How Cats Affect Mental Health During Pregnancy

Pregnancy is one of the most beautiful and sensitive times for every woman, so it makes sense to wonder about our lifestyle choices and how they affect our unborn baby’s health. While having a pet has well-known benefits for us, you have probably come across conflicting information regarding having a cat during pregnancy.

If you’re curious about how your furry friend can impact your emotional and mental well-being while you are preparing for the wonders of motherhood, read on to learn how your cat can make your pregnancy an even more enjoyable experience.

pregnant woman with baby shoes on belly

Love & Affection

Despite the common misconception that cats are primarily selfish animals, cat owners know well that these fuzz-balls can be surprisingly caring and affectionate. Keenly attuned to your emotions, they will shower you with more warmth and cuddles when they sense that you are yearning for a gentle touch of your feline companion.

Some pets show an incredible sensitivity towards expecting moms, so don’t be surprised if your pet follows you around more often or shows more attention to you, which will further deepen your bond. Having a caring cat during pregnancy can help your body release more of the feel-good hormones, dopamine and serotonin, allowing you to feel more relaxed and happy.

cat offering love and affection to a woman


Emotional Support

This sensitive period can be a particularly challenging time for first-time moms, ladies going through a difficult pregnancy, or future moms who are going it alone. Even if everything is in perfect order, the unexpected waves of emotions can push us out of balance when we least expect it.

Cats have a soothing effect, they will provide you with the much-needed warmth and their purring can have a surprisingly beneficial effect on your state of mind, especially when you find yourself struggling with negative thoughts and emotions. They will calm you down as you enjoy their closeness and affection.

cat providing emotional support to a woman

Nurturing Spirit

Having a pet while you are preparing to become a parent is a perfect practice for moms-to-be and an excellent opportunity to express your nurturing instincts. Not only will your feline companion appreciate it, but it will be an equally rewarding experience for you.

Use this opportunity to groom your fuzzy friend, take care of their needs with the best cat supplies available, play with them, and make sure you shower them with attention because cats will reciprocate and love you more if they are cared and loved. This also helps you ensure that your pet is healthy and safe for your unborn baby, which will give you peace of mind.

orange cat on a chair next to a woman

Perfect Stress Relief

Along with the joy of expecting a baby, pregnancy comes with numerous stress-inducing situations, sleepless nights, many changes in your life, and the natural motherly worry and need to constantly shield your unborn child.

It turns out that pet-owners have an easier time making all the changes, transitions and adjustments to the new situation, while your four-legged pal gives you comfort, and prevents the stress from affecting your health. Studies have even shown that having a pet decreases your risk of developing depression.

cat providing stress relief


Perfect For Baby Health

If you’re still not convinced, here’s a perk that tops them all: if you own a cat during pregnancy as well as after giving birth, you will create a perfect environment for boosting your baby’s immune system, helping your baby become more resilient to viruses and allergies.

precious newborn baby in a basket


Studies have shown that kids growing up with cats and dogs are less likely to develop atopic dermatitis or other forms of skin conditions and eczema, which means that your baby will benefit from living with a pet. And what better way to stay happy and emotionally fulfilled than to ensure the healthiest possible childhood for your little one?

All it takes is a little know-how on keeping your cat healthy in order to protect your baby’s health as well. Having your feline companion during pregnancy will only safeguard your own state of mind and emotional well-being, helping you become a strong, loving mom for your future baby.

About the Guest Author

Olivia Jones, Psychologist, Blogger.

Olivia Williams Jones is psychologist from Brisbane, dedicated to making some changes in the world, starting from her own environment. Also, she is regular contributor to High Style Life blog. Olivia is a writer who is passionate about mental health, parenting, healthy living and pets. Her motto is “Be the change you want to see in the world.” You can find her on Facebook and Twitter.

Image Credits: Pixabay