Have you noticed a pattern – your cat is extra clingy when you’re on your period? Does your cat know what is going on; can they sense it? And can the presence of your cat affect your period? What can you do if you want space from a clingy cat while on your period? Here are the answers to all of these questions and more.
So, why is my cat clingy while I’m on my period? Cats are clingy when their owners are on their period due to their desire to provide comfort and relieve stress. Cats can feel that something is different because of the changes in their owners’ hormone levels, so they’ll usually react in some way. Some cats are more affectionate or clingy.
It’s actually quite amazing how cats pick up on it.
As we shall see as we continue to explore in the following few sections.
Do Cats Know When You Are On Your Period?
Cats know when you are on your period because they can detect the hormonal changes in your body. Our cats, who are sensitive to our pain and health, pick up many physical changes in our bodies.
Your cat might follow you more around the house, climb into your lap, or look to snuggle up close to you while you’re on your period.
There are several reasons cats might be able to detect when their owners are menstruating.
Your Cat Senses Your Body Temperature Increase
Due to increased levels of progesterone, some women’s body temperatures will increase slightly during their monthly cycles.
Our cats’ body temperatures run higher compared to ours, so they tend to enjoy snuggling with us when we’re nice and warm.
It could be that your cat gravitates toward you more during your period because you’re an extra-warm water bottle!
Your Cat Smells The Blood
Cats have highly sensitive noses – so much so that your cat could smell just one drop of blood in an Olympic swimming pool!
So, it stands to reason your cat can easily smell your period blood.
Smells are your cat’s primary method of identifying objects and people. Cats have more than 200 million odor sensors in their noses, whereas we have about 5 million.
Cats use their powerful noses to pick up essential information, from bonding with their mothers to hunting and exploring.
Unlike humans, cats have a dual scent mechanism – not only can they pick up smells in the air with conventional scent receptors, but they have a ‘second nose’ in the roof of their mouths.
This extra scent organ is called the Jacobson or Vomeronasal organ, and it detects chemical substances that don’t have smells as well as pheromone signatures.
This is why your cat can smell your hormones and other things that we can’t detect.
Your Cat Senses Your Emotions
Cats can pick up on our emotions, particularly strong ones like stress.
Emotions like stress or anxiety can change our body chemistry and, therefore, our body odor.
Because you literally smell different, your cat might think something is wrong, so she may want to comfort you. Or perhaps she wants reassurance that everything is okay.
Many women don’t feel their best while on their periods, so their cats may want to provide extra comfort and support.
If you aren’t feeling your best, your behavior will likely change, and your cat will sense that.
Many cats will show extra love and affection to their owners when they’re feeling sad, so it’s only natural that your feline friend will want to comfort you if you’re feeling under the weather.
As any cat owner knows, there’s nothing quite so comforting as snuggling a furry heating pad!
Your Cat Senses Your Hormonal Changes
During the menstrual cycle, a woman’s estrogen levels drop, signaling to the body that it’s time to release an egg.
Your cat may sense this hormonal drop and want to give you more affection, perhaps because she knows something is different about you.
Don’t worry, though – your cat still knows it’s you, and while you might not like the smell of blood and the hormonal changes, most cats aren’t too bothered about either. They just want to provide comfort and investigate what’s up.
Your Cat Is Responding To Extra Love
Many women give their cats extra attention and cuddles when they’re on their periods, so it could be your cat is responding happily to your desire for more snuggles.
Some women will pamper themselves a bit more while they’re on their period, including indulging in more cuddles with their felines.
Many cats delight in the extra attention and so will seek more of it!
Your Cat Is Bored
Some women are less active while on their periods, and their cats may be feeling bored at the lack of stimulation.
While it’s normal not to want to do much with a heavy period, for your cat, life can be a bit dull at these times.
It could be your cat is looking for something to do, so try playing with her or offering her toys to keep her occupied.
Your Cat Is In Heat
If your cat is in heat while you’re on your period, he or she might act clingier than usual.
When cats are ready to mate, they go into heat – and this can cause them to behave more affectionately towards their owners, whether they’re on their periods or not.
Can Your Cat Affect Your Period?
Your cat can affect your period, by altering your hormones (including dopamine, oxytocin, and endorphins) as a result of you cuddling/general caring for them. That being said, although women who live together tend to have synchronized periods over time, the same does not happen with cats.
Your Cat And Your Wellbeing
Generally speaking, it has been proven that owning a cat (or a dog or another pet) can provide benefits such as:
- Lower stress levels
- Increased exercise
- Weight loss
- Improved sense of overall wellbeing
Because the menstrual cycle is often associated with periods of low energy and decreased overall feelings of joy and wellbeing, the presence of your cat can help you feel better during these times.
Your Cat and Your Hormones
Hormones That Increase
Cuddling with your cat can affect the number of feel-good chemicals in your body, such as:
These hormones can help relieve pain and discomfort.
It’s been well-documented that snuggling a beloved pet can release significant amounts of these beneficial hormones.
