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How to know if your cat is on heat

21 January, 2007

I’m writing this not for the seasoned breeder, but for newcomers to cat breeding, like myself.

Unlike dogs, who generally have only two mating cycles a year, female cats can come into heat (estrous cycle) several times a year. This usually happens in the spring and autumn, when there is more than 12 hours of light per day.

Once a cat comes on heat, she will cycle continuously until she’s bred.

A female cat’s cycle consists of:

(1) a PRE-ESTROUS PERIOD (of approx. 1-2 days) in which she is attractive to male cats, but not ready to mate him. It’s hard to know when this occurs as there are no obvious signs. Maybe some cats will act a little cuddlier and clingier, but that’s it. If you’re lucky (or unlucky) suddenly all the local toms in the neighbourhood will start gathering round the garden, attracted by the irresistible hormones given off in your cat’s urine. If your girl’s used to going out in the garden, it’s time to slap on the chastity belt by locking her indoors – there is no better form of contraceptive.

I can almost tell when my queen might be coming into call because my Bengal neuter girl starts getting more aggressive towards her, and chases her.  There must be some sort of change in my queen’s scent that triggers this change in behaviour.

(2) the ESTROUS PERIOD when she’s actually receptive to the male. This can last anything between 3 to 16 days. Suddenly even the most demure of cats will act like she’s had a personality swap with Mae West.

Early signs include a meow that sounds more throaty and pronounced, and often uttered over and over again at various pitches. Female cats don’t just call in the night, but during the daytime too. Some cats call constantly. Siamese and Burmese are said to have insufferably loud mating yowls. My Maine Coon girl is relatively quiet, but when she is in full call, her insistent meows can pierce earplugs designed to muffle 25 decibel noise. So no more sharing the bedroom with her if you want your beauty’s sleep.

Some queens are silent callers.  Which means exactly what it says.  They don’t adopt throaty meows, or yowl or squirm around.  They act almost normal.  If yours is a silent caller then make sure you keep an eye on her in case she decides to escape to find a stud.

Another sign that your girl is actively on heat is spraying. Yep, not only stud cats spray, entire girls do too. You may see your cat walking past a chair, her tail suddenly flicks up and she pauses. Chances are she’s annointing the leg of the chair with her urine to attract toms. Intact female cat pee smells different too … the closest I can come to describing it is that it smells like burnt rubber. I’ve got to the stage where I can walk into a room and know if my girl has sprayed or not. It is not a talent that I boast of at cocktail parties.

If you’re lucky, yours does not spray. If yours is a sprayer, all you can do is confine your girl to a room which can be easily cleaned, or be prepared to do a lot of cleaning. Invest in a biological cleaner, or a cat urine eliminator (see my earlier post on cleaning cat urine). If using a biological cleaner (e.g. Persil) follow by wiping with surgical spirit which gets rid of the final traces of pee.

But what if you can smell that burnt rubber aroma but you don’t know where it is? Well, you could try sniffing all vertical surfaces in the room, taking care that nobody of importance is visiting in case they find you on your hands and knees with your nose to the radiator screaming “I’ve found it! I’ve found it!”

A better way of outing those damned spots is to use a cat urine detector. This is actually a torchlight with a special ultra-violet bulb. Because in case you didn’t know (and I didn’t), cat urine fluoresces (goes shiny and shows up) in ultra-violet light. It actually works, but you’ve got to do it in pitch black darkness otherwise you can’t see the light. Ultra-violet light is purply-blue and makes everything look like a horror movie set. The only disadvantage is that dust can also fluoresce, so what looks like a cat’s accident could be a spot you haven’t dusted for ages. However, in most cases, you will see shiny-bluey streaks and if you really want to prove it, you can use the good old nose-to-surface method again to confirm.

Please remember to hang all your clothes in the wardrobe. My hubby is prone to hang his jackets over a chair, and the sleeves dangle close to the floor. I’d warned him several times that cats are not discriminate when it comes to spraying. I think hubby realised the error of his ways only when he was driving in his car, the heating was turned up high and suddenly the interior started smelling like a litter tray. A cat breeder I know mentioned how her cats seem able to spray clothes that are hanging on hangers on a wall, so the pee must be emitted at high pressure. I’ve also heard of cats on heat spraying their owners – one breeder had a cat who jumped on her lap and turned round, flicked its tail and oops … yes, straight into the face. Ah the delights of cat breeding.

Your cat may also roll around on her back on the floor, as if offering herself to you. If you manage to grab her by the scruff on her neck, she may crouch down on the floor, move her tail to one side, and start paddling with her back feet. (By grabbing the scruff on her neck, you are mimicking the action of a stud cat who will grab the fur on the back of her neck with her teeth before mounting her, the better to control her with.)

The active part of the estrous cycle can be nerve-racking, and a non-stop cycle of cleaning, twitchy nostrils, and lack of sleep on your part. For the female cat, it can be stressful to have to keep calling without getting any satisfaction and some female cats can lose condition as a result of the stress. There’s little you can do to help. Some breeders have tried (I’m being discrete here – please use your imagination!) cotton buds to mimic the action of a stud cat but that offers temporary relief because female cats can mate many times a day over the entire active estrous period and a few sessions with a cotton bud isn’t quite the same thing. Some breeders are lucky and have teaser toms, that is, neutered male cats who are still able and willing to perform.

A female cat will not stop calling even if she’s been bred. She will call for the entire period of her estrous.  You can send her to stud, she can mate many times, yet on her return still be on heat, as long as she’s in her estrous period.

And it’s true that a female cat can have, within the same litter, kittens from different stud cats.

(3) the INTER-ESTROUS PERIOD which is the period between the ESTROUS periods if she is not bred. This can last between 3 to 14 days.

These 3 periods are repeated over and over again if the cat is not bred.

So as you can see, there is not much of a respite for the tired breeder once a cat goes on heat.

The only solution is to breed the cat, or put the cat on the equivalent of the Pill. Here in the UK, some breeders use Ovarid or the equivalent hormonal treatment in low doses on their queens, and have had great success in either temporarily stopping the estrous cycle, or dampening it down. Cats are very sensitive to medication though, and there have been cases reported where this has interfered with a cat’s reproductive cycle. There are also injectable forms of hormonal treatment, but I’ve heard of instances where the hormone has lingered at the injection site and the cat has remained infertile until the site was excised. And in all cases, vets advice is that a maiden queen (i.e. never been bred, first call) should not be given contraception as it could interfere with future cycles.

If you want to read a more scientific explanation of a female cat’s cycles, and also see some footage of a cat treading and rolling after breeding, please check out this site by the University of Louisiana’s School of Veterinary Medicine: http://www.vetmed.lsu.edu/eiltslotus/theriogenology-5361/filne_e.htm – I have found it valuable reference and used it in writing this article.

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144 comments

  1. Hey,
    I HAVE A GIRL CAT AND I DONT KNOW HOW TO TELL IF SHE IS 100% READY TO MATE WITH A MALE ,I READ ON THE INTERNET THAT A CAT WILL NOT MATE UNTIL SHE IS 100% READY…HOW CAN YOU TELL IF SHE IS READY…EMAIL ME AT kittykat81804@yahoo.com

    THANK YOU AND PLEASE ANSWER!

    FROM KATARINA


    • hello,
      i’m not a cat breeder, i do, however, have two six month old kittens. although i thought she was way too young, one of them is definitely in heat. shes been keeping my husband and i up every night for the past two days with her meowing and howl-like sounds. she hasn’t started to spray (thank goodness!) we want to get her fixed but i would like to know if there are going to be any major changes in her? and what to look for in a good vet/bad vet. i’m terrified to bring her to the vet, it was okay for her shots because i could be right there in the room but for surgery i would like to ensure her safety and well-being since i cant be right there to make sure.


  2. Hi Katarina,

    Is she on heat? The signs are: throaty yowling or mewling that is different from her normal meowing, rubbing herself against you, or on the ground, presenting her hindquarters to you or anyone else, when you hold the fur on her neck she will crouch with her hindquarters a little higher maybe and paddle her paws on the ground, sometimes spraying urine indiscriminately on furniture etc. Plus she will want to escape from the house to find a mate and may go off her food.

    If it is the first heat the signs may not be obvious. My girl probably started calling at 10 to 11 months, but I didn’t know until the neighbourhood tom turned up. Plus, some cats are silent callers, i.e. none of the overt signs described above. If she’s a silent caller, than the only way you’ll know is by watching her carefully and seeing when she goes off food and starts getting restless and edgy, say. If you have other cats they will let you know that she is on heat by chasing her a bit more, or fighting her, or smelling her bum because her scent will change and it may agitate them. If you have an un-neutered male he may try to mount her. Sometimes the neighbourhood tom will let you know by turning up and hanging round your front door (spraying it with his urine!) or backyard.

    When to mate: How old is she and what breed of cat? Some cats are more noisy callers than others, like Siamese and Orientals. Some start calling earlier, e.g. Burmese have been known to start at 5 months! Ideally you shouldn’t want to mate a cat until about a year old. And if she’s a maiden queen, you shouldn’t mate on first call – leave it till the third call. All this depends on whether or not she loses condition when calling. Sometimes it is better to mate before 1 year-old than let her call and call.

    As soon as she shows signs of calling, you can take her to the stud cat. Don’t leave it till the end of calling. She can be on heat from 3 days to several weeks, only you will know how long because it differs from cat to cat and by observing her first few calls you will get to recognise her cycle. The height of the call is when she crouches down when you scruff her and paddles her hindquarters – that’s when she’s really ready. However, I believe that you can take a queen to the stud cat when she shows early signs so that she’s there and ready when she gets to the height of her call. Sometimes, being in the presence of a stud cat can help the call.

    The breeder you bought the cat from should also be able to give you advice.

    You should also start looking for a stud cat now, even before she starts calling so that you can take her to him as soon as she’s ready.

    Above all, you must take extra care to keep her indoors or confined, otherwise she will escape and breed with any tom cat and you can’t be sure that a feral tom cat won’t have any diseases.

    Hope this helps – good luck with breeding your girl!


  3. this helped me out a lot actually. i was freaking out yesterday morning and i started crying. im only sixteen and i thought these random cats were trying to hurt mine. i got my cat and brought her inside and she was whining to let her go back outside. i was worried, but i let her back outside. she started doing all those actions that i read in your article thing. thanks for the info:]


  4. my female cat is five months old. she rubs herself on me and anything she can. she meows but not much different from her normal meow. she did rub her but on my sheets once then smelt it. their have been two male cats that have been here from our last female cat, but they still come here. is she in heat or going into heat??


    • she’s going into heat.


  5. (in replying to your answer) my five month old female cat has been wanting outside. when holding her scruff, she will kneel, the after a few seconds, she sits down. she does not paddle her back paws or has her head down. the male cats that hang around are strays, and i pretty sure their tom cats. she has also had a sudden burst of energy. i did catch her brother on top of her bitting her scruff, though i caught them in time, so he was not able to get her.


  6. I have 2 female cats who is really disrupting things in my home from trying to jump thorough glass windows to tearing up my blinds all in efforts to getting outside. My front yard looks like pet cementary with all the local toms standing by. I, however feel slited somewhat because they are only 7 months old, this is my first time raising cats and now they can be possibly pregnant. What am I to do, one is very agressive the other rolls around on the floor meowing as if shes in pain all the time. I don’t know if shes already pregnant or if thats her mating call. They we’re inside cats I have now moved all their food on the screen patio because their out of control…..Help, Help, Help.


  7. Hi Aundrea,
    The rolling around and meowing sounds like her mating call. They can get aggressive because they want to get out and you’re not letting them out. Cats can call from age 5 months onwards, depending on the breed. They can also get pregnant very quickly. But you won’t be able to tell for sure until 3 weeks after the mating, when their teats start getting swollen, i.e. “pinking up”.

    If your vet won’t neuter them while they are still calling (and many won’t because the uterus swells up with a lot of blood, making neutering difficult and potentially dangerous), and if you can’t stand them calling, and if you want to stop any potential matings, then see if he will put the cats on the pill for this current call – it will make the call less vigorous.

    Some breeders put their cats on an antihistamine called Piriton (that’s what it’s called in the UK) which acts as a sedative. Whatever you do, do NOT give medication to your cats without checking with your vet because a lot of human medication is poisonous to cats.

    Try locking them up in a room until you can get them to the vet. Don’t let them see or smell the tom cats.

