If you have ever seen a cat attacking a pregnant woman, you will naturally have wondered why do cats attack pregnant woman?
Well, almost every cat owner knows that cats are animals of habit, meaning they have their routine, and they don’t easily adapt to new things. But what does this have to do with pregnant women?
During pregnancy, women experience various different changes in their bodies; hormonal changes in their body and in their behavior. Cats have a great sense of smell and are able to detect these changes.
These changes may be something that they don’t like, simply because it’s not something they are used to so it makes them feel uneasy or threatened. They know something has changed but they don’t understand what’s happening to the woman.
That may lead to certain issues, with them feeling scared, or neglected, and this may result in them lashing out and attacking a pregnant woman.
If you want to learn more about this topic, read on because this article provides you with 9 possible reasons. If you have ever asked why do cats attack pregnant woman, then read on!
Why Do Cats Attack Pregnant Woman? 9 Reasons
There may be various reasons for cats attacking pregnant woman. So, in order to prevent this alarming behavior from happening, first you should know what causes it.
By reading the following text, you’ll learn 9 possible reasons why cats attack pregnant woman, as well as other important things about the topic, such as the consequences and why pregnant women should avoid cats. So, read on to find out more!
1. Feeling Neglected
One of the main answers to the question of why do cats attack pregnant woman may be because they feel neglected or snubbed.
If you and your cat have been friends for a long time, they may feel neglected when you’re experiencing something new. Maybe your cat has become used to getting all of your attention, playtime and cuddle time, so now that you don’t do it just as often, there’s a problem.
If feeling neglected, your cat may start behaving differently in order to get your attention again. Usually, they will attack in the middle of the night to tell you that they need something.
Most of the time, these attacks aren’t that aggressive, the cat just wants to get your attention . However, it all depends on the cat. Some felines may be really furious if they think you are neglecting them.
2. Feeling Stressed
It’s possible for cats to feel stressed, and the reason for that may be pain, or something similar. Stressed cats who are in pain may show signs of aggressive behavior such as hissing, biting, scratching, and most importantly, whipping their tail.
So, a cat may be stressed because of pain, or because she’s irritated by someone. If a cat is prone to very aggressive behavior when stressed, it can be risky for a pregnant woman to be in the same room with a stressed cat.
You never know, but an infected cat may infect a pregnant woman by biting her and scratching her. Therefore, in order to avoid unnecessary complications, it’s better to avoid the stressed cat, especially if it’s a new cat who’s not very familiar with you.
Another important thing is knowing how to behave if you find yourself in the same room as a stressed cat. Don’t try to yell, or do anything that could antagonize her and make her behavior worse.
Just stay calm, and ignore it. In cases like that, especially if the behavior continues to happen, the best thing is to contact an animal behavior expert to get some help.
3. Feeling Scared
Cats don’t only attack when they’re angry, but also when they’re scared. For example, when scared, their claws are their most important natural defense mechanism.
A scared cat may show signs of aggression as she’s trying to protect herself. That may also happen in cats who have not been socialized and are uncomfortable around unknown people, especially if those people want to pet them or get closer than they are comfortable with.
Cats may even attack pregnant women because they’re scared. They sense something different about that person, and they don’t quite understand what’s happening, therefore that may get scared leading to an aggressive reaction.
4. Defending Its Territory
Cats are known for defending their territory. However, that kind of behavior is usually directed toward other cats and animals. Could a cat attack a pregnant woman when trying to defend its territory?
The main reason why do cats attack pregnant women while defending their territory is that they don’t feel safe in the environment, and they’re stressed because they’re able to notice particular changes in a woman’s body, but they don’t understand the reasons behind them.
Moreover, this particular behavior may be more extreme in female cats than male cats, especially in pregnant cats, who are trying to protect themselves from sudden changes that may represent a threat to them.
Therefore, they may show aggressive behavior such as hissing, loud angry meowing, or even start biting and scratching if they don’t want a pregnant woman in their territory. Moreover, at the same time, they may behave completely normally towards other family members.
In cases like this, it’s better that a pregnant woman avoids the cat, in order to avoid possible problems, especially if a woman knows that a cat will react aggressively.
However, if a pregnant woman owns a cat that starts behaving like this towards her, then it’s for the best to isolate the cat for a few days, and let someone else do the cat care until it calms down. Even after that, be careful of possible infections and similar issues.
5. Petting Aggression
Petting aggression is one of the worst confusions of all time, especially when a cat comes to you for petting, and then after some time she attacks you because you’re actually doing it!
Some cats may be affectionate towards their pregnant owners, and some may be unpredictable.
By sensing the changes in your body, they may feel irritated and that can cause the cat’s mood to change very quickly.
Therefore, if your cat comes to you for petting, and after that attacks you, it may mean that she got bored, or that you pet her too much, leading to overstimulation.
Some cats may be so aggressive that they attack even before you begin petting them. So, if you’re a pregnant woman dealing with this problem, it’s very important to learn how to read the cat’s body language.
If your cat comes to you for petting, give her a quick calm pet, and then leave her alone, don’t overdo it. She may continue to headbutt you or similar, but eventually, she’ll go away.
