How a cat’s behavior changes if the owner is pregnant (8 photos)


Cats, like dogs, have lived next to us for many centuries. These outwardly cute, proud and self-sufficient animals are endowed with special abilities - they clearly react to changes occurring in the external environment, and are excellent hunters and observers. The pet evaluates changes in a person’s mood, understands that he is ill or is experiencing emotional problems. Can cats sense their owner's pregnancy? Most owners of furry “roommates” answer this question only in the affirmative.

Why do cats react to pregnancy? To obtain an answer, several criteria must be considered :

  • changes in a woman’s physical condition during pregnancy;
  • instability of mood and changed emotionality, anxiety of the expectant mother;
  • actions related to the purchase of children's things and arrangement of the apartment.

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Cats and your hormonal changes

There's nothing more synonymous with pregnancy than hormones.
Essentially, they make pregnancy possible, maintain it for 9 months, and then (probably) induce labor in a series of still-mysterious changes that lead to the birth of your baby. Rising hormone levels during pregnancy are also responsible for most of your symptoms, such as morning sickness, fatigue, pelvic pain and food cravings. You are particularly influenced by the following hormones:

  • HCG, also known as human chorionic gonadotropin . This hormone is produced by cells of the placenta. Because your levels are very high in early pregnancy, hCG is used to confirm pregnancy through urine and blood tests.
  • Prolactin and relaxin . Prolactin helps produce breast milk, and relaxin affects the muscles of the uterus and pelvic joints. Although both of these factors are important for labor, they begin to increase in early pregnancy.
  • Progesterone . This hormone energizes your uterus before pregnancy and helps maintain a healthy pregnancy after fertilization.
  • Estrogen . During pregnancy, estrogen works wonders: it regulates other hormones, helps the baby develop, regulates blood flow and causes milk ducts to form.

There is no evidence that pregnancy hormones cause you to smell anything, but we do know that other body substances, such as pheromones and hormones that are released during puberty, can produce subtle (and not-so-subtle) odors, so that this is possible.

But can cats detect these odors? Well, we don't know that either. There's no doubt that cats have super-strong olfactory senses: According to PAWS Chicago, cats have about 200 million olfactory receptors in their noses, compared to our measly 5 million.

This doesn't mean they can detect any hypothetical odors caused by pregnancy hormones. But if these odors do exist, a cat's nose could theoretically detect them.

How long does pregnancy last

The answer to the main question, how long pregnancy lasts, is from 57 to 66 days from the moment of successful mating. It is not enough just to know the duration of an interesting situation. The owner needs to understand how each period goes and what to expect from the pet.

So, pregnancy in felines lasts approximately 2 months. It is difficult to set an exact deadline, since it depends on several things. Firstly, it is not always possible to find out exactly when the female and male had a successful mating. Secondly, the duration of pregnancy is influenced by the number of kittens in the litter. Thirdly, the cat breed plays a big role:

  • Siamese - 66-68 days;
  • oriental - 66 days;
  • British - 63-64 days;
  • korat - 62-63 days.

These are average values, but still worth taking into account. Especially when it comes to premature birth and the pet needs the help of a specialist.

About two months pass from conception to the birth of kittens.

Early labor

Felines also experience premature birth - this is the birth of kittens before the 57-60th day. It is necessary to immediately seek the help of a veterinarian, because premature birth threatens the lives of babies (they may not yet be able to suck milk or breathe on their own). It is better to call a veterinarian at home as soon as the female begins to give birth.

Labor can begin earlier even in multiple pregnancies. This often happens when a cat is carrying up to 5-7 kittens. Childbirth not quite on time (literally a few days earlier than expected, for example, 55-56) in this case is considered the norm.

Unfortunately, the death of a fetus in the womb is not uncommon - then the female gives birth to only one kitten (the dead one), and will continue to carry the rest according to their due date. However, partial labor is a reason to take your pet to the vet immediately. He must make sure that the rest of the babies and the expectant mother are not in danger.

Post-term pregnancy

Sometimes, when labor does not begin for a long time, owners are interested in something completely different: how long can you walk in position? Do not worry until 70-73 days - only from this period the pregnancy is considered post-term. It is not at all a fact that you have correctly determined the date of conception. It is also necessary to visit a specialist: x-rays and ultrasound will help you understand how soon the babies will be born. Diagnostics will allow you to determine the weight and size of the fetus as accurately as possible, and then, based on this, draw a conclusion about the cat’s gestational age.

Post-term pregnancy is not uncommon for cats. However, not every owner knows the exact date of conception.

