Pets are wonderful, and their keen sense of perception never ceases to amaze me. Most cats and dogs are able to read body language and can detect pregnancy. But why do cats attack expectant mothers?
Could it be that they anticipate change and don’t want to prepare for it? Cats are perceptive to change, and while some become fiercely protective of their female owners who are expecting, others become anxious.
Why do cats attack pregnant women, and how can this alarming behavior be stopped? When your cat shifts into attack mode, what should you do? We will cover everything you need to know about this issue so keep reading.
Why Do Cats Attack Pregnant Women?
Cats are well known for being consistent animals. That is, even the slightest changes in their perceived territory can trigger aggressive behavior brought on by feelings of abandonment, fear, and stress.
That human being will come under scorn because pregnancy is the only thing that has changed.
1. Cats Can Sense Your Pregnancy
Did you know that your cat can sense that you’re pregnant? Cats are incredibly sensitive animals. They can feel your pregnancy and even hear the heartbeat of your unborn child before any machine can detect it. As cats can sense emotions, this is not surprising.
They may experience a wide range of emotions as a result of this unusual change. Their natural instinct is to lash out in an effort to defend themselves because they are unsure of what is happening.
2. Behavioral Issues
Any animal’s aggression is meant to intimidate other animals or people. Cat aggression is difficult to understand. Understanding what provokes aggression and who it targets can be difficult.
According to cat studies, 27% of cats that are surrendered to shelters are there due to behavioral issues. A cat’s behavior can frequently change when it learns that its owner is expecting a baby. It frequently exhibits threatening behavior toward its human owner.
Cats are dependable creatures. They detest alteration. Fear is one of the underlying factors that contribute to cats’ aggression toward pregnant women. Cats are aware of a change, and they speculate that they might receive less attention as a result of the pregnancy.
The sudden changes in their environment can stress cats, especially those who have had less-than-ideal starts in life. Because they are creatures of consistency, cats dislike disruptions to their daily routines.
You might think nothing has changed, but to your fluffy companion—who is acutely aware of even the smallest pheromonal shift in their surroundings—a lot has changed.
For instance, you used to spend your first moments after waking up petting your beloved pet, but you recently experienced a severe case of morning sickness that makes you isolate yourself in the bathroom.
3. Cat Feels Neglected
Why do cats attack pregnant women? Do they notice a shift in your mood or behavior? He probably feels ignored, and he wants to lash out in rage.
He’s been your loyal friend after all, and now he’s being ignored. Cats are perceptive creatures that can detect the pheromones released during pregnancy.
He feels ignored and mistreated. If he doesn’t get the unconditional love and attention he’s used to getting, he’ll shake things up—possibly literally.
A cat has determined that at night when his expectant owner is trying to sleep, is the best time to get revenge. Regardless of the possibility that his pregnant owner has diabetes, he will bite and scratch her feet.
But these obnoxious nighttime awakenings ought to work to get him the attention he seeks. Your cat might feel left out and neglected because of all the adjustments and new routines needed to ensure your health for the growing life you are carrying.
As a result, they attribute their stress and negative emotions to that target because they understand that the only person who has changed is the one woman who is pregnant.
If the cat has witnessed previous pregnancies, this could be amplified even more. Your cat might harbor resentment if this is not your new baby because they feel they have been overlooked or neglected in the past. Yes, cats do get jealous of babies.
4. Cat Doesn’t Like Owner Changes
Cats are creatures of habit, and they prefer consistency and predictability in all things. They struggle with change.
They are sufficiently alarmed by unfamiliar behavior to raise their hackles. According to experts in animal behavior, cats are aware of when their owners are due.
The changes they notice in their human owner bother them. Hormonal changes are perceived by cats, and some of them lash out by wanting to attack.
They dislike the environmental change that pregnancy is bringing about. His dinner may be late if his owner isn’t there when he’s expecting them. He dislikes how his human owner has changed and isn’t quite the same anymore.
The cat is not upset with its owner because she is pregnant; rather, it is upset with the changes it has noticed.
5. Territorial Aggression
Cats typically display territorial behavior. Most often directed at other cats, a cat’s territorial aggression can also be directed at humans. Pregnant women are more vulnerable to cat attacks because they are already experiencing fear and anxiety.
They don’t want their pregnant owner in their space because they are angry and in pain from chronic stress. Their hissing and stalking can turn into biting and scratching. He has identified his expecting owner as the source of his problems.
However, he is willing to continue being friendly with other family members. It’s because they aren’t altering the manner in which the cat’s expectant owner is altering.
An aggressive cat with territorial tendencies is frequently brazen and won’t mind lunging out at his awaiting owner just for the aggravation she is causing him.
Cats are creatures of routine and consistency, as was previously mentioned, so any changes to their environment may cause negative behavior as a result of the stress of the change.
They might begin to feel that their importance in the home is dwindling or that no one is paying enough attention to them.
This can show up in a variety of ways, and it may start to happen when you start bringing in new baby furniture. These objects wouldn’t retain your pet’s scent and might cause harmful territorial behaviors, like lash outs if the owner tries to take them away.
6. Petting Attacks
When you accidentally hurt your cat, it’s bad enough, but when you’re petting him? Expectant mothers are not intentionally harmed by cats. However, suppose a cat is not accustomed to being handled delicately.
