You are probably wondering and asking yourself: “Do cats know when you are pregnant?”
Well the simple answer is yes! According to animal behavior specialists, cats can tell when you are pregnant even before you do.
You will notice that your feline friend who was once always solitary and aloof is now suddenly purring and rubbing themselves against your legs.
This and many other behaviors tell us that your cat actually knows and can sense when there is another life growing in the inside of you.
How does your cat know when you are pregnant?
Hormonal changes that happen during pregnancy
All of us have hormones in our bodies.
These are chemicals that help to regulate how our bodies function and they circulate in our blood stream. They carry messages to and from various parts of the body.
Your hormones are mainly triggered when your body needs to adjust to certain changes physiologically. These triggers may include changes in metabolism, behavior and also emotional changes.
When you get pregnant, or when a lady gets pregnant, there are many physiological changes that occur in the body.
This happens as a result of adjustments in the endocrine system as the body prepares to accommodate the new developing unborn child.
One of the hormones that increases rapidly in a woman’s body after conception is one called HCG.
Estrogen and progesterone are hormones that are also responsible for the main physiological changes during pregnancy. They are the hormones responsible for most cardiovascular, respiratory and gastrointestinal changes that occur in your body during pregnancy.
Your cat may not necessarily be aware of all the hormonal changes that are happening in your body but they are quick to notice all the outward manifestations of these hormonal variations happening.
You might be wondering, so what are these outward physical changes that my cat notices? Here are some.
Outward Physical Changes that your Cat Notices
1. Body odors
When you are pregnant, one of the most common changes is bodily odors.
Actually almost everything about your body smell changes. Your breath may be different due to the bouts of vomiting, morning sickness, dehydration, gum disease and even burping. All of this happens as a result of gas build up in your body.
There will be obvious changes in your sweat gland and not even the effect of your morning showers may last. This will automatically bring about bodily odor changes.
Remember that the change in diet may also be a cause in the way your body smells. The extra intake of vegetables like broccoli, red meat or anything that you unusually craving for may change the usual smell of your sweat.
As weird as it may sound, there will also be changes in your vaginal smell and farts.
Cats are able to detect these changes in body odors because they have a heightened sense of smell. This is actually their most powerful as compared to other senses.
According to research, your cat’s sense of smell is 14 times more powerful than yours as it is made up of 200 million nerve cells. As humans, only have 5 million.
A cat also has a larger area of the cerebral cortex that is dedicated to the olfaction as compared to human beings.
It is this powerful sense of smell that allows cats to be effective hunters. Your feline friend is also able to pick you up from a crowd of people or also trail a mouse in the vicinity.
👉 So yes, cats are able to sense body odors that are cause by your pregnancy long before you even realize it yourself.
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2. Emotional changes
It is a well-known fact that pregnancy does come with a lot of emotional changes. Again this is largely caused by the hormonal changes that happen in your body during this time.
There are women that will experience mood swings due to the growing fetus.
There is one moment you are extremely happy about your pregnancy and other moments you feel so low or even in tears. These are the tell-tale signs that your cat notices even before people around you do.
These emotional changes may also affect how you relate with your cat and will inform him that you are expectant.
According to studies, the fluctuations of hormones can affect the level of neurotransmitters in the brain hence the moodiness.
During the first 6-10 weeks, your body will be experiencing a lot of changes which are mostly accompanied by the mood swings. This mostly happens during the first and last trimester.
Once you confirm that you are pregnant, you may be filled with feelings of joy and excitement and this may make you overly fussy and loving towards your cat.
On the other hand, there will be times when you will experience the fear of the unknown. This could be because of stories you have heard about the pain during child birth and all, especially if you are a first time mum.
Anger and depression may set in and your feline friend will pick up all these signals and try to comfort you.
👉 If your cat is female, her motherly instincts may be invoked and she will be overly protective and caring towards you.
As much as your cat may at first not be able to pinpoint the exact cause of your mood swings, he will surely notice that something is up.
You need to observe your cat’s behavior towards you as this can actually tell you if your emotions have deviated from the usual.
3. Changes in behavior
It is pretty much obvious that the emotional changes caused by the surging emotions will also cause a change in your normal behavior.
Most of your internal systems are geared towards supporting the new life growing inside you and your body may easily get fatigued.
The high progesterone levels may also cause fatigue during pregnancy. Your feline friend will be quick to notice this as his play times with you become shorter and your napping during the day longer.
