Can Cats Sense Pregnancy? Maybe, But Tests Are Best

Can Cats Sense Pregnancy? Maybe, But Tests Are Best

Is your fur baby acting strangely now there’s a human child on the way?

Some mamas swear that cats can tell if you’re pregnant.

So let’s find out the truth: does my cat know I’m pregnant?

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?
  • Can male cats sense pregnancy?
  • How soon can cats sense pregnancy?
  • How do cats act when they sense you’re pregnant?
  • Do cats get clingy when you’re pregnant?
  • 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.

Can cats smell pregnancy?

During early pregnancy, your hormones go wild.

(But you probably already know that. Thanks, pregnancy nausea.)

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 may make you smell different enough for your cat to notice, according to The Nest. [1] [2]

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.

Cats are body language experts

There’s more to cats; “pregnancy senses” than chemistry.

Cats are known to be highly attuned to their human behavior and body language.

Basically, they’re sensitive to changes in their routine and environment, including your body language.

According to this 2020 study, cats can pick up on subtle changes in human behavior and use these cues to predict future events. [3]

So, it’s possible that your kitty might sense that something is different about you, especially if you’re acting differently than you normally would.

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 nauseated.

Even if these changes are subtle, and even if your cat seems to be behaving like normal, they might notice that something is different.


Cats are attracted to heat

Another early pregnancy symptom is a jump in your body temperature. [4]

And warmth is a psychological comfort for cats. [5]

So, you might find that you’re unable to hide your sudden increase in temperature from your cat, either.

If your cat wants to sit on you at increasingly inconvenient times, it’s could be because your lap is suddenly a warm and comfortable place for a nap.

Can my cat hear my baby’s heartbeat?

According to the American Pregnancy Association, a developing fetus’s heartbeat can usually be detected at around 7 weeks of pregnancy. [6]

That’s pretty cool, right?

But can your cat hear it too?

The answer is: maybe!

Cats are known for their incredible hearing abilities.

They can hear sounds up to 65,000 Hz, while humans can only hear up to 20,000 Hz.

So, it’s possible that your cat could hear your baby’s heartbeat if they’re close enough to your belly and the sound is loud enough.

However, there’s no concrete scientific evidence that proves cats can actually hear a fetus’s heartbeat.

Can male cats sense pregnancy?

Some of our Peanut moms-to-be have reported that their cats become more protective and affectionate towards their pregnant owners.

This could be due to the hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy or simply because they sense that something is different about their favorite human.

But can male cats specifically sense pregnancy?

Well, there’s no concrete scientific evidence to prove it, but some anecdotal evidence suggests that they can.

Many expectant mothers have reported that their male cats become more affectionate and attentive during pregnancy.

So, while there’s no hard and fast rule when it comes to male cats and pregnancy, it’s entirely possible that your furry friend may sense that something is different about you.

Whether they become more affectionate or more aloof, it’s important to remember that every cat is different and will react to your pregnancy in their own unique way.

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 3 or 4 weeks - or it could be longer.

And, of course, they may not sense it at all!

And, rather than relying on your feline to tip you off that you’re pregnant, we’d still recommend taking a home pregnancy test once your period is late.


Can my cat tell I’m pregnant before I know?

According to a study published in the journal Animal Cognition, cats can use human behavior as a cue to predict future events. [7]

So, it’s possible that your cat might sense that something is different about you, especially if you’re acting differently than you normally would.

As for whether your cat can tell you’re pregnant before you even know it, there’s no concrete scientific evidence to prove it.

However, there are many stories from our Peanut moms-to-be of cats acting differently toward their pregnant owners before they even knew they were pregnant.

For example, some Peanut mamas-to-be have reported that their cats became more protective or affectionate towards them, while others noticed their cats becoming more aloof or standoffish.

So, while there’s no definitive answer, it’s entirely possible that your cat may pick up on subtle changes in your scent, behavior, or hormones before you even know you’re pregnant.

How do cats act when they sense you’re pregnant?

Wondering if your feline friend has an inkling there’s a baby on the way?

