Coming into heat is something that will happen to all female Maine Coons at some point in their life.
It is therefore important that owners understand the signs your Maine Coon is in heat and what you need to do about it, straight away! Keep reading to find out more!
There are plenty of signs to look out for if you suspect your female Maine Coon cat may be in heat. For example, an increase in their chatty-ness as well as restlessness and obsessive Maine Coon affection behavior. Maine Coons in heat are even more clingy than normal, so be prepared!
Female cats going into heat is a natural process that should be no cause for alarm. However, it will help you and your Maine Coon immensely if you are fully read up on everything it entails.
Whether you are currently in the middle of dealing with a Maine Coon in heat, or you are anticipating your female Maine Coon may soon be approaching such a time, it can be a little confusing.
Especially if this is the first time you have ever dealt with a cat in heat.
Have no fear though, we will cover everything you might need to know in simple, clear, and easy-to-understand terms.
5 Signs Your Maine Coon Is In Heat
The Maine Coon is well established as being one of the most popular cat breeds in the world, partially due to their large size, but also because they are stunning with great personalities.
There is no denying that over the past decade, the Maine Coon cat breed has become increasingly popular.
Sadly, with their increase in popularity, there has also come an increase in incorrect information and misconceptions about this particular cat breed.
This is only natural as the Maine Coon community increases.
For example, there is a fair bit of misunderstanding about what being in heat actually means for a female Maine Coon, and how to identify it.
Some owners have also found it especially difficult to establish how to tell if a cat is in heat for the first time.
We have therefore made this Maine Coon fact and information guide on Maine Coon cats in heat, to help owners (or potential owners) understand the subject more clearly.
Maine Coon cat in heat behavior is easily recognizable if you know the signs to look out for.
Here are some Maine Coon heat symptoms to look out for (source 1):
1. Being Extra Vocal
When Maine Coons are in heat they can tend to be quite a lot more vocal.
This is a difficult sign to identify for some owners because many Maine Coons are chatterboxes by nature!
If you notice a big increase in the volume and consistency of your female Maine Coons talking though, this may be a sign that they are coming into, or are already in heat.
Maine Coons can become very restless when they are in heat.
You may also notice that Maine Coons in heat are desperate to spend more time outdoors if they are indoor cats.
And conversely, they may want to spend more time indoors if they are outdoor cats.
Their need to explore and be in new places constantly can be frustrating to them. And to you when they keep crying to be let in and out of rooms.
3. Low Crawling
Cats crawl low to the floor when they are in heat and stick their rear end in the air.
This is a sign to other cats that they are in heat and looking to reproduce.
Maine Coons are really affectionate when they are in heat. To other cats, but also to you.
Which is one of the nicer symptoms of a cat in heat!
However, it can go further than cute and become annoying when they will not leave you alone.
5. Tail To The Side
Cats in heat tend to keep their tail raised and to the side of their rear end.
This is a clear sign of being in heat to other cats.
What Happens When A Cat Is In Heat?
Being in heat is a term that has been thrown around a lot so far in the article. This section is going to cover what that exactly means for your cat and what happens to them.
First, it is important to understand that only female cats experience being in heat.
Males do not have a “heat” but they do reach sexual maturity at the same time as female cats.
It is also important to understand that the estrous cycle in cats (their reproductive cycle) is much different from human women and is less regular.
Female cats go into heat for 3-7 days and then are out of heat for anywhere from 4 to 6 weeks.
During heat, your Maine Coons hormones change and they become inclined to try to reproduce.
Maine Coons are induced ovulators which means that the act of reproduction causes the egg to be released from the ovaries. That is also why their estrous cycles are less regular (source 1).
How Often Do Maine Coons Go Into Heat?
Maine Coons come in to heat seasonally.
Unfortunately for you, the mating season will not be determined by anyone but your Maine Coon, and they cannot exactly communicate it to you.
It is based on a few things such as:
- Other environmental factors
Keep track of when your Maine Coon goes into heat the first time and use that as a measure for when she might do so again.
The breeding season for Maine Coon in North America is usually from around January to October but it can vary from cat to cat.
