In the very early days of pregnancy, everything feels like it might be a symptom. But as well as watching yourself like a hawk, it might be worth paying attention to your favorite feline.
Many women swear that their cat could tell there was a baby on the way even before a home test. But can cats sense pregnancy? Let’s unpack the evidence.
In this article: 📝
- Does my cat know I’m pregnant?
- Do cats get clingy when you’re pregnant?
- Finally, can you be around cats when pregnant?
Does my cat know I’m pregnant?
We’ll never know for sure, but it seems that cats can tell that there’s something different going on with your body, even before you start showing.
Whether cats can sense pregnancy and connect the changes to an impending new arrival is a much harder question to answer, but let’s look at the facts.
Cats can smell hormones
During early pregnancy, your hormones go wild. You produce more progesterone, estrogen, and hCG. And if a heightened sense of smell is on your list of symptoms, you’ve still got nothing on your cat. They have incredible noses, and there’s a good chance that all these hormones make you smell different enough for your cat to notice.
Since cats are so sensitive to smell, they care deeply about the aroma of their home. Even cats who normally keep themselves to themselves might start to rub against you when you’re pregnant. It’s just because they’re trying to make you smell “normal” again.
Another early pregnancy symptom is a jump in your body temperature. You won’t be able to hide this from your cat either. If your cat wants to sit on you at increasingly inconvenient times, it’s probably because your lap is suddenly a warm and comfortable place for a nap.
How soon can cats sense pregnancy?
Every woman is different, and so is every cat! But the answer to how soon cats can sense pregnancy might be as early as three or four weeks. That said, we’d still recommend taking a home pregnancy test once your period is late!
Cats are body language experts
There’s more to cats; “pregnancy senses” than chemistry. They’re sensitive to changes in their routine and environment, including your body language. Even if you don’t think that you’re acting differently, they’ll notice changes in the first few weeks of your pregnancy.
Maybe you’re anxious during your two-week wait. Maybe pregnancy sickness means that you’re moving more slowly. Maybe your partner is organizing dinner time because the cat food makes you nauseous. Even if these changes are subtle, and even if your cat seems to be behaving like normal, they will notice that something is different.
Do cats get clingy when you’re pregnant?
Some cats will want more attention, but some don’t show any changes in behavior at all.
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. If this happens, try reassuring them with a clear routine and the chance to explore all the baby things that are arriving in their home.
Finally, can you be around cats when pregnant?
The short answer is yes, with precautions. The main worry is toxoplasmosis, an infection spread by parasites in cat poop. Toxoplasmosis can cause serious damage to the baby’s organs or even baby loss, so it is a serious concern.
You can minimize your risk of getting toxoplasmosis by having someone else take over changing the litter tray and cleaning the bowls and having them do these tasks more frequently. If you must do the jobs yourself, you can wear an apron and gloves and wash your hands thoroughly when you’re done.