A Cat in Heat

A cat's calling is when it is in heat (in oestrus) and so you will hear it being referred to by either of the terms as being 'in heat' or 'calling'.

If you have never experienced it before, then believe me, you will definitely know when a cat is calling when you do experience it. However, there are other signs to look out for that tell you your cat is coming in to heat too so if you have an un-spayed female cat you should know the symptoms to look out for. If you spend a good amount of time with your cat (which you most definitely will if you own a Sphynx) then you are most likely to notice the subtle signs even before she begins to actually call.

She will start to become more affectionate than usual, often winding around your legs, and generally seeking a fuss. Her hormones are ramping up and she looks to you as her human to soothe her somehow. She may seek out heat and often finds that laying on a storage radiator (that is not too hot) or better yet a pet heat mat for comfort is soothing.

She can be easily distracted by play or treats but her hormones and natural instincts will soon have her back to you and seeking extra attention.

During this attention she may lift her bottom in the air. You may notice too that she holds her tail down to one side (which would be to give the male clear access).

Some females, advertising their scent to any local Tom cat will even spray mark on walls or furniture.

Her vulva becomes slightly enlarged which with furred cats would not likely be seen but is noticeable on the hairless Sphynx. You may notice her licking the area a lot more because it has become more sensitive to her during this time. Unlike us, and dogs, a cat does not bleed at this time. This is because in a cat no egg is released at estrus (the egg is only release during the sex act itself) . See the heading MATING Sire(s) page for more info.

She will begin meow and roll around a lot. The meow is different to her normal talking. You will see her as you pet her sink into the "frog pose". Her hips are flattened out, her back legs wide apart and she crouches her body low to the ground, with her bottom raised. Touching her on the lower back or base of the tail area will be like a hairpin trigger to her and as she takes the frog position she will move her tail to one side.

While she is in this highly aroused state she from her vagina comes a lubricating liquid in preparation for having sex.

At night she may start eliciting caterwauling sounds different to meowing which will wake you. This is her calling for the tomcats to come and fin her. Her calling is more frantic at night and she is not easily distracted. 

Heat will help to soothe her during heat, as will taking her attention away from her needs. Luckily with a Sphynx cat who is by nature always more than willing to play this is relatively easy however, it wont last long before she remembers that her body is raging with hormones and she calls loudly once again.

A calling can last for around 7-10 days and it is repeated in cycles every 14-21 days. Because we have well lit and heated homes, there is no 'off season' and so this is repeated throughout the whole year.

A cat in heat must not be allowed out at this time where she will meet several willing Tom cats and can get pregnant at the same time by more than one tom.

How to stop a cat on heat

There are no home remedies to stop a cat from coming in to oestrus.  The only ways to stop the cat from calling is to either have her mate and become pregnant, or to see your vet for having her Spayed/Neutered or to have them fit her with a hormone implant called Suprelorin which is made by Virbac and contains the drug Desolorin. The implant's effects last for several weeks its action suppressing hormone production and therefore in a female halts oestrus. By doing this calling/mating behaviours in both cats and dogs are delayed/interrupted. 

The implant is used in both sexes in cats and dogs providing temporary 'chemical castration' or 'Chemical Spaying' that is temporary and is reversible. It is safe for long term use if the owner is against surgery as a neutering option.

Use of the implant as a temporary measure allows a breeder to 'rest' a cat or dog in their breeding programme.

The drug is also used:
  • To delay the onset of adulthood/sexual maturity providing more thinking time for an owner who is unsure if neutering is the right choice for their animal.
  • To test whether lowering testosterone production permanently (by castration) will have a positive/desired outcome on the behaviour of their animal (usually dogs)
  • To provide non surgical neutering (no need for castration)
  • To  treat certain other health issues arising in cats & dogs.


If you do not intend to breed from a cat (of any breed, male or female) you should have him or her neutered. In males, neutering is by Castration and in females it is done as Spaying. 

Neutering is best for a non breeding animal for several reasons not the least of which is putting a halt to your females' repeated callings.

Neutering will avoid all possibility of indiscriminate breeding and therefore reduces overpopulation of the species which is caused by so many unwanted litters which more often than not end up at an animal rescue centre or are abandoned and left to go feral if they survive abandonment at all.

An neutered cat of both sexes is much less likely to roam or wander because he/she is no longer driven to by hormones that make them go as far and wide as is necessary to seek out a mate. So a neutered cat becomes much more settled and is a healthy and happy pet.

A neutered cat will not need to spray to mark their territory or advertise their whereabouts. Though it is mainly Tomcats who spray, females in heat will also spray too.

Most important of all neutering is in the best interests of your cat because neutered animals live for longer and have a healthier lives.


If a female cat is allowed to have repeated heat cycles (oestrus) without mating and experiencing pregnancy over a long period of time she is highly likely to develop a serious infection of the uterus called Pyometra which literally means pus in the womb. 

Pyometra is considered serious and indeed in severe cases can be life-threatening. It eeds to be treated quickly and aggressively.

Pyometra is a secondary infection that occurs as a result of hormonal changes within the reproductive tract and presents with a range of signs/symptoms from the very obvious; a thick pus of creamy consistency discharging from the vulva, to the more subtle simple a loss of appetite.

Breeders & Neutering

Neutering is carried out by breeders of pedigree cats before a kitten is released to its new owner. The procedure is quick and simple and is normally done by the breeder at about 8-10 weeks of age so that by 12 weeks when he/she leaves for his new home, there is no sign at all of the operation having been carried out. The operation is done early to safeguard the future health of the kitten, to precent any indiscriminate or inappropriate breeding and, as an aside, it also serves to safeguard the breeder's business interests.


If you buy a kitten (moggy or pedigree) and it is not already neutered, and you do not plan to breed from him/her then it is best to neuter before sexual maturity at around 20 weeks