Many people find that it lasts longer for indoor Maine Coons who are surrounded by artificial lighting all the time.
During the breeding season, your Maine Coon will likely go into heat every 28 to 42 days (source 1).
How Long Does A Maine Coon Stay In Heat?
Maine Coons tend to stay in heat for about 3-10 days on the extreme ends.
It has been heard that cats will stay in heat for as little as one or two days but that is exceedingly uncommon.
On the flip side of that, their heat may extend beyond 10 days and they may end up spending as much time in heat as they are out of it during the breeding season.
The average number of days spent in heat for all cats, including Maine Coons, is 7 days from start to finish.
5 Tips On How To Handle Cats In Heat
By now you are probably wondering what to do when your cat is in heat.
What are your obligations to your cat?
And what can you do to make the whole process/experience better for them and better for you?
Below are some tips that will make the mating process go more smoothly, for you and your cat (source 1):
1. Extra Petting
If your Maine Coon in heat is being extra clingy and extra needy then you may just need to indulge them somewhat.
Pick them up and keep them close and give them the love and attention they crave so much.
This could be accompanied by extra games to work off some of their excess energy and bring the two of you closer.
2. Cat Nip Or CBD
If you are struggling with a restless Maine Coon you may find that catnip or CBD products help calm them down.
Not every cat feels the effect of catnip and not every cat that does will like it, so you must keep that in mind.
CBD products are great and can be extremely calming and soothing both mentally and physically.
It is important to note that CBD is not psychoactive so your cat will not “get high”.
3. Keep A Clean House
Keeping a very clean house, including a clean litter box, can be stress relieving for your Maine Coon.
Nobody likes to live in a messy house in the best of times, when they are feeling extra sensitive they are more prone to be stressed out by their environment.
4. Go For A Walk Together
As mentioned above, Maine Coons in heat tend to like to go outdoors if they are typically indoor cats.
No matter where you sit on the indoor/outdoor debate for Maine Coons we can all agree that walking your Maine Coon on their harness is a controlled enough activity that it is safe to do.
Giving them a chance to get outside and stretch their legs could make them feel a heck of a lot better.
5. Cut Yourself Some Slack
Remember to cut yourself some slack if you are getting worked up about how your Maine Coon is feeling.
It is a natural process and your Maine Coon really will not be having as bad of a time as you might think.
How To Calm A Cat In Heat At Night
While the above tips may be quite helpful throughout the day, the nighttime can be a little different to deal with.
Cats do not stick to the same sleep schedule as we do.
They are up all night and will often find a couple of hours to be absolute maniacs at about 2 am in the morning!
Maine Coons in heat are more likely to behave this way which not only puts them at risk of hurting themselves but can ruin your hopes of getting a good night’s sleep.
While there are some home remedies for cats in heat, such as CBD oil and catnip, you will find that the best ways to calm a cat in heat at night are usually proactive steps.
For instance, take preemptive measures to keep your Maine Coon calm in advance, rather than reacting to its craziness.
A great example of this is that if you find you need to get up every 30 minutes to let your Maine Coon in and out of your bedroom, leave the bedroom door open so your sleep is not affected.
Many people find themselves wondering how can I help my cat in heat at night, so here are some great tips:
CBD oil is a great relaxant that can help put your cat in the right mindset for rest and therefore for sleep.
It can be given to your Maine Coon in the form of food or rubbed directly onto its body via massaging it into its neck.
CBD is non-psychoactive so there are no “high” like adverse effects.
Let Them Sleep With You
If your Maine Coon is being extra cuddly and clingy as of late then you may want to consider letting them sleep in the bed with you.
They may find the closeness comforting and it might be enough to convince them to sleep through the night.
Lots Of Games And Walks
If you want to tire your Maine Coon out then the best move might be to spend as much of the day time playing games together and maybe even going on a long walk.
Maine Coons love to go for a walk on their harness and the extra energy expenditure could help them get into the right mindset to go to sleep.
A tired Maine Coon is a sleepy Maine Coon.
And when they are in heat at night you want a sleepy Maine Coon!
