Can Cats Sense Pregnancy?

Can Cats Sense Pregnancy?

One of the most loved household pets, cats are sensitive and love their fair share of affection from their humans. They also have an innate and smart sense of smell and intuition, which can help them detect if a person is pregnant. Cats sense pregnancy before you know it yourself.

This is why watching your cat behaves if you want to conceive is important. These tell-tale signs can be an early indicator for you to go forth and get a pregnancy test. Some cats can’t detect pregnancy but will also notice if there’s a new baby at home, and you must prepare it for this new addition.

Do Cats Detect Pregnancy In Humans?

Many animal behaviour specialists claim cats can tell before a test if you’re pregnant. Cats, generally solitary and aloof, can begin to rub themselves against your legs and purr more often.

Can male cats sense pregnancy? Whether male or female, cats can smell pregnancy hormones in your body with their refined sense of smell and ability to detect changes in a human’s body temperature. Also, your movements, behaviours, and habits get noticed, giving them a sense of what’s happening.

How Soon Can Cats Sense Pregnancy?

Cats have an incredible sense of smell that allows them to detect hormonal changes in their owner’s body. While some cats may sense pregnancy as early as the first week of conception, the reaction of cats may vary depending on their personality and relationship with their owner. 

Some cat owners have reported that their cats become more affectionate and clingy towards them when they are pregnant. This could be because they sense the hormonal changes and want to comfort and support their human companions. Other cats may become more protective and territorial, perceiving the pregnancy as a potential threat to their family unit.

It is important to note that not all cats will react to pregnancy similarly. Some cats may show no recognition, while others may become overly attentive. It is also essential to ensure that your cat is well-cared for during pregnancy, as certain behaviours, such as jumping on the stomach or rough play, can cause harm to both the mother and the unborn baby. It is also important to keep your cat’s vaccinations and health checkups up-to-date to avoid any potential risks to the pregnancy.

cat and pregnant woman

What Are the Pregnancy Changes That a Cat Can Sense?

Cats can detect a wide variety of changes in a pregnant human. These can include –

1. Changes In Your Body Chemistry

Cats can tell you’re pregnant, with the changes in your body chemistry one of the first signs. Their sense of smell will notice hormonal level changes. Your body produces more progesterone, human chorionic gonadotrophin, hCG hormones, and estrogen. These hormonal changes can affect how you smell, too, and they will begin to act differently.

2. Behaviour Changes

Cats can also detect your behavioural changes when you’re pregnant. They’re not always lazing around the house like you think they are. When you’re pregnant, you tend to eat more and feel more tired often. Cats can notice these tiny differences in your behaviour too.

3. Mood Swings

You’d know that being pregnant comes with its own set of mood swings. You’re happy one second, and suddenly you’re upset or irritable. Cats can sense this behaviour too and even act out themselves by being gentler or avoiding you entirely.

4. Posture And Movement

The way you move during pregnancy can be a big giveaway to your pregnancy. Your back becomes arched, and you also tend to take heavier steps. Your cats will give you sceptical looks, and you should note them.

5. Body Heat

Your body tends to get warmer when you’re pregnant, and cats that like such spaces will start rubbing themselves against your body to feel better. If you notice your cat getting more affectionate, there is a high chance you’re pregnant.

Benefits of Spending Time With Cat for Pregnant Women

One of the first and most common questions we ask ourselves is, “Can pregnant women be around cats?” as health and safety are foremost concerns during pregnancy. Yes, spending time with cats can benefit pregnant women in many ways. Here are three amazing benefits of spending time with cats during pregnancy:

  • Reduced Stress and Anxiety: Pregnancy can be stressful, but spending time with cats can help alleviate anxiety and stress. The gentle purring of a cat is like a soothing massage for the soul, helping pregnant women relax and feel more at ease.
  • Improved Sleep Quality: Pregnancy can also disrupt sleep patterns, but spending time with cats can help improve sleep quality. Cats are known to have a calming effect on humans, and their presence can help pregnant women fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.
  • Increased Sense of Humour: Let’s face it, cats can be hilarious creatures. Spending time with them can help pregnant women develop a more lighthearted perspective. Watching a cat chase its tail or play with a toy can provide a much-needed break from the stresses of pregnancy.