    (I forgot to add – female cats can be mated, yet continue to call until the end of their calling period. So, yes, there is a possibility that your girl may have been mated by a tom, but you won’t be able to tell because she will still call)


  8. hi i have jsut bought a stud for my cat who yestady was paddleing her back feet , but she is still putting her back end in the air but no longer paddling her feet , she isnt intrested in the stud cat and has hissed at him , should i do anything to get them mating???


  9. Hi Nadine,

    I have never owned a stud cat, so it may be that you will get better advice from the breeder of the stud cat. All I can tell you in this e-mail is what I’ve read or been told.

    If your queen is a maiden (i.e. has never mated before) then chances are she doesn’t know what to do for the stud cat, i.e. stay still etc.

    If your stud cat is a virgin (i.e. never mated before!) then he won’t know what to do for the maiden. Also, some stud cats don’t mature until later and so won’t get the urge to mate even if a queen is presenting herself to him. How old is he? And what breed? Different breeds mature at different times.

    If, however, he is interested then you may need to help him if it’s his first time. You will need two people for this. One to hold the queen so she doesn’t intimidate your stud cat, and one to help the stud cat mount the queen and grab hold of her scruff, and that person has to hold him there until he has mated her.

    Be careful, if the stud cat does succeed, the queen will scream and want to lash out at him after he has finished mating (because the penis has barbules which, when he withdraws, stimulates the release of eggs – this probably hurts her) and so you must let him go asap so he can run/jump away, and let her go because she will probably want to kill whoever is holding her.

    So, wear protective clothing, i.e. heavy-duty gloves and thick jersey, just in case.

    You will know if a mating has been successful if the queen then rolls on her back and wriggles a bit.

    Sorry I can’t help more. It sounds like your stud cat isn’t sure what to do yet. Female cats on heat are formidable and very threatening. He will not be the first stud cat to be intimidated by a queen.

    Best wishes


  10. Hi there, first of all, I enjoyed reading you very much, cool sense of humour..

    The thing is that I have two cats, male 8 months old and female 7 months old, they’re not siblings and my husband and I wanted them to mate once, we already have homes for the kittens, and we will be neutering them after all this happens.

    My girl has been very affectionate in the last weeks, yesterday she was very aggressive, but still like playing, the boy is always chillin. Today I took’em to the vet, cus she has been spraying the furniture and I wanted to have some general check before the mating happened, just to take some other problems off the list (like an infection in the urinary tract or something like that) so the vet made her pee just there, and it seems like that got my boy a bit agitated, now he has been trying to jump on her, bitting her neck, licking her fur, and doing stuff that he has NEVER done before, it started just today since he smelled the pee that was left over the girl’s tail. The problem is that she isnt ready yet, I read that she could go into heat right at the moment when he climbs her, and I dont know how to realise if she’s old enough, cus the vet today said it was fine and she was kinda early in that stuff, so maybe the pregnancy would even last much less, but she didnt give us any suggestion on waiting until at least the second heat, or keeping them in separate rooms, nothing. She just told us that she would get into heat at any time and 5 weeks after the mating we should bring the cat to her so she checks how big the litter is. She said they were both very heatlhy, and that’s also another concern cus she’s growing and the things she needs for her growth, she will be giving to the kittens so it might be the case that she becomes weak and unhealthy cus they still need to get stronger teeth and specially bones.

    should I just let them mate? I guess my biggest worry would be if she’s too young so she would die.. but I dont know if this is even possible. Hope not.

    Thanks for your time
    and hope to hear from you soon.


  11. Hi Aria, I sent you a reply to your e-mail, but just in case you didn’t receive it:

    “Thanks very much for your compliments on my blog, and many thanks for reading it!

    OK, have you spoken to the breeder of your girl to see what advice she would give? That’s the first person I would speak to. (However, if you are having a litter without her permission, then better not to speak to her as most reputable breeders aren’t very happy with that.)

    If you want a second opinion, go to another vet and see what he/she says.

    Second, different cats mature at different times, and are therefore ready for breeding at different times. For e.g. the Orientals tend to mature earlier. What breed are your cats?

    Some say a rule of thumb is that a maiden queen should be at least 9 months old, or have called 3 times. Or should weigh at least 5 lbs. Of course, in a larger breed, that weight would have to be increased.

    I would hold off mating until at least 9 months (or the third call), if possible. This will give her time to mature. Keep her locked up or keep him locked up until she goes off heat. It sounds like she’s giving off smells that are getting your boy excited.

    Sometimes you may have to breed earlier than 9 months because constant calling may cause a queen to lose condition.

    It’s normal to worry about the well-being of your queen. You love your cat so of course you want to make sure everything goes fine. Birthing can sometimes have complications, but it’s also a natural process. Many cats have kittens without any problems, and one thing in your cat’s favour is that she’s young and hopefully healthy.

    If you get in touch with your girl’s breeder, find out what her mother cat is like in terms of the birth process. If the mother cat gave birth easily, then chances are your girl will give birth easily too. Your girl’s breeder will also be able to give you advice about how to help with the birthing. You will also want to have your vet’s number on hand during the birthing just in case she needs emergency help.

    Good luck to you and the kittens!”


    • Hi,

      On a similar note, I have two cats, my female is definitely in heat but I am not sure my male knows what he is doing?! He has grabbed her by the neck, licked her head and made attempts to straddle her but then it doesnt go any further! Is that because he is inexperience, will this mean they will not be able to mate?

      Thanks very much your advice seems so good.


  12. What do you do when your queen dosen’t like the stud? My queen is about 10 months old and i brought her to my friends house, she has the stud, and she just growled and avoided him. I was supprised because she is normally a very friendly cat.


  13. Hi Rebecca,

    Is your queen a maiden queen? (i.e. never been to stud before). If so, chances are that she’s not sure what to do. Her instincts are telling her to find a mate, but she’s still not sure if that’s right.

    Plus, she’s out of her usual home environment, so that’s quite unnerving. Imagine – you arrive at this strange place, and there’s this much larger, macho, muscular, stinky male giving you the eye and making you feel threatened … .

    Even if she’s not a maiden queen, most queens take awhile to settle in, and some breeders will house visiting queens away from the studs for as long as necessary, separating them from a fence so that they can sniff and look at each other without feeling threatened.

    Also, from what I understand, it is normal for a visiting queen to growl at a stud!

    By growling and hissing, this is the queen saying: “watch it, buster – you may look like you’ve got the balls to do the job, but don’t you dare try anything, unless it’s on MY terms!!!” My girl who is a friendly cat and an angel at home, hissed and growled at the stud.

    Now it is up to the stud to try to charm her. By dint of the fact that he is the stud and smells of tom cat (which is what she wants) he will probably have his way with her … eventually.

    A seasoned stud cat knows when to make his moves. And he knows what those hisses and growls from the female cat mean. (Believe me, if she’s on heat, he’s smelt her and he’s keen to get on with the business!)

    And a stud cat owner knows when things are going to be OK, and when they’re not.

    So, I would leave it in the hands of the stud cat owner – she knows her stud, and if he’s a proven stud, and not a first-timer, he’ll know what to do.

    In the case of a really recalcitrant and feisty queen, breeders have been known to don gloves and hold the queen down to give the stud a chance.

    It is normal for a queen to want to beat up the stud straight after the mating as it hurts. So don’t worry if she acts nasty – she is just being a cat.

    It is now just a matter of being patient and waiting for the stud cat to make his moves. Sometimes feeding them in the same pen might help – but I would leave deciding what to do to the stud cat owner because she is the one with the experience.

    Do let me know how it all goes.


  14. Excellent article, very informative.

    We have a female cat,nearly 2 years old, we believe she may be at least partly Burmese.

    She was spayed January 2007, and just this past week she has started to do the mating call, tail to the side and padding of the feet. My husband and I have been searching for some answers to if it is even possible for her to be in heat this long after her surgery.

    We do live in an apartment building with many cats, and we have heard at least one tom outside in the parking lot behind our building calling out at night.

    Is it possible that this tom or any of the cats in the building have got her going?

    Is it possible for spayed females to still go thru the motions? Even if they have never been in heat before?

    Is there such a thing as being in “fake heat”? Or maybe she is just mimicking the other cats around?

    She has a very loud call, and we feel bad for our neighbours, and we haven’t slept to well in the past few days either.

    Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you.


  15. Hi Christina,

    Thank you for reading my blog and your kind compliments.

    As far as I know, cats who have been neutered shouldn’t be set off by toms or have “fake heat”, unless they still have hormones in their body that cause them to go on heat.

    However, I have heard from other cat owners/breeders that calling is possible if during the spaying some ovary tissue could inadvertently have been left behind. This will cause the cat to create the hormones that lead to the calling/going on heat. If this is the case, at least the spaying has removed her womb in which case, if she does get out, she won’t get pregnant by the toms. However, it is not wise to let your cat mate with the local toms because they may be carrying transmissible diseases.

    You might want to consult your vet to see what should be done. Maybe he can test her blood for hormones, or something. Or scan her to try to find the bit of ovary tissue that was left behind and remove it.

    Alternatively it might be possible to put her on a heat suppressant like Ovarid (it’s like the Pill for cats), but I would not generally recommend it because repeated and prolonged use could lead to pyometra (infection of the womb) which is very serious and can be fatal. There is also an injectable hormone, but again, it can have serious side effects (e.g. bone thinning) and I wouldn’t use it on a cat.

    Another good way to try to “tone” down her calling is to use Piriton. Yes – the antihistamine! It has a sedating effect on cats in small doses. I am not sure what the dose is, but I think it is something like 1/8 to 1/4 tablet daily – please ask your vet what the correct dose is. I have heard from breeders with Burmese that this quietens them down.

    Is she spraying? If not just isolate her in a room until she stops calling. But don’t let her out!

    I totally 100% absolutely sympathise with you where calling cats are concerned – it should be called “screaming” or “howling” or “moaning”. Please try to confine her in a room far away from where your bedroom is, use Piriton and earplugs (for yourself and your husband, not the cat!). You need your sleep if you are going to be loving and kind cat parents!

    Let me know what your vet says – keep in touch!

    Best wishes.


  16. Hi all.

    Basically, I have 2 cats a male and a female, now we got them off a lady who could no longer keep them as her son had developed an allergy to them, they were 8mths old at the time. We were told that they had both been neutered, the male is obviously neutered now the female hasn’t shown any signs of being in heat, such as calling, excessive affection but I have noticed our male sniffing her rear end and she gets all defensive, is this just a normal thing that they smell each other, or do I need to make a trip to the vets asap?

    thanks

    Laura


  17. I love the information that you give. I have been serching for information like this for months. I have 2 Persians, a male 10 months and a female 9 months. My female is going through her 4th heat and is not eating like she should. Most breeders tell me to wait until she is 12 months old to breed, but I think that is too long. I finally put them together this week and I think they got it. She growled and after all was done, she rolled around and starting licking herself. I have put them together three times and today will be the last. I had read somewhere that she would go out of heat within 24 hours, but I have seen that she has stayed in heat, but not as strong. Thank you so much for making this so clear. You have been a wealth of information.


  18. Dear Michele, Thank you for reading my blog and the compliments – I am most chuffed! I try to share my experiences, and thank you for sharing yours. I’m sure your girl will be fine. Rules are there for guidance, but the best person to know what’s right for your cat is yourself. Be careful not to let her out – even though she doesn’t look like she’s on heat, she still could be on heat. You must keep her in until you are 100% sure she’s not on heat. Otherwise if she escapes, she could mate with another tom and then the litter of kittens will have different studs.

    Good luck and best wishes with your kittens!


  19. Dear Laura,

    I’m sure I’ve sent you a reply to your personal e-mail address, but in case I didn’t, here is what I said:

    Cats often sniff each other bums. And girl cats, in my experience tend to be touchier and more protective of their boundaries then neutered male cats. So it could be that she’s just being touchy with her brother.

    However, I would ask their previous owner for either proof of neutering (e.g. a neutering certificate from the vet) or contact details of the vet who carried out the neutering, just to be sure.

    It may also be possible for your vet to examine them to see if he can find the surgical scars from the neutering.

    Apart from those suggestions, all I can add is that you should continue to watch them, and if the male cat does anything like grab her by the scruff and try to mount her, then you will definitely know that they have not been neutered.

    Good luck!