It may then bite or scratch if it feels threatened or uneasy. Pregnant women must use caution when interacting with unfamiliar animals, including cats.
You have a favorite chair that you feel most at ease in when you are pregnant. You don’t even mind your feline friend curled up in your lap because it’s so comfortable.
Out of pure kindness, you reach out to stroke him, but he nastily bites your hand back. There is such a thing as cat aggression brought on by petting. He becomes overstimulated or even agitated from the constant petting and stroking and lunges at your hand, biting it like a rodent.
Pregnant women should refrain from making sudden movements or loud noises close to cats that are acting aggressively.
7. Cats Sense Negative Changes
Your cat may be showing signs of increasing aggression and attack mode if:
• Cat has started to urinate inside the household.
• Cats experience digestive issues as a result of frustration and anger.
• Cat attempts to scratch you while hissing at you.
• Cat flees and hides away from you.
Your cat is aware of the differences. Pregnant women are targeted by cats because they are aware of the negative consequences. They have already gone through one pregnancy with their human owner. They are familiar with the procedure, and it is undesirable.
Cats are aware that pregnant women frequently pay more attention to themselves than usual. They are also aware that when the baby is born, they will receive even less attention. Cats have unique traits, and they are capable of showing aggression and jealousy toward their expectant owners.
Cat is aware that there is a third party involved, and does not like it. Your feline friend doesn’t want to spread your love to anyone else.
8. Petting Aggression
There are several stages in pregnancy where you might feel emotional or quite clingy, as any mother will attest to. Therefore, it is not uncommon for us to turn to our favorite comforting animals in these vulnerable circumstances.
However, this uptick in petting could also be a catalyst for your cat’s escalation in aggression. It seems that, unlike their canine counterparts, cats each have a limit to how much petting they will tolerate.
Long pet strokes down a cat’s entire body may be considered uncomfortable by them. This starts with the areas where they do or do not like to be petted, which are typically the head and neck as favorable and the vulnerable underbelly as a no-go-zone.
You can check our cat petting chart to learn more about petting your feline friend. Despite the fact that cats can be fairly social when grooming one another, they also frequently stick to the head and neck regions.
Aggression by felines toward humans is fairly common. Fear is one of many factors that contribute to cats being aggressive toward people. Fear can be brought on by both genetic and environmental factors in cats.
A cat becomes hostile when it finds something to be threatening. Of course, a cat’s genetics and early experiences can have an impact on whether or not it develops aggressive fear. You might be a threat to the cat’s tranquility because you’re pregnant.
You used to spend the entire day at work, but now that you’re home, the space feels too small for the two of you. Additionally, a cat that has never been around children may become aggressive out of fear or discomfort.
Aggression brought on by fear is manifested by dilation of the pupils, flattening of the ears, and hissing and spitting.
The cat owner must continue to give the cat affection and attention and must maintain a regular schedule in order to lessen any stress or anxiety the cat may be feeling.
It might also be beneficial to get the cat used to having a baby in the house. You can start by using baby-like sounds and scents, like baby powder.
Chronic pain in cats can result from stress, which can have a negative impact on them. Pain-affected cats may display aggressive behavior toward their owners. They might bite, hiss, or itch.
A fearsome, aggressive cat has the power to inflict serious wounds and infections on a pregnant woman. At home with a pregnant woman, aggressive, stressed cats can be dangerous. He is distressed, angry, and in pain.
Cat’s stress is the cause of its pain. Always maintain your composure rather than screaming if your cat exhibits this aggressive behavior. It might only make your cat act out more. A professional should handle the treatment for severe aggression.
Your poor cat interprets you spending time with someone else as them being left out because of the changes in pheromones brought on by the pregnant woman, as previously mentioned.
Your misunderstood mouser will experience mild to severe bouts of stress as a result of this fear, and they won’t be able to explain why they’re feeling upset, scared, or stressed—they will only know that it’s because of the change in that person.
A cat might attack a pregnant woman without hesitation if she has any past trauma related to them.
A cat may harbor resentment for a very long time if a pregnant woman previously beat or yelled at her. When she sees pregnant women, there are only two possible responses: fight or flight.
If she opts for the former, she will always be ready for the conflict. She might believe that it is preferable to take action before it is too late—before the same things happen again.
Furthermore, even though the majority of the issues we’ve covered are situational ones related to your anxious cat, they don’t deal with the underlying issues that are festering inside your pet.
To attack what they perceive as a threat to their current, comfortable way of life is fundamentally a fear and stress response.
Wrapping It Up
It makes sense that so many people keep cats as pets because having them around is therapeutic. A lot of people have pets before having kids. But some cats raise some worries in addition to all the joy they provide.
Why do cats attack pregnant women then? The bottom line is that it could be a combination of fear and jealousy.
Cats can become hostile when their human owners are expecting. They do this out of fear. They worry about the future. There could be overstimulation.
He might, regrettably, wind up in a shelter with other misunderstood cats due to his aggressive nature. Every woman goes through a difficult time during her pregnancy, and it doesn’t help to feel as though your beloved pet has suddenly turned against you.
And while any abrupt changes in behavior should always be evaluated by a veterinarian to rule out any underlying illnesses, quite frequently the reason your devoted cat has suddenly lost interest in you is simply that they have noticed the changes in you and are growing anxious and fearful.
However, if you give them the time and space they require to adjust to these new changes, to their favorite pregnant human, you should notice some progress.