Description by week

Why do you need to know how a cat’s pregnancy progresses week by week? Sometimes even minor changes in her condition indicate serious problems and require a visit to a specialist.

Fertilization occurs a day after sexual intercourse, but for this it is necessary that the eggs enter the fallopian tube (ovulation). In cats, ovulation occurs during the mating process. Having multiple sexual intercourse over a short period of time will increase the chance of pregnancy. For fertile caudates, one mating is enough.

At 1–3 weeks, the fetus is attached to the walls of the uterus, then the formation of the most important systems of the body begins. In the first weeks, the placenta forms. The size of the fruit is no more than 1 cm.

At 4–6 weeks you can already find out the exact number of embryos using ultrasound. The size of the offspring reaches 4–6 cm. At this time, they already have barely noticeable fur. As mentioned earlier, it is not advisable to palpate kittens. In addition, the uterus fills with fluid, and only a specialist can cope with this task. By the age of 4–5 weeks, tailed cats recover slightly, especially if they are carrying only two or three kittens.

Babies continue to grow actively - by 7–9 weeks their body length reaches 8 cm, and their weight reaches 100 g. Gradually they become more active, so movements can often be seen by wave-like fluctuations in the cat’s abdomen. At the end of pregnancy, the mammary glands of the expectant mother swell even more, and minor discharge is possible from the genital tract.

Cats and your behavior

During pregnancy, not only your hormones change: you are moody, tired, constantly nauseous and very irritable. These emotional changes will affect your behavior, and your cat will likely realize that you are acting differently. (They are creatures of habit, after all, just like us.)

Rapidly rising hCG levels can cause nausea, and if you vomit in the bathroom every morning instead of feeding your cat at the usual time, she will notice.

Progesterone can make you overly tired during pregnancy, and your cat may wonder why you nap on the couch so often instead of running errands.

You're busy planning for the baby—like designing a nursery and researching lists of baby names—which means you have less time and energy to shine a laser pointer around the house for your cat to chase.

Blood volume and circulation increase during pregnancy, which may raise your body temperature slightly. Your cat may notice that you're hotter than usual (and she might even like it, because cats seek out warm, cozy places).

If you normally groom your cat, note that you should no longer clean her litter box. She may be wondering why someone else is doing this task now.

What happens in a woman's body

A cat can feel its owner's pregnancy early, in the first months, weeks, even days after conception. Such insight is understandable, because special processes occur in a woman’s body, which are expressed by noticeable physiological changes :

  • hormonal changes occur with signs of toxicosis - nausea, vomiting, reactions from the digestive system and intestines;
  • body temperature rises slightly;
  • the frequency of urination changes, the urine acquires a different smell;
  • vaginal discharge becomes profuse.

Pets can't help but notice these bright signs. It is at such times that they become restless, try to accompany their owner, lie down next to her, and like to climb onto her stomach. They purr intensely and perform a “massage” with their paws.

The unborn baby is actively developing, while the woman’s belly is growing, inside of which a heartbeat can be heard and the activity of the fetus is felt. At the same time, the pregnant woman’s gait and movements become cautious and measured, her breathing quickens, and shortness of breath appears. Cats feel these metamorphoses. Animals have a developed natural curiosity; the pet watches what is happening with interest and accompanies the woman. Lie down next to him, listen, purr loudly and start rubbing his stomach - the favorite actions of most furry apartment dwellers.

Some cats negatively perceive the new state of their owner and regularly confirm their disagreement with her new situation with their actions - they show aggression, attack and hiss. Experts are inclined to explain this behavior by the animal’s fear of being expelled from its home, not being fed, as something incomprehensible is happening in the life of its owner.

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Cats and the fetal heartbeat

Thanks to its keen hearing, your cat knows that the garbage truck is on its way to do its thing before you do. But we don't know if they can actually hear your baby's heartbeat before it can be detected by other means, such as a Doppler or stethoscope.

Cats have an extra fold on their ears that can play a role in amplifying high-frequency sounds, allowing them to hear things we can't hear.

At some point late in your pregnancy, your partner will be able to hear your baby's heartbeat simply by placing his ear to your belly. So it's reasonable to assume that around this time, Fluffy can also hear the baby's heartbeat from his seat nearby on the sofa.

However, how sooner a cat can hear it and how well is still a giant scientific question.

Caring for a pregnant cat:

To feed a pregnant cat, you need to use special food for pregnant women; proper feeding will help future kittens develop well. 3-4 days before birth, it is advisable to do an ultrasound to determine the number and size of the fetuses - this will help predict the course of pregnancy (sometimes the kittens are too large - in this case the issue of surgery is decided).