  20. I was curious about breeding cats and found your site very helpful but there are still a couple of questions I was hoping you could help me with.
    First of all, I may give you more info than needed but I figure it’s better than not enough detail ; )

    I got a breeder queen (Blue-Point Munchkin) from a newspaper advertisement. The lady was looking to get out of the breeding business and our girl has only been bred and had one litter before we got her. She is going on two years old and recently came into heat. We do not allow our cats outdoors but we have a friend with a stud tom whom we had over for a short stay. We have a screened-in porch with windows and large sills all around (my kitties fave spot!) so we just put the food, water, litter box and cats in there for the 4 days he was here.

    The male was very defensive and didn’t seem to want anything to do with either of my girls. His aggression seemed to put the girls off a bit too. I wasn’t aware of cats needing any help or having to get to know the other cat before mating. I assumed that, like dogs, if she was in heat then they’d both be willing. Now I’ve heard the crying sound a cat makes while mating ((from neighboorhood alley cats)) but never heard or witnessed a mating while he was here. Is there any chance that mating didn’t take place? I’m certain that both of my girls were in heat. Also, after he was gone, they continued to act needy/clingy, call, roll around, and stick their hind ends in the air. I thought I read that they will continue to call even if the breeding is succesful. Is that true? How else would I know being that I never heard or witnessed it?

    Thank You!


  21. Hi Mizz,

    Thanks for reading my blog!

    Now, I don’t own a stud cat, so I can only share what I’ve seen over the past years from breeders who own stud cats.

    First, you may want to consult with the breeder who sold you your queen – she should be able to give you an idea of how your girl mates, is she very aggressive etc., mates readily? In fact, that ex-breeder would be my first port-of-call. You’ll also need to find out if the stud cat is a first-timer, or is he a seasoned stud cat.

    In the UK, people tend to bring their girls to the stud cats and not the reverse. That’s because a stud cat is very territorial and particular about his territory. If he travels it can take him a long time to settle down and feel secure and ready to do his work. If he’s taken to another cat’s territory he may feel insecure and act defensive. Because that’s not his home. It’s easier to take the girl to the stud cat because he doesn’t have to establish himself. He needs to feel at home and secure before he’s ready to take on a visitor. He needs to spray, make the new quarters smell like him, so he feels at home. Cats are quite sensitive creatures, especially to their surroundings, so you’ve got to factor that in. And as we know, cats have a mind of their own. You can’t just expect them to perform on command!

    Travelling can throw a stud cat off so breeders tend to prefer to take the queen to the stud cat. Having said that travelling can also throw the queen off, but in general once most queens smell the tom, it brings them back into heat.

    Many breeders tend to wait before introducing the queen to the stud cat. They separate them in different cages, but side-by-side so they can sniff etc. This way, the queen isn’t put on defensive, and neither is the stud cat. They can both have time to get used to each other, and when put in the same cages, are almost friends. This cuts down on any aggression and hostility. A queen on heat is quite aggressive – she both wants it, but at the same time she’s quite free with her claws. Some breeders have been known to have to hold a queen down so the boy can do it.

    The temptation, when you’ve borrowed a stud cat, is that time is limited and you want them to get on with it as soon as possible, but in such situations, you can’t rush things. It takes time for a stud cat to get used to a queen, and it’s not possible if it has to cope with two strange queens at once.

    Most breeders I know operate a one-queen per session policy, i.e. the stud only ever sees one queen at a time. Remember, even though he’s a boy, having more than one queen in the cage can be intimidating, queens are really feisty creatures when on heat, and it’s hard to service one without wondering if the other is about to attack him!

    So, it is possible that the stud boy didn’t get any action during his visit. There wasn’t enough time to make it his territory, he was confronted by two females and it was too much-too soon.

    Having said that, your cats may have succeeded in mating when you weren’t watching. You will only know if they don’t come into heat again, and after 3-4 weeks, start pinking up (nipples start getting larger and erect). Only you know what your girls’ cycles are like, do they go on heat regularly after 4 weeks/5 weeks? And yes, even though cats have mated, the queens can still be on heat, for as long as their heat cycle lasts. Which is why some breeders like to leave the queens in with the studs until all action ceases. That way they know the queen has stopped being on heat.

    So what would I do in your case? I would wait and see if your queens come into heat again. If they do, then take each one separately to the stud. Or to different studs. But not both at the same time to the same stud because it’s too intimidating for him to have two females in his cage. And do it from the start, with a gentle introduction. Plus, leave them in for longer than 3 days.

    If you do still want to have the tom cat visit, then you will have to give him a period of time to settle in. I do know of some breeders who loan their stud cats out, but we are talking over a period of time, like 6 months or more. How long will it take a stud cat to settle in? It depends from stud cat to stud cat, but it’s not something that can be rushed which is why keeping a stud cat is not an easy business. So I would suggest going to the stud cat rather than have him visit unless you’re willing to wait months until he’s settled in.

    I have heard of cases where stud cats take a dislike to a particular queen, but you’ve got to give this stud cat a chance – let him be in his own territory and then see what happens.

    I hope this helps!


  22. Hi,
    My 8 month old kitten has gone into heat for the first time. We are going to get her spayed but have been told to wait until she is out of heat. The only problem is that she has stopped eating. And she seems depressed. She has always been indoors and we will not let her out because we don’t want her getting pregnant. She doesn’t have a loud or annoying call but she shows all the other signs of being in heat. Is it normal for her to stop eating? It has nearly been 24 hours. She usually eats wet food but in the past day she has only eaten dry food, and only a tiny bit at that. How can i help her to eat and make her feel better until she is out of heat? Please help.


  23. Dear PL,

    I think the reason your vet has said to wait until she is out of heat is because when a cat is on heat her uterus swells with more blood and being spayed while on heat can lead to complications, e.g. greater blood loss.

    A cat on heat does sometimes go off her food, or eat less. If your cat is a good weight, I wouldn’t worry if she doesn’t eat much for a day or two. Please check with your vet if this is the case with your cat, i.e. that she isn’t underweight or overweight.

    Sometimes, changing the food will help, for example feeding her favourite food, or something extra smelly like tuna.

    Whatever you do, watch her like a hawk and don’t let her escape! She should come out of heat in a week’s time. So it’s only one week of stress for you and her. When she is really hungry, she will eat!

    Another thing you could do is ask the vet for the equivalent of the birth control pill to stop her cycle, but I don’t know if this is possible or what your vet will recommend.

    I hope this is helpful.

    Please let me know how your kitten gets on.

    Best wishes.


  24. Hi there i have just been reading all your information and it is very good but wanted to ask a few more things. My cat is just over a year old and the last couple of months she has been mated i guess as the toms are constantly in the garden she has been in heat as she does all the sighns and they call each other etc i have heard her making the noises whilst shes being mated which sound horrible i feel like shes being hurt but she keeps letting them do it so it cant be to bad. but i was just wondering what are the chances she will get pregnant? i dont mind her having kittens it will be lovely but i would just like to no so i can look out for the signs and things incase i dont realise and she has them whilst we were away or anyhting. she was mated this morning as the whole neighbourhood heard her screaming so how long do i wake to check from here and how will i no? wb please thankyou very much


  25. Hi Becky,

    Most female cats require only one or several matings for the pregnancy to occur. All subsequent matings will result in a mix of kittens from different studs. So chances are your cat is pregnant. You will know in approx. 3 weeks’ after mating, when her nipples start swelling and getting redder, what is known as “pinking up”. Some cats don’t show such a sign, instead they may develop morning sickness in the first week, or grow fatter and more lethargic or eat more.

    While your love of kittens shines through and a desire to have a litter is obvious, one of the risks of letting a female cat mate with outside/feral/roaming toms is that outside cats may carry disease that is either passed via mating or by contact with another cat’s saliva. These diseases can be fatal, for e.g. FeLV (Feline Leukaemia) is one of them. Chlamydia is another.

    I don’t want to scare you, but FeLV suppresses the cat’s immune system and can result in a range of diseases such as cancer, stomach problems. There is no cure for FeLV.

    Most breeders and vets would strongly advise you to not let your cat mate with an outside tom because it is hard to establish how healthy they are. And recommend that you take her to the vet 3-4 weeks’ after the first mating was observed/heard to have what is known as a “snap” test. This is a blood test for FIV (feline immunodeficiency virus) and FeLV.

    As you have made the choice to breed your cat, you are therefore responsible for the kittens that are brought into the world. And for ensuring that the kittens that are born are healthy. Just as you do not want to buy or be given a kitten that is unhealthy, I’m sure that you do not want to have to sell or give away kittens that carry disease. You must therefore make sure that your queen hasn’t caught any disease after the matings.

    I hope that all goes well and that your queen is healthy.


  26. Hi, I have a female cat and she’s 5 and a half months old, I really dont want her to have kittens and it’s upsetting me becuase we’ve seen a fair few big cats hanging around. I also have a male cat (he’s been done) and I’m scared for him too becuase if he gets into any terratorial fights he’s sure to be injured? We don’t know if my kittens on heat, but it really does look like she is, she seems too young to have any kittens and I have no idea at all what to do, could you give me any advice?


  27. Hi Katie,

    The best thing you can do first is not let her out at all. It could very well be that she is showing signs of the first heat. When my girl first started coming into heat, it was very mild, with none of the usual yowling or anything. What I noticed was that a lot of the neighbourhood cats suddenly took an interest in her.

    Then, you need to take her to the vet for him/her to confirm that she is on heat. If she is, then you can’t spay her when she is on heat (you can, but it has more complications). If she is on heat, once she’s off heat, you need to get her spayed.

    Most female cat’s heat cycles last for approx 3 to 10 days, followed by a break. You will know when she goes off heat when the big cats go away.

    So, the main thing is: get her to the vet. If she’s not on heat, get her spayed. If she’s on heat, wait until she’s off heat (but keep her indoors!) and then spay her.

    Hope this helps. Good luck!


  28. Hi there,
    I have an 11 month old cat who has just hit her first heat cycle. I thought I wanted a litter of kittens with her but after seeing her behavior the last few days I really don’t want her to breed at all. It has turned her into a bit of a wanderer and she always seems to be in pain or distress. We’ve had two Toms hanging around (constantly) and I know at least one has mated with her. I think she is most likely pregnant already but I really don’t want the pregnancy to continue. Can cats have abortions and is this a costly procedure? And what can I do to keep my queen happy (without the toms) until this procedure is completed?


  29. Hi Lisa Marie,

    First, the behaviour of a cat on heat is very different from her normal behaviour. So as soon as your cat goes off heat, she’ll be back to her normal self.

    It may seem that she’s in distress, but it’s normal behaviour to be yowling and acting stressed.

    Yes, most likely she’s pregnant. It only takes once for a cat to become pregnant.

    Yes, cats can have abortions, but that will require spaying. There’s also a way of inducing an abortion chemically, but that requires high levels of hormones which could lead to long-term chronic illness (like brittle bones and cancer). So if you’re serious about an abortion, than speak to your vet about the options.

    Spaying a cat while on heat carries risks. For one, the uterus tends to be more swollen with blood when a queen is on heat. This could cause extra bleeding during surgery. Also, the hormone levels are high, so that could affect post-op recovery too. So speak to your vet if you’re serious about terminating the pregnancy. He or she will be able to examine your cat and make a decision about what’s best for her.

    What can you do to satisfy her until she goes off heat? You could put her on the cat-equivalent of the Pill (Ovarid), or give her Piriton (1/4 tablet, depending on the size of the cat – important: speak to your vet about dosage). Piriton (as it’s known in the UK) is an antihistamine which has a sedating effect on a cat, i.e. she will calm down. Or you can get something like a thermometer, sterilise it with surgical spirit, and use it to stimulate your cat’s vagina (this only offers temporary relief).

    Whatever you do, you need to keep her indoors. Most breeders confine queens on heat to a room or an outdoor pen. That’s the only way to get through this.

    Finally and very very important, please get her blood tested for FIV and FeLV – these are cat diseases that are passed through saliva and close contact. The neighbourhood toms may look healthy, but they may have FIV and FeLV – both these cat diseases are fatal. You owe it to your cat as her mummy to make sure that she hasn’t caught anything that could have damaged her health.

    Hope this helps.

    Best wishes and good luck!


  30. My cat is supposedly fixed. We adopted her as a rescue but it seems like she is going through heat even though they said she was fixed. Is there anyway the surgery was done wrong? Either that or it was never done at all.


  31. Dear Jenna,

    When was your cat fixed? I’ve heard of instances where a cat who was fixed does exhibit signs of heat for the first months after she was fixed because the hormones are still in the body. Or cases in which a bit of ovary tissue was left in the cat so that the heat stil occurred.