Leave All Doors Open
If your Maine Coon is struggling to sit still and is feeling especially restless you may give up on the idea of them sleeping when you sleep.
At this point, you have a few options.
First, you can embrace the chaotic nighttime feline and allow them free run of your home. Running around all night, all doors open, free range.
Or, you can limit them to a certain space.
This is a decision that you will need to make based on whether or not you feel like they would benefit from more freedom or from control.
How To Stop A Cat In Heat From Meowing
A loud, meowy, yowly, cat can be pretty frustrating to deal with!
Maine Coons tend to be quite chatty by nature anyway so when they are in heat it is a whole other level that many people might not be prepared for.
1. Work Out What Your Maine Coon Cat Needs
If you want to stop a chatty-catty you need to first determine whether or not they actually need something from you or not.
Are they hungry or in pain? Or, are they just attention-seeking out of neediness and boredom?
If they are simply bored or needy, then here’s what you should do.
2. Positive Reinforcement
Cats respond best to positive reinforcement.
Instead of telling them what not to do, yelling at them, punishing them, etc, you should reward the correct behavior.
Here is an example…
If your cat is meowing incessantly you can either:
- Give them the attention they are craving
- Ignore them.
It feels like the answer should be the former, but this will only teach your cat that the correct way to get what they want from you is to meow at you for it.
If you go with the second option, what you will instead be doing is waiting until they stop meowing and then giving them the attention they want.
This teaches them, over time, that they do not need to meow and cry to get what they want from you.
If you give your Maine Coon some fuss and they start to get too vocal again, simply stop petting them and walk away, and do not come back until they have stopped.
Can You Stop A Cat From Going Into Heat
Female cats will always go into heat due to their reproductive cycle.
However, if you choose to spay them then they will no longer have said cycle and they will not go into heat again.
You should only do this if you are not planning on breeding them!
Your Maine Coon breeder contract will likely stipulate whether or not you are allowed to breed your special Maine Coon cat at all.
It is technically possible to spay your Maine Coon whilst they are in heat, but this should be avoided as complications are far more likely that could affect your cat’s long-term health and well-being.
Maine Coon Mating Age
The youngest possible age to start breeding a female Maine Coon cat is 18 months old.
However, cat specialists advise that you wait until your cat is fully-grown (between ages 3-5 years) since early breeding has been linked to stunted growth.
By comparison, make sure that your stud Maine Coon is at least 18-24 months old before starting the breeding process.
Maine Coon Heat Cycle
A female Maine Coon will go into heat for roughly 3-7 days.
Some Maine Coons can stay in heat for up to 10 days though, however, this is less common.
Once your cat has been in heat, it will likely remain out of heat for 4-6 weeks, before re-starting the in heat process again.
Female Maine Coon cats are subject to the estrous cycle, which has the following four stages (source 1):
The estrous cycle begins when the female Maine Coon reaches sexual maturity, and is the stage whereby your female cat is in heat.
Female cats are polyestrous, so you can expect your female Maine Coon to be ‘in heat’ multiple times during the year.
Owners that live with indoor female Maine Coon cats need to be aware that the artificial lighting in their home affects their cat’s cycle, resulting in the cat going into heat throughout the year.
I hope you now feel more confident about spotting the signs your Maine Coon is in heat, and what this means for you, as their carer and guardian.
It can be quite a tumultuous time for a young Maine Coon so having you there to help them get through it, even if you cannot exactly talk it out together, can make a world of difference.
Remember to look out for easily identifiable signs such as excess meowing or clinginess.
It is much easier to identify an in-heat Maine Coon when you compare them to how they ordinarily behave.
If your cat seems a little off compared to usual, a little restless and antsy, then there is a chance they are in heat and you should look out for the tell-tale sign.
Good luck dealing with your Maine Coon in heat, and good luck to your Maine Coon too.
Maine Coon Temperature Tolerance
Maine Coons are well adapted to cold temperatures. However, you should not let them go outside when the temperature is below 30 degrees Fahrenheit. Additionally, they should not be allowed outside if the temperature is above 90 degrees Fahrenheit as they will become too hot. Maine Coons are good at regulating their temperature, but not when the temperature is at the extremes.