A female cat will come into heat (oestrus) at least three times a year for roughly two-week cycles. During each cycle your cat will display "abnormal" behaviour. She may be restless, easily upset and highly vocal. This guide will help you identify the signs of a cat in heat and to deal with her during that time.
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First you will need to Identify if your cat is in heat. The signs of oestrus are fairly easy to recognise. Your cat will hold her tail to the side and raise her hind end. She will also be prone to agitated behaviour, such as hind-leg "treading" movements, rolling or rubbing on the floor, being much more vocal than usual and appearing overly affectionate.
Keeping your cat calm during this time is very important. It will make your life much easier. Spend extra time with her. Pet her and stroke her gently until she has had enough. The need for external stimulation is very high for a cat in heat and this will help her feel satisfied.
Keep her mind occupied. A cat in heat has a very strong desire to mate. During her oestrus cycle she will think of nothing else other than finding a male cat (tom). This can be assuaged by providing her with exciting and new toys to play with. It may also be helpful if you can join in the fun with her. Another purpose served by this play is that it will provide an outlet for the extra energy that comes with oestrus.
If you want to breed your cat in the future, but keep her from going into heat until then, consult your veterinarian. Your vet can inject your cat with hormones that will prevent her from starting her cycle.
If you have no plans to breed your cat, it may be advisable to have her spayed. This will permanently bring an end to her oestrus cycles and also protect her from certain cancers and infections.
Dealing With A Cat In Heat
Tips and warnings
- Even if you do not plan to spay your cat, you should consult your veterinarian regarding her heat cycles or any other changes in your cats behaviour.