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How to Calm a Cat in Heat: 13 Effective Remedies

Written by: Ed Malaker

Last Updated on May 29, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

portrait of a cat lying down

How to Calm a Cat in Heat: 13 Effective Remedies

Cats in heat can display restlessness, increased vocalization, and other behaviors that may be distressing for them and their owners. While it’s important to consult a veterinarian for specific advice tailored to your cat, keep reading for a list of things to ensure you know what to do when your cat is in heat.

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How to Calm a Cat in Heat

1. Create a Calm Environment

Provide a quiet and comfortable space for your cat, away from loud noises and distractions. Choose a closet or room that doesn’t get much traffic, and ensure that it has a cozy bed or blanket where your pet can relax.

2. Minimize Stimulation

Cats in heat are already experiencing heightened senses, so it’s important to reduce triggers that can make them feel worse. Dim the lights, close the curtains, and avoid sudden movements or loud noises around your cat while she is in heat.

Image Credit: Lynn Cormier, Shutterstock

3. Offer Hiding Spots

Cats in heat may seek out hiding places to find comfort and security, and you can help by providing cardboard boxes, covered beds, or dedicated cat trees with enclosed areas. These hiding spots give your cat a sense of security and privacy, reducing her anxiety during this time. Place these hiding spots in quiet areas where your cat can retreat.

4. Provide Vertical Spaces

Cats in heat may have an increased desire to climb and explore their environment, so you can offer vertical spaces like cat trees, shelves, or perches where your cat can climb and observe her surroundings, which can help distract her and keep her busy.

5. Provide a Scratching Post or Scratcher

Scratching is a natural behavior for cats, and it serves multiple purposes, including releasing pent-up energy and marking territory. Providing a sturdy scratching post or multiple scratching surfaces throughout your home can help redirect your cat’s focus away from her heat cycle. It enables her to engage in her instinctual behavior and provides an outlet for her energy and frustration.

6. Use Pheromone Sprays

Synthetic pheromone sprays mimic the natural facial pheromones that cats release when they feel calm and secure. These sprays can help create a soothing environment and reduce stress-related behaviors. Spray the pheromone spray in areas where your cat spends most of her time, such as her resting areas or bedding, to help her feel more relaxed and settled.

7. Play Soothing Music

Cats have sensitive hearing, and playing soft classical music or calming nature sounds can relax them. Create a playlist of calming music, or find specially designed music for cats. Playing this soothing background music can help create a tranquil atmosphere, drown out external noises, and promote relaxation for your cat.

8. Use a Heated Pad

Cats in heat may find comfort in warmth, as it can help alleviate any discomfort that they might be experiencing. A cat-safe heated pad or a cozy bed with a heat source can help relax their muscles and soothe any aches or pains associated with their heat cycle.

sphynx cat on heating pad
Image Credit: Casey Elise Christopher, Shutterstock

9. Distract With Toys

Engage your cat in interactive play sessions. Toys that simulate hunting behaviors are particularly effective, such as wands or puzzle toys that dispense treats. A laser pen is also extremely effective. These toys provide mental and physical stimulation and help redirect your cat’s attention away from her heat cycle.

10. Avoid Excessive Physical Contact

Cats in heat can be more sensitive to touch and handling. Respect their boundaries, and avoid excessive petting or physical contact that may cause discomfort or stress. Observe your cat’s body language and let her initiate any interactions. If she shows signs of being overwhelmed or agitated, give her space.

11. Ensure That Fresh Water and Food Are Available

Proper hydration and nutrition are crucial during your cat’s heat cycle, so ensure that she has access to fresh, clean water. Cats in heat may have increased thirst, so check the water bowl regularly and refill it as needed. Additionally, provide a balanced diet appropriate for her age and health. Consult your veterinarian for specific dietary recommendations to support your cat’s health and well-being while she’s in heat.

norwegian forest cat eating cat food from a bowl
Image Credit: Astrid Gast, Shutterstock

12. Keep the Litter Box Clean

Maintaining a clean litter box is crucial for your cat’s comfort and hygiene, especially during her heat cycle. Cats can be particular about their litter box cleanliness, and a dirty box may cause them stress or avoidance. Scoop the litter box at least once a day, and change the litter regularly to keep them happy. Provide enough litter boxes in your home to accommodate multiple cats, as some cats may avoid using a box that another cat has already used. Most experts recommend one litter box per cat, plus one.

13. Schedule Playtime

Engaging your cat in regular play sessions is crucial to help release her energy and reduce anxiety. Set aside several minutes daily to interact with your cat using toys or activities that she enjoys. Play sessions provide physical exercise and mental stimulation that can help distract your cat.

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Consider Spaying Your Cat

If you’re still undecided on what to do when your cat is in heat, most experts recommend spaying if you do not intend to breed your cat. Spaying is a surgical procedure that removes the ovaries and uterus, preventing heat cycles and associated behaviors and providing long-term relief from heat cycles’ physical and emotional challenges. Spaying also has numerous health benefits and helps control the cat population. Consult with your veterinarian to discuss the best time for spaying your cat.

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We hope you have found some of these home remedies for cats in heat helpful. Unfortunately, you cannot do much for a cat in heat to prevent her from feeling restless. However, providing a quiet place for her to retreat to is a great way to help her feel more comfortable. Soft music, a clean litterbox, and pheromone spray can also help. Interactive toys and playtime can help distract your cat temporarily and give her something else to focus on. The best way to prevent a female cat from going into heat is to have her spayed if you do not plan to breed her. Spaying can also improve her long-term health.

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Featured Image Credit: rihaij, Pixabay

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