    The best thing would be to consult your vet who can examine her. Or contact the rescue for advice because they would have had experience of her being on heat previously.

    Good luck with your rescue girl – you have done a wonderful thing in giving her a home!


  32. hi,
    I have a young female cat, about the age of six months. My mom thought that she was about to go into heat, cause she started acting supper lovie, and always following me and rubbing against our hands and feet.
    But the problem is, it has been over a week and she still hasn’t started calling. We havn’t seen any male cats around, and she has only snuck out side once for a about an hour.
    She came in and since than, I have noticed a spall puncture on the top of her head that refuses to heal. And she has stopped wanting to go out side. SO I thought maybe she is pregnant, but like I said, there have been no male cats, and she hasn’t done her calling faze. But she eats like crazy now and is always loving up to us and wants me to hold her all the time. Plus I checked her nipples and they aren’t swollen, only a light light shade of pink. But thats it.
    Could she just not quiet be ready to go into heat yet, and just be doing like some kind of pre stage of heat, or could she be pregnant?


  33. Hi Catherine, Thank you for reading my blog.

    It’s hard to tell if your girl is either on heat or pregnant. Cats come into first heat at different times, there is no set time. Some cats come into heat quite early, at 4 months. Some when they are much older. It could be that your cat is about to come into heat. But the obvious signs are, as you know, when they start presenting their bums to you, and when you grab the scruff of their necks, they paddle with their feet, they yowl to the male cats etc. I suspect she isn’t on full heat yet. My girl had a few episodes where she acted girlish and some of the neighbourhood cats appeared interested in her, but she wasn’t on full heat yet.

    The only person who can tell she is pregnant is the vet, and it’s difficult to diagnose pregnancy in a cat until she pinks up at approx. 3 weeks. I think there is a blood test, but again, it can only be done when the cat is a few weeks’ pregnant.

    So you have two choices, wait for 3 weeks and see if she is really pregnant, or take her to the vet and see what he says. If you don’t want kittens, get her spayed. At 6 months she’s ready for spaying and it will avoid a lot of really embarrassing and very very inconvenient times to come.

    Hope this helps.


  34. thank you, and I have been doing some research, and you are right, I have about two more weeks to tell weather or not she is pregnant, or is just getting into pre fazes of heat. But thank you for your response, I appreciate it very much. She is my baby and I don’t know what I would do without her. My parnets will spay her when they have the money, but I want kittens, and where I live, its easy to give them away, so I am hoping she is going to get prego. thanks again, bye.


  35. My baby is about 8 mos old. She started meowing a different meow. She usually dont meow at all. I have three males one fixed. One tom he attacked her very mean like. She is scared of both toms except one but he tried and she didnt like it. Now she is just hiding. What is going on?


  36. Hi Kelly,

    I can’t really be sure if your cat is on heat if I’m not there to see her. You are probably the best person to know it as you are her owner and know when her behaviour is out of the ordinary.

    First … has she been spayed? If not, you need to get her spayed because 8 months is very close to sexual maturity.

    Did your male cat try to mate with her? Is he an entire or is he neutered It’s possible that her hormones are changing and therefore she smells different. Sometimes, neutered male cats can still retain the urge (especially if they were neutered late).

    I suggest that unless you intend to breed from her, you take her to the vet and get her spayed asap. The same goes for the male cats. Entire male cats will spray and boy … it is hard to get rid of the stink of tom cat pee. Once an area has been sprayed it will encourage the other boys to spray too, and you will have a BIG problem on your hands. Act now, before it gets to that stage (unless you love cleaning and cleaning and cleaning and a stinky house …).

    Good luck!


  37. Hi, and I have a question for you, if I may. I have rescued a couple of cats, who were young kittens at the time I took them in. The female is just about 8-9 months old. The male is just over a year now. We had run into some serious financial trouble a few months back, and had an appointment to get Oliver (my male) neutered first (since he was older and would be less expensive) but the places that did the vouchers also were low on funding, so my cat was “put on hold.” I have to wait another month before I can get him neutered. (for the record we could have afforded it fine when we first got him but he was too small. By the time he was old enough is when the financial meltdown began happening, just so you don’t think I am one of those irresponsible cat collectors or something! I love my babies!)

    Now, my youngest,Shelly (female), I never saw any signs of a heat cycle, and I thought she was still too young until recently (this is why we were trying to get Oliver neutered before she came of age). My male never bothered her that I saw. But lately she has gained weight in her stomach, and her breasts are becoming very large and sagging. I feared for the worst, thinking she is pregnant, but she is now showing signs of a heat cycle and it has me confused!

    She is meowing, and getting low on the ground, all the tell-tale signs of a heat cycle. Her stomach is hard an slightly bulged, but not protruding from her sides unless you look very closely. She is noticeably heavier now than about 3 weeks ago. I have tried to feel for any kittens and I can’t feel any. The symptoms of heat cycle, yet the symptoms of pregnancy have me sitting here scratching my head.

    Do you have any ideas or advice? I am keeping the male separated from her unless I am with them, until we can get him neutered, as the signs of heat seem to have been confirmed with Oliver following her and trying to mount her today. I’ve only had one cat get pregnant in my lifetime, as I usually have my pets spayed/neutered, so I’m not real familiar with what to look for. I am preparing to buy bottles and formula just in case she does have kittens, because since she is so young she may not want to care for them.

    Do you have any explanation? Thank you so much for any advice you have! Oh, in case you need to know, they are indoor-only cats. I have two other cats, but they don’t have to worry about kittens. ::grin::


  38. Hi Seaandra,

    Thank you for your e-mail – I’m always chuffed that people read my blog. I am hardly an expert on cat matters, think of me as someone who makes mistakes and shares the lessons I learn from them, but I will try to help.

    Don’t worry about whether or not I think you are a responsible cat owner – the main thing is you love your cats and want to do the right thing by them.

    OK – the thing is, a female cat can be pregnant, and still call. That’s Mother Nature for you. Female cats can be bred multiple times during their call and still call after that.

    So chances are, all the signs of weight-gain, larger nipples etc. point to her being pregnant. If you have a date when she first came into call, then maybe it would be possible to determine whether or not she truly is pregnant – the signs of pregnancy are not really obvious until from about 3 weeks’ from first mating onwards, and some cats display no signs whatsoever until very late in the pregnancy.

    I think you should assume the worse/best, that she is pregnant, and prepare for pregnancy. 8-9 months isn’t too bad for a first pregnancy, it’s young, but it’s still better than say 4-6 months (some breeds mature sexually early).

    So you have two choices now: get her spayed asap and that will terminate any pregnancy, ro prepare for kittens. The latter will mean approx. 12 weeks of playing surrogate kitten mum – it sounds fun, but it is hard work and expensive and you will have the added worry of finding loving homes for the kittens.

    There are some posts on my blog about preparations for birthing. Don’t panic – in most cases nature is wonderful and it all works out. But if you’re worried about your girl not making it through the birth (and that’s always a possibility), then speak to your vet. It could be she’s a good size and ready for childbirth. Or maybe it would be better to get her spayed. See if your vet will accept payment for the spaying, spread over several months. Or see if there is a cat charity that could help out.

    And don’t forget to get your boy neutered too because otherwise he will start spraying and your house will never forgive you. And he may even try to escape to mate with other local females and could pick up some cat disease that’s transmitted through close contact. That would be a slow and painful experience.

    I wish you luck, whatever choice you take – it’s not an easy one, but as soon as you get the money, get them spayed!


  39. how old does a cat need to be to get pregnant
    ?


    • Hi Caroline, a cat can come into heat anytime from 4 months onwards, depending on the breed. The Orientals and shorthairs come into first heat earlier. Therefore a cat can become pregnant from 4 months onwards.


  40. Hey,
    My cat is in heat and we dont want to get her fixed but we dont want her to get pregnent and when she is in heat all she does is meow and meow…. is there a way to stop her from meowing so i can get so sleep! PLEASE type back i love cats but she is driving me bananas!!

    Thank you very much
    Laura


    • Hi Laura,

      Yes … there is something that will quieten her down … you need to get an antihistamine, which in the UK goes by the name of Piriton(chlorphenamin) – it acts like a sedative. Now, I think the dosage is 1/4 tablet daily, but to play safe, please ask your vet because you don’t want to give the wrong dose which would kill your cat. In fact, it’s best if you ask your vet what sedatives he has that are safe for a cat.

      The question you’ve got to ask yourself at this stage is: why you don’t want to get her fixed, but don’t want to get her pregnant. Are you thinking of just letting her call and call? Please understand that a cat’s heat is not like a dog’s heat. Dog’s come into heat once, maybe twice a year. Not cats. Once they come into heat, they will call and call until they are mated. In places with more than 12 hours of sunshine a day, that’s year-round.

      So … unless you have special reasons for not getting her fixed … please consider getting your cat fixed. If she goes on heat repeatedly and is not mated, she could suffer from inflammation of the womb, or pyometra. This is when the womb fills up with pus, and if undetected, is usually fatal. It also costs a lot of money to cure and the cat will suffer. It is far better to fix the cat and not have the risk of pyometra.

      Another reason to fix your cat is that she will start spraying to attract a tom. Your home will never smell the same again and you will spend hours cleaning up cat urine. Cat spray will reach high up and cover large areas. It is terrible – take it from me. Please save yourself the suffering and endless cleaning and get her fixed as soon as she goes off heat!

      Good luck!


  41. Hi,
    Am really confused and wondered if you could help?
    I have a 12 month old Norweigen Forest cat x Maine coon Female (What a darling!). I always intendend on letting her have a litter as she is a beautiful silver shaded lap cat and i know both her parents and grandparents and they are the same(Grandparents all norweign only mother Maine coon)
    Problem is she has always rubbed up against anything and everything, always been vocal, always rolled around the floor and always followed us around since we got her at 10 wks. She is more like our dog than our two other moggies!
    As i have at least 4 new parents for her babies guarrentied i have just let her “live her life”.
    Problem is I have been watching her like a hawk and as she is so loving not noticed any difference in her behaviour at all no calling, or other signs. Last week for the first time whilst spending yet another evening stroking her(which i love and so does she) I noticed her nipples for the first time, I looked and they were just pink the same colour as her skin. Two days later I have looked and her top two nipples(near her front legs)are a rasberry colour but the rest are still skin coloured! can this happen when they “pink up” can it happen in stages?? Is it posible that because she is such a darling I never noticed a heat? I have not noticed any Toms around, but due to the fact we have a dog no cats come into our garden anyway only our 3 girls!! But polly does go out so she could have gone anyware and got caught.
    She has started hissing at my 2 other nutered girls which she never did before and laying around a lot but im not sure if im reading more into things. I am also sure i can(gently) feel a lump in her belly behind 1 of her nipples(dont want to prod to much)she loves having her belly rubbed(strange for a cat!) but although she still exposes it will gently meow! when i try to have a gentle feel. I dont know if she is eating more as i have 3 bowls and all 3 cats eat dry food. I fill up the bowls when they are empty and all 3 cats are thriving (aged 14,5, and Polly 12 months)although 1 bowl still has kitten food Iams, Royal Cannin ect whatever is on offer!!! for polly as both of her pedigree breeds mature late so she is still on kitten food! the other two cats hardly touch this food unless their bowls are empty!!
    Please help me any advise would be greatfully appriciated.
    - Could I have missed a season as she is so loving anyway?
    - Can nipples pink up a few at a time? some rasberry coloured some normal?
    - how will i notice any signs of pregnancy as she is longhair??
    - Could take her to the vets but can be expensive and will know eventually anyway?
    - Husband is prepared to make Polly a nesting box to put in spare room to house her away from dog and 2 other cats if we see any other signs in the next week or so??
    ADVISE PLEASE ANYONE!! She is our baby and this is a 1 off!!
    Thanks Joe and Polly
    (Wish she could talk)!!!!!!
    xxxxxx


    • Dear Joe,

      Sorry for the delay in replying – I was busy with Christmas.

      OK:

      - Could I have missed a season as she is so loving anyway? – yes, it’s possible because she could be a “silent caller”, i.e. not display overt signs, no howling, spraying etc.

      - Can nipples pink up a few at a time? some rasberry coloured some normal? – yes, I think this is possible. The norm is for nipples to pink up from 3 weeks’ onwards.

      - how will i notice any signs of pregnancy as she is longhair?? – she will grow fatter, and put on weight. Even if she’s long-haired, it will become obvious, believe me!!!! She may not swell up until about 6 weeks, depending on the number of kittens. Also, she will exhibit signs of nesting from 7-8 weeks’ onwards, i.e. looking for hidey-holes to have her kittens.