Here are some potential signs your cat knows you’re pregnant to look out for:

  • More affection: Many pregnant women report that their cats become more affectionate towards them during pregnancy. Your cat may cuddle with you more than usual or follow you around the house.
  • Protective behavior: Some cats become more protective of their pregnant owners, often by staying close to them or even growling or hissing at strangers.
  • Attention to your belly: As your belly grows, your cat may start to show more interest in it. They may sniff or paw at your belly, or even rest their head on it.
  • Change in behavior: If your cat suddenly starts acting differently towards you, it could be a sign that they sense something is different about you. For example, they may start meowing more often, become more vocal or demanding, or even become more aloof.
  • Sniffing you more: Cats have a heightened sense of smell, so they may be able to pick up on the changes in your hormones during pregnancy. They may also be able to detect changes in your body language or behavior.
  • Meowing more: Some cats may become more vocal during pregnancy, perhaps as a way of seeking attention or expressing their concern for their owner.
  • Changes in eating habits: Just as with humans, some cats may experience changes in their appetite or eating habits during pregnancy. This could be due to stress or anxiety related to the changes happening in the household.
  • Avoiding certain areas: Some cats may avoid certain areas of the house once their owner becomes pregnant. For example, they may stop sleeping on the bed or couch where you spend a lot of your time.

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. [8]

Do cats like pregnant woman?

According to a study published in the journal Behavioral Processes, cats might be more attracted to women than men, which could mean that your feline friend probably likes you quite a bit regardless of your pregnancy status. [9]

In fact, many cats show increased affection towards their owners during pregnancy, so you might find that your kitten is even more smitten with you than usual.

Of course, every cat is different, and some cats may take a bit of time to adjust to the changes in your behavior and routine during pregnancy.

And some cats may be more skittish or anxious around pregnant women, especially if they’re not used to being around young children or babies.

Overall, it’s safe to say that most cats do like pregnant women, and many even show signs of increased affection and protectiveness.


Can you be around cats when pregnant?

The short answer is yes, with precautions.

For example, you’ll want to avoid changing the litter box, as cat feces can contain a parasite that can be harmful to unborn babies (toxoplasmosis). [10]

Instead, delegate litter duty to someone else (or use gloves and a mask if you must do it yourself).

You’ll also want to practice good hygiene around your cat, such as washing your hands frequently and avoiding contact with their saliva or urine (which is probably a good idea even if you’re not pregnant!).

And if you’re concerned about your cat’s behavior, it’s always a good idea to consult your veterinarian.

Some cats may become more protective or anxious around pregnant women, so it’s important to keep an eye on their behavior and make any necessary adjustments.

Can I sleep with my cat while pregnant?

Generally speaking, yes, you can sleep in the same bed as your cat while pregnant.

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), it’s generally safe to sleep with your cat during pregnancy, as long as you take precautions. [11]

For example, you’ll want to avoid your cat sleeping directly on your belly, especially as your pregnancy progresses and your bump gets bigger.

And if your cat is a bit of a bed hog, it might be a good idea to provide them with their own cozy sleeping spot nearby.

Can my cat step on my pregnant belly?

As a mom-to-be, you’re probably extra cautious about protecting your growing baby bump, and understandably so!

But what about your curious kitty ‒ could they accidentally step on your belly and harm your little one?

According to ACOG, it’s generally safe for your cat to walk across your belly or even lay on it (as long as they’re not too heavy!), as the uterus is well protected by the abdominal muscles and amniotic fluid. [11]

However, if you experience any discomfort or pain, it’s always a good idea to gently move your cat off your belly and into a safer spot.

Of course, it’s always a good idea to be mindful of your cat’s behavior around your belly, especially as your pregnancy progresses and your bump gets bigger.

Your cat may become more protective or anxious around your belly, so it’s important to keep an eye on their behavior and make any necessary adjustments.

Overall, your cat stepping on your pregnant belly is usually nothing to worry about, but it’s always a good idea to listen to your body and your cat’s behavior, and make any necessary changes to keep you both safe and comfortable.

