Why Do Cats Attack A Pregnant Woman? 9 Reasons Explained

12/9/2022 - 2 Comments

Cats are friendly pets, but sometimes they turn aggressive unexpectedly to expectant mothers. So why do cats attack a pregnant woman?

There are several reasons for those behaviors. It's necessary to stand on your pets' point of view to see what their attacks mean.

We will discuss each reason in detail. No matter what the cause is, you need to pay attention to your little buddies during this time. Let's read on to discover!

Why Do Cats Attack A Pregnant Woman?

Cats attack pregnant women because they find something attractive in their target's body, such as a higher temperature, increased blood flow, or smell. Besides, they may act to protect their kittens and territory.

We love cats because they are social pets. There must be motivation for them to turn violent. Hence, we will talk about all the possible cases for you to understand more about these animals.

Smell hormones

Cats attack pregnant people because they find the scent of hormones attractive. Those hormones guide the body on when to develop and reproduce.

Cats and humans have those hormones. When a woman is expecting, her body generates more hormone progesterone.

This hormone maintains the pregnancy. Additionally, it is more common during the first trimester, when the possibility of miscarriage is the highest.

You may have heard about the strong sense of smell in cats. They can spot the hormone progesterone even at a low level. Hence, pregnant women will attract them.

High body temperature

Cats may attack pregnant women because they have high body temperatures. A woman's body temperature increases by roughly 0.2°F during pregnancy.

Although the temperature rise is not too much, it's still enough to cause the woman to feel hotter and sweat more.

The smell of sweat is unpleasant to us, but cats have a different experience. They like that smell and see it as a food source.

Besides, there is a common condition in expecting mothers, and it's PICA (Eating Everything Except Food). This condition leads to a desire to consume non-food stuff, such as ice or dirt. Unfortunately, pica women may lure cats.

Pregnant women have a higher body temperature

Increased heart rate

Cats may be interested in pregnant women because they generally have higher heart rates. Although cat attacks are rare, pregnant women should be aware of the threat.

Another case is that the cats will be attracted to the pregnant woman's body due to the increased blood flow. They may even act aggressively or territorially.

Less defense

Pregnant women become a target to attack cats since they are weaker and less able to protect themselves. Attackers like cats could see a pregnant lady as an easy victim.

Kitten protection

According to some experts, cats may injure expectant mothers in an effort to prevent the delivery of their kittens. A cat may consider the unborn kid a threat to their babies, which can be frightening.

Moreover, during pregnancy, cats are more sensitive because of hormonal changes. The higher levels of progesterone and estrogen also cause these animals to become angry.

The cat may want to protect the kittens

Territory protection

Cats are quite possessive and will usually attempt to gain control of whatever space they can identify as their own.

Hence, once pregnant women approach their private space, cats tend to attack intruders, especially when seeking water and food.

Such problems happen to all people. However, expectant mothers cause more concern for cats because of the changes in their hormones.


Fear is a natural reaction that may result from many factors, such as loud noises, threats, and danger. Your pet has fear when strangers or even their owners come close to them.

Stress is another possible cause that affects your pet's behavior. When he feels stressed, he may bite or scratch people.

Besides, cats like consistency. So they will fight if they sense something happening to change their comfortable lives.

As a pregnant woman, you have some changes in pheromones. When approaching cats, you make them feel that you don't spend time with them anymore.

The feeling of being lonely pushes cats into a stressful situation. They tend to step back into a corner. And when you come to them, they can only fight to protect themselves.

Your cat may feel lonely and stressed


Cats usually see expectant mothers as easy targets. There are several reasons for cats to threaten expectant mothers. Sometimes your pet acts out because of sickness or injuries.

Once they feel weak, cats think of ways to defend themselves against threats. Aggression is the most common reaction in those cases.

Bad behavior

Adult behavioral problems are common in cats if the owners mistreat them as kittens. If someone gets to them too closely, they could break out or just participate in a combative attitude.

If your cat shows this behavior and you have other animals or children, it might bring serious issues for the entire family, including the expectant woman.

Owners may become rude when they give their pets too much or too little food. So, they behave aggressively toward those who touch them as a result.

Why Should You Stay Away From Cats When Pregnant?

Cats often attack expectant mothers. Besides, those cute animals may cause other problems. Here are five reasons why you should avoid them during your pregnancy.

See more cat images: https://catimages.net/


Cats are vulnerable to a parasitic infection known as toxoplasmosis. It can cause severe health problems for both the expectant mother and her unborn babies, such as stillbirth, miscarriage, or congenital disabilities.

Bite or scratch

Although they might be fun, cats can carry germs in their claws and teeth that may cause infections. A pregnant woman may put herself at risk of getting an infection if cats bite or scratch her.

Fur shedding

Fur shedding is common. However, the fur may carry harmful bacteria. Once you inhale them, an infection has a chance to develop.


Small insects called fleas may breed on cats. Despite their small size, they may bite you when you touch your pet, leading to an infection.


Rabies and scratch fever are two diseases that cats may transmit to people. Although those problems don't occur often, they are deadly.

Women who are expecting should stay away from cats to minimize their chance of getting toxoplasmosis or other infections. If you absolutely must be near cats, wash your hands immediately after contacting their fur.

Pregnant women should stay away from cats

How To Avoid A Cat's Attack When Pregnant?

You can avoid your cat's attack during your pregnancy. The following three tips will help prevent it.

Feed your cat properly.

Pregnancy is stressful and challenging. Expectant mothers and even fathers have too many things to do. Thus, you may sometimes skip your pet's meals.

Please note that cats require a lot of care. So make sure you feed your pet properly. Once they are full, they won't feel lonely or get jealous.

Make your cat happy and busy.

Stress and fear are the most common reasons that make your cat aggressive toward you. Hence, keep him happy and busy.

We recommend buying your pet new toys and furniture. He will have a more fun time and feel you still care for him.

Moreover, playing with the toys makes the cat busy. There will be little time for feeling neglected or stressed.

Keep your pet indoors.

Keep your pet inside if your neighbor is pregnant and you want to prevent him from attacking any pregnant stranger.

Learn some tips to avoid your cat from attacking you

Will A Male Cat Attack A Pregnant Cat?

Since each cat's personality and living conditions vary, there is no clear answer to this question.

Some male cats could be friendlier and more welcoming to a pregnant female cat. However, some are more likely to attack other cats if they feel threatened.

Cats don't coexist harmoniously for many reasons. The most common is under-socialization or a lack of beneficial relationships with other kitties in the cat's early years.

For instance, the male cat may lack social skills, fear the unfamiliar, or detest changes to his environment and routine.

Male cats with aggressive tendencies might never make the ideal female pals. Yet, they may usually find a way to deal with one another without much conflict.

You'll need to put in some effort and time to solve the problem of cat hostility. If you can't, consult specialists for help.


Cats are sensitive to changes around them. When you are pregnant, you may encounter tons of those changes, making cats act aggressively toward you. Besides, these social animals turn rude to protect their kittens and territory.

Even when your pet doesn't attack you, it would be best to stray away from them. The infections transferred from them are dangerous for expectant mothers.

Hopefully, you will find this article helpful. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask. We will get back to you soon.

Thank you for reading!

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About Billy Nguyen
I'm Billy Nguyen, currently CEO/Founder Cat Images, with over 3 years of experience in cat care and training. I hope the knowledge I share brings useful value to promote your pet care effectively.

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