Mommy's Favorite Things: How to Calm a Cat in Heat

Thursday, April 11, 2019

How to Calm a Cat in Heat

Female cats in heat will do anything to mate. They will spread out their legs, raise their behind, and pull up their tail to show readiness. If there is none at home to mate with, they will call out to the neighborhood tomcats and spray the front door with pungent urine. Tomcats can become aggressive and restless upon hearing the queen’s call.

Felines express their desire to breed incessantly. You will soon find yourself looking for the escape artists who went out to breed and be bred from. If it is your first time dealing with a cat in heat, you should know that not all cats calm down on their own. They need you to soothe them, distract them, and shower them with extra attention.

How you can help
Depending on your cat’s temperament, extra brushing and lap sessions can help calm it down. Exercise and play can also wear them out. Then again, some cats need to be left alone. If you have ‘intact’ tomcats at home, it is wise to isolate the queen in heat. Also, secure all possible escape routes to prevent unwanted pregnancy by feral cats.

When cats are in heat, their cat parents will have loads of work to do. You can distract your cat with predatory games, play soothing music, and offer more lap time. Expect to clean up after spraying cats as well. The strong odor of cat spray cannot be mistaken for pee and cats eager to mate will spray on furniture until they are allowed to mate.

If you cannot eliminate previous sprays or use ammonia-based cleaners, this will encourage cats to keep spraying. Pheromone blockers can help prevent spraying. You may need to clean the litter box more often during the estrus phase or heat period.

How often will this be a problem?
Female cats go in heat as often as every two to three weeks. The heat phase can last a week on average. If the cat is unable to mate during this period, the cycle will repeat until the cat successfully mates.

It is possible to delay the heat cycle by inducing ovulation. You see, cats release an egg or ovulate during intercourse. Your vet can stimulate your cat’s vagina artificially so your cat can ovulate without getting impregnated. Never do this on your own. The process can buy you a month or up to 40 days before the next heat cycle will commence.

Hormonal therapy is another option. Certain hormones like prostaglandin and estrogen may help avoid unwanted feline pregnancy by stopping the heat cycles. Do know that hormonal therapy is often long-term and can have adverse effects on your cat. If you opt to medicate your cat before it goes in heat, consult with your vet for specific instructions.

Can I prevent my cat from going in heat?
It is inadvisable to let your cat mate every time it is in heat. Even if you intend to breed your cats, it is not wise to let a cat mate and get pregnant every time it is in heat. If you knew how long a cat is pregnant and how fast they get pregnant, you will do everything to prevent your cat from getting pregnant when it is in heat.

You can also put an end to the heat cycle by spaying (removing ovaries and uterus) your female feline. If you own a tomcat, consider having it neutered (testes removal) to prevent unwanted impregnation of intact female cats in the neighborhood.