      - Could take her to the vets but can be expensive and will know eventually anyway? – yes, no point. There is a test but it has to be carried out about 3 weeks’ into the pregnancy, and once she pinks up, you’ll know.

      - Husband is prepared to make Polly a nesting box to put in spare room to house her away from dog and 2 other cats if we see any other signs in the next week or so?? – good idea about the nesting box, but you don’t really need to do it until about weeks 7 to 8 unless she’s already building nests. Give it until 7-8 weeks (which could be about 4-5 weeks time). She may not want to use the box you make, so you may want to offer her a choice. Try to keep the other cats out of the box – otherwise it will smell of them. Keep examining her belly.

      Good luck with the pregnancy.

      Best wishes.


    • Hello Joe,

      One more thing I forgot:

      If Polly is pregnant, and has been with the local tom, please have her blood-tested for FIV/FeLV which can be transmitted cat-to-cat. You can get this done as you as you know she’s pregnant, or after the kittens leave home. This is for your peace of mind and what any responsible owner/breeder would do because you don’t know who else the local toms have been with and what cat diseases they may have.


  42. Thanks for your speedy reply at this time of year. Will keep my eyes peeled and of course keep you informed. Polly has had all routine vacinations and is in tip top health, it is my desire to keep her this way! It goes without saying i will get her checked out. Many tanks Joe.


    • Hi Joe,

      I think I may have already replied to you by e-mail, but I couldn’t find the reply:

      Your girl may have been vaccinated against the common cat diseases, but there is no vaccine (at least in the UK) for FIV and FeLV. That’s why all breeders insist that queens are tested the day before they go to stud, and they also test their studs regularly.

      And unfortunately, many rescue centres report that FIV and FeLV are rife in strays/feral cats. It is only spread by cat-to-cat contact. And that’s why breeders don’t allow their cats to roam because it’s too much of a risk to take.

      Best wishes.


  43. Hey,
    my cat is about 11 months old and experienced her first heat three days ago. It lasted for three days, and i have seen her mating several times, and this morning she stopped calling and seems to be back to her old self. I am just wondering if that means she is pregnant or if she is going to go into heat again in a few days…how can I tell?


    • Hi Einas,

      You will just have to keep a close eye on her. As it’s her first time on heat, it’ll be hard to predict what her cycle is. The only way you will know is if you wait and see … sometimes cats call on-and-off on a monthly cycle, sometimes less. I doubt if she will cycle weekly, but you can never tell. Some of the Oriental breeds can call for 3 weeks or more!

      Best wishes


  44. Hi,

    Thanks for your quick reply! And thanks for your helpful information. You’re right I guess I have to just wait and see, my only concern is that she will keep the neighbors and myself awake if she goes back into heat. The past three days were hellish for her and for everyone else, she seems to have very intense cycles.

    I have another question, how long after she has the kittens is it safe to get her spayed? I really don’t want her to go through this again, and I certainly don’t want her getting pregnant again!

    By the way, you have stunning Maine Coon Cats! Now I want one!

    Many thanks.

    Einas


    • Hello Einas,

      Lovely to hear from you.

      The other thing I forgot to add is that you will know in about 3 weeks’ time if she is pregnant or going to come into heat. She will start pinking up – i.e. her nipples will start getting larger, more erect, and pinker. Of course, this is not a hard-and-fast rule. Some cats don’t pink up!

      I’m not sure how long after kittens is it safe to get her spayed, but I would say first let her wean the kittens – give them up to 14 weeks with their mother. And then find them homes. And then make sure she gets back her condition before spaying her as it is an operation and you want her fit and healthy. Most mother cats lose physical condition when taking care of their kittens, so it is very important you build her up after they leave. She may have a small call after she’s had her kittens – just make sure she doesn’t get out and mate; otherwise she could get pregnant whilst still feeding her kittens! The safest bet is to keep her confined. That way she won’t meet the local toms.

      The other very important thing is, if she’s been with the local toms, is to get her tested for FIV/FeLV. These are cat diseases that are spread mainly by saliva, i.e. a mating situation is perfect. There is no vaccination for these diseases. You need to test her in about 3 weeks’ time. That’s why breeders do not allow their breeding cats to wander as the possibility of picking up cat disease is something that can happen. Better safe than sorry.

      Best wishes


  45. Hi love your website.

    I was wondering if you can give me some advice?

    My Queen Dinda is a15 months old British Shorthair. I am unsure that she is calling. We have no calling noises, no paddling and no obvious signs.

    She has always been of a flirtatious nature even from a kitten and always rubbing herself against things. The only Patten I have is swollen bum and on and off food.

    I am looking for her to go to stud in May, but am wondering should I delay it a little longer?

    Do I just have a quite caller? Your expertise would be greatly appreciated.


  46. [...] How to know if your cat is on heat January 2007 52 comments 4 [...]


  47. I can relate to Seaandra as to finances.
    I also used to get all my cats “fixed” but later years have had limited funds. The pound quit doing it and getting help with vouchers takes too long — for me it took too long.
    The vets in my area have extremely high charges for the procedure.
    A female cat took up at my home through a hole in the floor — at the time all my other cats had died or disappeared.
    The hole attracted other cats and also a possum that ate right along with the cats.
    I assume the female was feral for she was afraid to be approached & I never was able to touch her. Yes, she had kittens & I took care of them. She had them in the rafters of my home.
    Now through many losses and deaths of her scions including her, I finally have 6 cats that have been fixed thanks to the local SPCA — one or two cats at the time as afforded (with sacrifice.)
    The last one was pregnant and had a couple of litters already.
    She is in recovery and seems depressed. Could it be the loss of her babies.
    I had to do it since neighbors were giving me problems about having so many cats.
    I have had so many of them to disappear and have buried many also.
    I wish I had money enough to have all cats fixed that come around. It breaks my heart to see so many homeless animals.
    Juanita


  48. I am convinced my 5 month old kitten is in heat. Her and my male kitten (12 weeks) are usually so friendly, but over the last two days they have been fighting like nothing i have seen before. She is usually really friendly towards me anyway and not so much my boyfriend, and nothing has changed there. She does this strange thing, almost like he has hurt her, and sort of bends her back, like her tummy is almost going along the ground as she walks. She does this for a few minutes and then i go and pick her up because i think she is hurt. She has been to the vet and is due to go back in 2 weeks to get her final innoculation. The vet advised that she be 5 and a half months before she gets dressed and him 5 months. She is not making any different noises, and so far has not sprayed on anything. I try seperating them, but he just scratches at the doors and meows till i eventually give in and open the door. Any thoughts from you would be great. If she is in heat, then i can deal with that as she will be getting dressed sooner rather than later, but i am already contemplating trying to rehome the male as im not sure if he is hurting her or whats happening! Thanks in advance


    • Hello Susan,

      It is possible that your cat is on heat. You could try scratching the base of her tail (at the top, not the bit near the bum) and seeing if that causes her to push her bum forward which is how a queen on heat would present herself to the stud. But that in itself is NOT confirmation that she is on heat.

      It is also possible that this is a first heat, and so not that intense. Has your boy been sniffing around her bum?

      5 months is not too young to get dressed. I know breeders who early neuter their kittens at the age of 4 months (16 weeks) before they leave for their new homes, but it all depends on the condition of the cat/kitten. Also, if your vet says 5.5 months, then best to stick with his advice because he may have his own good reasons to do so – maybe she isn’t mature enough.

      Sometimes cats fight for reasons that aren’t obvious to us. Can you keep them apart for a day or too to give them a cooling-off period?

      If she’s really on heat, it shouldn’t last more than 1 week every month. So she should be off heat soon.

      Let me know if that’s the case.

      Best wishes!


  49. Hi there, thanks for your reply. You are right, she is back to her usual self now. I had her in to the vets there on friday and he is now going to dress her on Tuesday. So that will put an end to that! As for my little guy, really he showed little interest, the vet says he is to immature and even if he was fertile he probobly wouldnt know what to do! I am not sure why my vet advised 5.5 months for her, he does say she is very small for her age, so perhaps that was putting him off getting her dressed early if there was no need.

    Thanks again, and i am sure i will be back in touch with future issues lol.


  50. I have just found out that my british shorthair cat is about 5 weeks pregnant. The problem is that I didnt realise that she was pregnant and she has been on OVARID for 4 weeks. The father is a local .lothario.. She already had kittens with a pedigree cat a few months ago. I am worried about the effect of the OVARID on the kittens she is carrying now. My vet says that he has no idea if the pill will affect them or not. Can you advise?


    • Hello Margo,

      Oh my. I am full of sympathy for your situation. You must have been so shocked.

      I don’t know what effect Ovarid will have on the kittens – as she was on it for 4 weeks and she’s now 5 weeks’ pregnant, I take it you’ve taken her off the Ovarid?

      Let me post this to the Novice Breeder Advice forum and see if any of the breeders there have encountered this problem.

      Best wishes,


  51. Wow. Just the kind of information i have been looking for. Im a cat owner of six, five female and one male. Two of my females have had litters. Then were neutered. My male is neutered and two of the other females ( all standard moggies). Im now the very proud owner of a female maine coon who is almost five months now. I would like her to have a litter when she is ready next year. Im new to the whole breeding thing so unsure of what to do. I have advertised for a stud cat already and have found one i would like to breed her with. Hes a virgin though and so is mine. At what age do you think i should mate them, how successful do you think the first mating would be, how long would i need to leave my cat there for? The owners of the stud are new to this also. As maine coons dont become fully grown to 3-5 years i am worried that 12 months old may be two early so i would really appreciate some experienced advice. Many thanks. Lianne


    • Dear Lianne,

      Most breeders don’t breed their queens until at least 12 months of age – younger and you may run into problems with the pregnancy and birth. The queen has to be mature enough physically to have good kittens.

      The only other comment I have is: please speak to the breeder of your queen. Is your queen on the active list? If not, you will not be able to register your kittens as pedigree cats and if someone is looking for a kitten from a reputable breeder, that’s what they’ll expect. Similarly, ask the owner of the stud cat if he is on the active register – otherwise you can’t register the pedigree of the kittens and you will get a reputation of being a backyard breeder.

      Best wishes,


  52. We have a gorgeous, 4 month old, female, Persian ( Lovey ).
    I have never bred cats before, so a Rookie, I am.
    We are wanting to have her bred, and I read your article. I am confused, when you were talking about cotton buds ??? So, please explain, to this rookie, in length, please.
    We only have our one kitten, and hubby say’s, NO, to any male kittens, ( Spraying ), issue’s. Yes, I read in your article, that female’s, also spray, goodness, sounds like hubby, is in for a surprise. Thanks so very much for your time. Kathy in Indiana AKA
    Cat Rookie


    • Hi Rookie,

      Please speak to the breeder of your Persian to get help and advice on breeding a Persian.

      Plaese bear in mind that breeding Persians is tricky because of the head size – you may end up with birthing problems and have to pay for a caesaerian. These can cost thousands of pounds/dollars.

      Also, you want to be a reputable breeder, not just get a reputation as a backyard breeder.

      Cotton buds are used when the female is on heat – to give her the sensation of penetration by the male cat.

      Finally, both males and females spray if they are left intact.

      Best wishes,


  53. Does it matter, with whom, a person Register’s, their kitten ???
    My Persian is registered with CFA. I have noticed alot of kittens registered with TICA. Is on better than the other, or is it a matter of Choice ??? Thanks. Cat Rookie, AKA Kathy in Indiana..


    • No, it doesn’t matter which registry.

      What matters is whether or not the kitten is registered for breeding purposes. If not, you will not be able to get a stud who is registered for breeding – these stud cats are usually from very good lines and reputation. Plus if your kitten is not on the active register you could end up with a reputation as a backyard breeder.

      Best wishes,


  54. Really good read I’m trying to find out how many times my stud should breed my queen. This is my first mating and so far he has bread her 3 times she is still in heat and begin him but he is not interested in her any more is 3 matings enough? Why wont he mate her any more he’s been rested ect is the job done now basically ?? X


    • Dear Nikki,

      Sorry for the delay in replying – I thought I’d replied but hadn’t.

