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Cats are one of the most unpredictable animals on the planet.
Predicting the behavior of our feline friends has been a big mystery, one which canine experts have researched for ages.
Figuring out what your cat is up to, what they want, or how they want it has attracted tons of theories and studies.
Even today, many pet parents are still scouring the internet for answers to at least part of why their cats are behaving in certain ways.
One particular concern that drew our attention was the behavior of cats around women during their menstrual periods.
Some cat owners are insistent that when they are on their periods, their cats seem to know what’s up.
For instance, Katarzyna, a Ragdoll owner, wrote in one of the popular kitty forums, “My cat has become more affectionate over the last few days, which also happened to be the days when my periods started. She is meowing more, cuddling more, following me around, and jumping on me nonstop.”
So, why is your cat more affectionate during your periods?
1. Felines Have Highly Acute Sense of Smell
Our cats’ senses of smell are very powerful and are designed to help them operate smoothly in their environments. Their sense of smell is believed to be almost 15 times stronger than ours.
While human beings have just about 5 million odor sensors, our feline friends have more than 200 million.
From mother-offspring bonding, mating, hunting, to exploring their environments, a cat’s sense of smell is her most reliable weapon for picking up vital information.
One feature that makes a cat’s sense of smell stand out in the animal kingdom is the dual scent mechanism.
Just like other animals, cats possess conventional olfactory (scent) receptors that help them pick smells in the air.
However, they are also blessed with a second “nose”, Jacobson or Vomeronasal organ, located in the roof of their mouths.
The Jacobson organ serves as a secondary olfactory receptor and detects pheromone signatures as well as chemical substances that don’t have odors.
There are no scientific-backed studies on what cats are capable of sensing when it comes to human emotions, but what is apparent is that they can smell hormones and chemicals released by the human body.
So, your cat can detect that you are on periods because of the hormonal changes and due to the fact that menses have odors.
Immediately you start your period days, therefore, your feline’s dual olfactory receptors will pick up the smell in a heartbeat.
And since she is so curious, she will try to be affectionate to find out what’s up.
But don’t fret; she can’t understand what’s happening—she can only detect that something smells different! And according to feline behaviorists, your cat won’t really care.
Generally, cats have other ways of identifying us, including our voices and using their sights.
And considering that in most cases you still smell the same, there is no day your cat will feel that there is a new stranger in the family.
2. She Wants To Share Those Awful Feelings with You
Your behavior and mood during your periods may also make your cat become more affectionate.
Apart from the smell phenomenon we’ve covered in the previous section, your cat doesn’t know what periods is or what it means.
However, if you have cramps and lying on your couch most of the time, your cat might want to cuddle with you—and for many valid reasons…
Your cat not only senses distress but can also smell the chemical changes that occur in your body when you are distraught.
Whether it is increased pressure or heart rate, your cat can always detect that you are stressed.
Cats are experts at reading the body language of their owners, so they can notice even those minor differences in your movements, habits, or body chemistry.
Your cat can also recognize changes in your daily routines and behaviors. So, if cramps is ruining your day and you resort to lying on the couch the whole day, your cat will become aware of it.
And since they are compassionate animals, she will try to help you through your stress by cuddling and becoming more affectionate.
She wants to share those bad feelings with you and wants nothing more than to be close to you.
Related Post: Can Cats Sense Depression and Anxiety?
3. Temperature Variations
Some women tend to experience a slight increase in body temperatures during their periods due to spikes in progesterone levels.
This slight increase in body temperature may be one of the reasons your cat is more affectionate.
The body temperatures of our feline friends are generally high compared to ours, so they tend to enjoy cuddling more with us when we are warm.
Since your body temperature may be slightly higher during your periods, your furball may like to snuggle with you more.
Why is my cat more affectionate when I’m on my period? Hopefully, now you understand why.
While the above claims are not backed by reliable scientific evidence, many cat lovers and feline specialists swear that cats can detect that something is different during your periods.
However, as aforementioned, they can’t attach any meaning to it. In other words, your cat knows that something has changed during your periods, but she won’t tell what it is.
So, the next time your feline companion becomes too affectionate or acts weird because it is that time of the month, take it easy.
She is simply trying to comfort you, looking for some favorable cuddling temperatures, or her sense of smell is sending all sorts of signals her way, which makes her change her behaviors a bit.
Related post: Can Cats Get Turned On By Humans?
Hi! I am Eleanor Price. I started this website after my cat, Louie, almost died from a case of botulism (a type of food poisoning often caused by bacteria that grow on food items). Turned out that my cat’s diet was the problem. I have made it my duty to provide the best information and recommendations about everything cat lovers need to know about their felines’ health and wellbeing. My goal is to find the most informative content on anything feline-related and share it with fellow hardworking kitty lovers.
Disclaimer: While I ensure that the advice and tips given here are in line with the latest evidence-based veterinary information and health guidelines, under no circumstance should you misconstrue my suggestions as medical advice. Please contact your veterinarian in all matters regarding your kitty’s health.