Being in heat can be a difficult time for many cats. Whether you already own a cat or you’re thinking about getting one, it’s important to learn about this.
There are many different behaviors that can manifest when your feline friend is going through this natural cycle.
Do Cats Feel Pain While in Heat?
What female cats experience while in heat can probably be more accurately described as discomfort, rather than pain. The various signs that they exhibit during this time clearly indicate at least some level of discomfort. It is unlikely that these animals are in severe pain, unless they have a health issue or medical condition of some kind.
Cats do not get cramps or experience physical pain like human women do when they have their period. Hormones are raging in their bodies, causing them to seek out a mate. This instinct is incredibly strong, so your cat will probably act out in numerous ways if it cannot find a male to mate with.
How to Tell When Your Cat is in Heat
There are several common behaviors that female cats exhibit when they are in heat. It is crucial that you are familiar with these signs if you are a cat owner.
1. Lack of Appetite
Many cats lose their appetite when they are in heat to some extent. This is a fairly common sign to look for, but it’s usually not cause for concern. If your cat hasn’t eaten at all for more than two consecutive days, you should take them to the vet right away. Your vet will be able to determine if there is some other issue that is causing this.
Cats that are in heat tend to increase their physical activity level in a very noticeable way. You might notice your cat running and jumping around a lot more than usual.
The discomfort that your kitty feels during this period causes it to become very restless. It is essentially trying to find a male cat to mate with, as this is their natural instinct.
3. Swollen Genitals
A female cat’s genitals will become noticeably engorged when they are in heat. This is probably the easiest way to tell if your cat is currently going through a heat cycle.
4. Being Especially Affectionate
When your cat is in heat, you will most likely notice it becoming particularly affectionate. These animals often rub up against their owners and follow them around. This can be quite jarring, as female cats are known for being very aloof. They are simply seeking comfort from someone they know and trust.
Most people also notice a significant increase in their cat’s vocalizing when they are in heat. Your cat will probably start meowing and yowling very loudly. This can become very bothersome, but it is just their way of expressing discomfort and frustration because they cannot mate.
6. Increased Escape Attempts
It is very common for cats that are in heat to attempt escape any chance they get. This is because they want to find a male cat to mate with. Even cats that are normally perfectly content indoors will start doing this at a certain point during their heat cycle.
Tips for Dealing with Your Cat When it is in Heat
There are quite a few good tips that you can follow for dealing with your cat while it is in heat. These tips will make these periods easier for both you and your pet.
1. Figure Out if They Are Really in Heat
First you will need to determine if your cat is really in heat, because there could be something else wrong with them. If you have any doubts whatsoever, it is a good idea to get them to the vet right away.
2. Give Them Lots of Attention
Your cat is definitely going to need a lot of love and affection from you while it is in heat. You should definitely make a point of petting them and playing with them as much as possible. Neglecting or ignoring your kitty during this time will only make them act out even more. They need this extra attention from you to feel comforted and reduce their stress levels.
3. Stock up on Fun Toys
Make sure that you have lots of fun toys in the house for your cat to play with. This will most likely help distract them from what they are experiencing, at least to some degree. There are toys that you can pack with catnip that can be of great use when you cat is in heat.
4. Know When to Leave Them Alone
It’s also important that you know when to leave your cat alone as it goes through this difficult period of time. If you are petting your cat and it starts hissing or moving away, you should let it be. While many cats become excessively affectionate when they are in heat, they may also want to be left alone sometimes.
5. Should I Get My Cat Spayed?
If you want to avoid having to deal with your female cat’s heat cycles, you should seriously consider having them spayed. Just about any veterinarian will be able to do this, and it is a very low-risk procedure.
- Cats experience something that approximates discomfort, as opposed to what we consider pain.
- This discomfort is caused by not being able to satisfy their natural urge to mate.
- A lot of cats that are currently going through a heat cycle will become unusually hyperactive.
- You’ll also most likely notice your cat becoming more affectionate than normal.
- The most definitive way to tell if your cat is really in heat is by examining their genitals to see if they are swollen.
- It is very important to give your cat all of the attention it needs when it goes through this frustrating period.
- Make sure that you have lots of fun toys for your cat to play with. This can help keep it distracted to some degree.
- Consider having your female cat spayed so that you won’t have to keep dealing with its acting out with every heat cycle.