Can my unborn baby hear my cat purr?

Ah, the soothing sound of a cat’s purr ‒ it can be enough to calm even the most frazzled nerves!

But can your growing baby hear that purr, too?

It’s entirely possible that your baby can hear your cat’s purr in utero!

While the scientific research on this is limited, some studies suggest that babies can hear sounds from outside the womb as early as 16 weeks gestation.

So if your cat is purring away while you’re pregnant, there’s a chance that your baby may be able to hear it too.

And who knows ‒ maybe that gentle hum will even help soothe your little one once they’re born!

Why can’t you be around cat litter when pregnant?

The main worry around changing kitty’s litter is toxoplasmosis, an infection spread by parasites in cat poop. [10]

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.

Why can’t you touch cats when you’re pregnant?

Wait, what?

You’re not supposed to touch cats when you’re pregnant?!

Don’t worry, it’s not quite as dramatic as it sounds.

While it’s perfectly safe to touch and cuddle with your furry friend during pregnancy, there are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to handling cats.

Specifically, you’ll want to avoid handling their litter boxes, as they may carry the parasite Toxoplasma gondii, which can cause serious harm to a developing fetus.

According to the American Pregnancy Association, pregnant women should avoid changing litter boxes if possible, or at least wear gloves and wash their hands thoroughly afterward. [12]

And if you don’t have anyone else to help with the litter box duties, it’s recommended to change it daily to minimize any risk of infection.

So it’s not that you can’t touch cats when you’re pregnant, but rather that you should be mindful of the potential risks and take appropriate precautions.

And there are also some cultural reasons why some people will avoid stroking or being around cats during pregnancy.

In some cultures, cats are associated with bad luck or evil spirits, and pregnant women are advised to avoid them for this reason.

In other cultures, it’s believed that cats can steal a baby’s breath or suffocate them, so pregnant women are told to avoid contact with them.

But there isn’t any scientific evidence to support these claims, so if you want to be near your kitty, go for it!

And when it comes to snuggles and cuddles, well, the more the merrier!


What happens if a cat bites a pregnant woman?

Yikes ‒ a cat bite is never a fun experience, but is it extra concerning when you’re pregnant?

Well, it depends.

First of all, it’s important to wash the bite thoroughly with soap and water to reduce the risk of infection.

If you have a first aid kid, sterilizing it is even better!

If the bite is deep or doesn’t stop bleeding, it’s best to seek medical attention right away.

And of course, you’ll want to keep an eye out for any signs of infection, such as redness, swelling, or fever.

In terms of pregnancy-specific concerns, there is a risk of contracting cat scratch disease (CSD) from a cat bite or scratch. [13]

This is caused by a bacteria called Bartonella henselae, which is commonly found in cats.

While CSD isn’t usually serious, it can cause complications in pregnant women, such as premature labor or low birth weight.

So, if you do get bitten by your cat during pregnancy, it’s best to take precautions and seek medical attention if necessary.

But don’t worry too much ‒ with proper care and attention, you and your little one will be just fine, and you’ll still be able to enjoy all the cuddles and love from your furry friend.

So that’s all there is to know about whether cats can sense pregnancy!

But it’s important to note that every cat is different, so your feline friend’s behavior may not change at all during your pregnancy.

But, if you notice that your cat is acting differently, such as being more protective or affectionate, it’s possible that they sense that something is different about you.

So, while there isn’t concrete scientific evidence to prove that cats can detect pregnancy, it’s possible that your feline friend may be picking up on subtle changes in your behavior or body.

So, if kitty is suddenly more attentive or protective, don’t be surprised ‒ they might just be trying to look out for their favorite human (and future best friend).

But ultimately, if you want to know for sure whether you’re pregnant or not, your cat’s behavior isn’t an accurate way to tell.

Pregnancy tests are your best bet here.

Now, go ahead and enjoy your pregnancy with your furry friend by your side, and congratulations again on this exciting new chapter in your life!

And if you’re curious about whether dogs can sense pregnancy, we’ve got you covered.


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