If you’ve ever been around a cat in heat, you know it seems stressful for her. And no doubt for you too.
The most obvious sign that the cycle has started is her loud and persistent vocalization. Some might describe it as constant wailing, but it may also sound like a moan or just a frustrated meow. Other signs include restlessness, low-crawling, elevating of rear end, and extra affection. Many cats will act more affectionate and also ask for more affection – expect to see extra rolling and rubbing around the house. Indoor kitties will also be more likely to try to get outside.
Female cats as young as 4 months old can start going into heat – though the average age is around 6 months. The cycle lasts an average of 5-7 days, but could be as short as just 2 days. Or as long as 21 days – so it could be a very trying time for you both.
Ideally, our girl kitties will be spayed before their first heat to avoid this whole situation – and potential pregnancies. Once the heat cycle begins, you will need to work with your vet to get your cat spayed between heats. But once the cycle has started, the question quickly becomes:
How Can We Help?
First, please be compassionate. We know it can be frustrating, but try these tips to get through this time as peacefully as possible.
Calming Herbs. Catnip, silvervine, and valerian root can be very calming for kitties in heat. We really enjoy Naturally Cats dried herb gardens to provide cats the opportunity to self-select the herbs that will best help her.
Playtime. Not only is this a blessed distraction from stress of the cycle, regular playtime has been proven to reduce stress for all kitties.
Heating Pad. Offering a heating pad for your little girl to lay on can provide some relief and relaxing warmth. It can also help to keep her still when she’s feeling restless.
Stay Inside. This probably goes without saying, but especially while your cat is in heat, keep her indoors and away from intact male cats.
Affection. Take time to show some extra love and attention during this time. And remember, once the cycle has ended, contact your vet to schedule a time to get her spayed.
Recommended Product for Cats in Heat