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Throughout pregnancy, you need to protect the cat from overheating and hypothermia, handle it carefully, and do not allow strong hugs from household members, especially children. If your cat is a fan of climbing to the top of cabinets, then try to limit her jumping to low surfaces to avoid falling.

For the birth and subsequent feeding of kittens, it is necessary to prepare a room - agree with the household that in the room where the cat and kittens will be, there is no need to make noise or perform manipulations that frighten the cat (for example, do not vacuum). To make a “nest” for a cat, you can take an empty cardboard box or use an old bedside table, or make a “plywood maternity hospital” yourself. The large hole for the cat to pass through should be sized to accommodate the fact that a pregnant cat will climb into it; this hole should be located at some distance from the floor so that the kittens, starting to crawl, do not leave the box too early.

How your cat might react to your pregnancy

When cats face major life changes, they react differently. The only thing you can expect is that your cat will react in some way to everything that happens, but other than that, it's hard to say how.

  • Some cats are protective of an owner who isn't feeling well or is behaving differently, so your cat may work harder to get between you and your partner.
  • Some cats develop into stage 5 clinging when their owners behave strangely. Your lonely cat may suddenly act like a little shadow, following you from room to room and placing itself in your personal space.
  • Some cats become real assholes. They may urinate in random places, scratch furniture, hide from you, refuse to eat - all this is typical rebellious behavior of cats that are very excited about changes in their lives.

Possible problems during childbirth

In medicine, difficult births are called pathological.

The first pathology is a violation of the position of kittens before birth. Presentation can provoke birth injuries and pathologies in the future. This is preceded by a lack of calcium, as the cause of asynchronous contractions of the uterine muscles.

This pathology can occur during contractions (first stage), then when the body begins to push out the fetus (second stage), and when the kitten emerges from the genital opening (third and final stage). The animal may hiss and scream loudly.

Note! In purebred cats (Bengal, Fold, British, Scottish, and so on), problems and pathologies are more common than in outbred cats. Therefore, veterinarians strongly recommend seeking regular diagnostics.

And during pregnancy, a specialist will tell you whether pathology should be expected and what kind. Obstetrics may be required.

The second pathology is more related to the cat itself. If the postpartum membranes do not come out during childbirth, they will cause apathy and a bad mood for the cat. The consequence of this will be refusal to care for children, bad mood, lack of appetite and brown discharge. True, for Thai and Sphynx cats, discharge and licking are not always a symptom, because the nature of the animal differs from simpler cats (British or Scottish, for example).


These are just 2 of the most common pathologies; they can be caused by poor health, obesity, large fetuses and dozens of other reasons. As a rule, most pathologies can be detected by ultrasound.


Preparing a cat for the birth of a baby

We talk all the time about cats "knowing" you're pregnant, but that implies cognitive awareness that they simply don't possess. (Yes, your cat is the smartest cat we know, but she still doesn't understand what's going on.)

Your cat just knows that things are different—and, unfortunately for your cat, things will be even more different when your baby is born. To prepare your cat for the upcoming changes, follow these steps:

  • Introduce baby items and move furniture around the house slowly, especially if you plan to dislodge the cat from her favorite places. You need to get her used to cribs and booster seats without filling the whole house at once.
  • Start playing recordings of baby noises, especially babies crying. These sounds can be stressful for cats, and you don't want her to associate them directly with the arrival of the baby.
  • Start blocking off the room your baby will sleep in and place barriers or tape (cats hate sticky surfaces!) around the crib to prevent your cat from thinking the crib is an appropriate place to sleep.
  • Make a plan to introduce your cat to your baby when he is born. It's wise to let your cat get used to your baby's scent by introducing her to a blanket or piece of clothing from the hospital. Next, make sure that all formal introductions are strictly supervised and your cat is never left alone with your baby.

Keep in mind that stress can have negative effects—both behaviorally and physiologically—on all cats, especially those with pre-existing health problems such as chronic pain.

Watch for new vomiting, diarrhea, or eating behavior (such as refusing to eat), as these may be signs that your cat needs to be seen by a veterinarian.

Childbirth is coming soon: signs and course

It is extremely important to know what precedes an early birth. This information will allow you to better understand the expectant mother and have time to prepare for the birth of babies. She may need first aid during this difficult process.


