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Can Cats Sense Pregnancy? Interesting Feline Facts

Hallie Roddy

By Hallie Roddy

Pregnant woman sitting on the couch with a cat

Cats are highly intuitive animals. So much so that it often feels like they have a sort of sixth sense about things. Some people even claim that their cats are so attuned to their surroundings that their cats knew their owners were pregnant well before the person did! While this all sounds amazing on paper, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s true. There is no hard scientific evidence to suggest that cats can sense pregnancy, but there is quite a bit of circumstantial evidence. Here’s what you need to know:

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Can Cats Sense Pregnancies?

The truth about whether or not a cat can sense pregnancies is that nobody really knows for sure. That might not be the answer you’re looking for, but there aren’t enough credible studies to confirm this claim. One thing we do know is that a cat has an incredibly powerful sense of smell. In fact, it is over 14 times more powerful than a human.

As a woman starts to go through hormonal changes from pregnancy, those changes can make you smell differently, which your cat could easily pick up on. Still, being aware of a new smell doesn’t necessarily mean they know you’re pregnant.

Many women have claimed that their cats started to lay on them more after becoming pregnant. Each stage of pregnancy can raise your body temperature and as you probably already know, cats are drawn to warmth, and your higher body temperature might be enticing your cats to curl up on your lap. All these minor changes are cause for your cat to be alarmed and start acting in new ways as well. They might not know you’re pregnant, but instead, they could simply be reacting to the changes your body is going through.

cat sleeping in owner's arms
Image by: Impact Photography, Shutterstock

Why Some People Doubt That Cats Know When You’re Pregnant

At the end of the day, there just isn’t enough scientific evidence to back up the claim that a cat can sense a human pregnancy. Most of the evidence backing up the claim is still anecdotal at best. We’re not saying that the observed behavior of cats around pregnant people doesn’t support the idea, but it doesn’t confirm it. There are equally as many cat owners who don’t notice any changes in their pet’s behavior while pregnant.

Regardless of what you believe, there is no real reason to refute someone who claims that their cat is aware of their pregnancy. The belief is harmless and hasn’t been either proven or disproven.

Helping Cats Adjust to Pregnancy

Being pregnant means that, eventually, you’re going to be welcoming a new member of the family. Some cats don’t respond well to new babies in the house. Some might even start to act out by becoming destructive or territorial. This isn’t just a big adjustment for you—your cat will also have to adjust to the idea of a new human in their space.

The best way to keep your cat from acting out is to give them as much attention as possible. Cats are capable of picking up on signs of neglect and they still need to know that they are a valuable family member.

Here are some tips for how to make your cat feel loved:

  • Give them as much physical attention as they will tolerate.
  • Try not to change your schedule, or your cat’s schedule, too drastically.
  • Enlist family and friends to care for your cat while at the hospital.
  • Spoil them with a few extra treats and playtime.
a tabby cat lying on pregnant woman's lap
Image by: Sunsetoned, Pexels

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Final Thoughts

So, what’s the verdict? Can cats actually sense pregnancy? There is no proof to confirm or deny these claims, but there is still plenty of circumstantial evidence that allows you to come up with your own conclusion. Either way, having a bun in the oven doesn’t mean that you should start to neglect your cat. If they truly can sense pregnancy, then you should start giving them more affection before the baby makes its arrival. Your cat will have a better time adjusting, and certainly won’t mind getting showered with extra love!

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Featured Image Credit: Zhuravlev Andrey, Shutterstock

Hallie Roddy

Authored by

Hallie has been a proud nature and animal enthusiast for as long as she can remember. She attributes her passion for the environment and all its creatures to her childhood when she was showing horses on weekends and spending her weeknights devoting her attention to her pets. She enjoys spending most of her time in Michigan playing with her two rescue cats, Chewbacca and Lena, and her dog, Clayton. When Hallie isn’t usin...Read more

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