There’s a common notion that cats seem to be aggressive toward pregnant women. From hissing and stalking to downright scratching and biting, cats seem to want to attack pregnant women even when unprovoked. Why does this happen and is there an explanation?
The answer is actually quite simple: cats hate change, and a woman with a bulging belly is an unusual sight, making cats fearful of this uncommon creature. With fear comes aggression, and this is just one of the many reasons why cats attack pregnant women.
In this guide, we’ll discuss some of the most common explanations why pregnant women are the target of a cat’s aggression, and what you can do to prevent pregnant women from being attacked.
Reasons Why Cats Attack Pregnant Women
Cat experts believe there are several reasons why a cat may become aggressive toward a pregnant woman in the house. The woman may be the cat owner herself, or it could be a stranger. Here are some of the most plausible reasons:
A woman may display behavioral changes when she gets pregnant. This can include vomiting more often due to morning sickness, and instead of you cuddling your pet kitty as soon as you wake up, you’re running to the bathroom instead. These behavioral changes are new to your cat, and it may cause it some stress not knowing what’s going on.
Cats are creatures of consistency and any change will make them fearful and anxious. So changes in how you’re behaving while pregnant can make them aggressive towards you.
Protecting Their Territory
If you’ve recently started bringing in furniture or items for the baby or decorating a nursery, your cat may be fearful that its territory is being taken over. This is especially true if you’re moving your cat’s litter box, bed, and play area. Bringing in major additions to your home is stressful to the cat, who is used to having its way around. Being naturally territorial, your cat may hiss and growl at you when you try to move its things or when you try to pet it.
When preparing for a new baby, your focus will shift. If your cat is used to having your undivided attention, becoming busy in preparation for a new baby will make your cat feel neglected. If you try to pet it, it may start to snarl at you, try to scratch you, or even bite you. Cats hate changes and they hate not having their owner’s attention.
They Can Smell Hormonal Changes
Pregnant women emit certain hormonal changes such as the release of pheromones. These hormonal changes are threatening to the cat who hates any form of change. They are sensitive to new smells, as well, and since pregnant women emit a certain scent, they may view you as being a threat. Cats associate certain scents with predators, and if a cat attacks you, it may think that you smell like a predator, even if you’re the cat owner.
Your Unusual Shape Threatens Them
Having a bulging belly is an uncommon sight for cats. Your shape may be intimidating to them, and they lash out because they don’t know how to make of you just yet. Anything that’s not familiar to a cat is a threat to them, so your pregnant belly will make your cat fearful of you, and thus, act aggressively towards you.
These are just some of the possible reasons why cats seem to attack pregnant women. It all boils down to fear and anxiety because cats hate any form of change. If there is a sudden change in their environment or their owner’s behavior, they will usually lash out based on fear and anxiety.
What Can You Do to Avoid Getting Attacked by a Cat?
A cat’s aggression towards pregnant women can be prevented. If you’ve just found out you’re pregnant, there are some things you can do to prevent attacks from your cat. Here are some tips:
Keep Your Cat Properly Fed
There may be times when you’ll forget to feed your cat as pregnancy is extremely hard and demanding. But always keep in mind you have a cat to take care of, too, so make sure it is properly fed and well-taken care of so it won’t get jealous or feel neglected.
Keep Your Cat Busy and Happy
If you’re bringing in new furniture and items for the baby, try buying new toys for your cat, as well. Your kitty may feel jealous that you’re constantly buying stuff for a baby that’s not there yet, so bringing in new toys and objects for your cat to keep it busy may help in mitigating its anxiety.
Keep Your Cat Indoors
If you have a pregnant neighbor or if you want to prevent your cat from attacking a pregnant stranger, keep it indoors. If your cat has had a history with a pregnant owner who has neglected it, your cat may associate any pregnant woman with the feeling of fear and anxiety it experienced. Your cat may view any pregnant woman as a threat, so keep it indoors at all times. If you want your cat to play outdoors, make sure you are attending to it at all times.
Why do cats attack pregnant women?
Cats become aggressive when faced with an unknown situation or environment. Anything new can become a threat, so they become aggressive out of fear and anxiety.
What are the signs that your cat will become aggressive toward you if you’re pregnant?
Some signs that your cat may become aggressive towards you include hissing at you, spitting at you, hiding and running away from you, or if it starts urinating inside the house.
Should pregnant women avoid cats?
Yes and no. If you’re the cat owner, you can do things to prevent your cat from becoming aggressive toward you when you become pregnant. If you are a stranger or you’re a tenant living on a property with cats, it might be a good idea to stay away from cats to protect yourself from any attacks.
Cats fear any form of change and a cat owner becoming pregnant is a major change that brings with it many changes in the owner’s behavior and environment. By always remembering to take care of your cat and giving it attention, you can prevent your cat from becoming aggressive towards you or pregnant strangers.