How to calm a cat in heat

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How to Calm a Cat in Heat

Two Methods:

An un-spayed female cat will go into heat, meaning she's ready to mate, every three to four weeks.Usually, this involves howls, screeches, writhing, and attempts to attract or run away with male cats.Calming the cat down is hard, and more importantly, it's only temporary. This is natural, normal behavior for a cat in heat, no matter how annoying it is to owners. If it's too much to handle, seek a long-term solution instead of a quick fix.


Calming a Cat in Heat

  1. Recognize that your cat is in heat.Make sure that the behavior your cat is expressing actually means that she’s in heat and not sick. An unspayed cat in heat will vocalize a lot, be restless, rub against people and objects, and roll around on the floor. If you stroke her lower back, she'll respond by raising her pelvis and shifting her tail to one side.
    • The normal breeding season for cats is between spring and late summer. She will likely go into heat during this time of year.
    • Decide if your cat's in heat or sick. If she's acting restless, but not rubbing herself against everything and lifting her tail to the side, she may be in pain. Take her to the vet to find out what's going on.

    Veterinarian Pippa Elliot notes:"Cats usually have their first heat at about 5 ½ to 6 months of age. However, this depends on the weather and how easy food is for the cat to come by. For example, in spring, a well-fed cat may come into heat as young as 5 months old."

  2. Isolate her from male cats.When she's in heat, your cat will grow even more excitable in the presence of males. Do not allow her outside at all, and close all windows and lock all doors, including pet flaps. To keep her calm (and prevent her from getting pregnant), you need to keep her away from all male cats. Isolation will also keep her safe — she may try to escape your home if she senses a male outside.
    • If you have a male cat in the same house, find a friend or hire a cat sitter to take him in for a couple weeks. If the two cats stay in the same area, they'll both act wild, and almost certainly end up mating.
    • If male cats are visible through a window, cover the window with curtains or a piece of cardboard.
  3. Give your cat something warm to sit on.Although success is not guaranteed, some people find that giving the cat a heat pack or a warm, wet towel to sit on keeps her still and calm.A microwavable heat pack may be the easiest option, since you can quickly reheat it once the cat starts acting up again. An electric heat pad/blanket is also a good choice.
  4. Use catniponlyif it calms your cat down.Cats respond very differently to catnip. Some relax and quiet down when given catnip, but other become energetic and aggressive.If you don't know how your cat responds to catnip, avoid this method. It may make the situation even worse.
    • Note that this is only a temporary fix, but it might buy you an hour or two of peace.
  5. Test whether herbal remedies are effective.There are many herbal remedies on the market intended to calm cats. Some cat owners report success, but there is no single remedy that works on every cat. Furthermore, your cat may not respond to any of these products. Buy a collection of small samples and try several different remedies. Once you've found a product that works for your cat, buy it in larger amounts.
    • Follow the instructions on the labels. They may tell you to add the remedy to the cat's water, rub a few drops into the cat's fur, or use as an air freshener.
    • Do not use products intended for humans, which likely use higher dosages.
  6. Use Feliway in your home.Feliway is a synthetic cat pheromone that has a soothing, calming effect on cats. It takes a couple weeks of exposure to begin calming cats down, though, so it's not an immediate fix. If you know your cat is unspayed, you might consider plugging in the Feliway diffuser at the beginning of breeding season (spring). That way, whenever she goes into heat, the Feliway will already be built up in her system.
  7. Keep her litter box clean.Cats often scent mark with urine to attract males when they are in heat. By keeping her litter box clean at all times, you might encourage her to use it instead of scent marking your home. If she scent marks anyway, clean and de-odorize the area immediately. Leaving the smell of urine behind will only drive her to keep doing it.
    • Don't use cleaning products with ammonia. Ammonia is also found naturally in urine, and the smell will encourage her to mark that spot again.
  8. Play with your cat.Playing with your cat can distract her temporarily, but she'll often go straight back to howling after you're done. Petting, scratching, or brushing her lower back can be more effective, if your cat is already calm enough to let you do so.

