4 Interesting Reasons Why Your Cat Is Extra Clingy When You’re Pregnant
By Misty Layne
If you’re a pregnant cat owner, you might have found that your favorite feline has become extra clingy since you got pregnant. But why is that exactly? Does your cat know that you’re pregnant, or is something else at play?
Though there haven’t been any studies done on this phenomenon, there is many an anecdote of cat owners who have reported that their cats have become extra clingy to them. Here are the four suspected reasons for why your cat may act extra clingy now that you’re pregnant (none of which are cause for concern unless your cat also shows signs of anxiety or stress)!
The 4 Interesting Reasons Your Cat Is Extra Clingy When You’re Pregnant
1. Offering protection and affection.
As we said, there’s a good chance your feline friend has figured out that you’re pregnant (we’ll tell you more about how they deduce this later on). So, there’s also a good chance your cat is offering you and the new life within you its protection and affection during this time. After all, you are the kitty’s favorite human, so this could be its way of lending you a helping hand during pregnancy, much like the rest of your family and friends are doing!
2. You smell different.
During pregnancy, you emit different pheromones than normal. And while you can’t smell how different your scent is, your cat certainly can. Felines have an amazing sense of smell, making them very in tune with changes in pheromones. That means your kitty may become extra clingy to “fix” your scent (aka make you smell more like it by marking you as its own).
3. You’re less active.
Being pregnant can take a lot out of you, and as your pregnancy progresses, you become more tired and less active. This can translate into more naps or time spent on the sofa or in bed. And what does your cat love more than anything? Sleeping! Felines will sleep an average of 15 hours a day (must be nice!), and with you napping or resting more often, it’s not surprising that your cat would join you in that endeavor. So, enjoy your new cuddle buddy and the stronger bond you’ll have now!
4. Your body temperature is higher.
Cats love being warm (as evidenced by their enjoyment of sunshine naps!), and during pregnancy, your body temperature will rise. Hormonal changes will cause an increase in body temperature, as will the increase in blood volume in the body. Plus, your heart works harder during pregnancy and can beat up to 20% faster than average, which also raises your temperature.
Finally, during the third trimester, your baby is basically the equivalent of your own tiny personal space heater, as they will give off body heat that you end up absorbing. All of that equals quite a bit more warmth than usual, which could make your feline extra clingy because it wants to nap on or cuddle up in your newfound warmth.
How Can Cats Tell You’re Pregnant?
There are three main theories on how felines figure out a human is pregnant.
1. Changes in Your Hormones
We stated above that your cat would notice you smelling differently than usual. The reason for that is changes in your hormones. When you get pregnant, there are several hormonal changes you’ll be dealing with, such as changes in Human Chorionic Gonadotropin, progesterone, relaxin, oxytocin, estrogen, and prolactin.
Since your feline has such a sensitive nose, it can easily smell how these hormones are affecting your body to help you grow your new little one.
2. Baby’s Heartbeat
A sensitive nose isn’t all kitty has; it also has sensitive hearing. That seems rather unbelievable, considering all the times you’ve yelled your cat’s name with absolutely no response, but it’s true. And that means your cat will be able to hear your baby’s heartbeat at some point. Whether your feline will be able to hear the baby’s heartbeat as soon as it shows up or only later in the pregnancy is unknown, but it’s yet another way your cat can tell you’re pregnant.
3. Changes in Behavior
Cats love routine—not only their own but yours too. So, when your routine veers off course, and you spend more time in bed than cleaning or spend every morning dealing with morning sickness, your kitty is going to notice. Your pet may not realize exactly what’s up just from changes in behavior alone, but it will know something new is happening.
Felines becoming extra clingy during a woman’s pregnancy isn’t uncommon, and there are several reasons it could be happening. For starters, it’s theorized that cats know when you’re pregnant, which can lead to clinginess as an offer of affection and protection. But changes in your body, such as how you smell or your body temperature, can also make your kitty ready to snuggle with you at a moment’s notice. Extra clinginess isn’t something to be concerned about, though, unless your cat is also showing signs of separation anxiety or stress.
So, enjoy your new cuddle buddy during this time!
See also: Why Won’t My Cat Leave Me Alone? 7 Likely Reasons
Featured Image Credit: Vlada Karpovich, Pexels