Depending on your kitten's age, she may be less friendly to you if she is sexually mature. Kittens typically become sexually mature between 4 and 9 months, at which time she'll become able to have kittens of her own. Once this happens, she'll be more concerned with mating than snuggling.
Your Kitten's Personality
A kitten forms her personality during her first seven to eight weeks of life, according to the Best Friends Veterinary Center. During this time, if she's exposed to a variety of people and animals under positive circumstances, she will be more likely to be friendly and outgoing than an isolated kitten. Even when she is sexually mature, her basic personality and level of friendliness won't change, but her behavior will. If she's fixed prior to her first heat, her behavior won't change at all, and she'll be just as friendly as she ever was.
Kitty in Heat
Once your kitty matures, she will go into estrus, commonly referred to as heat. During this time, the hormone estrogen encourages her to escape your home and find a cat to mate with. If she is confined to your home, she will howl and yowl in an attempt to attract the attention of a male cat. She may temporarily seem friendlier and affectionate, as she rubs against you and pretty much everything in your home, while meowing constantly. This might seem sweet at first, but the constant vocalization and rubbing can get annoying, as can her constant attempts to escape outdoors.
A mature kitten's heat cycle lasts from between seven and ten days, occurring every two to three weeks for most of the year, according to Catster. An indoor kitty may even have heat cycles year-round. While some kitties in heat become a bit more friendly and affectionate to you, others become more aggressive. These kittens may try to bite or scratch you. Sometimes, your kitty may alternate between being friendly and aggressive because of their hormones. Your little girl will also begin to spray her urine around your home to advertise her available status to potential mates and pace restlessly around your home.
Spaying your kitty won't change her personality but it will calm her down. With the removal of her reproductive organs, she will no longer produce estrogen, the hormone prompting her to mate. Without the desire to mate, she'll have time to play with you and snuggle by your side instead of constantly vocalizing and trying to escape. Overall, spayed kitties are generally calmer, more friendly and less aggressive than their unspayed counterparts. In addition, you don't have to worry about your little one escaping and becoming pregnant with an unwanted litter. Spaying prevents health issues as well, including breast, ovarian or uterine cancer, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Spay your kitty between 2 and 6 months of age, prior to her first heat cycle, to prevent changes in her behavior and her level of friendliness. While your kitty might temporarily seem friendlier while in heat, she will be more concerned with mating, yowling and escaping than spending time with you in a quiet and calm way. Plus, she may become aggressive during her heat cycles, making her unpleasant to spend time around. Spaying prevents any undesirable behaviors like aggression, yowling or urine spraying, while keeping the desirable ones, according to the Berkeley East Bay Humane Society.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.
- Berkeley East Bay Humane Society: Spay and Neuter Clinic
- American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals: Spay-Neuter
- American Humane Association: Pet Overpopulation
- The Humane Society of Greater Kansas City: Why Spay or Neuter?
- Pet Informed: The Female Cat in Heat -- The Signs and Symptoms of Feline Estrus
- Catster: Cats in Heat
- PetPlace: The Heat Cycle of Cats
- PetPlace: Feline Personalities
- Best Friends Veterinary Center: Normal Puppy and Kitten Development
Based in Las Vegas, Susan Paretts has been writing since 1998. She writes about many subjects including pets, finances, crafts, food, home improvement, shopping and going green. Her articles, short stories and reviews have appeared on City National Bank's website and on The Noseprint. Paretts holds a Master of Professional Writing from the University of Southern California.