      A queen will usually stay in heat for approximately 1 week at a time. So even if your stud breeds her, she will stay in heat until it’s over. I’m not sure why your stud lost interest in her. If he’s a seasoned stud, perhaps he thinks he’s done his duty. Or maybe she did something to make him decide three times is enough and where’s the cigarette? Another thing is: how do you know he hasn’t bred her more times? I’ve heard of studs who mate at night. That’s why some breeders have baby alarms so they can hear any noctural activity. Cats are also sneaky animals – they do things when we’re not looking!

      I would leave him with her for the whole week, just to make sure. That’s how all the breeders with studs have worked with my queen.

      Best wishes,


  55. Julie:…… Help l have two cat’s on heat at the same time, and they have both had kitten’s before in October 2011. What can l do get the tom’s away from my door and under my house.


    • Hi Julie,

      Thanks for reading my blog.

      I’m afraid there’s only one sure-fire way of getting rid of the toms. And that’s to get your girls spayed. Unless, that is, you want to breed from them again. If you do, then the only other way is to put them on the female equivalent of the contraceptive pill, but I’ve heard that that can have side effects so may not be recommended.

      The only other way is to confine your girls to where they can’t spray near the doors – that’s what’s attracting the toms.

      Sorry I can’t give you any other way of distracting the toms, but female can wee stinks and tom cats love it!

      Best wishes,


  56. hiya my female has come into heat for the 1st time she is calling my male, getting into the position and just waiting but my boy dnt seem to be intrested atm is this just stage 1 ?

    thnx michelle


    • Hello Michelle,

      Sorry for the delay in replying.

      I haven’t owned a stud cat so can’t give you any advice on this.

      Is this is first time?

      If he’s new to this, then it may take his hormones a little while to wake up.

      As I’m writing this two weeks after your e-mail, I hope that it’s been successful.

      Good luck and hoping for the patter of little kitten paws soon!


  57. My cat has been meowing her heart out, and she is an indoors cat. I noticed she had peed on our chair and has gotten MUCH friendlier. She’s been eating alot lately although she is not gaining weight. There are no toms around the house, just near garbage OUTSIDE. She has been trying to escape as well, trying to go downstairs (We close the door but sometimes the maids leave it open and she gets out the second floor), and I noticed that she has been kind of lazy now. She didn’t move alot today, and she has been enjoying our attention. She shuts up as soon as we play with her, and we dont know if she wants to mate or is pregnant. The odds are very low, but any help? Thanks. By the way, she has never been let out. Is there any way we can stop her constant meowing and friendliness?


    • Dear Zeeh,

      If she’s over six months’ old, chances are she’s on heat. Please get her spayed as soon as her heat is over, if you don’t want kittens. It is kinder this way because going on heat takes its toll on the female, your family, and your household furnishings.

      As long as your girl hasn’t been spayed she’s going to continue to go on heat and want to escape. The smell of her pee will attract all the toms in the neighbourhood.

      If she’s been spayed and is still meowing, then she’s just a very social and vocal cat. The only other solution might be to get her a companion.

      Best wishes,


  58. hi….i have a female bi-colour point ragdoll cat who im trying to breed, i can set a clock to her cycles she is that regular, every 3wk for 7days without fail. This week i put her with the stud im breeding her with & for 3days they got down to business but im unsure whether he penetrated her as she didnt scream or get aggressive with the stud although she did do a funny rolling around on the carpet like a snake after a few of the encounters…..i really want her 2 b pregnant but im not sure whether the male hit the target or not, please help with some advice.
    thanks


    • Hi Natasha,

      I can only share my personal experience in that my queen didn’t always scream, but she did do the rolling thing.

      Try leaving them in for 7 days unless he loses interest.

      And as far as I can tell, there’s only one way to know if a cat is pregnant: wait three weeks and keep checking her nipples to see if she pinks up. Of course, if she comes into heat again then she’s not pregnant. And if multiple encounters still don’t equal kittens, then please have her checked by a vet.

      Good luck to you and the happy couple!

      Best wishes,


      • hi i wrote 2 u a few weeks ago about my female ragdoll cat bein mated, since ive spoke to you last she has changed loads & im not sure if shes pregnant or not……shes eating double the amount of food than she normally eats, sleeping loads & wont let me touch her belly….on the net it says at 3week+ check to see if her nipples are pink but thing is they always been pink as shes a white cat…..shes so calm not like her usual hyper self & my male cat (hes neutered as hes a general tortoiseshell tom) has took a real disliking to her, can he sense something that i cant…..really would like your opinion as to wether you thing shes pregnant or not, shes usually regular in her seasons (every 3wk) but since mating her nearly 4wk ago shes not had one……really hope shes going to become a mother just hope im not reading too much into things.

        thanks natasha x


      • Hi Natasha,

        Sorry for the delay in replying – I have been travelling.

        Well, if it sounds like she’s pregnant, but without seeing her belly I can’t tell.

        By “pinking up” it also means that the nipples get more erect and taut. I don’t know if you’ve noticed that yet?

        I guess we’ve moved on some weeks since that last e-mail, so by now you’ll definitely know if she’s pregnant. Her belly will be swollen. Some cats geet morning sickness for a short while. And her temperament may change, and she’ll gradually get slower and lazier as she swells.

        The extra eating is definitely a sign of pregnancy. And my Bengal neuter could also smell when my queen was pregnant and hated her.

        Good luck for the patter of little paws!

        BTW – there’s a good Yahoo Forum for newbie cat breeders, it’s called Novice Breeder Advice.

        Best wishes,


  59. Hi. I need help desperately! A 3yr old Persian doll faced female was brought to my house for an overnite stay with my ten mth old male scottish fold, as an intro before we put them to mate. Initially my Tom cat was curious n sniffing her. But whn he sees my husband stroking the female n getting her aroused he turned hostile. He kept hissing at the female whenever she tried to get close to him. I brought the female back to her owner the very next day. Upon my return I noticed my Tom cat acting very strangely. He kept sniffing around n kept meowing till late night his meowing turned into yowling! I brought him to the female hse the next day hoping it will solve the problem. But all he did was snooping around the new environment and paying no attention at all to the female. At one instance the female held her rump high up at his face n he didnt even respond. Tonight’s the 2nd nite n he still can’t seem to reciprocate wht the female is sending out to him. Instead he kept hissing each time if anyone gets near to him. Appreciate if you could shed some light on this!


    • Dear Alisha,

      Thank you very much for your comment.

      I have never owned a stud cat so I’m not sure why he’s behaving so strangely.

      My experience of stud cats is that they usually have their own territory in the form of a pen that they are kept in. This, I think gives them the sense of security, that they have their own space. When a queen is introduced, she is not simply popped into his pen, but in an adjoining pen to give him time to get used to her. This usually takes a day or an overnight stay. Then when he’s used to her, she is introduced to his pen.

      It could be that he’s used to his own space, and introducing a queen into the house without a period of adjustment is making him feel uncomfortable, hence his displays of territorial aggression.

      I would recommend joining the Novice Breeders Advice forum on Yahoo groups and posting your question as they have breeders with stud cats who will be able to give you advice.

      Best wishes, The Catswhiskers.


  60. i have a siamese par, brother and sister. the girl is in her first heat cycle, and i dont have anywhere else to take her. the boys mature late, right ? someone help me :(


    • Dear Maryam,

      Sorry for the delay in replying.

      I hope that you’ve managed to sort out the mating issue.

      Unfortunately, there is no hard-and-fast rule re. at what age boys are ready to mate. I had a boy kitten who started getting interested as soon as mum when into heat. He was about 7 months old at that time.

      Your only recourse is to keep them separate. Lock the boy up or the girl up.

      Good luck!


  61. My cat is doing meowing and rolling on her back all over the place. She has NEVER peed in my house, but we are in a new apartment and she has uses her litter box, but is leaving lil “drops” of pee on my carpet and my blankets… It is odorless though… Is she in heat or is she just marking her territory???


    • Hi Tamara,

      Sorry for the delay in replying.

      Has your girl been spayed?

      Female cats on the whole don’t mark their territory unless they are on heat.

      The other possibility is that she is having a urinary tract infection.

      You will know if she is on heat because she will go off heat, and then come on, and cycle this way on a weekly basis.

      Best wishes,


  62. Hello I recently got a cat from theese people who didnt want to keep her they hadnt had her long and they said she was “spayed” im thinking she wasnt becuse she has been showing many signs of being in Heat becuse once and a while she will stick her bum i the air. i cant tell if she has been sparyin i have sniffed the spots i cant tell if theres a scent at all. She meowes ALOT but i havent seen any cats around that i know of, she looks out the window and meows as if she is calling. She Rolls on her back alot androlls back and forth. Is it normal for a cat to not want there bellys touched becuse she bit my mom when she touched her belly. Also She is 2 years old.


    • Hi Maggie,

      It is possible for a cat to have been spayed and yet act as if she is on heat. This could be for a number of reasons:

      1. When she was spayed, some of the ovary tissue was left behind. So it is still producing hormones and causing her to come into heat

      2. She may have come into heat before she was spayed, and this is just behaviour she’s learned.

      3. It’s territorial behaviour, i.e. spraying to mark her territory, though in my experience this is not usual in female cats who have been spayed. Only female cats on heat.

      But you will know she is definitely on heat if she comes off heat. i.e. she will cycle – one week on heat, one week off heat. In which case, best to consult the vet to make sure she was spayed.

      As for biting your mum when her belly was touched, cats tend to be sensitive about their bellies because it is a vulnerable area. Unless a cat was handled from kittenhood with bellyrubs, bellykisses etc., they tend not to like being touched on their bellies. If you want to teach her to accept bellyrubs you’ve got to do this slowly and gently, preferably with food rewards.

      Best wishes,


  63. thank you so much you let me no that my cat was in heat.


  64. Hi would just like to say that after reading your page I have found this really helpful.

    I bought a seal point ragdoll from a breader in may 2011, I called the breeder and asked if they had a queen, they said they had a boy and girl but that she was allocated to someone else, I still went and had a look and thought that (HE) linkin which my 14 year old son decided to call him is gorgeous and paid £250. I wanted a queen originally as I have another male cat who is a black tipped British short hair who is neutered so they would get along.

    A couple of wks ago linkin who turned 1 on march the 9th 2012 started acting as if he is in discomfort I thought it might be his scent glands as this is common in ragdolls and the vet thought so to, the vet sorted the problem gave antibiotics and a pain killer to last 4 days, everything was fine after that for a few wks then on 4/5/12 this started again. I checked linkins rear to my amazement there is no scrotum and well linkin isn’t a boy linkin is a girl (totally in shock lol) took her to the vets and the vet verified that he is a girl (still love her the same) and won’t be changing her name. I always wanted a queen ragdoll and now I have one yay ;).

    I just hope who ever was allocated the other queen is a queen and hasn’t turned out to be a boy lol, the vet thinks probably not but here’s hoping that hasn’t happened for the other person. With reading your page this has helped with clarifying what is going on with linkin and at the end of the month she will be getting spayed.

    Thanx for the help on your page

    Catriona ;)


    • Dear Catriona,

      Thank you for giving me one of the best giggles I’ve had in awhile.

      Now that you’ve got a queen, you may want to approach the breeder and ask to have your queen put on the active register – that way when the kittens arrive, you can register them with a cat association and have pedigree certificates for the kittens.

      Best wishes and good luck!


  65. Hey, My Female Cat is about 9 months and We Have Another 10 Month old male and are they ready to mate or should they not be in heat for a while?


    • Hi Morgan.

      Thank you for reading my blog.

      It’s not about whether or not the male is ready. It all depends on the condition of the female and also the breed. I’ve heard that Orientals mature earlier and are ready to mate earlier.

      You need to look at the condition of the female. But as a rule of thumb, breeders tend to wait until 12 months.

      Best wishes,


  66. Hi, I loved your blog and answers are by far the most informative I have found.
    I am soon to be the proud owner of two Persian kittens,a male and female (not related). They will be 13weeks old when I get them and I would like to breed them once or twice before getting them fixed. Have you any advice as to how to avoid mating until the female is old enough to carry a pregnancy safely.
    Thanks for the helpful advice so far


    • Hello Peter,

      Thank you for your e-mail and congratulations on becoming a cat daddy.

      Are your kittens on the active register? Are their breeders aware that you will be breeding from them? I mention this because most breeders only sell kittens for breeding to people who are interested in breeding cats for health and who take care to make sure that the lines are genetically healthy. In terms of finding homes for them, you won’t be able to get pedigree certificates for them if they are not on the active register.

