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Our feline friends are gorgeous, purring, and intelligent pets that not only love us but entertain us every passing day.
We always love it when they rub against our legs, chase laser toys, knead our laps, or simply look us in the eye and purr.
However, like other pets, they have a few flaws—they sometimes manifest certain behaviors that even the most patient pet owner may not tolerate.
One such behavior is meowing when they are in heat.
Meowing when a cat is in heat is different from regular meowing. It is a cross between yowling, howling, and whining.
Specific to heat cycle, it is intended to be loud, attention-grabbing, and persistent.
Most cats go into heat multiple times during the breeding season and each cycle lasts between 1-7 days (some can last up to 19 days).
If unspayed, a cat will go into heat seasonally for most of her life. That’s a lot of meowing to deal with.
So, what can you do about it? Well, not much, unfortunately! Meowing, yowling or caterwauling is a cat’s natural response to the hormonal changes going inside her body.
Essentially, a cat in heat is desperately seeking relief from her ovaries, which cannot release eggs with direct vaginal stimulation.
So, she meows or yowls because she is traumatically stressed and calling out anyone who can hear to come and help.
The secret is to make your kitty as comfortable as possible during this period. At least, this will reduce the noise that she makes.
To help you live in harmony with your pet, this post will highlight some of the strategies that you can implement to sort out one of the most common concerns among cat owners: how to stop a cat in heat from meowing.
Disclaimer: Don’t expect total silence, though. The strategies we suggest herein will only reduce your cat’s vocalization but won’t stop it completely.
1. Distract Her Attention With Her Favorite Treats
Giving your cat whatever she goes crazy for—whether it is chicken diced in tiny cubes, beef-flavored baby food, or bits of tuna—may redirect her mental focus.
While she is devouring her treat, she may be quiet and more focused.
But note that treats may not be effective in distracting some cats as kitties in heat tend to have reduced appetite.
And don’t give your cat high-calorie foods as this will just provide her with even more energy to howl.
2. Tire Her Out With Extra Playtime
A cat in heat experiences bouts of aggression and frustration. Playing with her not only lessens these frustrations but also settles her down and gives her focus. She will sleep more and consequently yowl less.
Some cats may show less interest in playing while they are in heat but that shouldn’t worry you.
The most important thing is to assure her that nothing has changed the bond between you and her.
In other words, don’t give her any reason to feel anxious—and resort to meowing as a way of seeking reassurance.
3. Ease The Estrus Stress With Extra Petting
A little extra affection can go a long way in taking your cat’s mind off her hormonal drives.
Extra attention will also calm her down and reduce her estrus stress to manageable levels.
But don’t overdo it as your feline friend is already agitated, so any form of unwanted petting can easily upset her.
Having said that, some queens enjoy extra fuss when they are in heat, and may even go as far as presenting their backsides. So beware!
4. Calm Her With Rescue Remedy Or Catnip
Many cat owners also swear by homeopathic remedies like Rescue Remedy (a blend of flower essences) and herbs such as Catnip.
Both Rescue Remedy and Catnip are believed to provide a sense of bliss, providing your cat with much-needed relief from the hormonal imbalance of the estrus cycle.
However, we only recommend using these remedies in moderation, especially when nothing else works for you.
It is also a good idea to use these remedies if you’ve previously tried them and know how your cat reacts to them.
Some cats may become more aggressive after consuming catnip, for instance, which can only exacerbate their yowling tendencies.
Related Post: 17 Herbal Remedies for Cats in Heat
5. Play Her Calming Music
While you may never witness your kitty tapping her paws to your favorite beat, cats do like cat-specific music.
So, if your queen is howling because of hormonal changes, you can try to calm her with some classical, smooth jazz.
Soothing music will not only reduce your feline’s desire to verbalize but will also mask some of the howlings.
7. Soothe Your Cat’s Nerves With Feliway
Another quick trick you can leverage to stop a cat in heat from meowing is appealing to her sense of smell.
