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Why Do Cats Attack Pregnant Women? (5 Likely Reasons)


May 4, 2023
mad cat at its pregnant owner


mad cat at its pregnant owner

Being a pet parent is a rewarding experience, especially when it’s to a loving, adorable feline. However, your adorable, sweet-tempered cat can become a monster when you’re expecting a new addition to the family.

One second, your cat sits on your lap, and the next, it bites you. Could it be that the cat senses you’re pregnant? Is it feeling neglected?

If you’re wondering why your beloved feline has decided it needs to attack you now that you’re expecting a baby, it might have you a bit concerned. There are a few reasons that cats attack pregnant women, and we’ll discuss them below.


The 5 Reasons Why Cats Attack Pregnant Women

1. Behavioral Issues

If your cat shows aggression, it’s usually meant to intimidate other animals or people. Any type of aggression in cats is difficult to explain. Over 27% of cats are dropped off at shelters because they had behavioral issues and showed aggression towards people and animals that couldn’t be explained.1

Cats are creatures of habit; they like things a certain way and don’t enjoy changes. When a cat senses hormonal changes in their owner, it can become aggressive and may start having other behavioral issues.

It’s thought that the sudden change in the cat’s environment scares the cat, and that’s why they attack pregnant women.

Pregnant woman on the couch with cat
Image Credit: Zhuravlev Andrey, Shutterstock

2. Feels Neglected

Of course, as a pregnant mom-to-be, you will be concentrating on your health and the health of your unborn child more. You’ll also be busy preparing for the new baby, from getting the nursery ready to finding tiny clothes and diapers. Your cat may not realize why you’re busy, but it knows you’re not giving it as much attention as you were before.

In short, your feline may feel neglected because you spend less time with it. Attacking you may be its way of trying to get attention.

3. Senses Your Pregnancy

Cats are sensitive creatures that can easily tell when something changes in their environment. It could be that your cat is attacking you because it senses your pregnancy. In fact, your cat can sense you are expecting and hear your baby’s heartbeat long before any machine can pick it up.

This has to be a bit confusing for your cat. They may decide to lash out at you because they don’t know what’s happening and may even feel threatened by these changes that they’re sensing in their pet parent.

cat and pregnant woman sitting on the sofa
Image Credit: Africa Studio, Shutterstock

4. Petting Attacks

It’s normal for you to want to pet your cat, and pregnant women seem to want to pamper, nurture, and cuddle their cats often. However, if your cat isn’t comfortable with being petted constantly or would prefer just to lay on your lap and sleep, reaching out and petting the feline could cause it to bite you.

The cat doesn’t mean anything by biting you; it just wants to be left alone. Also, between the sudden changes the cat senses in your body and the petting, the cat may feel threatened by the petting instead of comforted.

5. Territorial Aggression

Your pregnancy could be causing territorial aggression in your feline. If your cat is suddenly biting, hissing, and scratching at you, it could be because it is already stressed over your pregnancy and sees you as the source of the stress and all of its problems.

This causes the cat to show territorial aggression, which can lead to it attacking you in what it sees as protecting its territory.

a tabby cat lying on pregnant womans lap
Image Credit: Sunsetoned, Pexels


Tips To Keep in Mind to Stay Safe

Now that you know why your cat might be attacking you now that you’re expecting a baby, you might wonder how you can be safe and still keep your cat. Toxoplasmosis is a real concern for mothers-to-be, so you must be careful. Here are some tips to keep in mind to stay safe while pregnant and still be able to keep your furry friend.

  • Keep your cat indoors to prevent the risk of toxoplasmosis
  • Make your cat feel loved with extra attention
  • Give your cat their own space
  • Try to avoid being stressed
  • Don’t pet your cat if they don’t want to be petted
  • Keep your movements slow when petting your cat
  • Try to keep your cat calm
  • Stick to a routine with your feline

If the behavior from your feline persists, talk to your vet for recommendations for a behavioral specialist, especially before you bring the baby home.



The last thing you want as a pet parent is to surrender your cat to the local animal shelter or rehome the animal when you’re pregnant. The changes going on in your home before the baby arrives can be stressful for your kitty, and when the baby arrives, it will take more time for your cat to adjust. If our tips for handling your cat when you’re pregnant aren’t working, you may need help from a veterinary behaviorist.

Featured Image Credit: Vikkin, Shutterstock

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