When cats are in heat and mate, they like to announce it to the world, loudly and clearly. Sometimes, it’s due to their hormones, sometimes they scream out of pain, and other times, a cry for help. Cats mating seasons are the noisiest, and messiest times for a cat owner.
🐱 Why is my cat meowing, crying and yowling loudly?
When your un-spayed female cat comes of age, they go through a cycle called estrous. An estrous cycle is basically when your female cat goes into heat and gets ready to start breeding. They go into heat for the very first time, on average, when they’re 6 months old – but it can range between their 4th month and their 12 months.
One of the symptoms they may show during their estrous cycle is a lot of vocalizing. Your cat will start meowing, crying and yowling very loudly. They do this to let the other cats in the area know they are ready to make kittens.
Male cats also tend to yowl when they’re in heat. They often do this at night, as well, so you can hear them better. Just like their female counterparts, they are advertising that they are now ready to father some kittens.
Male cats also tend to be more aggressive around other cats at this time. They’ll often scream in the effort to intimidate the other tomcats in the area.
Once a male cat and a female cat finally come together, they start their courtship and then start copulating. They have sex for somewhere in between 11 minutes to a full on 95-minute session! When cats are in heat, they can do this for up to 50 times – and not just with each other. Cats are not exactly monogamous. Female cats can mate with different males in one season. They can have a litter with kittens from different dads. Because of this, male cats have evolved to have a special kind of penis.
Male cats’ penises are spikey. You read that last sentence right. They’re covered in tiny keratinized spines that are basically made out of the same material as your fingernails. These little spikes are there to stimulate females to ovulate. Cats are what is called ‘induced ovulators,’ which means they won’t ovulate until they are mating.
While it’s not very clear if this hurts the females upon withdrawal of the penis, the female cat will trigger a hormonal shock. After they’ve done the deed, most females will attack the male cats which in turn, makes the whole thing even noisier.
Around two months later, your female cats will start crying once again – this time, because they are giving birth. This crying, while it sounds like a distress call, is completely normal. However, if you notice that your cat is struggling a little too much, it’s best to call your local vet.
🐱 Is it painful for cats to mate?
While cats in heat sound like they are in pain and cats who are mating sound like they are in even greater pain, there’s no clear evidence if it’s painful. However, especially after it has been revealed that cat penises are barbed, it wouldn’t be surprising if it’s painful.
It has long been speculated that female cats do feel the pain of the spikes. Either way, it’s an important part of the process. Male cats have spikes to induce ovulation in female cats. If you don’t want to remove this painful experience, you can get your cat spayed.
🐱 Why do female cats attack male cats?
When male cats are in heat, but the female cat they want to mate with is not ready yet, they will be met with aggression. Male cats can be a little persistent so in turn, female cats may hiss, spit and even swipe at them.
When the females are interested in mating, however, they will accept the male’s advancements. But, when it comes to an end, and the male withdraws his barbed penis, the female cat will cry out, roll around furiously and swat at the male cat.
This odd behavior could be because of pain or hormones – but it’s most probably both. For a creature that’s so often seen as gentle and elegant, in this area, they’re definitely not.
🐱 How often do cats go into heat?
There are a lot of factors that contribute to how often cats go into heat. Cats can have multiple cycles in a breeding season. How long these breeding seasons are is dependent on where on earth you are, and what the temperature is.
For example, for cats from the Northern Hemisphere, cats breed between January and late fall. For cats from tropical regions where it’s hot for almost the whole year, they’ll most likely keep on cycling the whole year.
Mating is a normal part of life. For cats, it can get a little weird and very loud. For the most part, it’s due to their hormones and natural sexual instincts, but it could also be because of pain. If you don’t want your cat (or yourself) to go through this whole ordeal, spaying and neutering is always an option – in fact, for most cat owners, this is the recommended thing to do.