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7 Ways to Calm a Cat in Heat (With Pictures)

Vet approved

	Dr. Paola Cuevas Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Paola Cuevas

MVZ, Veterinarian

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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When your female cat comes into heat, it can be a stressful time for her and her owners! Your cat will want to respond to that surge of hormones that tells her to head out and find a male cat and start making kittens. While we all know kittens are cute, unplanned pregnancies aren’t something calm that responsible cat parents want to let happen.

Cats can start their heat cycles at around 4-10 months old, and because cats are “seasonally polyestrous,” they can and will come into heat multiple times per year. Each heat cycle can last between seven and 10 days.

Luckily, there are a few different tips and tricks for keeping your cat calm while she’s in heat.

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1. Keep your cat inside

Red Cat
Image Credit: Alexas_Fotos, Pixabay

The first thing to do when you suspect your cat is coming into heat is to keep her inside. If you also have male cats, then it’s a good idea to keep them separated even if they have been neutered. Your female cat will feel more calm and comfortable if she’s not constantly smelling the pheromones and hormones released by any nearby male cats. These will encourage her to search for a male partner. You may hear her howling and yowling as if she’s in pain, but this is normally the noise she will make to attract male cats. Keeping her inside also prevents an unplanned pregnancy. Make sure you provide a cozy area, like a spare room, so your cat can relax and feel safe and calm.

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2. Give your cat something warm to sit on

Black cat lazy eyes
Image Credit: Sasquillian, Pixabay

Offering your cat a warm and cozy place to sit while she’s in heat can help her feel more comfortable and calm. You can use a self-warming heat pad or electric heat pad inside her bed to give her something to snuggle on. In a pinch, you can use a hot water bottle or microwaveable heat pad.

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3. Use a pheromone diffuser


There are several diffusers on the market, like Feliway, which release synthetic cat pheromones into the air. These help calm and comfort cats and are an excellent choice to use while your cat is in heat. They can take a few weeks to start working, so it’s a good idea to invest in one of these in spring when your cat’s breeding season starts and leave it plugged in for the duration.

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4. Use herbal remedies


Cat with catnip
Image Credit: Lisa Zins, Flickr

Catnip, calming treats, or Rescue Remedy Natural Stress Relief for Pets are all good options for helping your cat feel more relaxed. You’ll know best if catnip affects your cat, as some don’t show any interest in it whatsoever! For others, they’ll get a burst of energy and then calm down considerably. You can use catnip-filled toys or loose catnip sprinkled somewhere for your cat to find. Before adding any herbal remedies, we recommend speaking to your veterinarian to get the all-clear first.

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5. Spend more time with your cat

Cuddling cat
Image Credit: AdinaVoicu, Pixabay

While your cat is in heat, she might simply appreciate you spending more quality time with her. Snuggle up and put on a movie, play with toys you know she loves, or splash out on a bag of special treats. There’s nothing like extra cuddle time to make your cat feel calm and loved.

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6. Keep your cat’s litter box clean

Cat litter box
Image Credit: Leonora (Ellie) Enking, Flickr

Female cats in heat will scent mark to attract males, even if there aren’t any males around! Your female cat may start to spray urine in strange places around the house when she’s in heat. By keeping your cat’s litter tray as clean as possible, you can encourage her to use this rather than spraying around the house.

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7. Spay your cat

Cat spayed
Image Credit: PublicDomainPictures, Pixabay

Our last tip is to consider speaking to your veterinarian about getting your female cat spayed. This will prevent her from coming into heat, as well as remove the worry about her getting accidentally pregnant. Many veterinarians will advise that if you’re not planning on using your female cat in an official breeding program, then it’s a good idea to get her spayed when she’s old enough. Spaying a female cat is generally the first recommendation by any vet and will help you to completely avoid the complications of heat.

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That’s it! We hope that our seven tips and tricks have helped you figure out how to help keep your cat as calm and relaxed as possible while she’s in heat. She’d thank you for your help if she could!

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Featured Image Credit: doanme, Pixabay