Uncastrated female cats of reproductive age come into heat several times a year and ovulate each time they mate. These cats are called “queens”. The estrus cycle usually lasts from one week to 10 days, and the queen cat’s behavior is never subtle. So how can you tell if and when a cat is in heat? What are some typical cat meows in heat?
Cat meows in heat: meowing and meowing
What are some typical cat in heat sounds? Photography by annadarzy/Thinkstock.
You may recognize the distressed “meow” that a female cat in heat makes when calling for a mate. In addition to purring, cats in heat may also make soft, gentle sounds. Cats in heat may also exhibit excessive affectionate behavior.
The purring of cats in heat is usually accompanied by body language such as mating poses. This is a way of letting the male know that he is ready to become pregnant.
Here are some examples of cat meows in heat:
What does a male cat sound like to a female in heat?
Male cats do not go into heat, but unneutered male cats get excited when they smell a female in heat. They become preoccupied with finding the female cat and will walk around looking for her. These unneutered males will eagerly call for females, and this behavior frequently occurs at night. If you have ever heard a male cat wandering around a neighborhood looking for a mate, you know the sound!
When male cats are looking for a mate, they tend to run from the house, spread their urine around, and become aggressive toward other cats (and even humans).
Here is what a male cat sounds like when he is looking for a mate.
Want to stop your cat from meowing in heat? Spay or neuter your cat!
Female cats in heat and male cats looking for their queen (and the purring of cats in heat!) ), the only way to really prevent it is to spay or neuter. The only way is to spay/neuter. Some people say that you should let the female cat go through a heat cycle and have kittens before sterilizing her, but that is just superstition.
Kittens should be spayed or neutered when they reach sexual maturity at four to six months of age. Older cats can be spayed or neutered at any time, however, and many veterinarians do not recommend spaying or neutering cats in heat because of bleeding complications. Veterinarians also recommend waiting two weeks after the kittens are weaned before spaying or neutering a newly pregnant cat.
What are the other benefits of spaying/neutering cats?
In addition to preventing pregnancy, neutering has other benefits for both male and female cats. Unneutered male cats are at increased risk for testicular cancer and prostate disease. Unneutered female cats are at increased risk for breast cancer, uterine cancer, and severe uterine infections. Intact females that are allowed to roam freely often fight with other females and are at the same risk of injury and disease as males. And, of course, childbirth is risky for females, especially for the females themselves, who are only kittens.
For those concerned about the cost of spay/neuter, the ASPCA offers an online resource for finding a free or low-cost spay/neuter program near you.
Thumbnail: Photography ©Juan Ignacio Calcagno | iStock / Getty Images Plus.
by Angie Bailey