      In terms of stopping mating – the only way is to keep them separate in pens when the female comes into heat. Or put the female on Ovarid which is a type of female contraceptive implant. However, there are serious side effects to Ovarid – sometimes females come off it unable to reproduce. Also, when you tinker with hormones, there are other side effects like bone thinning etc.

      Best wishes,


  67. Hello everyone..I have come across the most unusual thing ever and would like your opinions…
    I found my cat on the street about a year ago and took her in , she was loosing her baby teeth a few months later..So that would make her 2 now? Maybe a bit under? Anyway, she came in heat about 2 months ago for the first time, which from what I know, it is very late for a cat to come in heat .
    I have owned cats ever since I can remember, so the signs were obvious to me: rubbing against me or furniture, I also have a neutered male, she was flirting with him all the time, even went to my dog and done the back legs dance and shaking her tail etc. The constant crying, howling and calling however, brought a very cute fluffy tom around my garden..
    Now this is the interesting bit..She does not want to go out under any circumstances..I will throw her out and she will come flying back through the window if it’s open and she will not leave the garden or let the tom anywhere near her..
    As soon as indoors, she will start all her horny rituals all over again..
    She is driving me mad ! She hates being outside, all my life I had to keep my cats locked up indoors and had to be VERY careful when opening windows or doors because they would run outside first chance they got, this one,refuses to be outside.
    This has been going on for 3 days now , including leaving her outside at night with the tom, and as soon as she gets back in, she starts calling, rubbing etc. which I assume she is still not pregnant yet.
    Why is this happening? I have never came across this before.
    Any advise or suggestion is welcome as long as it’s not : get her spayed .. I am curious to know why this strange behaviour.
    Thank you in advance.


  68. My cat’s ten months old, and she hasn’t had her heat cycle yet. There were a few false alarms. She’s an indoor-outdoor cat, and although she usually stays on roofs and high places, I know that a lot of studs go to those places, too. When I got here (at two months old) her previous owner didn’t mention anything about her being spayed. She was too young, anyways- right?
    My parents say that if she gets pregnant and we don’t know who the male is, they’ll kick her out into the streets- I live in KSA and almost everyone here hates cats, plus the streets are dangerous because of reckless drivers. We are thinking of breeding her, but to a healthy, illness-free tom, maybe even a purebred. I’ve done all the research about queens and kitting and labor and the signs of pregnancy and all that, but I’m still unsure. I’m only thirteen and this is my first cat. Please help me out. And thanks in advance.


    • Dear Junebugger,

      Thank you for posting to my blog.

      10 months is not too young to be spayed. Many owners spay their kittens at six months of age. Some breeders spay their kittens at 14 weeks’ of age (to prevent them being used for unauthorised breeding).

      Please get her spayed because of the following reasons:

      1. She may mate with a tom who is carrying a serious cat disease – your vet bills will soar sky-high.

      2. She may be a silent caller, i.e. no sign of coming into heat, no spraying. Which means you won’t know she’s mated until the kittens appear.

      3. If you want to mate her with a purebred, the question is: is she purebred as well? Are you doing this for the sake of getting cute kittens? If she’s not registered by her breeder as being authorised to be a breeding cat, you won’t be able to sell the kittens on as pedigree because you won’t get the cat association to certify the kittens as pedigree. You need the permission and authorisation by her breeder to get her certified as being able to breed.

      4. Ten months is too young for a queen to have kittens. You should wait until 12 months. So if she comes into heat now, you’re going to have to keep her indoors. Good luck with the spraying!

      5. If you are going to breed with a registered purebreed tom, then make sure you get her tested for FELV – otherwise because she’s an outdoor cat, she may have FELV and pass it onto the tom – this would be irresponsible to jeopardise the health of the tom for the sake of kittens.

      6. There may be complications during the birth.

      Spaying is not difficult when a cat is young. She will be happier, and you won’t have the worry of having unwanted kittens.

      Best wishes,


  69. Hello!
    I have a 12 months old siamese female cat. I live in apartment with her and the other 8 year old siamese cat. She wanted to breed before, when she was about 6 months (she was in heat 4-5 times), but I didn’t bring the male because she was too young then. She is old enough now, but she hasn’t been in heat for 4-5 months! What’s wrong with her? Why doesn’t she want to breed?


    • Dear Mina,

      Was she regular when she came into heat?

      As you know, queens only come into heat in Spring/Summer when there’s about 12 hours of daylight. This is for a temperate zone. If you’re in the tropics, I’ve heard that queens can cycle all year round.

      When a queen first comes into heat, she will cycle until she is bred, until autumm/wintertime, with a short break in between each cycle, then her heat will stop (this could be 4-6 times). That’s it for the year, until the following year.

      So … is this her first heat? If so, she’s probably stopped for the year. You will have to wait until next year.

      If in doubt, please consult a vet just in case there are physiological issues, e.g. false pregnancy.


  70. Hi
    I have a female ragdoll almost 2 years old shes a registered queen and a registered stud both active
    for some reason my queen decided to go into heat today and is stamping the floor and raising her tale right in the face of my stud and hes soooo not interested he just turns his face away and slowly walks off
    but this then my daughter said she saw him drag her to the door by her neck but he didnt fight her ( thats what she calls when my stud mounts ) but then she was rolling around on the floor like shes scartching her back ( snake like ) and then raising herself infront of my stud
    my last queen would scream and my last stud would perform right infront of anyone
    my concern is if they did mate and if not what i can do to get them to.
    i havent ever encountered such a scenario and my cats are pets in the house who are registered to breed as all my cats are but wondering if my stud who i have had pared with my queen for 3 months is suffering from stage fright, isnt interested or just they mated quitely
    she hasnt presented herself to him again since she tried ( dont know if they succeeded ) 4 hours ago

    please let me know
    i know all cats are different .


    • My queen & the stud u had for her tryed for 6mth….they mated in front of us (or so I thought) but still no babies, eventually I got so annoyed I decided to put the 2 of them in the spare bedroom for a week together & hey presto 9wk on the dot later 4 healthy beautiful ragdoll babies…….you may find you have a similar situation, put them in a room together for a few days, leave them well alone only go in to feed them & change cat litter etc, some cats just need peace & quiet……oh & my queen was a silent mater never made a single noise……hope this helps a little xxxx


      • Hi
        Thanks for the response
        It kinda helps but I don’t have another room for them by themself
        She’s interested in mating but he just walks off
        I called the breeder I got him from and she was a bit defensive
        I’m not sure what to think
        He literally doesn’t even look the slightest bit fazed that shes on heat
        She’s even following him around
        If they did mate would he refuse to do it again?
        My last stud tried to get down to business even when she wasn’t in heat he Just rubbed up on her


      • Yeh he should be interested pretty much all the time, my stud was after my queen every minute unless they was having a snooze or rest but yeh pretty much all the time…….I’ve never encountered a stud that’s not interested before, even my neutered male tryed mounting my queen (after mounting he just looked at me as if to say “wat do I do now”)…..I’m not sure wat to suggest but it doesn’t sound right to me, maybe look for a new stud? Xx


      • Hmm
        This is very sad indeed
        And for my queen… She will I guess need to remain frustrated
        I paid £500 for my stud and he’s not performing
        Very sad because I can’t keep him and by another stud


      • Hi, I hadn’t realised this was a thread. Sorry I’ve come to this after such a delay. Will you let me know what happened with your stud?

        I still think it’s worth trying to put them in a room together – I know you say you don’t have a spare room, but it could even be something like the kitchen – just somewhere they don’t have anyone interrupting, or having other cats around.

        It’s worth a try, seeing you paid 500 for him.

        Best wishes and good luck,


      • Dear Natasha,

        Thank you for sharing that – it was what I suggested, but I hadn’t any experience, and it’s always good to get advice from someone who has a stud and queen.

        I think privacy is the issue, and just giving them time to get on with it in peace and quiet.

        Best wishes and many thanks,


    • Dear Aisha,

      I must apologise for the delay in replying – I have been busy with projects at work.

      I haven’t owned a stud cat, so I haven’t much experience in getting a stud to mate with a queen.

      My experience has been that the stud has been an experienced stud. And that both queen and stud are confined in the stud’s quarters. And given privacy. Not allowed to wander. Also, if the stud is not experienced, it is best to put him first with a queen who is not a maiden.

      You haven’t said if either stud or queen have mated previously with other studs/queens?

      I guess by the time you get this reply, you will know one way or another whether they’ve succeeded – I suspect that he’ll get the message. Will you let me know how it’s gone?

      Best wishes,


  71. Hi,
    I have a 6 mo old kitten that has been in heat for 4 days now. She was a great eater but now her hormones have made her gone crazy. She wants to eat but she won’t. She may take a couple of bites in the AM but thats about it. She is drinking her water, I’m pretty sure & at nite she will take a bite of her dry food but nothing more. Its gotten to the point that I will give her a few treats 3 times a day just for her to get something in her tummy. She will eat those. She is being spayed 12-4-12 but will they do it if she’s not strong enough from not eating ? I’m praying she gets her appetite back cause I am getting really worried.
    She was an adandoned kitten & I took her in. She had her rabies & ditemper shots last week. I’m at my wits end…… Thank you, Gail


    • Dear Gail,

      Sorry for the delay in replying – I have been busy with projects at work.

      It is normal for queens on heat to go off their food if they don’t mate.

      Don’t worry, once she goes off heat, she should start eating again. And if she’s really hungry, she will eat. I know it sounds like tough love, but cats aren’t stupid and they will eat when they’re hungry.

      I know this is getting to you after a delay – so I hope that she’s now been spayed?

      Best wishes,


  72. Hi there

    My cat is over a year old now and is on her mating call she’s got out side a few time but doesn’t do her call outside just indoors…
    Also she doesn’t like her belly being touched at all it seems very painful for her and to see her on her mating call!

    Is this normal ?

    Thanks


    • Dear Niomi,

      Sorry for the delay in replying.

      Is your cat always sensitive about her belly? Or only when she’s on heat?

      I know there’s a delay in replying, so I hope that she’s OK. If not, please bring her to the vet – I don’t think it’s normal for a cat to develop a sensitive belly. Some cats don’t like having their bellies touched – if that’s her normal behaviour than that’s fine.

      If you’re not going to breed her, then please get her spayed. If she goes on heat and is not mated, she could develop pyometra which is an infection of the uterus.

      Best wishes,


  73. Thank you for the wonderful information. I am beginning to suspect my two girls are ‘silent callers’ as they are now about 10 months old and there have been no obvious signs of heat. They do call to go outside, but it is also part of our routine and it may be that when I am late they tell me vocally, lol. It’s also possible they just haven’t reached maturity yet, I suppose.

    We are hoping for a litter from each, as we have several older children and grandchildren who all want to receive them. Then we will have them both fixed properly.

    My first question is about a term you use that I am not familiar with. You say when a female cat is in heat and does not mate, she may ‘lose condition’. I have raised cats before but never remember this particular term being used. I am from the U.S. so maybe this is a term used in the U.K. and not here? I thought at first it might mean she loses bowel or bladder control, maybe. Can you please be more specific about what this means?

    My second question is I am wondering if you can tell if a female has mated by looking at the outside of her genitals. One of my girls I noticed had a slightly larger looking area down there a couple weeks ago. Maybe a little puffy, but not obvious, it could just be she is in her first heat or is just getting older and her body is changing as is normal. I always assumed if the girls ever met up with a stray Tom and mated we’d hear the exchange well enough to know it had happened, as we all have these tall vinyl fences that echo every sound and then some. But nothing that I know of has happened or at least that seems obvious, though it certainly could have as they have both ‘disappeared’ for a bit when let outside. So is there physical signs that mating has happened, aside from behaviors?

    Your advice and replies to all of these questions here have been so helpful!


    • Dear Wendy,

      Sorry for the delay in replying – I have been busy with projects at work.

      By “lose condition”, I mean lose weight because queens on heat tend to go off their food because all they are thinking of is sex.

      I haven’t heard that it’s possible to see if a queen has mated by looking at her genitals. I suspect that they do swell slightly when she is on heat, but I haven’t heard of anyone looking at genitals to see if a queen has mated or not. The only way to tell if a mating is successful is if the queen stops calling and also if she pinks up.

      You mentioned that your cats have gone outside to be mated. There is an issue with this in that they will be mating with male cats who may or may not carry cat diseases. Even if your girls have been vaccinated, there are diseases that cannot be vaccinated against. It may seem a natural way to get your cats mated, but please have them checked by a vet as the risk of them contracting something painful is also likely.