Spaying and Other Long-Term Solutions

  1. Spay the cat.Spaying a cat removes her ovaries and prevents the heat cycle from occurring. It prevents her from getting pregnant, and reduces the risk of certain cancers and other diseases.
    • If you can't afford the surgery, look for low-cost spay services. Many clinics offer this service at a reduced price because it reduces the population of stray cats.
    • Look up your area in the databases listed on the USDA website.
    • There is a small chance of leftover ovarian tissue sending the cat into heat even after the surgery. If this occurs, consult a veterinarian.
  2. Consider waiting until after the heat is over before spaying.A vet can perform the spaying procedure at any point in your cat's hormonal cycle — even when she's in heat. However, there's a risk of increased blood loss at that time. The procedure is possible, but consult an experienced veterinarian for advice.
  3. Use hormonal therapy as a last resort.The hormones prostaglandin and estrogen can be used to stop a cat’s heat cycle; however, this treatment has serious side effects including uterine infection and tumors.Because of the risks, take this step only when spaying is not an option. Always consult in detail with a vet, who will need to prescribe the hormones and explain how to use them properly.Even if the cat can't be spayed for medical reasons, the risks may not be worth the calm behavior.

Community Q&A

  • Question
    Is it painful for my cat when she's in heat?

    Veterinarian, Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons
    Dr. Elliott is a Veterinarian who specializes in Companion Animal Medicine in England. She registered with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons in 1987.
    Veterinarian, Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons
    Expert Answer
    No, she is not in pain although it is entirely normal for her to cry out and yowl as if in discomfort. This is just her way of attracting male attention.
  • Question
    How long does heat in cats last?

    Veterinarian, Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons
    Dr. Elliott is a Veterinarian who specializes in Companion Animal Medicine in England. She registered with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons in 1987.
    Veterinarian, Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons
    Expert Answer
    This is very variable. A cat can 'call' anywhere between one to seven days. If she doesn't mate she can come into heat again a couple of weeks later. Thus the full cycle takes on average around three weeks.
  • Question
    How long should you keep a female cat isolated?

    Veterinarian, Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons
    Dr. Elliott is a Veterinarian who specializes in Companion Animal Medicine in England. She registered with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons in 1987.
    Veterinarian, Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons
    Expert Answer
    Keep your cat isolated for the duration of her heat, which lasts about three to five days. Make sure that she is no longer in heat before allowing her to mix with other cats again. You may even want to wait for a full week after her heat begins to be sure that it is over.
  • Question
    How long is a cat in heat for the first time?

    Veterinarian, Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons
    Dr. Elliott is a Veterinarian who specializes in Companion Animal Medicine in England. She registered with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons in 1987.
    Veterinarian, Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons
    Expert Answer
    The actual heat lasts around 2 - 3 days, but some females do stay in heat longer, up to about 5 days. The heat cycle is around 21 - 28 days in total, so you can expect to her to repeat heat every 3 - 4 weeks.
  • Question
    Can a cat be spayed when she is in heat?