Some women may also throw up just at the sight of certain foods. Your cat will notice if during his feeding time you can’t stand the smell of his food.
The countless health issues you might experience will not go unnoticed.
Your cat will know you are pregnant due to the sudden increased health issues like heartburns, acid reflux bloated stomach that is especially brought about by the muscle relaxation and gas build-up.
Your cat will also notice your suddenly heightened sense of smell. When you have a sudden dislike of his beddings and toys due to their seemingly pungent smell, your cat will know that the family is growing.
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4. Obvious physical changes
Naturally, cats tend to have a superior sense of sight as compared to most animals.
Your cat can see five times better than you and also an extra visual range of about 20 degrees. It then becomes obvious that your feline friend is able to see any physical changes in your body shape brought about by your pregnancy.
Pregnant women experience cravings and improved appetites which may lead to significant weight gain.
Your breast cup size may increase during pregnancy and your cat is likely to notice all these physical changes before you know you are pregnant.
Your added weight will not only affect your body shape but also the gait which your cat is going to also notice. Your friends and even people close to you may fail to notice the physical changes especially in your first few months but your keen kitty will notice.
It is also not uncommon for you to occasionally rub your belly every now and then when you are heavy with child.
You may notice your cat will also start rubbing against your belly in the same loving manner. He may use his paws to feel the baby bump trying to understand what is going on with your growing belly.
5. Home environmental changes
There are obvious environmental changes that will be taking place even as you prepare to welcome the newest addition in your family.
The entire baby proofing of the home and other modifications that you will be doing to make your home baby-friendly will not go undetected.
The furniture might have to be re-arranged to fit the baby cot, toys and other baby stuff. Your cat will begin sensing that there is a new baby on the way.
Cats love to follow routine and are quite orderly creatures. Your cat expects to have her meals at the same time each day, her playtime and also litter box time.
When all these begin to change because of the new baby on the way, your cat will begin to feel left out and may even start being aggressive towards you and other people generally.
You need to bear in mind that your cat is likely to notice the changes caused by your pregnancy especially if they involve invasion of his private space.
In reaction to all this, your cat may start acting up, throwing pillows, chewing up stuff due to the fear and new baby anxiety.
He is also trying to make you know of his feelings of displeasure. This might be scary for him especially if he was the only center of attention.
There are times you might notice your cat even chewing up your baby’s toys and clothes. All this is as a result of fear of the unknown. Your cat is simply trying to make his displeasure known to you.
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How do you help your cat adjust to your pregnancy?
Cats may react differently to the realization of their pregnant owner.
Your cat may be protective and loving when they sense you are pregnant while others may become jealous of the unborn baby, especially if perhaps their litter box has to move to accommodate baby’s stuff.
If your feline friend is going to feel neglected, they may begin acting out by doing annoying things like urinating in your laundry basket or even bed.
During this time, when they are trying to come to terms with the truth, you need to give your cat lots of love.
Let your cat know that despite the pregnancy you are carrying, you still are there for them and your relationship hasn’t changed a bit.
As your pregnancy advances, try as much as possible to stick to your daily routine with your cat. This helps to avoid any behavioral problems with your feline friend.
Give your cat the same playtime as before. Keep feeding him during his meal times even if you have to bear with the smell of cat food that might be unbearable during pregnancy.
If you can’t do it, then you can ask your spouse to help you out or someone your cat is also fond of.
Your cat is likely to be affectionate and welcoming towards the baby when you keep his routine as is ought to be.
As much as it is not uncommon for a cat to begin acting up when they sense you are pregnant or a new baby has been brought to the family.
If your cat begins misbehaving or showing signs of aggression like chewing stuff meant for the baby, you may need to consider seeking help from your veterinarian or a professional trainer.
There are many that offer training classes to help your pet get ready for the new baby and to adjust accordingly.
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In a nutshell, cats can sense that you are pregnant even before you do realize that you are carrying a life inside of you.
They have a powerful sense of smell and they will become keen in noticing some of the changes in your body as it prepares to support the fetus in you.
The increasing level of hormones and the changes in your behavior will make your cat sense that you are pregnant.
There will be pretty obvious physical changes when your body shape starts changing to accommodate and support the new born.
Signs of fatigue and moodiness will make your feline friend even more curious.
Make sure to show your cat some love even as you are excited about your new member of the family!