Consider plugging Feliway diffuser a few days before your queen comes into heat or immediately you see early signs of being in heat.
Feliway is formulated with synthetic pheromones that have been proven to have calming effects on cats.
We love Feliway Classic Diffuser Kit because it is currently the best feline pheromone spray in the market.
Besides using it to control your cat’s vocalization, it is effective in calming cats in general.
So, you can use it when your feline friend starts scratching your furniture, scent-marking your home, or begins acting out in a way that’s inappropriate to you.
It can also come in handy when you are looking to settle your kitty into a new environment with strange people or other pets
Feliway takes time (a couple of weeks) to build in a cat’s system, so we recommend plugging it in your diffuser a few days before your kitty goes into heat.
8. Simulate Mating
If you can’t tolerate your cat’s meowing while she is in heat and you’ve tried the above-suggested strategies in vain, you could also attempt to trick her into thinking that she has already mated.
Your cat’s genital has certain pressure points, which can be stimulated, easing the heat cycle.
One of the most common methods cat owners use to do this is the use of Q-tips, which are inserted in the cat’s vag to mimic mating and ultimately induce ovulation.
Another alternative is to hire the services of a male neutered cat. Such a tomcat will have sex with your queen and end her heat cycle but without the worry of her getting pregnant.
We don’t recommend mating simulation for several reasons:
- Your cat will cease meowing but only in the short-term, which means that your cat will go right back into heat again.
- Signs of pseudo-pregnancy may result.
- Your cat’s orifice is tiny, and you can easily hurt her while trying to insert the Q-tip.
- A cat may scratch or even bite you badly while you’re trying to do such a private and painful thing to her.
- It is not morally right to do such a thing. It amounts to sodomy or rape!
8. Consult Your Vet
Like any other cat behavior, medical intervention can save the situation.
Your vet can prescribe for you an appropriate hormone inhibitor or any other medication that can ease your kitty’s howling tendencies.
You can also find such products in many pet stores, but we recommend using them after you’ve consulted with your vet.
9. Last Resort: Spay Your Cat
To avoid heat cycle issues once and for all, consider spaying your cat.
For starters, spaying involves removing the cat’s ovaries and uterus, preventing future estrus cycles and pregnancy.
But spaying a cat during heat is highly frowned upon by many vets due to increased potential for surgical complications.
When a cat is in heat, her uterus enlarges, making surgery difficult.
Spaying a cat not only help you sort out the meowing issue but comes with many other perks, including:
- It protects your cat from ovarian cysts and various forms of uterine infections, which are often caused by fluctuating hormonal levels.
- It saves your home and furniture from unnecessary urine markings. (Yes, female cats also mark indoors).
- It also protects your cat from a host of diseases that roaming cats get like rabies, toxoplasmosis, murine typhus, etc
- Your cat will not contribute more unwanted, suffering kittens to the already unmanageable kitten population.
- You will no longer have to deal with tomcats fighting each other and peeing on everything in your compound in an attempt to impress your queen. You also save the defeated ones a lot of grief and pain (and reduce the spread of illnesses as well).
How to Stop a Cat in Heat from Meowing: Final Thoughts
If your feline friend is in heat, the estrus hormones will force her to yowl—it’s not her choice!
So, whatever strategy you decide to adopt, keep her welfare in mind.
Try to be patient with her so that she gets through this period with minimal stress and discomfort.
Apart from spaying, the above-suggested strategies will only offer you a temporary fix.
So, if spaying isn’t a worthwhile option for your feline friend, just find a way of making her as comfortable as you can during this period.
The season will come to an end eventually and you’ll have the peace and tranquility that you yearn for.
Hi! I am Eleanor Price. I started this website after my cat, Louie, almost died from a case of botulism (a type of food poisoning often caused by bacteria that grow on food items). Turned out that my cat’s diet was the problem. I have made it my duty to provide the best information and recommendations about everything cat lovers need to know about their felines’ health and wellbeing. My goal is to find the most informative content on anything feline-related and share it with fellow hardworking kitty lovers.