Cats have quirks at the best of times. But when they are in heat, their behavior goes from oddball to outright bonkers. That’s doubly true if you have never witnessed a cat in heat before.
So, what can you do to comfort a cat in heat?
Signs Your Cat Is In Heat
Firstly, you can’t adequately comfort a cat in heat if you aren’t aware that that’s the problem. Here are some signs to watch for that will let you know your cat is ready to mate.
Depending on the cat, you may hear your share of vocalizations. But these are nothing compared to the yowling and ululating a cat in heat produces.
The change is most dramatic in cats that aren’t vocal. If they go from the occasional meow to loudly serenading you, it’s likely the cat is in heat.
Another classic indication of a cat in heat is an increase in escape attempts.
That’s doubly true of indoor or only cats. Since heat is all about mating, your cat becomes desperate to find a mate. To do that, they may try to escape through windows, doors, and cat flaps.
Be especially careful if your cat doesn’t typically go outside. A cat in heat can quickly become lost or disoriented if they don’t know the area. The last thing you want is a lost cat, especially if there’s a chance they are expecting kittens.
Cats are famously diffident towards people and other pets. Not so cats in heat. They become significantly more demonstrative, seeking you out for bunting, cuddling, and strokes.
Other signs your cat may be in heat include:
- Territory marking
- Loss of appetite
- Increased grooming of privates
- Assumes mating position (with objects, self, or furniture)
How To Comfort a Cat In Heat
That’s how to recognize your cat is in heat. But how do you comfort a cat in heat? There are a variety of strategies, but these are the most effective.
One of the most popular ways to comfort a cat in heat is one you probably have in the toy drawer.
And that’s the staple of feline play, Catnip. Usually, catnip revs your cat up. The more they roll around on it or ingest it, the more hyperactive they become.
Curiously, that’s not what happens with unspayed females in heat. Instead, catnip is therapeutic. That’s because the composition of catnip produces something akin to a sexual pheromone. It persuades the cat in heat they’ve fulfilled their desire to mate, and they calm down.
It won’t last, so keep the supply of catnip going for a calm and relaxed cat.
Another way to comfort a cat in heat is by administering L-Theremin. Humans know L-theremin as the stuff in tea leaves that soothes us in times of crisis. And it can similarly soothe cats.
To be clear: No one is promoting giving your cat a cup of tea when in heat. That could have dire consequences.
That said, many vets now carry L-Theremin tablets. These contain therapeutic doses of L-Theremin without the fatal complications of caffeine.
The only catch with these tablets is that you must persuade your cat to eat them. That can be tricky, as cats in heat sometimes go off their food.
But if you don’t want to catch the cat and battle the tablet down her throat, try disguising it with a treat pocket.
Also note that whereas catnip has immediate, if short-term effects, it may take time to see the results of L-Theremin on your cat.
Try Using a Heating Pad
Another way to comfort a cat in heat is by giving them a heating pad.
Cats crave warmth and coziness. It’s why they love sunspots and partly why they like to sleep curled up in a doughnut position.
That’s what makes heating pads so effective if you want to comfort a cat in heat. They provide warmth, and the heat helps your cat relax and feel safe.
If you decide to try experimenting with a heating pad for cats, it’s important to remember that you can’t set it as high as you would for a human.
On a heating pad with six settings, the lowest one is sufficient.
It’s also important, especially with kittens, that you never leave your cat unsupervised with the heating pad. You should also avoid leaving it set to ‘always on.’ You want to comfort your cat in heat but not cause minor burns.
Alternatively, a microwaved wheat sack can be effective. Always ensure you microwave it alongside a cup of water to keep the wheat hydrated.
- FELIWAY Optimum is a new pheromone discovery, and the best FELIWAY answer to help reduce common...
Feliway synthetic pheromones are perhaps the best tried-and-tested way of comforting a cat in heat.
Feliway works by producing synthetic pheromones. They mimic the pheromones a cat’s scent glands produce when they rub their faces against objects. That, in turn, helps your cat feel in control of their environment and calms them.
Clean Your Cat’s Litter Box
Talking of pheromones and scent markers, cats also produce these through their urine.
Accordingly, many cats in heat urinate with increased frequency. They’re trying to do naturally what Feliway helps them achieve and claim their territory.
But territorial marking is also a sign of stress.
Since you don’t want to be cleaning cat urine off of hardwood or scrubbing it out of carpets, one of the best ways to comfort a cat in heat is by emptying its litter box.
Unlikely as that sounds, it lets your cat know their box still belongs to them. That’s why, even as you scoop out litter clumps and feces, you shouldn’t thoroughly clean the litterbox until the heat cycle is over.
The smell of accrued urine is how your cat identifies the box as theirs, and they find it reassuring.
Avoid Male Cats
One of the most effective ways of answering ‘how do you calm a cat in heat’ is by avoiding male cats.
Cats in heat not only seek makes but throw off a distinctive odor that attracts tom cats. This comes from the urine they produce, which contains not only the usual pheromones but hormones, signaling they can be mated.
If you have an unspayed female cat, it’s unlikely you also have a male cat. To that end, the most effective way of keeping your cat in heat away from the male of the species is to ensure she stays indoors until her cycle finishes.
Talk To Your Vet
Far and away, the best way to comfort a cat in heat is by having her spayed. Not every owner wants to do that, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consult the vet.
If you choose to keep your female cat intact, one way of comforting her in heat is by getting the vet to administer progesterone.
It won’t stop your cat from going into heat, but it will lessen the signs and symptoms when she does.
There are several ways to comfort a cat in heat. Some of the most effective involve catnip, synthetic pheromones, and heating pads.
You can also consult your vet about alternative ways to calm a cat in heat.
Above all else, ensure your cat stays indoors and avoids male cats until they are back to normal.