Is My Cat in Heat?
If your female cat hasn’t been spayed, she will eventually come into heat. Technically called an estrus cycle, this period usually occurs seasonally in the spring and fall. Your cat may go into heat several times during each season. If you suspect your feline is in heat, look for certain behavioral signs and learn how you can handle the situation.
Signs Your Cat Is in Heat
- Increased affection: Immediately preceding estrus, your cat may seem friendlier than usual. She may rub her head and hindquarters against inanimate objects, other cats or her favorite human.
- Loud vocalization: In an attempt to attract a mate, your cat may meow and howl extra loudly for several days while she’s in heat.
- Unusual posture: If your cat stands with her head down, forelegs bent and hindquarters raised with the tail up and held to one side, she is showing her readiness to mate. This posture, called lordosis, is accompanied by rhythmic stamping of the hind legs, as if your cat is marching in place.
- Spraying: Your cat may spray walls, doors and other vertical surfaces with especially strong smelling urine. This contains extra estrogen and tells male cats she’s ready to mate. She may then back up to the sprayed surface and raise her tail high. A quivering tail and rhythmic marching may accompany this action.
- Licking the genital area: If you notice this behavior without the other signs your cat is in heat, she could have a urinary tract infection. Take her to the vet promptly to receive treatment for this serious condition.
What You Should Do If Your Cat is in Heat
If your kitty doesn’t mate while she’s in heat, she will return to this state every two to three weeks each spring and fall. To avoid this, bring your cat to the vet to have her spayed sometime while she’s not in heat. This procedure is safe to perform on any kitty six months and older.
If your cat is a pedigreed breeder or you don’t want to have her spayed for another reason, try these tips:
- Give your cat extra love and attention to help ease her restlessness and anxiety. Distract her with new toys and stimulating play to keep her mind off wanting to mate and to give her a positive outlet for her extra energy. If you know catnip calms your kitty – be aware it can have the opposite effect on some felines – offer her a little and see if it helps.
- Keep your kitty indoors and make sure all windows and doors are closed at all times to prevent her from coming in contact with a male stray. You may even want to cover the windows to prevent your cat from becoming agitated at the sight of another feline.
- Bring your kitty to the vet for a hormonal inhibitor or another type of medication to calm her down and decrease the symptoms of being in heat. You may be able to find such products at pet stores, but consult with your vet before administering them.
If you’re interested in spaying your cat or seeking other treatments to calm her when she’s in heat, stop by Germantown Vet Clinic today for professional, affordable service.
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