What Happens When Cat Bites During Pregnancy and What to Do?

Cats can carry a bacteria called Pasteurella multocida in their mouths that can cause an infection when they bite. If a pregnant woman is bitten by a cat, taking appropriate precautions to prevent infection is essential.

Symptoms of an infected cat bite can include:

  • Redness
  • Swelling 
  • Pain 
  • Warmth at the site of the bite
  • Other symptoms, such as fever, chills, and swollen lymph nodes, may also occur if the infection spreads to other body parts.

In addition to Pasteurella multocida, cats can carry other bacteria, such as Bartonella henselae, which can cause cat scratch fever. This can occur if a pregnant woman is scratched by a cat or bitten by a flea feeding an infected cat.

To prevent infection from a cat bite during pregnancy, it is important to:

  • Clean the wound immediately with soap and water.
  • If the wound is deep or bleeding heavily, seek medical attention immediately.
  • It is also important to watch for signs of infection and to seek medical attention if they occur. 
  • This is especially important for pregnant women, as infections can have serious consequences for both the mother and the baby.

To reduce the risk of infection from a cat bite during pregnancy, pregnant women should: 

  • Avoid rough play with cats and ensure that their cats are up-to-date on their vaccinations and flea treatments. 
  • They should also avoid changing litter boxes, as cat faeces can carry a parasite that can cause toxoplasmosis, harming the unborn baby.

Helping Your Cat Adjust to Your Pregnancy

Sometimes, a jealous cat might feel its presence around the home, so you might need to be careful if you have a newborn. More often than not, cats become more loving and protective of their owners. You need to give the cat attention and love during the pregnancy period. If you neglect them, the cat might not like the newborn when it comes out because it feels deprived of attention.

Cats can also act out by urinating in places to make their presence felt. This can include the bed or laundry basket. It’s important to give your cat extra attention and lots of love so it knows your relationship isn’t going to change with the new arrival.

As you continue the process of pregnancy, you can stick to the same cat routine and feed it and coddle it as usual. Sticking to the routine will ensure there aren’t any behavioural problems that arise with your pet. You also need to ensure the routine continues even after the arrival of the baby.

If you’re overwhelmed, you might have to consider asking friends or family to look after the cat and help maintain its daily routine for a while. Your other housemates can pitch in, too, if needed. If the cat’s routine is maintained, it will become more affectionate to you and your baby when you bring him home.

Cats can act jealous if they feel they’re not getting the right amount of attention. If they begin to misbehave or act out in a big way during your pregnancy, you might need to take them to a vet or trainer to sort this out. They can offer individual classes or “baby readiness” routines so the pet can adjust accordingly when the time comes.

pregnant woman with cat

How to Prepare Your Cat Once Baby Arrives?

Preparing your cat for the arrival of a new baby can be an exciting and challenging experience. Here are three tips on how to prepare your cat once the baby arrives:

  • Gradually introduce your cat to the baby’s scent: Before the baby arrives, bring home a blanket or article of clothing with the baby’s scent on it. Allow your cat to sniff it and become familiar with the scent. This will help your cat associate the baby’s scent with positive experiences and reduce anxiety or aggression towards the baby.
  • Create a safe space for your cat: As your home becomes busier with the arrival of a new baby, it’s important to provide a safe space for your cat to retreat to. This can be a quiet room with a litter box, food, and water, where your cat can relax and feel secure. Make sure to spend time with your cat in this space so they don’t feel neglected or left out.
  • Monitor interactions between your cat and baby: Supervising interactions between your cat and baby is important to ensure their safety. Never leave your cat unsupervised with the baby; teach your child how to interact with the cat gently and respectfully. You can also create positive associations between your cat and the baby by offering treats or praise when your cat behaves calmly around the baby.
  • Maintain your cat’s routine: Cats thrive on routine, so it’s important to maintain your cat’s routine as much as possible, even with the arrival of a new baby. This includes feeding, playtime, and grooming. Keep your cat’s routine consistent and predictable to reduce any stress or anxiety from environmental changes. This will also help your cat feel more comfortable and secure in their home, even with the addition of a new family member.

