Why Do Cats Attack Pregnant Women?

Despite the strong bond between a female owner and a cat, why do cats attack pregnant women? Opposite to the happiness a mom is experiencing, a cat’s mood might change. You might even be shocked and wonder if your fur pet needs a check-up from the vet. As a woman’s body changes due to pregnancy, the danger is seen through a cat’s eyes. Feelings of fear, stress, and anxiousness are felt by a feline from the changes due to happen. 

Cats can sense the hormonal changes in their owner. They are good readers of a human’s body language. Would you believe that their attack was not an intention to harm you but an act of protecting you? Let us understand how the future changes cause their mood to change. 

Reasons Why Cats Attack Pregnant Women

1. They’ve Got Their Behavioral Issues

Cats are like humans which is difficult to understand at times. Their aggressive behavior might be activated, and no one knows who the poor target will be. This behavior is intended to show power over other animals or human beings. They might not even like interaction with anyone who gets too close to them.

If they felt less attention was being given to them than before, their aggression rises. The said feeling also causes stress and fear for them. It is advised for cats to be vaccinated before being petted by a pregnant woman. 

2. Feeling Neglected And Snubbed

Cats are creatures of habit. A different routine for a healthier lifestyle because your condition might affect the level of attention you have to your fur friend. This will feel like a sense of betrayal to them. He feels neglected and snubbed. You might find them standing all the time, wanting to be pet.

sad cat

Why do cats attack pregnant women? They will try to get their owner’s attention back. They will try to communicate the stress and negative feelings they are getting from it. They think that the best time to do it is at night. They will try to wake you up by scratching your feet or ankle. They may even try to bite it to get your attention. 

It does not matter whether it is your first child or not. Cats may feel that they are neglected because of the new bundle of joy to come. Be observant of their behavior to prevent any harm to people. 

3. Refusal of Owner’s Changes 

They are annoyed by the changes happening to their owners. They are not happy with the vibe they are getting. Say your peaceful breakfast with them can change due to your morning sickness. It was not just a change in routine but seeing your body change is also new to them. 

If you have observed that they are hiding, hissing, or trying to scratch you, something is wrong. Even their digestive problems or frequent peeing in the household signals that an attack is coming. It was the new environment vibe that they are getting pissed off not because of you or your baby. 

4. Territory Battle 

Their natural aggressive behavior and jealousy kick in. They are bold to express what they think is their territory. A change in a woman’s body is seen as a threat to them. An increase in your appetite can be seen as a competition for food. They do not understand what is happening and think that you are trying to consume what’s theirs. Even the space in your baby’s room creates a sense of change that they are not used to. They may also feel that they are about to be replaced by something. 

Some say that pregnant women have a scent similar to prey. Due to their instinct, they locate that smell and track it until they find the source. This could be very alarming for pregnant women. However, they will also realize that it was just you at home and not a potential meal. 

5. Sudden Attack When Petting

Sadly, a pregnant woman can get a bite from them while being petted. They react as they would to a stranger because they felt a need to protect themselves. It is not a big thing to worry about. However, monitoring their actions is advisable to prevent any potential harm. 

A stroke, while they are just comfortably sitting on your lap, might cause a sudden attack. As a future mom, you might unconsciously be needy to pet them due to your hormones. It could lead to you touching their no-touch zone. It is better to pat them on their head or neck.   

6. Negative Feelings 

They are experiencing a mix of fear and stress. Many factors play a role in these feelings. Their health is also affected because of it. They are sensing that things are about to change. They may have already known what will happen from their owner’s previous pregnancy. They’re already aware that pregnant women give more attention to themselves than petting them. Their meal schedule might also be affected. Babies will also be a new adoration in the household. 

Fear is a natural behavior. They might be scared of seeing their owner or someone close to them. A loud noise from a baby can be frightening as well. Both their genetic and environmental setup brings this impact. Signs of fear for a cat include dilated pupils, flattened ears, and hissing.

The feeling of being left out contributes to their stress. It may even lead them to chronic pain. A cat gets angry at the person he thinks is causing this. Prevent shouting at them and stay calm during their aggressive mood. Give them time to do things on their terms and just gently persuade contact with them from afar. Give them their usual freedom so they won’t feel a need for a fight. 