Another golden rule is that if you notice that your cat is not in the mood, don’t approach her first, just leave her be, until she comes to you.
6. Behavior Issues
So, the reason why do cats attack pregnant woman is mostly because of the cat‘s behavior issues. Behavior problems are something that should be taken seriously.
Every cat is an individual, therefore, some cats may be more fierce than others, and some may be more loving.
However, proper socialization and training of a cat from a young age is crucial if you want to have a well-behaved cat in the future, despite her character.
Unfortunately, many cat owners don’t take this seriously, and when they realize that they cannot control the cat’s bad behavior, they leave them in rescue centers or even abandon them..
What is the cause of these behavior changes? Cats are animals that like to have a routine, and they don’t adapt to changes very well and certainly not quickly. But still, the reaction depends on each cat. Some cats may become even more affectionate, while some may become aggressive.
When they sense particular changes in a woman’s body, especially if she’s their owner, they may be scared and confused, not realizing what’s going on. The only thing they know about is that something is different, and they don’t want to accept it.
So, it’s very important to train your feline from a young age, so that you can control these behavior changes, at least a little.
7. Noticing Hormonal Changes In Your Body
As mentioned above, cats have a brilliant sense of smell. Therefore they’re able to detect many things, including illness and even pregnancy.
Cats are able to detect hormonal changes and pheromones in your body. This may mean that they may get stressed or scared because they don’t know what’s happening. They only know that something is completely different than before, and that doesn’t suit them.
Moreover, they may sense your attention being directed towards a new baby, leading them to feel neglected.
When your feline notices the changes, make sure that you let her know that everything’s fine by giving her the attention she needs. However, be careful if she shows early signs of aggression, to keep yourself safe.
8. Objecting To The Owner
Sometimes, a cat that has noticed certain changes in a pregnant woman’s body may be confused and start objecting to the owner.
According to animal behavior experts, this happens because cats don’t like their routine to be disrupted. By sensing these changes, they feel that their routine may change, therefore they’re angry and worried.
Cats may get angry because they also notice changes in the pregnant owner’s behavior, such as lack of attention, lack of play time and similar, and that may be one of the reasons why they start objecting to the owner.
9. Mistakes In Socializing The Cat
So, why do cats attack pregnant woman? The main reason for cats attacking a pregnant woman is because cats are able to sense the changes in a woman’s body , and cats definitely don’t like change.
Therefore, cats may attack a pregnant woman because they feel neglected, stressed, or scared. Perhaps they have behavior issues or they’re not well socialized.
As previously mentioned, socialization and training is crucial for every pet cat, but not everyone takes it seriously. If you want to control your cat’s behavior, then you should start socializing and training it from a young age.
If you don’t do this on time, or you don’t do it properly, certain behavior issues may appear (regardless of whether you’re pregnant or not).
Different Ways Of Preventing Cats From Attacking Pregnant Women
If you’re dealing with an aggressive cat, here are some tips on how you can prevent her from attacking pregnant women (and others).
• Socialize your cat from a young age and use positive reinforcement. Reward your feline friend every time they do something positive.
• If your cat attacks someone, especially a pregnant woman, make sure you isolate the cat until it calms down, or don’t let her go near unknown people.
• Keeping your cat indoors will help you prevent her from hurting others while trying to defend her territory.
• Ensure your feline friend has its own space and that they’re comfortable there, so that they don’t perceive you as a threat to their territory.
• Don’t feed your cat everywhere, because that can lead to it being territorial. Find one spot where you’ll always keep their food and water.
• Use sprays that can help your cat calm down.
Why Should Pregnant Women Avoid Cats?
Cats are known to be the main carriers of the parasite Toxoplasma gondii. Cats may get infected with this parasite by eating birds, rodents, and other small animals. Usually they don’t have any symptoms or serious complications. However, they may infect humans.
People may get infected by Toxoplasmosis by cleaning out a cat litter box and coming into contact with cat feces. There is also a risk of infection from touching a cat’s mouth, and similar contact.
Usually, people won’t suffer great consequences or experience serious symptoms, however, that may be different with pregnant women.
Women should avoid cats during their pregnancy, especially stray cats and other outdoor cats.
If a pregnant woman gets infected with this parasite, she may experience symptoms, and most importantly, the infection may pass through the placenta and infect the unborn baby.
The infection may cause serious birth defects such as brain damage, certain eye problems, and may even lead to miscarriage or stillbirth. Moreover, in some babies, certain issues may appear only later in life, such as mental disabilities.
However, if a pregnant woman owns an indoor cat, it doesn’t mean that she should avoid her feline friend completely. You can still enjoy each other’s company, you should just be more careful.
When it comes to this, the most important thing is that someone else cleans up after the cat and feeds her, or that you use disposable gloves if there’s no one else to do the job.
Also, make sure that you don’t feed your feline with raw meat, but instead feed her top-quality cat food in order to avoid the risks of your cat getting infected.
What Is Toxoplasmosis?
Toxoplasmosis is what we call the infection caused by the parasite Toxoplasma gondii.