Precautionary Tips

There are a few precautionary measures or tips that you must take if you’re expecting –

  • Toxoplasmosis is a disease that can occur when the parasite from cat stools transfers to your baby. Always wear gloves and a surgical mask when cleaning out your cat’s litter and food bowls.
  • Try to assign the caretaking responsibilities to another individual till you’re done nursing the baby for the first few weeks or months.
  • Up to 40% of women can be immune to toxoplasmosis, so there’s no risk. Regulate the cat’s diet and keep it indoors so the illness doesn’t transmit.
  • If you acquire any infection, visit the doctor immediately, and they can treat it successfully with the right medication.


1. Do Cats Like Women Who Are Pregnant?

Cats are perceptive animals and may be able to sense changes in their owner’s body, including pregnancy. Some cats may become more affectionate towards pregnant women, while others may become more protective or territorial. It’s important for pregnant women to pay attention to their cat’s behaviour and body language and to provide them with a safe and comfortable environment.

2. Can Cats Hear Baby’s Heartbeat?

Cats have a keen sense of hearing and may be able to hear the sound of a baby’s heartbeat from inside the womb. However, this has not been scientifically proven, and it’s unlikely that cats can distinguish the sound of a baby’s heartbeat from other sounds in the environment. Pregnant women need to introduce their cat to the sounds of a baby gradually to help them adjust to the new addition to the family.

3. Can You Sleep With Your Cat When Pregnant?

While it’s generally safe for pregnant women to sleep with their cats, there are some precautions to remember. Pregnant women should avoid sleeping face-to-face with their cats to reduce the risk of respiratory problems or allergies. It’s also important to keep the cat’s litter box clean to avoid the risk of toxoplasmosis, a parasitic infection that can harm the unborn baby. Finally, pregnant women should be careful not to get scratched or bitten by their cats, which can increase the risk of infection.

Thus, your cat can begin sensing your pregnancy before you know it. They can also become more living and protective, so notice all these signs. Studies also indicate that spending more time with a pet animal can improve the mood, reduce depression, lower blood pressure, and also help you live longer too.

Even if the cat doesn’t detect pregnancy before the test, it will notice it over time. You must prepare the cat to accept this new addition to the family and help make this transition smooth and comfortable for the cat of the home! Good luck!


1. Can Pets Sense Pregnancy?; hamiltonrdanimalhospital;

2. Weng. HY, Ankrom. K; Can Cats Sense Pregnancy?; Practices and Perceptions of Animal Contact and Associated Health Outcomes in Pregnant Women and New Mothers; PubMed Central;; Feb 2016

3. Toxoplasmosis: Pregnancy FAQS; CDC;

4. Can Cats Sense Pregnancy?; Obgynwc;; September 2020

5. Is it safe to keep a cat during pregnancy?; ACOG;

Also Read:

Can Dogs Sense Pregnancy?
Keeping Pets While Pregnant
Can Dogs Detect Pregnancy In Humans
Is It Safe To Clean Cat Litter Box in Pregnancy

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Gauri Ratnam completed her Masters in English Literature from the University of Pune. She began her journey as a German translator soon after completing her graduation, but later moved on to pursue her passion for writing. Having written for both digital and print media in a varied range of industries, she has the ability to write relatable and well-researched content, benefical for anyone seeking advice or direction.