How to Calm a Cat in Heat

By Catherine Holden Robinson

Most cat owners know that when their female kitty starts yowling and rocking her hindquarters back and forth, she has come into her heat cycle. The heat cycle, called estrus, begins around the time a kitten reaches 6 months of age, but it can begin earlier or later. The estrus cycle is normal. It doesn't hurt your cat. You can calm her during this phase a few different ways.

A Loving Touch

Calm your cat by giving her additional attention while she is in her heat cycle. Spend quality time with her. Allow her to sit in your lap. Brushing her gently is as good for her coat as it is for her demeanor. Make a spot for her near you on the couch or on the arm of your favorite chair. Keep a soft towel or blanket in Kitty's favorite spot and on the furniture beside you, to comfort her and invite her to stay nearby as well as to keep your furniture free of discharge from her estrus cycle.

The Calm in Exercise

Exercise and playtime are great distractions for your kitty during her heat cycle. A cat who is tired from a romp with a laser dot will rest more soundly. Interactive toys, such as a feather hung from a twig, can keep your kitty active. A scratching post may also soothe your cat, who will be more antsy than normal during her heat cycle.

Isolation and Solitude

Even if your kitty is normally very active and she energetically approaches playtime, she may prefer solitude during her estrus cycle. Allow her to take root in a safe place, such as a towel-lined box in a closet, an elevated sleeping area on a high shelf, or in her cat tree. Be certain to keep her inside. Neighborhood tom cats may line up to try to woo your kitty during her estrus; if more than one shows up for courting, a fight may ensue, aggravating your kitty's already heightened state of discontent. Allowing your cat to stray during estrus can result in unwanted pregnancy or injury.

An Ounce of Prevention

During estrus, your cat might not act like herself at all, and this might be disconcerting to you. Don't let it be. Approach your cat's changed behavior with calmness and patience; it will be beneficial to your cat. Go ahead and schedule a vet appointment to have your cat spayed; you'll prevent future heat cycles and unwanted pregnancy.