7. Claims About It

There is no study yet confirming the relationship between a cat attack over a pregnant woman. Further studies are needed to confirm this theory. However, based on the mentioned factors above, change is a big factor. They are afraid of what the future holds for them when a new member of the family comes. They are just trying to protect themselves and their owners. 

Myths about pregnancy and cats

Pregnant Women Shouldn’t Have Cats

There are concerns about cats living in the household with a pregnant woman. However, you don’t have to be sad and get rid of your fur friend. You just need to be very careful from toxoplasmosis infection which they might pass onto you. Be mindful and alert as well in terms of their aggressive behavior. 

All cats have toxoplasmosis

No, however according to studies 20 to 60 percent of cats have been infected by this parasitic disease at some point in their life. Humans and animals can be infected by toxoplasmosis. Toxoplasma gondii is a single-celled parasite that causes it. One can get infected by it by eating raw meat or infected vegetables. Outdoor cats who eat little animals like rats are more prone to get infected. 

angry cat

If you are pregnant, it would be better to advise your OB that you have a cat at home. A series of tests is needed just to make sure that you are free or immune to the bacteria. The said parasite might be present in the feces of a feline. As a safety measure, seek help from other members of the household to do the task of cleaning the litter box. If you have no option but yourself please be very careful and maintain hygienic procedures such as follows:

  • Wear gloves and wash your hands after. 
  • Prepare all the cleaning materials you need. 
  • Have a small chair you could comfortably sit at and minimize your exposure to the litter box. 

Cat hair and dander are dangerous

A cat’s hair is not as harmful compared to its dander. Cat dander is found in their fur, these allergens are not visible to the naked eye. You might sometimes find yourself continuously sneezing because of it. It is so small that it freely floats in the environment and hides in furniture. 

Cats are aggressive and can injure a pregnant woman

There are times when a pregnant woman can be bitten by their cat. Just like you, cats feel the changes happening around them. They are getting a different vibe in their home and naturally tend to be more aggressive because of it. Monitoring your cat’s behavior is important to prevent any accident that can seriously injure a pregnant woman. 

Cats are Dangerous to Babies

In whatever case it might be, NEVER LEAVE YOUR BABY with an animal. It is always better to quickly address your baby’s concern. Keep eye contact with your baby and pet, it is essential to prevent any risk or harm from taking place. 

Cats are territorial so they have this behavior of being protective in their spot. It is better to train them that the baby’s items are not theirs. If you have a baby’s room, it is advisable to prevent your cat from entering it. In that way, they’ll be able to know that the said area is not for them but for someone else.   

Common Questions About Cats On Pregnant Women

Can cats smell pregnancy hormones?

Yes, cats are very sensitive to smell compared to humans. A cat can detect a hormonal change in your body. They are aware of the pheromones produced during your pregnancy. They can smell the subtle change in your body odor. 

How soon can cats sense pregnancy?

Your cat may have been the first one to know if you’re pregnant before you. When your body begins to produce more progesterone, estrogen, and human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) hormones, your cat can smell it. As early as three to four weeks they could already tell if a new life is forming in your body. 

Signs your cat knows you’re pregnant

Curious if your fur friend knows that a new member of the family is on the way? Read the list and know. 

  • Your cat loves cuddles and is clingy. They can sense the changes in your body, and they want to protect you from them. 
  • You become like their safe zone if they don’t normally allow strangers to pet them before.
  • A paw in your belly or sometimes your cat laying on it. They would love to be part of the bonding. 
  • Your fur baby brings gifts to you as they know that there is something to celebrate. 
  • Snobbish behavior when they start to observe that your daily routine has changed. 


A cat is sometimes the first child of a fur parent. They are adorable creatures that bring happiness. But, when you are about to have an additional joy to the family. Why do cats attack pregnant women? It was simply because they were afraid of changes or jealousy. They felt that a change in their routine will affect the attention they are getting. They might also want to just simply protect you from the changes happening to you. Nevertheless, the bond you have doesn’t need to stop. You just have to be more careful in your way of petting them. There is nothing constant in this world except change. May you and your cat deal with it without causing any harm to each other. 


At The Lovable Cat, we believe that every cat deserves to be loved and cared about.

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