While snuggling with your cat can’t prevent you from having your period, it can certainly change how you feel when you’ve got it.
Hormones That Drop
In addition, cat cuddles can lower the levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Cortisol can negatively impact your period: it can become irregular or even stop completely.
Because owning a pet can reduce your overall stress levels, your cortisol levels will also decrease, thereby impacting your monthly cycle.
Therefore, you could possibly improve the regularity of your cycle by snuggling your cat!
Given that your estrogen levels will also drop (see above), many women struggle with poor impulse control – hence the stereotype of women eating lots of chocolate or other foods when on their periods.
PMS can also cause drops in serotonin, which can lead to feelings of sadness. Thankfully, cuddling your cat can help counteract this effect because of the increase in feel-good hormones (see above).
How To Get Some Space From A Clingy Cat While On Your Period
If your cat is too clingy while you’re on your period, you can encourage a stable daily routine, provide additional stimulation and provide firm boundaries and a safe place to give you some time alone and reprieve.
Make Sure Your Cat Is Well
If your cat’s clingy behavior while you’re on your period has come about suddenly, it could be a medical issue is the culprit.
Any sudden changes in behavior can be warning signs of a serious health issue, or emotional problems like separation anxiety.
It could be your cat is suffering – in which case, you’re helping your cat’s health and wellbeing, which will usually make her feel more secure and less likely to be too clingy.
Note: Before trying to implement any of the additional suggestions below, make sure you address the cause of your cat’s clingy behavior. For example, it would be cruel trying to establish a daily routine or firm boundaries if your cat has separation anxiety or is ill.
Encourage a Stable Daily Routine
Clingy cats react better when they know what’s coming throughout their day. If you don’t already have one, implement a daily routine for your cat.
Try doing things at the same time each day: waking up, feeding your cat her meals, and going to bed. Your cat will feel less nervous when she knows what’s happening and when.
You could also try leaving out a bit of dry food as a side snack during the day so that your cat won’t be dependent on you every time she wants to eat.
Provide Additional Stimulation For Your Cat
Get A Friend For Your Cat
Some cats benefit from feline company, especially if they tend to be clingy – it could be your cat is lonely. Visit your local shelter and adopt a feline friend – many times you’ll be able to find out if a particular cat has lived with other cats before.
Try Background Voices or Music
You can try adding to your cat’s comfort by leaving the radio or a TV on in the background – talk or weather channels are best.
Some cats appreciate soothing music – there are excellent YouTube channels dedicated to calming anxious cats and other pets.
Give Your Cat A Hobby
Cats need mental as well as physical stimulation. You could provide a window seat for your cat to watch birds outside (get a bird feeder to enhance the view).
Even if you can’t get a bird feeder, windows provide lots of entertainment for cats.
There are also many excellent cat toys you can purchase or make yourself to keep your cat entertained.
Food toys are one way to keep a curious cat busy for longer at mealtimes.
Provide Firm Boundaries
Make small, gradual changes that establish firm boundaries for your cat. Respect these boundaries, whether you’re on your period or not.
For example, if your cat always goes into the bathroom with you, try closing the bathroom door behind you.
Make yourself available at other times, while avoiding giving in to every demand for attention your cat makes.
If your cat always jumps on your lap, try moving her gently to the side of you so that she can still be next to you. Allow her to come onto your lap on your terms, not hers.
Provide A Safe Space
Make sure your cat has a safe, enclosed space to retreat to – this could even be a cardboard box.
You could put a T-shirt or another item of comfortable clothing in the bottom as bedding so that your cat can derive security from smelling you even when she isn’t on your lap.
Note: Providing objects with your scent is best employed when you are home with your cat. Don’t try and use these objects as a substitute while you’re out, as many cats become distressed with this strategy. Having a safe space – whether you’re home or not – is the main thing cats need.
Encourage Relationships with Other People
If you have other people in your home, see what you can do to encourage your cat to bond with them, too.
For example, if you’ve been the one providing her food, get someone else to take over that role.
Maybe someone else in your home can provide the daily play sessions with your cat.
Note: Be sure to make changes gradually if your cat tends to be nervous.
Cats definitely know when you’re on your period.
Whether it’s something that they detect or a subtle change in how your body responds or you behave.
And there are benefits that the extra attention can provide you too.
Besides, it’s always nice when your cat wants to be near and have a cuddle.
That being said, if you find that your cat is too clingy during this time, there are things you can do (if you wanted) to get that extra space back.
Other related guides you may want to check out:
- My Cat Won’t Leave Me Alone All Of A Sudden [What Can It Mean?]
- My Cat Follows Me Everywhere But Won’t Cuddle [Why & What To Do]
- My Cat Guards Me When I Poop [Why & What To Do]
- My Cat Guards Me When I Pee [Why & What To Do]
I am an experienced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets, from traditional pets like dogs and cats, to the more exotic like reptiles and rodents. I currently own a Cockapoo (pictured) called Bailey. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site dedicated to sharing evidence-based insights and guidance, based on my vast pet ownership knowledge, experience, and extensive research.