Do cats sense a woman's pregnancy?
You may have heard someone say that during their pregnancy, the behavior of their cat or cats changed. It may also be that you yourself have experienced these changes if you have been or are pregnant and do not understand what they may be due to.
Cats are animals with highly developed senses and, although there are few scientific studies in this regard, everything we know to date about the perceptive abilities of these felines seems to show that cats are capable of feeling a woman’s pregnancy . Now, a cat cannot understand the emotional implication of a pregnancy, so if your furry behaves with you in an unusually affectionate or attached way, it is not because he is very happy for you, but because he notices certain changes in his environment and respond to them. But what are these changes and how is a cat able to detect them?
How do cats perceive a woman’s pregnancy?
To know that a woman is pregnant, cats make use of their developed senses , especially smell, although they also use sight, hearing and even touch to perceive certain signals that not even the woman herself is aware of. These signs appear at different times of the gestation period and are mainly the following:
Chemical changes : the woman’s body undergoes many chemical changes during pregnancy, especially at the hormonal level, since, among others, her estrogen and progesterone levels increase. Human beings have no way of perceiving these hormonal changes through our senses, but cats are able to smell them, even before the woman has taken a pregnancy test! Therefore, it is possible that your cat knows that you are pregnant before you do.
Temperature changes : the basal temperature of a pregnant woman is higher than that of a non-pregnant woman, since her blood flow increases considerably, and cats can also perceive this small detail.
Changes in the habits and behavior of its guardian : have you ever caught your cat staring at you? Cats are very observant animals and have a very good perception of movement, which means that they take in everything you do and «study» your body language, so when your routines vary or your usual way of behaving changes, they notice bill.
What does it mean when a cat purrs or kneads the belly of a pregnant woman?
Perceiving these signals that something strange is happening in the animal’s environment, and more specifically in its guardian, the cat can choose to respond in different ways. Of course, not all cats have the same behavior in this situation, since each individual has its own personality and experiences that make it unique and different from the others. However, some behaviors are quite common and can be observed quite easily in a large number of cats that live with pregnant people.
For example, the fact that the animal decides to spend more time with its guardian, kneads its belly purring or sleeps on it could be due to the increase in temperature that we mentioned above. Cats have a higher body temperature than ours and like to rest in warm places, so it is possible that they seek physical contact more frequently with a person who is pregnant than with one who is not. If, in addition, these signs of affection are reinforced, the animal will tend to repeat them more often, increasing their intensity or duration. So, if you’re pregnant and your cat doesn’t come off, it could be as simple as she’s more comfortable with you than with other people. In this sense, you may be wondering if you can touch your cat and the answer is yes, as long as it is healthy.
On the other hand, some cats behave in the opposite way , moving away and avoiding contact with their guardian. Cats are animals that are very sensitive to change , and it is likely that those felines that behave in a more surly or evasive manner are more likely to become stressed or frightened by novelty and variations in their environment. In this case, you must be patient, never force the animal and try to make it feel comfortable and safe, trying to keep its routines as stable as possible.
Do cats feel the birth of their guardian?
Moments before delivery, the signs mentioned above may intensify. Both the hormonal discharge and the temperature and changes in the woman’s behavior become more evident to the cat, who may begin to respond in a nervous and altered manner , although he is not able to predict what is going to happen. In the same way that cats feel a woman’s pregnancy, they can feel childbirth , despite, we insist, not knowing exactly that it is a childbirth.
Keep in mind that the arrival of the baby at home represents a huge change for the animal , since from that moment it will begin to receive a series of stimuli to which it was not previously accustomed (smells, sounds, etc.). To prevent the cat from becoming stressed and developing emotional and/or behavioral problems, it is highly recommended to contact, before the arrival of the newborn, a feline ethologist specializing in coexistence between animals and children who advises future parents about the needs of the animal and how to make it feel comfortable in the presence of the new member of the family. We also talk about it in the article on Coexistence between cats and babies .