If you have two unfixed cats, one male and the other female, then the scenario of the tomcat pursuing the queen is pretty much inevitable. When female cats go into heat, they attract the attentions of nearby males and, voila -- a whole lot of following and chasing ensue.
Attracting Male Cats
Sexually mature female cats go into heat often, with roughly 17-day intervals. During heat, female cats are open to mating and therefore attract individuals of the opposite sex. If your feline is going through heat, she might draw in all of the unneutered male cats within a three-block radius, so don't be surprised if she gets the sexual attentions of your resident tomcat. It's only natural, after all. If he persistently follows -- and perhaps even chases -- your female around, then it's because he's looking to mate with her.
Indications of Heat
Female cats who are in heat generally make it obvious to others, often to a frustrating degree. If you suspect that your male cat is trailing your female because she's in heat, you can also pay attention to her for other indications that she's "in season." Urine spraying often signifies the heat cycle -- an action that is intended to communicate breeding status to males. Cats in heat also often act in especially loving and sweet ways, often through touching the people in their lives or by simply staying close to them. Immoderate vocalization also is a common sign of the heat cycle in cats, whether through lots of meowing or howling. Anxiety too is a big sign of feline heat. Lastly, female cats in heat often try repeatedly to exit their homes to go find mates outside.
Other Male Cats
If your girl cat is in heat, her suitors probably won't be limited to your male cat. Her incessant vocalization might bring in all of the male cats in your neighborhood, whether they're stray cats, feral cats or simply house cats with outdoor access. You might notice a lot of aggressive physical encounters between male cats looking to win over your female cat's attentions. You might also notice a lot of icky turf-fueled urine spraying on your home's exterior -- the tomcats' efforts to get your coveted female cat to mate with them.
Spaying and Neutering
If you're tired and frustrated by your male cat's nonstop following of your female cat, and perhaps by your female cat's stressful heat behaviors, then one smart solution is to get both of the cuties fixed. Spaying and neutering cats not only eliminates or lessens a lot of these problems, it also prevents pregnancy in your female -- a definite benefit for helping keep cat overpopulation in your area under control. If your female cat is fixed, she won't go into heat and as a result won't attract every male cat in town. If your male cat is fixed, he won't be as influenced by testosterone. These things might contribute to a much more serene environment in your household. Discuss with your veterinarian spaying and neutering both of your pets.
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.
- Animal Alliance NJ: Spay Neuter Clinic
- Princeton Veterinary Hospital: Spay and Neuter
- Schaumburg Veterinary Hospital: Spay Neuter Services
- Back Mountain Veterinary Hospital: Spaying & Neutering
- Third Street Veterinary Hospital: Breeding Cats and Raising Kittens
- Humane Society of Utah: Spaying and Neutering Fact Sheet
- Athens County Humane Society: Reasons to Spay/Neuter
- VCA Animal Hospitals: Estrus Cycles in Cats