Signs Your Cat Is In Heat

The Heat Is On

If you have an adult or juvenile cat that hasn’t been spayed, or you are not sure, more than likely, they will go into heat. A cat's heat cycle is extremely sporadic. In technical terms, they are seasonally polyestrous. Basically, a female cat can go into heat multiple times in a breeding season based on temperature and hours of light in their environment. The heat cycle of a cat can last up to six days.

A hissing Siamese cat

Signs Your Cat Is in Heat

The signs are pretty straightforward and all revolve around behavior. Once you have observed these signs that your cat is in heat, it is time for them to be spayed. Here is what to look for.

More Vocal

Many cats will be increasingly vocal during their heat cycle. Constantly yowling and meowing, looking for the attention of a tomcat. The vocalizing may be increased at night, even keeping you awake at night. It may be so loud that tomcats in the neighborhood that you have never seen will start lurking around the house, responding to your female cat in heat.

Attention Seeking

A female cat in heat may also be trying to get their owner's attention all the time – definitely more than normal. They may rub on their legs constantly, looking for attention and pets. It may get to the point that no matter how much you love your cat, it starts getting annoying.


During a heat cycle, a female may also try to spray and mark objects in the house. This is normal behavior for a cat living outside to attract a male by the scent excreted on the object. Unfortunately, it can ruin the furniture in your house. Because marking behavior in female cats is abnormal except for when they are in heat, be sure to note this is a sign your cat needs to be spayed.

A large calico cat in heat

Posturing is Definitely a Sign Your Cat is In Heat

Cats in heat will also sit postured sternally on their belly, with their back feet under them, rear end up, and tail to the side. This posture is the number one sign the cat is in heat; she is postured in a way that lets tomcats know she is ready to mate. Because female cats can go into heat so many times during a breeding season, these behaviors will continue until the female is bred or spayed.

Spaying a female cat should happen around 6 months of age to avoid a heat cycle and these behaviors, as well as a litter of unwanted kittens if the female in heat escapes the house during her heat cycle. Spaying is a routine procedure, and the only negative effect is general weight gain after the procedure.

If you are observing any of these behaviors from your female cat, contact your veterinarian to schedule a spay procedure. It is important to have the procedure done either before the female goes into heat or after the heat cycle. It is advised not to have a spay procedure done during heat because it is a more difficult procedure because of the increase of blood flow during a heat cycle. Recovery is also longer for a female who is currently in heat. Learn more about a female's heat cycle.

A Persian cat in heat

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