      Best wishes,


  74. sorry i put this in the wrong spot before.

    hello,

    i’m not a cat breeder, i do, however, have two six month old female kittens. although i thought she was way too young, one of them is definitely in heat. shes been keeping my husband and i up every night for the past two days with her meowing and howl-like sounds. she hasn’t started to spray (thank goodness!) we want to get her fixed but i would like to know if there are going to be any major changes in her? and what to look for in a good vet/bad vet. i’m terrified to bring her to the vet, it was okay for her shots because i could be right there in the room but for surgery i would like to ensure her safety and well-being since i cant be right there to make sure.


    • Dear Kash,

      Thank you for your e-mail and apologies for the delay in replying.

      Well, I guess that your girl is on heat. The only thing you can do is to confine her indoors to stop her from escaping and breeding with a tom cat. There are obvious health hazards if she breeds with a stray tom.

      As soon as she stops calling, you can get her spayed. Don’t get her spayed while she is calling because the uterus is engorged and I think that can make surgery a bit more difficult.

      But it is safe to spay when she is not calling.

      Side effects? It depends on the cat, but a lot of breeders I know early spay, i.e. by about 14 weeks. And that’s a lot younger than 6 months. In fact, 6 months is an ideal time for spaying.

      I don’t forsee any side-effects – just speak to the vet, and ask him how he will do the procedure – will it be on the belly or through the side? (if your cat has distinct coat markings sometimes a vet will do it through the belly).

      She will have a shaved patch of fur on her where the surgery is. This fur will grow back. She may be a bit sore. But she will soon heal.

      Spaying is a very common procedure, so it usually goes smoothly.

      She may quieten down a bit after the procedure, but then again she may not. I know of kittens who have been spayed and they continued to be as lively as ever. Kittens are kittens, after all!

      Love and best wishes,


  75. My cat has been in heat for 5 days now and the first day she got put and mated (i think) then came back and was fine and 2 days later she is meowing even worse then befor and i thought when you mate your fine and your heat cycle stops and you stop meowing but shes still doin it ?


    • Hi Janice, even though a queen has mated, she can still call. Most queens call for about 7 days in a month, though I’ve heard of calls lasting longer than 7 days. It could be that your queen is one of those. Nope, the heat cycle doesn’t stop until she is pregnant. I wouldn’t mate her again unless you are absolutely sure she is not pregnant.

      Best wishes


  76. I have a cat that just had her litter of kittens , now she is meowing loudly and rolling over and rubbing everything , I have one of her kittens which seem to help a little but its driving me crazy, does this mean she is in heat and if so will this prevent her from peeing in the litter box at times ????????????????????????


    • Dear Jessica, it sounds like she could be on heat. Does she have any other signs, e.g. presenting her bum and spraying on vertical surfaces?

      Queens can start calling even when they have kittens.

      If she is on heat, then you should confine her because she shouldn’t get pregnant so quickly. She should have at least some time to recover and get her condition back after kittening.

      Being on heat shouldn’t stop her from using her litter box. She may spray though if she’s already been doing that when she first started calling (before she got mated).

      Best wishes,


  77. Thanks for this information it was very useful I would just like to ask I let my cats out today and wen I went to let them back in there was a big boy cat on top of her it had hold of her with its mouth and was on top of her does this mean they have mated and now there’s 3 tom cats hangong round my garden is this because my cats on heat ? Is my cat going to be pregnant ?? Please could you get back to me my email is yvonne_2k8@hotmail.com thanks x


    • Dear Yvonne,

      Thank you for your e-mail and sorry for the delay in replying.

      It does seem as if she has been on heat. Please keep her in. Even though she’s already mated, queens can have kittens with more than one sire in a litter. So the more she mates, the more chances are that the kittens have different fathers.

      I’m sorry if it’s an unwanted pregnancy. You will know she is pregnant if she stops calling, and also if she pinks up after 3 weeks from mating – this means that her nipples start sticking up and getting engorged.

      I would speak to your vet if this is an unwanted pregnancy to get advice about what to do. A cat’s gestation period is about 65 days.

      Best wishes and good luck,


  78. Hi I have a 3 yr old ragdoll she went on heat 2 weeks ago since then has mated a butt load of times she got out 2 nights ago still calling(very very loud) my tom isn’t interested at all in her when the hell will she stop she won’t come near me


    • Dear Kattrina,

      Unfortunately, queens don’t stop calling just because they’ve mated. They’ll keep calling as long as they are on heat. Some queens only come on heat for about a week every month during the breeding season. But it all depends on the queen. In temperate regions, queens only call part of the year – usually Spring/Summer – but with the introduction of central heating etc. they may call all year round now. And with Australia being warm and sunny, she may call all year round.

      I haven’t owned a stud cat, so I’m not sure why your tom isn’t interested – maybe he’s had enough? I would have a word with someone who owns a stud to see if they’ve experienced the same.

      As long as you’re sure she’s mated with him, then chances are she’s pregnant. But she will keep calling during her heat (i.e. the week). And unfortunately, if she got out she may have mated with a stray tom, and yes, it is possible to have kittens in the same litter from different studs. So please try to keep her in.

      Best wishes,


  79. I have a 3 mth old kitten , it’s her first heat cycle …. She’s indoors fully , so can’t escape…. Not spraying has called twice in short bursts…. And seems very freaked out too ie; avoiding people . Less friendly etc…
    My question is do some cats go the opposite when their in heat ??? If I touch her side flanks she goes into position then runs away freaking out !!!!!
    She’s got me stumped…. My other cats were loving and clingy when in heat


    • Hi Megan,

      Thanks for sharing about your queen. And apologies for the delay in replying.

      I’m stumped too. I’ve never encountered a kitten of 3 months calling.

      If you’re sure she’s calling, then all you can do is keep her indoors. You could try contraceptives, but they have side-effects. Or have a word with your vet.

      The answer though is: all cats are different, and calling involves hormones, and I’ve heard of queens who normally are quite calm and laid-back behaving differently when they go on heat.

      Good luck with your little kitten!

      Best wishes, The Catswhiskers


  80. Also she seems wide eyed like she’s bugging out on bad catnip lol


    • Hi Megan,

      Sounds like she’s going through a hormonal time. Three months is very young to be calling. Please check with your vet, just to make sure she’s OK.

      Good luck and let us all know how she does!

      Best wishes, The Catswhiskers


      • Ok Willow is now 10 months old and has been an obnoxious caller and has massive avoidance issues and trust issues , she was a rescue kitten frizbeed over our fence at 3 weeks old by mean people , she called first at 3 months old ….. And our other girl Oddball called pretty much a week after Willow and it has been clockwork since …. On that account Oddball was only 2 months old when she first called…, the vets said its uncommon but can happen , accelerated maturity yet still a kitten ….. They’re both booked in to be spayed on the 19/8/2013 …… But I’m so amazed as both were thrown over our fence a week apart at a young age , and they call a week apart from each other too….. I’m just hoping spaying mellows Willow out as she distrusts people so much but me she runs from us all a lot , if I was to put her out my fear is she would run and be too scared to come back thus going feral…. Any tricks to calm her down and show her were not out to hurt her ??? We’ve had her since 3 wks old , she was so loving then at 8 wks old she suddenly switched to this timid scared cat that runs and hides….. If we go to pat her she runs ….. Nothing has happened we’ve shown her love , when I’m alone in bed she loves cuddles but any other time even I’m the bad guy for who knows what reason….. I want my loveable little girl back


      • Hi Megan,

        Wow – thanks for letting me know. I hadn’t realised that cats could call at such a young age.

        And it’s great that you opened your heart and gave these two wild young things a home!

        It could be that they both started calling because of some sort of pheromones being given off, but I can’t be sure.

        I’ve not had any experience with feral cats. I think spaying will settle her some. I know that some cats can get territorial when they reach social maturity. Usually that’s around 13 months, but may be in your kittens’ case, everything is happening earlier.

        I think all you can do is be patient with her and give her plenty of spaces to hide in, and just try to play with her. I’ve found the Da Bird an excellent toy that no cat can resist. And of course – food and catnip will help her bond with you.

        Both your cats sound like darlings. They are so lucky to have found a home with you. Good luck and let me know how she goes.

        Best wishes,
        The Catswhiskers


  81. I wanted to thank you for this excellent read!! I definitely
    loved every bit of it. I have got you saved as a favorite to check
    out new things you post…


  82. Hi I have and exotic girl she is 10 month old how do I know when she is ready as she is very quiet thanks


    • Hi Garcia,

      You’ll know she’s on heat either by the signs described in the post. But if she’s a silent caller, it will be hard to tell.

      Try contacting her breeder to find out when her mother started calling – she may call at the same age too.

      Best wishes, The Catswhiskers


  83. Hey
    I hope u can help me I have never had cats b4 as I’ve always been a dog person but we found 4 kittens in our garden bout 8wks ago since finding them the kittens and the mom have been livin with us now the kitten are old enuf to leave 2 have been homed since then the mom won’t stop cryin she is constantly goin out an in again even wen babies are with her she walks round cryin is this because her babies have gone or is it something else
    Please help as I don’t know the first thing bout cats

    Thanku shez


    • Hi Sheryl,

      Thanks for reading my blog! Sorry for the delay in replying – I hope that your mom cat is feeling better now?

      It could be two things: either she’s pining for her missing kittens. In which case, she will get over it in a few days (my mother cat used to cry after all the kittens had left, and it was very sad, but she soon got used to not having them around. It took a few days though). Or it could be that mom cat may be on heat again. Some signs of her being on heat is she’ll try to escape to mate with a tom, or she’ll crouch on her front legs with her backside in the air, tail to one side. If the latter, than you should try to keep her indoors otherwise she will mate and have another litter of kittens.

      If she keeps crying, and you don’t think she’s missing her kittens or being on heat, then please take her to the vet, just in case she’s not well.

      Good luck and best wishes, The Catswhiskers


  84. hi, we have just purchased 2 queen tonkinese cats but the lady we got them off has given one the cat 1/8th of a contraceptive about 2 months ago! How long ruffly till she will come on heat again?


    • Hi Skyla,

      I don’t know, is the answer. I’ve never used cat contraceptives. Your best bet is the vet. I would say about up to 6 months if it’s a pill, but if it’s an implant, then it’s got to be taken out of course, before her fertility resumes.

      Good luck and best wishes!

      ________________________________


  85. Hello. my cat is 4 months old.. She’s an indoor cat. For the past few days, we let her out. But she just play. Then yesterday, she was acting very weird, i’ve done some research about heat in cat , and some signs are present. i also noticed some whitish vaginal discharge. I dont know what that means. I dont what her to get pregnant because shes so young. Is it possible for her to get pregnant? Thank you very much for you time.


    • Dear Krizia,

      Yes, absolutely, even though she’s only 4 months’ old, she could be an early maturer, and be on heat. Please either get her neutered as soon as she comes off heat, and in the meantime, lock her indoors. Cats who get pregnant too young may have more difficult deliveries. I don’t want to scare you, just make you aware of the risks.

      Best wishes,

      ________________________________


  86. Hi i have a male cat called mittens, why is it that when my partner ( male ) isnt around he follows me and always cuddles into me and then starts needing into the bed or sofa where im laid at and then he crouches down and gets back up and starts needing again and then the sofa or bed is wet but he has been done and it only happens when my partner isnt around?


    • Hi Becky,

      It sounds like he’s peeing. Even castrated cats can spray. I don’t know why this is happening – it could be some sort of anxiety or stress he is under? Or maybe a urinary tract infection? I think the first thing is to get him checked-out by the vet who can confirm whether or not it is an UTI. If it isn’t, then it’s some sort of behavioural issue. Is he very attached to your partner?

      Best wishes,

      ________________________________


  87. Hi, my kitten is about 8.5 months old. Today she was rubbing on everything and rolling around on the ground. She was very affectionate. She also made chirping noises. She usually is a quiet cat. Also, she was sticking her butt up in the air. I figured she was going through heat, so I was trying hard not to let her outside. My sister later let her outside because she thought she had to use the bathroom (she sat at the door waiting to get out). I was worried about her getting pregnant. She came back after about 2 hours. She was acting perfectly normal. I’m scared that she’s pregnant. We had scheduled an appointment to get her fixed in just 2 weeks! I wish she could of waited to go into heat. Do you think she mated when she went outside?


  88. What does it means when a cat leaves a black spot while in heat?


  89. i have a 6month old kitten and she is in heat, but iv felt her tummy and where her nipples are they are swollen is this normal?



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