    Veterinarian, Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons
    Dr. Elliott is a Veterinarian who specializes in Companion Animal Medicine in England. She registered with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons in 1987.
    Veterinarian, Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons
    Expert Answer
    Yes. Most vets are happy to spay a female cat when she is in heat. (This is different from dogs, however. It's best to wait until a female dog is out of heat, because of the large blood supply to the womb.)
  • Question
    Is it harmful to rub them on the back of tail?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    No, but if your cat gives you any sign that they don't like it, you should stop.
  • Question
    Does a cat in heat lose her appetite?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Yes. During heat, the cat may suffer from loss of appetite, but she should still eat a little to keep up her energy. The cat will go back to normal eating behaviors as the heat wears off.
  • Question
    How do you know if your cat is done with being in heat?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    Once a cat ends with being in heat, she'll be back to normal. She will be able to sit normally and eat peacefully. But if the cat experiences the symptoms of heat for a long while, consult a veterinarian.
  • Question
    What kind of people medicine can I give my cat to help her while she's in heat?
    wikiHow Contributor
    Community Answer
    None! You should never give people medicine to a cat. Go to a pet store and get the required medicine for a cat. It would be even better to go to the vet and get a prescription, however.
  • Question
    My cat has been in heat, then it ended and has come back in a short span of time. Is this okay?
    Community Answer
    That is perfectly normal. Heat in cats usually happens 1-2 times a month, and the time interval can vary crazily.
Unanswered Questions
  • When does the entire heat cycle end for a female cat? How many years do they continue to go into heat?
  • How do you stimulate ovulation in a cat in heat?
  • Are the tissues/muscles around the feeding nipples enlarged?
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  1. Reproduction in the Dog and Cat. Christianseen. Publisher: Baillierie-Tindal

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Expert Review By:
Veterinarian, Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons

of How to Calm a Cat in Heat was reviewed by on July 28, 2019.

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Quick Summary

One way to calm a cat in heat is by keeping her indoors, separated frommale cats who might frighten her or try to get her pregnant. Then, place a heating pad or a warm blanket in her bed for her to lay on, which will keep her warm and calm. Be sure to keep her litter box clean to control spraying inside of your home, and if she does spray any part of your house, clean the area thoroughly so that no scent remains. Give her plenty of attention by petting, scratching, or brushing her, and give her catnip if it normally helps to calm her when she’s not in heat.

Success Stories

Tina Louise Brown

Jun 21, 2019

"I learned a lot about both my girl kittens being in heat. Trust me when I say that having two females in heatusually lasts the whole month, with the exception of only a couple of days. I learned about the Feliway and was astonished for the need to find one. My kitty is pictured, her name is Miracle because I was on life support and it's a miracle that I'm alive and got to come home. My husband, knowing that I love cats, brought home 2 tiny black kittens as a present for fighting for the will to live."
Rated this article:

Gillian Waterston

Sep 3

"I thought my lovely was in pain, now I know she is in heat."

Diana Hall

Aug 30

"Very informative. Thank you so very much. I now know our cats a little better today, and how to be a moreresponsible pet owner."


Jun 15

"This is a helpful tip! This works!"

Marcia Doty

Jan 31, 2019

"This is my first experience with a female kitten that has gone into heat. She was suppose to be spayed on Friday,but went into heat this Monday. She just turned five months old, and I knew I would be cutting it close, but it was the first available appointment I could get through a discounted clinic. Thank you for the article. I will try some of the methods shown here."

Anindya Bagchi

Jan 22, 2019

"I have an 8 month old female and she came into heat twice in the last two months. I am going to spay her but my vetold me to wait till the cycle ends. I am a first timer with female cats (the other two I had earlier were both males), so I was searching and found this great article. Keep up the good work! Thanks."

Abigail Polzin

Jul 23, 2019

"My cat is in heat. We can't get her spayed because she was born with half of a diaphragm. I got literally 3 hoursof sleep last night. Today, I put her in my bathroom with the door closed with a rice sock, and she fell asleep so quickly. This helped me soooo much! <3"

Loretta Myers

Jun 3, 2019

"This is our first time taking care of our female cat, Silver. She stays under my husband and he does a lot ofrubbing her and holding her when she starts whining. He doesn't want to give her anything but love and affection, and for the second time, it's working."

Aly Holtrop

Dec 31, 2019

"I put a very damp towel in the microwave and warmed it up after which I wrapped her in the warm towel and put heron my lap. This seemed to calm her down. Thank you for the advice of a warm place. Katie is only about five months old, soon to be spated."


Jan 30

"Very informative article, warm towel and brushing helped my two kittens through their first couple of heat cycles,they are litter mates, I adopted two of the litter out but couldn't choose the one I wanted so I'm a pet parent to two more fur-babies!"

