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Cher, Feline Specialist
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 21378
Experience:  Feline Healthcare & Behavior Specialist 40+ years Experience
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How do I ease my cats cramps and howeling when she is in heat

Customer Question

The cat crouches and howels and is in monthly cramping pain. She sort of signifies that she wants a gentle message to sooth her. This could go on for more than a week.
Submitted: 10 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Cher replied 10 years ago.

When a cat in heat crouches and howls, she's not in pain and doesn't get menstrual cramps like humans do. She's just doing what comes naturally when she's in heat and all her actions are basically to attract a mate. She DOES enjoy a gentle massage or any other physical contact, because it's 'contact'. She loves to be pet more, rubs on everything and won't let you sleep. Your girl should be spayed, unless she's a purebred cat whom you plan on breeding with another purebred male, for the purpose of producing and selling registered kittens.

The following site should help you locate a low-cost or free spay/neuter clinic in your area:

The best way to alleviate your cat's heat symptoms is to have her spayed.

I wish you much good luck!

Cher and 3 other Cat Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 10 years ago.
Reply to Jessesmom's Post: She does show pain and she also gets bloated during this uncomfortable time. I am tempted to give her half a midol. Mating with a male does not stop the cramps so attracting a male is not the answer, sorry
Expert:  Cher replied 10 years ago.
Hello again, and thanks for your additional information. Please do NOT under any circumstances give her a Midol or any other human pain relievers. Tylenol, aspirin, ibuprofen, aleve, etc., are all TOXIC to cats.

If your cat has mated with a male when she's been in heat, she should have become pregnant, as most females will become pregnant after one mating. Cats are 'induced ovulators', which means they release an egg for fertilization after they mate. You may have misunderstood; I didn't say mating with a male is the answer to relieve her discomfort; I said her behavior is as you observe, during her heat cycle, for the purpose of attracting a male.

I'm just curious as to why you haven't yet spayed your girl. Is there a particular reason you're waiting to have this done? Is she fully vaccinated and does she go outside where she's in contact with males, or do you have unneutered males in your home? How old is she at this time?

If your girl appears so uncomfortable during her heat cycle, I'd have her evaluated by the vet to make sure there isn't an underlying medical problem causing her discomfort and bloating. Also, to alleviate her discomfort, you can fill a plastic bottle (like a 20 oz. soda or water bottle) with quite warm water, wrap it in a towel, and hold it against her abdomen. Make sure the cap is secure and no hot water can leak onto her skin. See if this helps her feel better. But, also, please have her evaluated by your vet ASAP, to make sure all is well.

I wish you and your girl much good luck!

Customer: replied 10 years ago.
I am sorry for not giving you enough information to properly answer my question. This is the first time I am using this service so forgive me.

I own 3 females and one nuetered male. The male and felmale are about 6 years old. One female is thier daughter who is about 5. The other female was a rescue who is now about 1. I did not want to pay for all the spade bills so I just did the male. It works for me. They do not go out. All three of the females act this way. the oldest being the worst. I guess my question is: Is there an antiinflamatory for female cats for this purpos? All the animals are fully vaccinated and are combed regularly for flees. If needed I will put "Rennasaunce" behind thier heads for fleas. There are no other health problems with any of them.
Hope that helps...
Thank you for your time and patience,
Expert:  Cher replied 10 years ago.
Hi again, Marlene.

Thanks for filling me in, so now I understand your complete situation with all your cats. It was a very smart move to have the male neutered, if that was all you could afford at the time. I understand how costly it can be to fix all your cats at one time; however, the organization I recommended in my initial answer ( will help you locate a low-cost or free clinic that will spay your girls.

In addition to not having to go through this every
few weeks with them, you will also be protecting their health, as unspayed females run a high risk of developing a potentially very dangerous uterine infection called pyometra.

Unfortunately, there is no over-the-counter anti-inflammatory to ease the symptoms of the heat cycle, which is safe for cats; your only alternative would be medication prescribed by the vet. So, if you feel your cat needs this, you'll have to consult with your vet and see what he/she has to say. I'm pretty sure they'll tell you the best thing to do at this time is to spay your girls.

The following organizations will help you find a vet to spay your cats, if the one above is not helpful:

As you can see, your local Humane Society and also your ASPCA, may also have suggestions for you, on how you can spay your cats using the vets they use, at little or no cost to you. Since your youngest cat was a RESCUE, please mention this, as they give special consideration to these types of cats. You can tell them they were ALL rescues, in fact!   is a credit card for vet expenses and medications, so if you apply for this, and are approved, it will help you pay off the vet fees in installments, making it easier for you, if you choose to go this way.

It would be great if you could explore all of these possibilities and then have your cats spayed. It would make them much happier and healthier!

I wish you all much good luck!

Customer: replied 10 years ago.
Thank you for all your advise and leads.
Expert:  Cher replied 10 years ago.
You're very welcome, and thanks for your accept!

I hope all goes well!