Can Cats Sense Pregnancy? Cat’s Pregnancy Senses Explained
Has your shy feline friend suddenly become extra clingy? Or do you have a well-behaved cat that has gone berserk?
If you’re one among the two and you’re expecting, you’re not alone! A good number of fur moms went through this strange ordeal, so they wonder – can cats sense pregnancy?
Bizarre as it may sound, cats seem to detect if their female owners are expecting even before the early signs of pregnancy or before they take the test. If you want to know the truth behind this odd phenomenon, read on.
FelineLiving, after all, loves to dive deep into cat’s day-to-day and not-so-ordinary behavior – and uncover all the whats, hows, and whatnots.
Understanding Cat Senses
Cats seem to have superpowers given their razor-sharp senses. Born predators, cats’ senses are exceptional – from their discerning vision to their mighty powerful hearing. The only faculty humans excel over cats is in the taste department.
Here’s a quick overview of cats extraordinary senses compared to humans:
- Our eyesight may fair better than cats in high-light conditions, but cats can see much better in low-light or near darkness.
- The hearing of a cat is better than both humans and dogs. Cats’ ears can hear high-pitch sounds that most people cannot perceive.
- While dogs are better at smelling, cats are fifteen times better at detecting scents than people, thanks to their 200 million smell receptors. Recent studies also show that cats’ sense of smell is one step ahead of dogs when identifying various odors.
- A cat’s whiskers let them see their surroundings by boosting their sense of balance and touch.
The Real Deal Between Cats & Pregnancy
Now that you have an idea of what cats can do, let’s answer your “Can cats sense pregnancy” question.
Despite the lack of evidence, many animal behaviorists agree that cats can sense pregnancy. But, the answer doesn’t end there.
Sensing doesn’t equate to understanding. So, when we say that cats sense pregnancy, what we mean is that they sense that something is different.
However, although your furry pal might sense something’s up, this does not translate to your cat saying: “Hey, my fur mom’s pregnant!”
What Cats Can Sense From Expectant Moms
Given your cat’s heightened perception, your cat can detect the shifts in your body that you, your partner, or any house member wouldn’t notice. It could have been great if your partner or family can sense these as well, right?
Nevertheless, your cat could, and here are some of the things your pet cat might notice from a woman who has a new baby growing in her tummy.
1. Hormonal Changes
To help fetal development, the pregnant woman’s body goes through dramatic changes. One of which is the significant increase in pregnancy hormones, namely estrogen, progesterone, and human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG).
Besides drastically changing the mood and giving pregnant women that “pregnancy” glow, these hormones also enable to-be moms to develop milk ducts.
It also helps the placenta and uterus form blood vessels, transfer nutrients, and many others.
The spike in hormonal levels can also change the scent of the expectant mom, which your pet would notice given their powerful sense of smell.
2. Changes In Body Temperature
One of the early signs of pregnancy is an increase in a woman’s blood flow, which equates to a rise in their basal body temperature (or the body’s lowest temperature when at rest).
And since your pet loves warm, toasty places, your pets might find the increased body temperature of a pregnant woman extra comforting – a perfect spot for snuggling!
3. Changes In Routine & Body Language
Apart from your pets sensing the changes in your hormones and body’s chemistry, cats are also keen to read your body language.
Yes, your pets look like they don’t care, but cats are experts in reading their owners’ body language.
Minute changes in your behavior, movements, and your mood are all seen by your four-legged companion even before you notice it.
Besides that, your cat is also aware of all the shifts in your routine, no matter how subtle it is. After all, cats are born control freaks.
How Your Cat Might React To These Pregnancy Changes
The addition of a new baby to the family is often an exciting event. Now, your cat may sense pregnancy and every body chemistry shift, but your cat doesn’t necessarily know that the changes come with a new baby’s arrival in a few months.
So, what’s the deal behind your cat and the sudden changes in their behavior?
Well, your cat is simply reacting to the changes. And since cats are not made equal, one cat may find the changes in a pregnant woman’s body comforting, making them want to snuggle on the couch with you more often. Another cat can become clingy and overprotective.
On the other hand, others will find the routine changes disruptive, feel anxious, and choose to go rogue. Those who do may choose to be dismissive or act out and pee in places other than their litter box (think your bed or the laundry basket).
Tips To Make Your Cat Ease Through Their Owner’s Pregnancy
Pregnancy and the baby’s arrival is one event worth celebrating, but it’s also an affair that calls for tons of patience and sacrifice.
The pregnant mom and the whole family (both human and animal) will have to adjust. Unfortunately, some (your cats included) find the switch hard and the adjustment difficult.
Your cat getting more affectionate might be alright, but it’s a different story if your cat chooses to act aggressively. To help your cat ease through the whole process, try out these tips.
It’s also a good idea to try these months before the baby arrives. This way, you don’t have to deal with a mischief-making cat while taking care of the baby.
1. Try The Best You Can To Change Things Slowly
Abruptly changing your daily routine often leads to havoc. If it’s possible to stick to your routine, do so.
But since change is inevitable, especially when you’re expecting a new baby, you have to make it a point to change things slowly.
Here are a few suggestions you might want to consider when changing things up:
- You might want to move your cat’s litter or sleeping area for health reasons. If you do, make sure to do it slowly by moving it a few inches a day.
- Although keeping the baby room cat-free might be ideal, you might want to compromise. Let your cat in when you’re present, or add a baby gate to let your cat see in.
2. Allow Your Cat To Smell Your Baby’s Stuff
It’s a given that new stuff will be entering your home, and your cat might want to get a whiff of it, given their territorial nature.
If they do, let them. You can also pair this action with back scratches or treats to create a positive association.
3. Allot More Play Time With Your Cat
Since you probably have to make a few changes in your routine, make sure to compensate by allotting a few extra minutes each day to play, snuggle, or groom your furry friend.
4. Seek The Help Of A Professional
If everything else fails, your best bet is to seek the expert advice of an animal behaviorist, vet, or trainer. After all, they know best, and they can point you to the right way.
Food For Thought
Pregnancy – can cats sense it? The short answer is yes.
Your furball can detect pregnancy-related shifts. It can also sense that a female is pregnant even before getting the test results.
Foolproof evidence may not exist, but claims from animal experts and fur parents are enough at the moment.
Now, if your pal is exhibiting behaviors that irk you, relax and TRY let it pass. Your ball of fur, after all, is a part of the family that needs to learn to adapt and adjust.
We know that pregnancy isn’t easy, and your health should be your priority, but if you can compromise, try to.
Also, choose to be extra patient and understanding. If nothing else works, consider re-homing as your LAST option.
How do cats act when owner is pregnant?
Since the temperature of your body may be slightly higher during pregnancy, your cat may like to snuggle up with you more when you're expecting. Your cat may rub against you, sit on your pregnant belly, or even lie down beside you and put their paw on your belly.
Can my cat hear my baby's heartbeat?
Cats and dogs likely perceive hormonal changes that occur with pregnancy due to their amazing sense of smell. Their acute sense of hearing also means they probably hear the baby's heartbeat in the later stages of pregnancy, says Dr Mornement.
Do cats get jealous of babies?
Sadly, cat shelters often take in cats cast out when the owner is expecting a first baby or because the cat scratched the baby and is therefore jealous and vicious.
Do cats get clingy when you're pregnant?
If your cat is bothered by your pregnancy, they might (like a firstborn human child) become needy. It's a time of big changes for everyone, and your cat might even become so anxious that it pees on you, your laundry, or your bed.