Tina Szydlowski

Feb 18, 2019

"First-time cat owner, and my kitten is just about 5 months old. I love her so much and want to give her the bestlife possible, so will have her spayed within the next 2 weeks. This article was very informational to me, thank you."


Oct 14, 2019

"Watching a cat for my daughter, when the cat suddenly started urinating on my bed and vocalizing. By day two, werealized it was heat. Poor kitty seems miserable. I wondered if it was painful and how to help. Now I know. Thanks!"

Maudie Hiratsuka

Oct 24, 2019

"What stood out for me was that a female cat can go onto heat 2 times in one month cycle and that it can last 3 - 10days. My female goes into heat two times out of the month, the last part of the month seems like it gets worse."


Jun 26, 2019

"My cat was only 4 1/2 months old when she started to do this crazy thing with her back legs. I started to freakout. I called the vet and made an appointment, and they said she's in heat. That's when I found this site, thanks."


Jun 6, 2019

"I found peace of mind in knowing it's just three to five days. It's the third day that sent me searching forinformation! I guess I'll be getting her spayed at the earliest option. After her cycle, of course! Thanks."


Dec 4, 2019

"It was helpful to me to know that cats heat lasts from 3 to 5 days and repeats every 3 weeks. It helps to know thatit is normal if they eat less. I was worried about my cat but now I know that she wants to mate. "

Sadiyah Saqib

Jan 16

"The part where you guys told me to heat up things and make my cat sit on them was really helpful. She is right nextto me on the warm bed sleeping. She was going crazy earlier, and I suspect it's her first heat."

Lin Ma

Nov 18, 2019

"I knew there is a kind of cat food in China to calm cats in heat. Not only female but also male cats. I just fedduring these special days to replace normal cat food. I feel this good news to cat owners. "

Sadie Bristol

Nov 20, 2019

"Everything helped. I've never had a cat, so I got scared thinking my kitten was in pain. Hopefully with the coupleremedies I read I can keep her calm until I can pay to get her spayed."

Beverly Burgett

May 5, 2019

"I was wondering when my nine month old kitten should be spayed and how to make her comfortable right now, as shejust came into heat this week! Thanks so much for the helpful tips."

Donna Hill

Dec 15, 2019

"Keeping both of my female kittens calm doing there heat cycle, till we get them spayed. I was worried cause theywere not eating until i read your article, thank you!"


Feb 26

"Was hoping that something that really worked was mentioned in the way of relief for the cat in heat, but forinexperienced cat guardians, it's a decent article."

Lisa Clemetson

Jan 26, 2019

"I learned to be nice to my cat who's in heat at just 4 1/2 months old, and how to protect her and try calming herbefore locking her in her room! Thamks!"

Shanaz Faily

Jul 27, 2019

"I was assured somehow that giving Rescue natural stress relief will not hurt my cat. Playing with her and strokingher back seemed to help too."

Rocky Contreras

Apr 11, 2019

"The whole article was precise and coherent, I understood it. The tips were helpful, and I even learned some thingsI didn't know about cats."


Aug 20, 2019

"My cat is in heat, keeps calling for a mate and sounds in discomfort, so I was looking for a way to help her if Icould. Thank you, wikiHow!"

Tammy Lowry

May 5, 2019

"This is our first female cat. We have two males who are fixed. We're going to try all these ideas to calm her.Thanks for the information."

Kim Do

May 5, 2019

"I worried about my female cat in heat so I read this article. It made me feel much better! I am going to buy aherbal medicine for my cat."

Patricia Law

Nov 30, 2019

"Only 2 months old here, but now 8 months old. Needed to find tips for her on this site.

Video: How to Calm My Cat in Heat! This is the Best Music to Help Relax Your Cat During Heat! Soothing!

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Date: 09.12.2018, 23:42 / Views: 93174