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Change in cat behaviour at end of pregnancy

Discussion in 'Cat Training and Behaviour' started by Sonia Kat, Aug 17, 2018.


  1. Sonia Kat

    Sonia Kat PetForums Newbie

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    Hi all,

    I'd appreciate some advice or reassurance about our rescue cat that we have had for a year. She is usually very relaxed and sweet though has never liked much fussing or cuddles ever since we got her.

    I found i was pregnant early this year and she suddenly became very cuddly towards me, started coming in to sleep on my belly which made the baby kick and meowing around me, sleeping next to me for the last few months. It seems no one is sure whether cats can sense pregnancy but I'm sure she has done.

    The problem has been in the last week (now 38 weeks), when she has suddenly become very irritable. She makes sad noises when I try to pet her when she would normally cuddle in towards my hands, jumps off the bed or chair if i sit near her and has tried to scratch and bite me 4 times in the last 4 days! Can she sense the baby might be near with a change in hormones or something? She's eating fine, sleeping fine and not noticed any signs of illness and she seems fine with my hubby. We have a feliway diffuser in and I've been trying to play with her, give treats etc as much as i previously did as well. I had never had concerns about her around baby but now getting a bit worried.

    Thank you.
     
    #1 Sonia Kat, Aug 17, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2018
  2. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    Hi @Sonia Kat, when you are pregnant your personal scent changes and this is very noticeable to your cat, as cats are very scent-driven animals. Sometimes when a pregnant owner's scent changes it can make their cat wary or anxious. In your case your cat has become very protective of you, wanting to be close to you and snuggle. I think that sounds lovely and immensely comforting. :)

    Now you're in your final week of pregnancy and your cat's behaviour has changed again; this could well be due to hormonal changes in you and the accompanying change in your scent, which will be apparent to your cat. Also it would be normal for you, at this point, to have some underlying anxiety about giving birth, and your cat being very tuned in to you is sensing this.

    If your cat is fine with your husband, and is eating fine etc I wouldn't worry, it doesn't sound as though she is ill.

    Have you been preparing your cat for the new baby e.g. allowing her to inspect the nursery with you (but do not allow her to make it 'her' room, or she will be upset at being shut out when baby comes).

    Buy the creams etc you will be using for the baby and put some on your wrists every day so your cat can smell them, get used to them, and recognise them on your baby. She will then regard the baby as being one of the family, not an intruder.

    I don't think you need to be concerned about her being around the baby, but I would never leave any pet unsupervised with a small baby. Try and involve your cat as much as possible with the baby's care e..g allow her to be in the room when you're feeding baby, or changing her, in the bathroom when you're bathing baby.

    Main thing is to ensure your cat does not feel shut out, or replaced in your affections by the newcomer (the baby). Perhaps your husband can make extra fuss of your cat once the baby arrives. :)

    All best wishes for the birth of your baby. x
     
  3. Sonia Kat

    Sonia Kat PetForums Newbie

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    Thank you so much chillminx, i think that's just what i needed to hear. I've really tried reading up about integrating the new baby so I've let her wander around the nursery, pram and cot and sniff all the toys. I've played crying baby sounds to her and honestly she didn't seem that bothered by it all until this week. I'm sure you must be right about the hormones and scent, i just worried that she'd suddenly tried to bite and whether that scent would then trigger the same response with the baby. The idea with the cream is really good, I'll start doing that too.

    Will definitely try to keep up with a bit of playing and feeding to keep a bit of her normal schedule but hope she will settle in ok once the baby comes. Thanks again.
     
    chillminx likes this.
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