Pregnancy is an amazing time in a woman’s life. But as your body changes to accommodate your growing baby, you may notice some changes in your cat, too.
One of the potential challenges is dealing with pets, specifically cats. While a cat might not seem like much of a threat to a pregnant woman, there are some things to be aware of.
While there are some risks to consider, overall, you and your kitty should be just fine.
Things to keep in mind if you’re pregnant and have a cat
Here are a few things to keep in mind if you’re pregnant and have a cat:
Litter box safety
It’s important to avoid contact with cat feces, which can contain harmful bacteria like toxoplasma gondii. If possible, have someone else handle the litter box duty during your pregnancy.
If you must do it yourself, wear gloves and wash your hands thoroughly afterward.
Flea bites can transmit diseases like typhus, so it’s important to keep your cat free of them. Talk to your vet about the best way to protect your cat (and yourself) from fleas.
Rabies shots are recommended for all pregnant women who have outdoor cats or who live in areas where rabies is common in wildlife.
If you’re not sure if you need the vaccine, talk to your doctor or midwife about whether it’s right for you.
How Do Cats Act When Their Owner is Pregnant?
Assuming you are asking how a cat will react when their human is pregnant: Cats are very intuitive and can pick up on changes in their owner’s body and behavior. Many cats will become more affectionate towards their owner during pregnancy, while others may become more aloof.
Some common behavioral changes that cats may exhibit during pregnancy include:
- Increased sleeping – as the pregnant woman’s body demands more rest, her cat may spend more time sleeping next to her or curled up on her lap.
- More meowing – some cats will meow more frequently or with greater volume when their owner is pregnant. This could be due to attention-seeking behavior or simply because the cat enjoys the sound of their own voice!
- Less interest in food – decreased appetite is not uncommon in pregnant women, and some of this may rub off on their feline friend who may start eating less as well. Be sure to consult your veterinarian if your cat experiences significant weight loss during pregnancy.
- More grooming – some cats will increase the frequency or intensity of their self-grooming behaviors when their human is expecting. This could be due to stress relief, as grooming is a calming activity for many kitties.
Do Cats Get More Clingy When You’re Pregnant?
There’s no real evidence that cats get more clingy when you’re pregnant, but there are a few theories as to why this might be the case.
One theory is that cats can sense changes in their owner’s hormones, and so they may become more clingy when they detect that their owner is pregnant.
Another possibility is that cats simply pick up on cues from their owners – if you’re feeling more hormonal and emotional during pregnancy, your cat may mirror those emotions and become more clingy as a result.
Whatever the reason, it’s perfectly normal for your cat to want to spend more time with you when you’re pregnant – so just enjoy the extra cuddles!
How Soon Can Cats Sense Pregnancy
Pregnancy is a time of great joy for many couples who have been trying to conceive. For those who already have children, it may be a time of anxiety as they wonder how their feline friend will react to the news.
Regardless, of your situation, it is important to know how soon cats can sense pregnancy so that you can be prepared for whatever reaction your cat may have.
Cats are incredibly intuitive creatures and they seem to have a sixth sense about many things. So, it should come as no surprise that they can often sense when their human companions are pregnant. In fact, many women report that their cats began acting differently toward them as soon as they conceived.
If you notice your cat behaving differently towards you, it is worth taking a pregnancy test just to be sure. Some common ways in which cats may react when they sense pregnancy include becoming more affectionate or clingy, sleeping next to or on the pregnant woman’s stomach, unusual vocalizations, and increased grooming (of either themselves or the pregnant woman).
While some women find these behaviors endearing, others may find them annoying or even worrisome.
However, there is no need to worry as these behaviors are perfectly normal for a cat who knows their human is carrying new life.
Dr. John Morris, DVM is a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine who has seven years of experience in feline medicine, dermatology, and behavior. He also enjoys volunteering at a local NGO that supports literacy programs for children and adults. In his free time, he enjoys fostering kittens, traveling, vegan cooking, hiking, and biking. Learn more about Justin here.