Expect your female cat to go into heat at least a few times each year until she's spayed. Heat, or estrus, lasts up to a week and is marked by significant behavior changes including agitation, attention-seeking behavior and anxiety. Keeping your kitty calm during heat will benefit you both.
Check for signs of heat to help rule out the possibility of other causes for her symptoms. Cats in heat vocalize excessively, become restless, rub against people and objects and roll around on the floor. Plus, if you stroke your cat's lower back, she'll respond by raising her pelvis and shifting her tail to one side.
Offer your kitty lots of extra love and attention. Not only will your physical contact calm and reassure her, but by stroking and petting her you can ease her restlessness and excessive activity.
Distract your fussy feline with new toys and stimulating play. This may help keep her mind off of her mental discomfort and her desire to mate. It'll also give her a positive outlet for her pent-up energy.
Secure doors and windows at all times to protect your cat from male cats in the neighborhood. If possible, cover windows to prevent your cat from looking outside and becoming agitated.
Consult your vet for medical intervention. If you are unable to tolerate your kitty's heat-cycle behavior, your veterinarian may be able to give your kitty a hormone inhibitor or other medication to ease her symptoms and calm her down. Some such products are available at pet stores, but they should only be used after consulting with your vet.
Spay your cat to eliminate heat symptoms within a few days following the procedure. Spaying involves removing your cat's ovaries and uterus to prevent future estrus and pregnancy. While spaying is not always recommended during heat due to an increased risk of excessive bleeding, your vet may be willing to perform the procedure. This is a permanent method of calming your cat in heat.
- Mating is a rapid way to calm your kitty, but you should only consider this if you truly desire a litter of kittens.
- If catnip calms your cat (it has the opposite effect on many felines), offer a little and see if it helps.
Sandra Ketcham has nearly two decades of experience writing and editing for major websites and magazines. Her work appears in numerous web and print publications, including "The Atlanta Journal-Constitution," "The Tampa Bay Times," Visit Florida, "USA Today," AOL's Gadling and "Kraze Magazine."