Is My Cat In Heat? What To Do When Your Cat Is In Heat

Posted: September 23, 2021 by Anita

is my cat in heat

With a loud howl (in an irritating decibel that sets your teeth on edge), female cats all over the world very loudly announce the beginning of the mating season.

It can be difficult for the cat parent, the cat, and all neighbors within earshot to deal with a cat in heat. In this article, I discuss what it means when a cat is in heat and tips on what to do.

What does it mean when a cat is in heat

Heat is the time when your female cat is fertile and looking for a mate. The technical term for a cat in heat is estrus. The reproductive cycle of the female cat is known as the estrous cycle. There are four stages of the estrous cycle:

  1. anestrus – inactive stage – runs from late September through mid-January. The low light and short length of day light is a primary factor in suppressing the heat cycles during the winter months
  2. proestrus – period in which the cat is coming into heat, but not ready to mate
  3. estrus – period of time the cat is in heat – ready to mate
  4. metestrus – period of time right after cat is in heat – returns to normal self

Unlike human females in their reproductive cycle, which produce an egg every cycle no matter what – female cats only ovulate or produce an egg upon the actual act of mating. The term for this very efficient process is known as induced ovulation.

6 signs a cat is in heat

How to tell if a cat is in heat? When cats are in heat, you will notice a change in their behavior:

  1. very affectionate
  2. very demanding and constantly wanting attention
  3. persistently rubbing against you or furniture
  4. rolling around on the floor
  5. very vocal; howling
  6. marking which is urinating or spraying vertical objects (like your walls) with urine. The urine contains pheromones and hormones that attract male cat suitors that are not spayed

The changes in your cat’s behavior will be very irritating, and you might be tempted to get rid of her. But there are some actions you can take to make things easier for her while she in heat.

More on that later.

is my cat in heat

How long does a cat stay in heat

The complete estrous (reproductive) cycle is on average about three weeks, with the estrus or in heat period lasting 4-6 days at a time.

If the cat fails to mate while in heat, she then moves in metestrus, where she will return to her usual self.

How often do cats go into heat

Female cats can have multiple cycles during the breeding season, so they are called seasonally polyestrous.

Breeding season varies according to location and environmental factors such as temperature and the total number of daylight hours.

When does a cat go into heat

In the Northern Hemisphere, female cats can cycle from late January until late fall. In tropical regions, female cats can cycle all year round. Unspayed cats that spend time exclusively indoors with artificial lights can also cycle all year round.

Cats have their first reproductive cycle when they hit puberty. On average, puberty or sexual maturity, first occurs in cats around 4-6 months old – yes, that’s right, when they are kittens.

What to do when your cat is in heat

What to do with a cat in heat? Because Lord have mercy, a cat in heat can be difficult for you, your cat, and possibly your neighbors.

Here are some tips on how to deal with a cat in heat:

  1. How to calm a cat in heat? Give your queen some extra attention and be patient with her.
  2. How to comfort a cat in heat? Give her some space. She might need some peace and quiet so provide a comfortable spot for her to chill. Don’t take her crabbiness personal. You might want to try a Cat Nip Cat Mat to help her chill out – click here to take a look – catnip not included. Click here to check out the catnip that Theo loves.
  3. Give her some extra play time. She might be in the mood to hunt so fishing pole toys such as this one – click here to have a look.
  4. Make sure you keep her from getting out the house – secure all doors and windows.
  5. Keep her litter box clean. Don’t give your cat any reason to mark her territory elsewhere.

Consider getting your cat spayed

The best treatment for a cat in heat is to have her spayed. Having her spayed will stop her reproductive cycle and her going into heat. If you cat is a female kitten it is best to have the surgery performed before the first estrous cycle – around 4 months of age.

The added benefits for having a cat spayed is that she will live a longer, healthier life. According to the ASPCA, “spaying helps prevent uterine infections and breast tumors… in about 90 percent of cats”.

Conclusion

It can be difficult for the cat parent, the cat, and all neighbors within earshot. In this article, I discussed what it means when a cat is in heat.

Heat is the time when your female cat is fertile and looking for a mate. The technical term for a cat in heat is estrus. The reproductive cycle of the female cat is known as the estrous cycle. There are four stages of the estrous cycle.

How to tell if a cat is in heat? When cats are in heat, you will notice a change in their behavior. The changes in your cat’s behavior will be very irritating, and you might be tempted to get rid of her. But there are some actions you can take to make things easier for her while she in heat.

If the cat fails to mate while in heat, she will eventually return to her usual self.

Cats have their first reproductive cycle when they hit puberty. On average, puberty or sexual maturity, first occurs in cats around 4-6 months old – yes, that’s right, when they are kittens.

What to do with a cat in heat? Here are some tips on how to deal with a cat in heat:

  1. Give your queen some extra attention and be patient with her.
  2. Give her some space. She might need some peace and quiet so provide a comfortable spot for her to chill. Don’t take her crabbiness personal.
  3. Give her some extra play time.
  4. Make sure you keep her from getting out the house – secure all doors and windows.
  5. Keep her litter box clean. Don’t give your cat any reason to mark her territory elsewhere.

The best treatment for a cat in heat is to have her spayed. Having her spayed will stop her reproductive cycle and her going into heat. If you cat is a female kitten it is best to have the surgery performed before the first estrous cycle – around 4 months of age.



Read more from the Cat Mama: