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Do Male Cats Go into Heat? Vet-Reviewed Signs & Facts

Written by: Jana Blagojevic

Last Updated on February 6, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

tortie cat resting on heated bed

Do Male Cats Go into Heat? Vet-Reviewed Signs & Facts


Dr. Marta Vidal-Abarca Photo


Dr. Marta Vidal-Abarca

Veterinarian, BVSc GPCert (Ophthal) MRCVS

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

Learn more »

Being a cat owner has its ups and downs, however, some moments may become complicated and cause you some stress. If you notice, on occasion, your tomcat trying to flee the home at any chance it gets, and even being away for extended periods, chances are high that there is a female cat in heat nearby. Because a male’s sense of smell is so powerful, they’ll be able to smell the female’s pheromones and instantly head out to search for her.

However, it is crucial to understand that male cats don’t experience heat, but they react to females’ heat cycles and often exhibit irrational behavior. Keeping your friend safe is extremely important, so read our article below to learn more.

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When Do Male Cats Become Sexually Mature?

Most male cats become sexually active once they are adults. They reach sexual maturity from as early as 4 months of age. Once male cats mature, they will likely search for a female to mate unless they are neutered.

two persian cats lying
Image Credit: ANURAK PONGPATIMET, Shutterstock

Signs of Your Male Cat Reaching Sexual Maturity

Once your male cat starts entering the age of sexual maturity, you will slowly begin noticing several signs. The first and most obvious sign will be urine marking. Another sign you may notice as your male cat matures is a change in his testicles. Before puberty, tomcat testicles are barely visible. Once they mature, their testicles will increase size as they grow, until about 2 to 3 years of age. After that, their testicles will remain the same size.

Other Signs of Sexual Maturity Include:

  • A strong and unpleasant urine odor
  • More frequent urine marking
  • Roaming (if there’s outdoor access)
  • Territorial aggression
  • Sudden aggressive behavior
  • Grumpy behavior around family members and other pets
  • Frequent mood swings
  • Vocalizing excessively

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Do Male Cats Experience Heat?

When female cats are in heat, they experience behavioral changes. They may be more affectionate, vocalize more, and even try to run away from home in search of a mate. This behavior is attributed to females exclusively because male cats do not experience heat. The only thing you will notice in your male cat is sensing a female in heat. You may catch your tomcat trying to escape your home, searching for the female in heat, and even becoming difficult to manage.

Cats Cudduling in a couch
Image Credit: Fuu J, Unsplash

How to Keep Your Male Cat Safe During This Time

While male cats do not experience heat themselves, heat in female cats can be challenging for both sexes. With females, owners need to cope with their hormones, while males become obsessed with finding the female. Since this can cause them to stop thinking and acting rationally, they can often hurt themselves in this pursuit. This is why keeping your tomcat safe is of utmost importance.

If your cat is indoors, try to keep them isolated from any females in the neighborhood. Keep your tomcat safely secured in your home, or he will search for any possible chance to run towards the female in heat. Getting him neutered as soon as possible is a good idea as this will decrease or eliminate his urge to mate.


Final Thoughts

Depending on the age of your tomcat, certain behavior can be attributed to either sexual maturity or sensing a female in heat. These can seem very similar to a female cat being in heat, but male cats do not go into heat like females.

Featured Image Credit: Tina Talley, Shutterstock

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