Cats in heat. The yowling. The spraying. The Yow-ow-owowowOWL-ing. The sluttish writhing on the floor, or on your feet, or anywhere really. The freeze and thrust when you pat her. The yowling. The tom cats hanging round outside your door spraying everything in sight. And the yowling. There comes a time when you’re seriously considering throwing the little sex fiend outside and yelling “Toms – do your worst”.

Obviously, having your cat spayed is the responsible and caring thing to do. It’s safer for the kitty, as an unspayed, unmated female cat is at risk of mammary cancer and poly-cystic ovaries, both of which can be fatal. But if you are biding your time until responsibly breeding your kit and have considered all the issues such as homes for the kittens, then putting up with the first few heats is necessary.

Neither I nor my vet have had much success with the Q-tip (cotton bud) method outlined above. Great in theory – we found it difficult in practice. After I’d tried a few times, I gave up, and the vet showed me her preferred method. It still requires decisiveness, fortitude and firm handling, but is a bit easier and rather less icky. You also don’t have the worry that all that yowling means you’re actually damaging something in there.


Have the cat on the floor or a table - never in your lap as suggested in the original writeup – cats in heat can get quite violent.

Face her towards you and firmly grasp the scruff of the neck. The male cat holds on to the scruff by biting, and you’re trying to simulate the real thing as much as possible. Also, you don’t want her turning round and attacking the bastard (you) who’s harassing her tail. You want her to be sort of facing under your arm, fairly close to you but not so close that she can bite.

Run the index and middle fingers of your other hand (usually your dominant hand) down the sides of her spine where the base of her spine meets the tail. You’re not doing anything yet – just getting a feel for the lie of the land.

What you’ll be doing – don’t do it yet! – is with one finger (not both), pressing very firmly on one side under her tail. If you’ve followed down next to her spine – you’ll reach the point where her back ends and tail begins. You’ll be curving your finger under and pushing in firmly. You’re not pushing directly on the anus or vagina, just next to them.

Before you do it – take note. She will yowl and struggle. It will sound like you’re hurting her dreadfully. Relax – my vet assures me you’re not. This is apparently the natural cat reaction to such stimulation. But it does require fortitude on your part. Hang on to that scruff, and be resolute.

It may take a few tries to get it right. I’ve only done it on my cat – YMMV. But once she yow-wow-owls and struggles, stop the pressure then let her go.

Ready to try it? Ok – go ahead.

This method gave me a blessed hour of peace. After that – you’ll have to think about doing it again. It’s a stop-gap measure for when you can’t stand it anymore. She’ll stay on heat, and she will start yowling again.

Note – the day after learning this method I decided that the possibility of kittens in the future wasn’t worth it, neither were the AU$1500 stud fees, and I got her spayed. Ah, the blessed peace.

Method demonstrated by Dr. Kim Kendall B.V.Sc, M.A.C.V.Sc