Although most non-breeding female cats (queens) are spayed before their first heat (estrus), an adopted stray or a cat you’re cat sitting might surprise you by going into heat. A cat in heat yowls, rolls on the floor and continually tries to get outside. It’s annoying to people and not particularly comfortable for the cat. While estrus lasts only 4 to 10 days, taking steps to comfort the queen in heat will make the time less stressful for you and your cat.
Show your cat extra physical affection. Most cats in heat strongly desire affection. Put your cat on your lap and pet her. Groom her several times a day with a soft-bristled brush, rubber curry brush or grooming glove. These brushes are safe to use frequently without harming the cat’s fur or skin.
Distract your cat with play. During estrus, many cats have extra energy, most of which they use to try to get outside. Regular play sessions will use up some of her energy and keep her mind off her desires. Interactive play, such with a fishing-pole-type toy, is ideal. If you have limited time to play, provide motorized cat toys.
Consult a veterinarian about prescription feline contraception. Cat birth control comes in pill and injection form. Both stop your cat from having a heat cycle. Because long-term use has side effects such as increased risk of uterine infections and diabetes, your vet should help you decide whether this option is appropriate.
Place the cat in a cool, dimly lit room for several days to simulate autumnal conditions. Queens go out of cycle when the days are cooler and shorter. Spending time in similar conditions may bring your cat out of heat. Continue providing affection and frequent play sessions to prevent boredom.
Enlist the services of a teaser tom cat. A teaser tom is a male cat that has been sterilized by vasectomy. Such a cat retains the physical ability to mate. Mating your female cat with a teaser tom will bring her out of heat with no risk of pregnancy. Contact a breeder to find a teaser tom for rent.