Your Cat Could Become More Affectionate

As if you couldn’t love your cat enough, they could become even more affectionate than usual once they sense you’re pregnant. You’ll notice them spending more time rubbing against you and staying close to you. This is their own way of becoming more maternal and focusing extra attention on you.

2. Your Cat Could Become More Alert

A cat’s sense of smell isn’t the only impressive thing about these tiny creatures. Because they also have an acute sense of hearing, as your pregnancy progresses, they may also be able to start hearing your baby’s heartbeat. Therefore, you may notice them watching more closely during the later stages of pregnancy.

3. Your Cat Could Become Annoyed

Let’s face it. Cats are creatures of routine, and pregnancy will disrupt that routine. If you’re giving them breakfast later due to your morning sickness, or if you moved their bed or litter box to an alternate location so that you can create a nursery, your cat could become grumpy and start hissing or scratching you. If they are particularly upset about the changes, they may start urinating next to you to cover up your pregnant scent.

4. Your Cat Can Become More Curious

Your cat will want to know what’s going on with all the new baby equipment you’re bringing into your home. Whether it’s baby clothes, furniture, or anything else that indicates your baby’s arrival, your cat will want to sniff and become familiarized with all of it. Let them gradually adjust to this life change by allowing them to do so.

5. Your Cat May Become Anxious

Just as certain life stresses can cause humans to become anxious, your pregnancy can have the same effect on your cat. For example, if your kitty was used to cuddling with you every morning, but the ritual has now been placed on the back burner, your cat will notice —and will likely feel distressed because of it. If your new routines are taking away time from your cat, make sure to incorporate new cuddle time at some point during the day to compensate for it.

If You’re Pregnant, OB-GYN Women’s Center Can Help

At OB-GYN Women’s Center, we aim to make all of our patients feel comfortable. And getting answers to all your questions is the first step in getting the treatment you need.

Contact us to schedule an appointment.