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Cat in Heat

  • 6 min read

Do you have a cat in heat that meows all the time? Or are you not sure how to recognize that your cat is in heat? In this article we will inform you about velvet paws that are ready to mate, their very extroverted behavior and how you as a cat owner can’t just stand there helplessly.

When are female cats sexually mature? On the trail of Mother Nature

Between the fourth and ninth month of life, female cats become sexually mature and are then ready to reproduce. This period is also known as heat, heat, estrus, heat and heat. In technical language we speak of estrus. It takes place several times a year and depends on the time of year and the length of daylight. From 10 – 12 hours of daylight a day, hormones are released in the cat’s body and the organism prepares for reproduction. During this phase, the follicles in the ovaries develop and ovulation is prepared. In cats, however, ovulation is only triggered when they are mated. Things are different for dogs and people.

Cats cuddle

During the reproductive period, the cat releases increased pheromones, which other members of the species can sniff on their rear ends. Male cats then know exactly whether the cat is in heat. This type of communication among furry friends is also called chemo communication. They use chemical markings through their body’s own scents and thus reveal their state of health or signal to the tom that they are ready to mate. Cats go into heat about twice a year.

If the cat is not mated during estrus, she may even go back into heat several times during the mating season – even within a few weeks.

How long is a cat in heat?

1 to 2 days before coming into heat, the velvet paw’s hormonal balance changes and the estrogen level builds up. Some kittens may show behavioral changes even during this phase.

The duration of heat in cats depends on whether the cat has been mated or not. In mated cats, estrus lasts between two and four days, but if copulation with a tomcat does not take place, the heat phase can last up to 15 days.

The she-cats’ willingness to mate then decreases and their extreme behavior also decreases. In the period from September to February, the length of the day also decreases and the cat’s sexual cycle goes into hibernation.

How does a cat in heat behave?

Cat owners who have an unneutered female cat at home can tell a thing or two about the behavioral changes in cats in heat. The cat’s behavior changes suddenly. Cats in heat are focused on mating with a male cat and they signal this quite clearly.

They roll around wildly on the ground, hence the term “heating”, meow loudly several times a day, push themselves across the ground with their ears raised, are restless and desperately want to go outside to mate. Some cats even spread their urine around the home and mark their territory. People are also marked when the four-legged friends rub against the two-legged friends and thus leave scent marks. Many cat owners also observe what is known as claw sharpening, for example on walls and furniture.

cat on heat

In addition, many cats are particularly cuddly and seek closeness to humans. They also hardly show any playfulness, so they have to be motivated first. During the heat phase, cats can lose a lot of weight because they are no longer interested in food and ignore their food.

However, the behavior of the cat in heat is largely linked to its nature. If the cat is more relaxed, it will also behave calmer during the mating season. A temperamental cat, on the other hand, can sometimes become a tiger and even show aggressive behavior towards people.

How can you calm a cat in heat for a short time?

Unfortunately, there aren’t many options for calming a cat in heat. The most effective method is still castration. If the mating season puts excessive stress on both the owner and the cat, castration should be considered. The extremely extroverted behavior can be very stressful, especially for cats that are ready to mate several times during the summer months without being mated.

If your cat in heat doesn’t eat much, which can happen quite often, you can try offering it tasty food and motivating it with its favorite snacks. Otherwise, severe emaciation can be life-threatening. You should also avoid stressful situations for your furry friend and maintain a relaxed relationship with her.

Below we have put together some tips that can reduce the behavior of cats in heat. However, they usually don’t last long.

Signs of cat in  heat

Short-term measures to alleviate heat behavior in cats:

  • Don’t let any tomcats near you: If a cat in heat senses a tom mover, its behavior can change suddenly. Male cats excite cats who want to mate and reinforce their behavior.
  • Catnip: Has a calming effect and could relax your cat. The velvet paws love the smell of catnip and also like to eat it. Some cat toys already contain dried catnip, which can also help calm your cat. The toy also distracts the cat and encourages it to play.
  • Heat: You can also calm your cat in heat. A warm grain pillow or electric blanket set to a low setting also has a relaxing and calming effect on the furry friends.
  • Distraction: Arouse your cat’s urge to play – you can try to distract him and keep him busy. A scratching post is a must at this stage. This allows the cat to release its pent-up energy and literally extend its claws.
  • Cat pheromones: There are also products with pheromones that have a calming effect on cats, but in practice their success is rather low. But every cat owner has to try this out for themselves with their four-legged friend.


Cats in heat can be quite challenging for their owners. Unfortunately, there are only a few ways to alleviate their sometimes very extroverted behavior. For particularly aggressive and excited pets, castration is the only way to restore calm. Because it’s not just people who suffer under certain circumstances in this phase, but especially the cat. She is stressed, restless and even goes on a hunger strike so that she can mate.

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Hamna Nasir is a dedicated cat lover, avid traveler, and accomplished author. Born and raised in the bustling city of San Francisco, Hamna's education journey led her to Boston where her interests expanded and intersected in unexpected ways. Hamna's ontent explores a multitude of topics, from preparing your cat for its first trip and choosing pet-friendly accommodations to understanding feline behavior in different environments. Her first-hand experiences, love for storytelling, and unwavering commitment to enhancing the bond between cats and their owners have earned her a devoted following. Her insights have been celebrated by pet lovers, adventure enthusiasts, and travel bloggers alike.