Identifying and Dealing with a Cat in Heat

A cat goes into estrus (heat) three times a year for a length of approximately two weeks. Your cat will suddenly be restless, upset and very vocal. Your cat’s behavior will be quite different from her normal routine. She will appear agitated and on edge. Here are a few ways to help you recognize when a cat is in heat and what to do with her when she is.

Step 1: Determine Whether Cat Is in Heat

If your cat is in heat, she will hold her hind quarters high and her tail to one side. She will be in an agitated state of mind, using hind-leg ‘treading’ movements and rolling on the carpet or floor. Her behavior will be extra affectionate and she will appear very vocal. Her sounds will be almost painful and piercing. There is no vaginal discharge or any physical symptoms that will make it easy to spot something different with her. You will just have to pay extra attention to her behavior to recognize that she is actually in heat.

Step 2: Constantly Reassure the Cat

Spend some special time with your cat to put her at ease. Gently stroke her until she calms down. During estrus a cat is very highly stimulated Give her extra affection and sensory stimulation and she will soon be satisfied. Cuddle her and keep her in your lap for some time.

Step 3: Keep Your Cat Occupied

Your cat will think of mating, so keep her distracted. During this period she will think of little else but mating. Get her exciting new toys she can play with, and run after so her mind is occupied and she gets physically tired.

Step 4: Delay Cat’s Cycle

If you don’t want your cat to breed now, you can get her injected by the veterinarian with hormones and other medicines which will stop her cycle from starting. This is usually done by pedigreed cat breeders who don’t intend on having their cat mate until the time is right and the male is the one they want. This will stop the cycle for a temporary period.

Step 5: Spay Cat to End Heat Period

If, on the other hand, you don’t plan on breeding your cat at all, it would be a good idea to have your cat spayed. This will end her heat cycles permanently, and it can prevent uterine infections and sometimes even cancer.

Step 6: Mate Cat

You can also consider mating your cat. This will shorten the heat cycle. If mating is unsuccessful, then another cycle will occur every 2 to 3 weeks. On the other hand, if the mating was a success, the cycle will shorten to 4 days and there will be no more cycles during the period of gestation. Once the cat gives birth to her litter, another estrus cycle can start within the next 1 to 6 weeks.