Understanding fertility and mating behaviors of your cat or cats can help explain the behaviors you’re noticing. For example, if your male cat is acting strange, you may be wondering if they are in heat or whether something else is going on. Today, we’re going to learn more about male cats and their mating questions. We’ll also answer the question “do male cats go into heat.”
What does it mean if a cat is in heat?
The term “in heat” refers to a female cat (unspayed) who is sexually mature and ready to mate with a male cat. Female cats in heat are actively seeking a male cat to mate with. They may howl or make very loud meows to attract a male, spray on surfaces so a male can find them, or engage in other behaviors that are out of the ordinary.
Can male cats go into heat?
So, do male cats go into heat? Technically, the answer is no.
“Heat” is a term that explains when a female cat (queen) is ready to mate with a male cat (tom) in order to become pregnant and have a litter of kittens.
So, because the term heat refers to a female cat’s behaviors around mating, male cats do not go into heat.
However, if you’ve been around a male cat who is looking to mate with a female, you’ve probably noticed that their behavior can look quite different than it typically does. Even though males don’t go into heat, they do experience similar symptoms to those that female cats going into heat experience.
We’ll explore some of these symptoms in greater depth below, but they can include spraying or acting more aggressive than is usual.
What age do male cats go into heat?
Most female cats are sexually mature by about 6 months with their first estrus cycle. However, the timing is a bit different for males.
The specific answer for at what age do male cats go into heat can vary from one cat to the next, but it is typically between the ages of 9 and 12 months. However, some males may be sexually mature by the age of 6 months.
So, when do male cats go into heat for the first time? Remember, male cats do not technically go into heat; the term in heat refers to a female cat’s readiness to mate. However, male cats do experience similar symptoms to those that females experience. These symptoms can start as soon as they are sexually mature.
What time of the year do male cats go into heat?
Unaltered male and female cats may mate (or look to mate) at any time during the year. There is no exclusive mating season for felines, unlike some other species.
However, you can expect sexual interests and desires to be at their height during the spring. Spring is the season where mating is at its highest levels across most animal species.
How often do male cats go into heat?
Unneutered male cats will look to mate with an unspayed female cat whenever she is willing.
So, if you have a female cat that is in heat, any unaltered males with access to her will attempt to respond to her calls for mating.
How long does heat in male cats last?
When do male cats go into heat? As we shared, males do not technically go into heat. However, their behaviors in response to a female’s calls for them may last as long as the female is still looking to mate.
Male cats who know a female cat is calling for them can be very focused and determined in their quest to reach her. There will be no self-control This means that if you are trying to keep an unaltered male separated from a female in heat, it can be quite difficult.
How do I know when my male cat is in heat?
There are a few signs that males looking to mate with a female in heat often exhibit. While male cats don’t technically go into heat, as that term refers to females, some of these symptoms may be similar to those of a female in heat.
Some of the signs that may indicate that your male cat is looking to mate with a female include:
- Attempts to escape from the home or get into the room where the female in heat is staying.
- Acting overly restless
- Vocalizing (meowing/crying) more than usual, particularly at night.
- Rubbing his head or butt on surfaces in the room or people to leave his scent.
- Spraying on furniture or items in the area to leave his scent for the female.
- Grooming his genitals.
- Being more affectionate with people than is typical.
- Acting aggressive with other animals, particularly challengers (or other unaltered male cats).
Before diagnosing your male cat as “in heat” based on the symptoms above, remember that these symptoms can also be associated with other medical conditions, such as UTIs, anxiety, or even hunger.
If you’re not sure whether your cat is in heat or in need of help, reach out to your veterinarian.
Do male cats go in heat even if they are fixed?
After you’ve neutered your male cat or spayed a female cat, you shouldn’t expect to see signs of sexual behavior. Neutering and spaying remove a cat’s reproductive organs. Without these organs, their bodies won’t produce the hormones responsible for making them go into heat.
However, if you recently neutered a male cat or spayed a female cat that was already old enough to be sexually mature, it is possible that there will still be some sexual hormones left in their body. For this reason, you may see a few signs of sexual interest in the few weeks following their procedure. After this time, sexual interest should fade and eventually go away altogether.
Even after neutering, some male cats may continue to engage in behaviors that their owners confuse with sexual acts. For example, male cats may hump other cats in the home. However, this behavior is typically not sexual in nature. Rather, it is seen as a normal behavior and the cat is just excited or looking to play. Some cats may also use humping to help them create a hierarchical social structure with other cats in the home.
What can you do to calm a male cat in heat?
If your male cat is trying to respond to a female in heat, attempts to calm him down may not work. When a female cat is calling for a male, the male has very little self-control. They are solely focused on getting to the female and responding to her calls.
If both the male and female cat are yours and live in your home, try separating them until the female’s cycle is complete. If the female cat lives outside or with a neighbor, take extra caution to prevent your male cat from escaping. He will be trying to get out to answer her calls.
Giving your cat some extra playtime may also be effective at helping calm him down a bit. However, take care not to let the cat out for extra activity. They will likely head straight to the female cat in heat to mate.
Understanding Male Cats in Heat
It is important to understand what is happening when your male cat is showing interest in mating. Whether you’re trying to keep him calm and away from a female in heat or are looking to breed kittens, knowing the signs of heat in both male and female cats can be helpful.
I hope you’ve been able to answer all the questions you had when you started reading this article and feel knowledgeable about the signs of mating in male cats.
You can learn more about your feline friend here:
While male cats do not technically go through heat, they may cry or meow loudly when they are looking to mate with a female. They may be trying to call out to the female in heat. Crying and increased vocalizations and meowing can be even more common at night.
Calming a male cat in heat can be difficult. When males are trying to respond to a female’s calls to mate, they are often quite determined. Try to separate the male cat from the female cat until her cycle is over. If the female cat in heat is not in the house (such as a neighbor’s cat or an outdoor cat in the area), keep a close eye on the male to make sure he doesn’t try to escape through an open door.
How old do male cats go into heat? Male cats typically reach sexual maturity between the ages of 9 and 12 months, though some may be mature by as early as 6 months. They can continue to show interest in mating for the rest of their life, though interest may diminish as they get older.