Has your feline friend been behaving strangely around cats of the opposite gender? Do you sense some steamy tension between your male and female cats? Chances are either one or both of your cats are going into heat. When cats go into heat, they can become very fussy and it can become quite a task to handle them or calm them down. From meowing loudly to being restless, there are different behaviors that a cat might exhibit when going into heat.
Cats go into heat at a certain stage of their life and at certain points in the year, and during this phase, they will meow loudly, which will no doubt be quite irritating for you and your family. So you need a way to deal with this.
That is why we have prepared a guide that will tell you everything there is to know about cats that are going into heat.
When Do Cats Go into Heat?
If your cat is 6 months or older, there is a very high likelihood that it can go into heat anytime soon. However, depending on the cat’s diet and environment, it can occur sooner or later. This is usually when cats reach the stage of puberty, and as a result, experience their first hormones like we do humans do. Cats can go into heat as early as 4 months after birth and as late as up to 10 months.
The timeline for cats going into heat also varies by the type of breed that you have, so you should also keep that in mind.
How Often do Cats Go Into Heat?
When cats are going into heat, it is often known as an ‘estrous cycle’ or a ‘cat’s heat cycle.’ We know the first time cats go into heat is when they become teenagers in a way. But that doesn’t mean that it’s the only time that your cat will go into heat. After the first time, your cat will seasonally have estrous cycles, and sometimes, they can even have multiple heat cycles within one breeding season.
However, there is no way of knowing when the breeding season occurs. Some experts state that in the western hemisphere, the months of March till September are typical breeding seasons for cats. So that means you have to be alert and keep an eye out for your cat’s behavior during these 6 months.
These heat cycles will occur during the breeding season after every 2 to 3 weeks until your cat gets pregnant or until you get it spayed.
Why Do Cats Go into Heat?
Female cats, starting from 4 to 5 months after their birth can experience high levels of estrogen, which is a feminine hormone that is also found in women. High estrogen levels cause female cats to experience estrous cycles. Once they get pregnant and give birth to their babies after carrying them for 2 months, they can go back into heat after 1 month of the post-natal period.
Warning Signs About Your Female Cat’s Behavior in Heat
Knowing about what to look for during breeding season can be quite confusing, especially if you want to get your cat spayed. Here are some warning signs that you should know when it comes to your cat’s behavior when their estrous cycle begins:
- Her meowing will become louder (like a howl), and she will wail more frequently as if she is calling someone
- She will become more affectionate towards you and even dining chairs or tables
- She will start rubbing herself against any object and purring happily and loudly
- Her tail will be stretched out upright.
- She may look for any chance to outside every time you open the entry door
- You may start spotting male cats hanging outside your house and trying to get in through the doors or windows.
- Your cat may even start excessively grooming themselves. This doesn’t solely mean your cat is going into heat – it can also mean that they have something in their fur that’s irritating them. So always take this sign in conjunction with something else that might be wrong.
How to Calm a Cat that is Going into Heat?
Now that you have confirmed that your cat is most likely experiencing its heat cycle and you are worried that about calming them down, here are some ways you can try to calm your cat down until you get them spayed:
- Catnip should be given only for the short term to calm your cat down
- Play calming and soothing music around the house because cats love to listen to good music
- Play with your cat more often to keep them engaged in activities that tire them out
- Use a Feliway diffuser to allow your cat to be surrounded by synthetic pheromones that giveS her a familiar scent to breathe in to have a calm effect on her
- Make sure she has a clean litter box at all times
Our Final Thoughts
Don’t be frightened of cats experiencing heat cycles. Many owners feel confused and think that they don’t have any way to calm their cats down. They end up giving away their cats, which is worse for them during this season. There is no evidence as yet of whether cats are in pain during estrous cycles but they do feel uncomfortable and they try to comfort themselves by being affectionate to you.
So show your cat some extra love and attention during the breeding season!