Skip to content

How to tell if your kitten is in heat

How to tell if your kitten is in heat
by Lucinda Beeman

Read time: 3 min

Cats are prolific breeders. And if you have a female kitten, understanding the signs of a kitten in heat can save you a lot of surprises (and potential litters). Here’s how to recognise if your kitten is in heat. And what to do if she is. 

How Old is Old Enough?

Most kittens reach sexual maturity between five to nine months of age. But it can happen as early as four months. Which means your cat can start going into heat when she’s still very much a kitten. Keep a close eye on her as she approaches this age. You don’t want to be caught off guard.

Signs Your Kitten is in Heat

When your kitten goes into heat, she’ll exhibit several clear signs. Here’s what to watch out for:

Increased vocalisation: Your sweet, quiet kitten will suddenly become a loud, persistent vocalist. She’ll meow, howl, and yowl to attract male cats.

Restlessness: She’ll be more restless than usual, pacing around and acting like she just can't settle down.

Affectionate Behaviour: Your kitten may become unusually affectionate, rubbing against you, furniture, and anything else in her path.

Posturing: She’ll display a unique posture, with her rear end raised and her tail to the side, often accompanied by kneading with her back legs.

Spraying: Some kittens may start spraying small amounts of urine around the house to mark territory and signal to male cats that they’re ready to mate.

Increased grooming: She might groom her genital area more frequently.

Steps to Protect Your Kitten in Heat

When your kitten is in heat, she’ll be determined to find a mate. Here’s how to keep her safe:

Keep her indoors: This is crucial. An outdoor excursion can lead to an unexpected pregnancy or even injuries from aggressive male cats.

Secure doors and windows: Make sure all exits are securely closed. Kittens in heat can become escape artists. And squeeze through the smallest gaps.

Stay calm: Create a calm, quiet space for her. Heat can be stressful. And a cosy, safe environment can help her feel more secure.

Distract and play: Get the feather wand out and play. To help expend some of that pent-up energy. And distract her from her instincts.

When to Get Your Kitten Spayed

The best way to avoid the challenges of a kitten in heat is to have her spayed. Here’s the lowdown on spaying:

Ideal timing: Veterinarians typically recommend spaying before the first heat cycle, usually around five to six months of age. But kittens can be safely spayed as young as eight weeks old, provided they weigh at least two pounds.

Consult your vet: If your kitten is already in heat, consult your vet. It’s possible to spay a cat in heat, but the procedure can be more complicated and costly.

Health benefits: Spaying your kitten prevents unwanted pregnancies. And it also reduces the risk of certain cancers. Plus eliminates the risk of pyometra, a potentially life-threatening uterine infection.

Want to give your kitten the best start in life? KatKin's fresh recipes are 100% real, human-quality meat. Gently cooked to protect vital nutrients. And suitable for cats of all ages. Start your 14-day trial here.

Related articles