Cats are the main carriers of this famous parasite and most commonly affected are birds and mammals. Humans may get infected by Toxoplasma gondii through cat feces. The important thing is that humans cannot pass the parasite on to each other.
However, cats are not the only one that present a threat. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people may get infected by other things as well, such as touching or eating raw meat, gardening, etc.
Besides that, you can also get infected by drinking contaminated unpasteurized milk, therefore you should be very careful when eating or drinking, and take your health care professionals’ advice on what you should avoid while pregnant..
What Are The Symptoms Of Toxoplasmosis?
Usually, when a person becomes infected by toxoplasmosis, there are no specific symptoms visible. The infection can only be diagnosed by the detection of specific antibodies in the blood.
However, that doesn‘t mean that the symptoms can’t occur. The symptoms of toxoplasmosis may include:
• Muscle pain
• High body temperature
• Swollen lymph glands
• Feeling sick
• Inflammation of the heart muscle
• Inflammation of the eye
• Inflammation of the lungs
Often, toxoplasmosis does not require special treatment. A quick blood test will be enough to check for antibodies and identify an infection.
Treatment is not necessary for a healthy person who contracts an infection, however, a pregnant woman may require special treatment.
Symptoms are not always present in this type of infection, but when they are, they’re usually not that serious and tend to go away within a few weeks.
Can Toxoplasmosis Affect Unborn Babies?
Yes, unfortunately, toxoplasmosis can affect unborn babies. Infected newborns may experience serious consequences, a mild sickness, or serious issues later in life.
Toxoplasmosis during pregnancy is particularly dangerous as it can expose unborn children to the parasite.
If a pregnant woman gets toxoplasmosis for the first time, the parasites may pass through the placenta and harm the unborn child, even causing miscarriage or stillbirth.
It’s very important that a pregnant woman takes care of herself and pays special attention to her unborn baby. During this important period, a woman’s immune system is very sensitive and more prone to infection.
Furthermore, it‘s important to clarify two things. If a healthy, non-pregnant woman gets infected by toxoplasmosis, her immune system will fight off the parasite.
However, if a woman becomes infected while being pregnant, that’s where things can get a bit more serious.
In order to prevent these things from happening, here are some prevention tips that every pregnant woman should know in order to keep herself and her baby safe from infections and diseases. So, let’s check them out!
• Cook all meat thoroughly
• Wash hands carefully before eating
• Wash hand after touching raw meat
• Wear gloves when doing tasks around the house
• Wash vegetables carefully
• Wash every tool that has touched raw meat
• Avoid cleaning up after cats, especially cleaning a cat litter box
• Litter boxes should be cleaned on a daily basis
• Don’t eat rare or undercooked meat
• Provide your cat with her own space
Do Cats Get Jealous When You’re Pregnant?
It may be surprising, but yes, cats can sense the hormonal changes in your body and get jealous. They may especially get jealous around small children or babies, and may show signs of aggressive behavior, which is not good for anyone.
The reason for that is bad socialization, and spoiling a cat. If you cannot control her behavior around babies or pregnant women, then you should contact animal behavior experts or your veterinarian.
Does A Cat Sense The Unborn Baby?
Every cat lover knows that cats have a great sense for detecting things. They’re able to sense the hormonal changes and similar in your body, and therefore, they’re able to sense that you’re pregnant (possibly even before you find out yourself!).
Because of their great sense of smell, cats are able to detect illness in you or sense bad energy. However, not every cat is going to react the same.
How Do Cats Act Around Pregnant Woman?
A cat’s behavior around a pregnant woman may depend on her general behavior or how well socialized she was when young. If the cat’s spoiled and poorly socialized, she may show signs of aggressive behavior, and start attacking or similar. She may also do that because of feeling neglected.
However, there are cats that may react in a completely opposite way. They may cuddle with you and rub against you, and especially lay on your belly.
What Should A Pregnant Woman Do If A Cat Attacks?
A pregnant woman should let the attacking cat know that her behavior is unacceptable. However, it’s better that pregnant women avoid contact with cats, especially if they know that the cat’s reaction might be aggressive.
After interaction with such a cat, a woman is just risking the chance of getting infected with toxoplasmosis, and that can be very dangerous as it can be transmitted to her unborn baby!
Wrapping It Up…
In short, cats won’t attack pregnant women without a reason, even if that reason is only known to them! This article provides you with 9 possible reasons why do cats attack pregnant woman.
When it comes to this, it’s very important to know the cause of that particular behavior and how to deal with it.
If a cat attacks a pregnant woman, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it will attack others as well. The main reason for attacking her is because of sensing certain changes which a cat cannot understand.
When such a thing happens, you shouldn’t yell at the cat, because that can only worsen the situation and make the cat even more stressed and angry.
However, it’s very important that women be careful with cats during their pregnancy, because there’s a chance a cat will infect her with Toxoplasmosis.
This infection doesn’t have to cause serious issues to a woman or her baby but it can, and the consequences may vary from less serious to dangerous ones.
Therefore, pregnant women can still enjoy being with their feline friend, they just need to be more careful and avoid things and places where they can get infected, in order to protect themselves and their baby.
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