Why Does My Cat Lay On My Stomach When I’m Pregnant?

Why Does My Cat Lay On My Stomach When I'm Pregnant

You’re a few months in the family way and the household is abuzz with excitement. But other than that, you are concerned why your pet kitty suddenly becomes extra clingy.

So why does a cat lay on your stomach when you are pregnant? The reason is, your cat senses that there’s something different in your scent and presence. Also, she tends to lay on your stomach because your body temperature is higher which cats normally prefer.  

Do cats sense if you’re pregnant?

Your cat can sense if you are bearing a child by the following means:

Cats have an extraordinary sense of smell. 

Your pet cat has a superpower, her sense of smell. There are 200 million odor sensitive cells in her nose and her sense of smell is 9 to 16 times stronger than that of humans. Pregnant women experience hormonal changes and produce more estrogen, progesterone, and human chorionic gonadotrophin or hCG hormones. These changes have a significant effect on her scent and this does not escape a cat’s extra-sharp sense of smell. There have even been reports where pet cats sense their pet parent is pregnant even before the former does.

They can sense your moods and pick up on body language. 

Cats are experts at napping but do not let that deceive you. They’re intrinsically alert and observant. They’re known to be experts at reading your moods and body language. Your mood swings and constant napping during the early stages of pregnancy, even your body posture, pique your cat’s attention and interest. 

Your pet cat seeks warmth.

A cat’s body temperature is around 102 degrees Fahrenheit and needs to compensate for heat loss as opposed to humans and other animals. A pregnant pet parent is an easy target for cats to cuddle with since pregnant women have higher basal body temperature, especially during the first trimester.

Common concerns if cats lay on a pregnant woman’s belly:

Cats seem to develop a special liking for a pregnant woman’s belly and they love to snuggle and lay on the stomach. However, is it safe for your cat to lay on your stomach if you’re pregnant?  Here are some common concerns that pet parents share. Let’s check if there’s a need to be worried about this.

1. The cat may be heavy.

Pet parents worry that the cat may be too heavy if she lays on a pregnant woman’s belly as it may lead to discomfort, birth defects, or miscarriage. However, this is not very probable and a normal sized cat is unlikely to be heavy enough to be able to cause harm to the baby, even if your pet cat belongs to a large breed like the Maine Coon.

2. Your cat’s body heat may harm the baby.

Another concern among pet owners is that a cat’s body heat may have a potential danger to the baby inside the womb. However, this is also very unlikely as a cat’s body temperature is not sufficient to increase a human’s body temperature. 

3. Possibility of infection 

While this may be a realistic concern, it’s unlikely that a pregnant woman can contract infections like toxoplasmosis, a parasitic infection carried by cats, just because a cat lays on her stomach. However, it is best to take precautions by staying away from your cat’s litter tray and requesting a family member or a friend to change the litter for the meantime. If you have to do it yourself, use gloves and wash your hands thoroughly after cleaning the litter tray. 

If your cat has a communicable infection it is best to protect yourself by not putting your face near to your cat’s face and by washing your hands carefully after playing or petting your cat.

4. Cat allergies 

Pregnant women tend to develop an allergic reaction to cats during pregnancy and this may due to the hormonal changes while those who have existing allergies tend to be more severe.  To protect yourself, consult your vet for the right allergy medication, and do not let your cat stay with you in the bedroom while you sleep during night time.

You’d be surprised to know that there are health benefits if you have a pet cat during your pregnancy.  A cat’s presence significantly reduces stress and promotes emotional and physical well-being. Your cat’s warmth and soft purring sounds lower anxiety levels among pregnant moms. Cats can even sense if something’s wrong with you like low iron or blood sugar levels.  

Final thoughts 

Do not be alarmed if your pet cat suddenly becomes extra clingy and loves to lie on your stomach when you are pregnant.  She prefers your body basal temperature and her extraordinary sense of smell picks up your hormonal changes and moods. Most of all, she adores your enticing scent and tends to feel extra protective of you and your baby.