A harbinger of labor in a cat is considered to be an extremely calm state a couple of days before the onset. There is also a sharp decrease in appetite and a search for a secluded place. As a rule, it is difficult for the expectant mother to walk; most of the time she prefers to lie down. Perhaps he will fawn over the owner and follow on his heels, hinting at your help. The most striking signs can be seen 3–5 days before lambing.

You can reduce your pet's anxiety by creating a cozy nest for the birth of babies during pregnancy. Usually they use a large box or a ready-made house. It is important to cover it with a clean cloth and place it where there are no people. A cat always looks for a distant place to give birth so that no one will disturb her.

Animals during pregnancy may have different opinions on this matter - some choose a closet for lambing or hide under the bed. Ideally, you need to give the expectant mother a room where she will feel comfortable and safe. The constructed house should be prepared several weeks in advance so that the tailed animal has time to get used to it.

A cat needs a secluded area to give birth to kittens.

Course of labor

Having noticed the precursors of childbirth, it is recommended to examine the animal. The cat begins to have mucous discharge from the genital tract, which will facilitate the process. She will begin to actively lick the area under the tail - you will definitely not miss the beginning of birth. It is worth preparing for it in advance to help your pet survive the appearance of offspring. What you may need:

  • surgical gloves (several pairs);
  • clean scissors;
  • dry cloth;
  • small syringe;
  • antiseptic (iodine, brilliant green, etc.).

It will be better if a specialist monitors the birth process. However, you can cope on your own, the most important thing is not to panic. Even during pregnancy, find a doctor who can advise you over the phone if necessary.

The first signs of labor are contractions. They can last up to 12 hours and are accompanied by bleeding. The expectant mother behaves restlessly: she rushes around the house, screams, and tries to stay closer to the person. You can gently massage the abdomen and speak in a gentle voice.

Kittens pass through the birth bladder head first. Next, the female must bite through the amniotic sac, gnaw the umbilical cord and lick the crumbs. Sometimes the owner has to help: cut the umbilical cord himself with clean scissors, clear the mouth and nose of mucus. It doesn't hurt to first make sure that the cat doesn't mind your help.

A cat can give birth on its own, but with the help of the owner and the veterinarian, the process will definitely be safe for her and the kittens.

The duration of labor usually does not exceed 7–8 hours (from the moment the abdominal cramps begin until the kitten is born), but the process sometimes drags on for up to a day. The fewer kids, the faster everything goes. If the expectant mother has no pathologies and the pregnancy is proceeding normally, everything will be easy. Still, be careful and, if necessary, immediately seek help from a veterinarian.

After birth, the mother quickly returns to normal, although spotting can last up to three weeks. In the absence of alarming symptoms (nausea and vomiting, weakness, fever), this is not a pathology.

In conclusion, let us recall that gestation in cats lasts on average 2 months (57–60 days). Some breeds have different gestation periods. Even during mating, it is worth observing the behavior of your pet in order to determine the date of conception as accurately as possible. It will not be superfluous to prepare in advance for the birth of furry babies by building the correct diet for the cat using the species-typical SUPERPET nutrition.


Does your cat know you're pregnant? Yes and no. She doesn't know what pregnancy is, but she probably knows that changes are happening in you.

We can't say for sure whether cats are reacting to any new smells, hearing a new but faint heartbeat, or simply picking up on all the changes in daily life.

But cats are very sensitive and perceptive animals. It's reasonable to assume that many of their super senses are triggered when a new person is growing up nearby.


  • A cat's five senses. (2019).
  • Amat M, et al. (2016). Stress in owned cats: Behavioral changes and welfare implications.
  • Lee NM, et al. (2013). Nausea and vomiting of pregnancy.
  • Sanghavi M, et al. (2014). Cardiovascular physiology of pregnancy.
  • Stella J, et al. (2013). Effects of stressors on the behavior and physiology of domestic cats.
  • Verhaeghe J, et al. (2013). Pheromones and their effect on women's mood and sexuality.

Mating cats

Having noticed the cat, the cat begins expressive play. The cat's actions are focused on luring the cat, she seems to persuade him, yielding to him, but then runs away. Thus, the cat flirts with the cat. Then the cat grabs the cat by the scruff of the neck, jumps up and climbs into it.

The cat lets out a piercing scream and breaks away. She throws herself on the floor and starts rolling on the floor again. For some period of time the cat will not let the cat near her, but after a couple of minutes she will flirt with the cat again. Mating is repeated again. During the mating period, eggs are released from the ovaries of a cat.

The cat's sperm enters the cat's uterus, where it remains viable for about 4 days. The ability of the egg to fertilize is stored for up to 1.5 days.

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