It seems as though cats are often drawn to pregnant women, showing them extra affection than they would normally offer to humans. Cats are naturally curious animals and it only makes sense that they will take a keen interest in your baby bump by wanting to be around it as much as possible. Many pregnant cat parents can attest to the fact that their pet loves snuggling up to their bump. This may leave you wondering how safe it is to be around your fluffy buddy when expecting.
So, can your cat sit on your pregnant belly? Well, as long as you are comfortable and the cat isn’t too heavy, I don’t see why not. There are, however, a few precautions you must take to ensure you and your baby’s safety. For instance, you should be very careful with cats that are aggressive or nervous.
As an expectant cat parent, you probably have a lot of questions like:
- Is it safe to be around your cat while pregnant?
- Do you have to give up your cat while pregnant?
- What measures can you take to ensure safe cat ownership while you are pregnant?
- How do you prepare your cat for the new baby?
- Will your baby be safe with the cat around?
These are just but a few of the worries of owning a cat during pregnancy. The truth is being pregnant presents many challenges and owning a cat shouldn’t be one of them. With a little planning and understanding, you’ll be able to enjoy your pregnancy and pet. This text is going to answer this and many more questions you might have about cats and pregnant women. So, keep reading for more information!
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Is It Okay For a Cat to Lie On Your Pregnant Belly?
Your British Shorthair is likely to develop a special liking to your pregnant belly and will love to snuggle and lie on it. As I said earlier, it’s okay to let your cat lie on your baby bump but there are some important caveats.
The first concern expectant mothers have about letting a cat lie on their belly is she might be too heavy and that pressure can lead to discomfort, miscarriage, or even birth defects. Cats aren’t heavy enough to cause harm to the baby –even the larger breeds like the British Shorthair or the Maine Coon. The discomfort part is true though. As your belly grows, you’ll already be feeling enough pressure in your pelvis that you wouldn’t want to add to it. And, even though the growing fetus is surrounded by a protective pool of fluid, it’s probably best not to let anyone or anything put more pressure on the uterus.
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Another concern is the cat’s body heat may harm the baby. While it’s true that fevers can be dangerous during pregnancy, a cat’s body temperature isn’t sufficient to cause a significant rise in a human’s body temperature.
Another health issue for pregnant cat owners is cat allergies. It’s not uncommon for pregnant women to become temporarily allergic to cats due to hormonal changes, while those with existing allergies tend to be more severe. To protect yourself, you can ask your doctor for the right allergy medication and don’t let your cat stay near you, especially while you sleep overnight.
The biggest concern surrounding pregnancy and cats is an infection called toxoplasmosis. It turns out cats expel a parasite in their faeces that can be harmful to a fetus. If an expectant mother is infected by this parasite, she could have a miscarriage or a stillbirth, or even give birth to a baby with serious eye infections, brain damage, or other birth defects. As you can see, this is not a danger that comes from letting your British Shorthair lie on your pregnant belly but rather from handling her litter. You can, therefore, prevent exposure to Toxoplasmosis by staying away from your cat’s litter tray. If that’s not possible, you must wear gloves when changing the litter box and wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water afterwards. Be sure to do so daily since the virus takes 1-5 days to sporulate and become infectious. That being said, it’s important to note that toxoplasmosis can be spread through contaminated meat, meaning eating infected raw/undercooked meat. The parasite is transmitted orally, so even handling the meat and failing to wash your hands thoroughly could expose you to the parasite.
There are several other infections that cats can transmit to humans; therefore, be careful handling your cat if she has some type of communicable infection. Wash your hands thoroughly after playing with the cat and avoid putting your face near her face.
While it’s generally okay to let your cat lie on your baby bump, keep in mind that animals are unpredictable. For starters, cats with long claws should not sit on your belly. Scratches or bites should be taken seriously since they can become infected or even allow pathogens to enter the body. Also, as I said earlier, watch out for aggressive or nervous cats.
Why Do Cats Love Snuggling Up To Your Pregnant Belly?
Cats are usually solitary and aloof creatures but will suddenly begin rubbing and purring themselves against you when you get pregnant. Why is that?
Expectant mums experience hormonal changes, thus producing more progesterone, oestrogen, and HCG hormones. These changes in hormonal levels can affect your normal scent and since cats have a superpower sense of smell, they can pick up on these scents. Your British Shorthair cat will cling on you during pregnancy because she’s probably wondering why you smell differently all of a sudden.
Secondly, your cat seeks warmth. Cats have a higher body temperature than humans and enjoy cuddling with warm people. Cats will especially enjoy cuddling with pregnant women since they have a higher body temperature.
Cats can pick up on body language. Changes in your mobility and the constant napping during pregnancy might make you seem vulnerable, making your feline friend want to protect you. Cats can also sense changes in your mood. If she senses that you are angry or upset, she will want to snuggle up on your pregnant belly in an attempt to comfort you.
The most obvious reason your cat likes lying on your pregnant belly is that you’re less active and possible constantly napping. The fact that you’re always present makes you the perfect snuggle buddy than if you were rushing all day.
Why You Should Keep Your Cat during Pregnancy
There’s conflicting information regarding having a cat during pregnancy. But far from presenting a threat to you and your unborn child, there are actually a number of health benefits to having a cat during pregnancy.
Cats are surprisingly caring and affectionate towards expecting mothers. That’s because they can sense the waves of emotions you are undergoing during pregnancy. Your cat will shower you with cuddles when she senses that you are overwhelmed and stressed. All this love and affection will help your body to release more feel-good hormones so you feel happy and more relaxed.
Pregnant women go through a lot of emotional stress, which can raise their blood pressure and weaken their immune system. Cats have a soothing presence; they can provide you with the much-needed warmth, not to mention, the sensation of her purring on your belly might just be what you need to calm you down and reduce stress.
The best perk of them all is the fact that cats are perfect for your baby’s health. If you own one during pregnancy and even after birth, you can be able to create the perfect environment for boosting your baby’s immunity and helping them become more resilient to allergies, viruses, and skin conditions like atopic dermatitis.