Pet Keen is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Home > Cats > Is My Cat in Heat? 7 Signs to Look For

Is My Cat in Heat? 7 Signs to Look For

persian cat in grass

If you haven’t witnessed a cat in heat before, then it may be quite a shock for you the first time you see it. Only female cats go into heat when it is time to find a mate, and the males have no problem fighting with another male to mate with her. Still, the males aren’t the only ones to act a little out of sorts. Female cats in heat are going through substantial hormonal changes that could be making her act like she’s suddenly gone off the deep end. This behavior isn’t anything to worry about! Cats in heat often do a few things that are considered normal while going through this stage.


The 7 Signs to Tell if Your Cat Is in Heat

There are quite a few clear signs that can help you determine if your cat is in heat. Keep in mind that if you haven’t had her spayed, she will go into heat at some point in her life. And it’s probably going to be sooner rather than later. What are some common signs of a cat in heat?

1. Loud and Increase Vocalization

If your cat is vocalizing a lot and being much louder all of a sudden, you can consider this a sign that she is in heat. Your feline may meow all day and night. Sometimes, the meows sound more like a moan or yowl in something that doesn’t even sound like their normal voice. These vocals mean she is calling for mates and making her presence known to the nearby suitors.

cat meowing
Image Credit: Girasol_Monge, Pixabay

2. Rubbing Her Body

Pay attention to your cat’s body language and make a note if she can’t seem to walk without rubbing her head or bottom on anything in reach. This could be furniture, the wall, or yourself. She may also be rolling around on the floor more than usual. This behavior helps her spread her scent around her territory and is yet another way to attract male attention.

3. Attempting to Escape

When instincts take over, it’s hard for your feline to focus on anything other than finding a male to mate with. Cats are usually happy to lounge around inside. Don’t be surprised if, while in heat, she makes more than one attempt to escape to the outdoors. Cats in heat may stare intensely out windows, run towards the door as soon as you open it, or search for other ways that she can flee. Her top priority at this time is to find a mate.

cat jumping over garden fence
Image Credit: MabelAmber, Pixabay

4. Spraying

Female cats may start to spray their urine while in heat because it is full of pheromones that the male cats can sense. However, spraying in the house is also a common sign of a urinary tract infection, so if you’re unsure if she’s in heat, you might be better off contacting your vet.

5. Grooming the Genitals

Cats are excellent self-groomers. Still, you might notice that your lady felines focus more on cleaning their genital area than other parts of her body. The genitals may also appear moist or swollen.

cat licking itself
Image Credit: Kittisak Chysree, Shutterstock

6. Getting Into Position

Have you ever pet your cat and noticed that she lowered herself into an odd position with her front elbows on the floor, back legs crouched, and behind in the air? This is the mating position, called the estrus posture, for female cats. She could also start to “make biscuits” with her hind feet that resemble marching. This movement is believed to help assist with their ovulation.

7. Restlessness

Cats in heat often have a hard time staying still. They’ll pace back and forth or seem uncomfortable throughout the day. More often than not, this happens while hanging around doors and windows.

American Polydactyl cat walking outside
Image Credit: Jenny Margarette, Shutterstock

divider-dog paw

How Do You Calm a Cat in Heat?

Unfortunately, there isn’t a whole lot that you can do to comfort your fur baby during this stage. Other than getting her spayed, these signs will continue to happen to your cat. However, there are some things you can do to help her feel a little more comfortable.


Keep your female cat away from males while she is in heat. If she happens to spot on or sense his presence, it will only make her even antsier. Keep all doors, windows, and pet flaps locked and shut. You might even have to draw the curtains.

white cat lying on the floor
Image Credit: Piqsels

Give Plenty of Affection

Offer your kitty some extra physical contact while she is in heat. This contact helps to keep her calm and ease some anxiety she is feeling.

Use Warmth

Some cats prefer to lay on a heat pack or another warm spot while in heat. Be careful that the pack’s temperature isn’t too hot, though, or it could cause burns or dehydration.

Clean the Litter Box

Your cat is most likely to mark its territory while in heat. Do your best to keep the litter box clean to discourage her from spraying.

Cleaning cat litter box
Image Credit: Zoran Photographer, Shutterstock


Try to use a small amount of catnip around the house. Catnip is calming for some cats. However, other cats might not respond well to it. If you are comfortable with how your cat acts around catnip, then you should consider using it to make the uncomfortableness more bearable.


Final Thoughts

The only true way to prevent your cat from going into heat is to get her spayed. This procedure is best while she is still a young kitten and hasn’t yet reached sexual maturity. Once spayed, cats will not go into heat again. Even if you have an adult cat, taking her in for this procedure is not too late. Not only will she no longer go into heat, but she will live a longer life, help control cat homelessness numbers, and save you money in the long run. Either way, it helps to understand the signs of a cat in heat and how to help them get through it.

Featured Image Credit: Cattrall, shutterstock

Our vets

Want to talk to a vet online?

Whether you have concerns about your dog, cat, or other pet, trained vets have the answers!

Our vets