I think my cat (male, 1 yr and 2 months old) is in heat (please pardon me if "heat" is not the right term for male cats). I have dogs, but he is my first cat. He is meowing very loudly and constantly, like his throat will go bad, and is always finding ways to go outside or sit beside the door. Although, he is eating and sleeping well.

We haven't seen any cats nearby, but what I am afraid is that maybe he can sense a female cat in heat, and is therefore ready to mate. I've found online that if this is the case, the only solution is to neuter him. But he is such a good boy, I can't morally think of removing his natural body and see him in pain by neutering him.

  1. Could his behaviour be some kind of illness?
  2. We are also ready to adopt another cat for his company if he needs one.
  3. Else if he is in heat, can I somehow keep him inside without neutering for some time, till that female cat and her pheromones are gone? Or this won't matter much?
  4. Also, if I have to neuter him, should I wait for his heat to be over? Or can he be neutered during the heat period?
  • 6
    Neutering a cat is a fast, simple and painless procedure, and he will be much happier, safer and healthier afterward. Male cats don’t have a “heat” like females; what you are seeing is what literally his entire adult life will be like if you don’t fix him.
    – StephenS
    Dec 2, 2020 at 14:00
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    For cats, sexuality is not a matter of pleasure and happy cuddling, it is quite the opposite - violent and unpleasant, but they do it because it is compulsion based on the instincts; only humans, dolphins and some monkeys are doing the thing for pleasure. Neutering your cat wouldn't make him feel less happy or like he is missing something, but he would get much less distracted and focus on playing and hunting instead.
    – lila
    Dec 2, 2020 at 14:17
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    Male cats do not go into heat. Get him neutered asap.
    – Allison C
    Dec 2, 2020 at 14:50
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    When this one female cat is gone, then there will be another... it will be hard for him to stay locked inside, when all his instincts call him. In the worse case he could hurt himself by trying to get outside, or he would forget other things like eating or sleeping because he is this much addicted to go outside and follow his instincts. If he would be neutered, the instincts will not be this powerful and he can ignore the smells from outside and stay peaceful with you, his mate to play and cuddle. Dec 3, 2020 at 6:10

1 Answer 1


The comments are already clear about the fact that male cats (or dogs for that matter) don't go into "heat" at a seasonal cycle.

In nature, it's usually the females that have a hormonal cycle and are willing to mate only at very few, specific days. The males, on the other hand, must always be ready for that rare day they find a female ready to mate. However, when a male smells the pheromones of a female, it causes excessive hormone production, which makes them more aggressive (to fight off competitors) and more willing to run away from home (to find a mate) most of the time.

The next big misconception is about the "integrity of the body". That is a big topic for humans, especially for those who had their bodies modified in any way before they were old enough to understand or consent to the procedure. However, a cat will never be able to understand and consent.

A neutered cat will never regret not being able to reproduce, because they are not capable of knowing and understanding what their life would have been like otherwise.

But an intact cat will always be aware of the fact that he's not allowed to follow his instinct to find a mate. The instinctual pull to roam the area and stay aways from home up to 3 days and nights will never go away as long as he isn't neutered.

So the real question is: Do you cause him pain for a short while by neutering him or do you deny his instincts for a lifetime.

Another misconception is about sexual pleasure in animals. This was also covered in the comments:

For cats, sexuality is not a matter of pleasure and happy cuddling, it is quite the opposite - violent and unpleasant, but they do it because it is compulsion based on the instincts; only humans, dolphins and some monkeys are doing the thing for pleasure.

As children we see cats cuddle in cartoons (I remember Simba and Nala from the Lion King), but those are human behaviors in animal bodies. In reality, Simba would have bitten Nala in the neck to hold her steady and the act would have been finished in seconds. Afterwards, he would just have walked away, no cuddling or gestures of love involved.

I dare you to research cat sex. Spoiler:

The penis of a cat has barbs just like their tongue...

Granted, the male won't be on the receiving end, but many cats get injured while fighting for a female.

I don't want to gloss over possible problems here. No situation is ever black or white, there is always something in between.

The urine of male cats that aren't neutered is very stinky. Even worse, intact cats may start marking their territory by peeing on walls and/or furniture. Neutering removes much of the smell and the instinct to mark, but some cats still continue marking even after being neutered once they started the behavior.

Every operation always comes with a risk. Cats are usually neutered under full anesthesia by removing the testicles through a small incision in the base of the scrotum. The incision is so small that it usually doesn't even require stitches but is glued shut instead. Your vet should give your cat a special pain medication for a few days after the procedure.

Most cats recover very quickly and resume normal activities like playing or hunting within 3 - 5 days after the procedure. But there can be post operative complications like bleeding or infection and general anesthesia always bears the risk of death (albeit this risk is extremely low in young, healthy cats). That's why a full bloodwork is required before anesthesia.

Read more:

  1. Cat Neuter Surgery From Start to Finish by Pet Central
  2. Pros and Cons of Spaying and Neutering in Cats by PetPlace
  3. Neutering Aftercare by Petable
  • 3
    Thank you for such a detailed answer. I hope I will be doing good for him by neutering him. Could you also please tell me if I should wait for his reaction to get over before the neutering?
    – Kakar
    Dec 3, 2020 at 8:51
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    @Kakar It's better to discuss this with the vet you chose to perform the procedure. This is your chance to ask questions about the procedure, ask for pain medication and also to get a feeling for the vet. If you get the feeling they are not trustworthy or don't care for their patients, this is your chance to go look for a different vet. But in general it shouldn't be a problem for males. Spaying females while they are in heat is more problematic.
    – Elmy
    Dec 3, 2020 at 9:22
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    I think it is interesting that you quoted my comment in your post, but my comment is actually paraphrasing your own comment on other post that I've read some time ago ^.^
    – lila
    Dec 3, 2020 at 13:20
  • This is a great answer, but the statement that cats don't get pleasure out of sex is debatable. It's true that few animals engage in sexual activity that definitely has no reproductive purpose, and similarly cats do not seem to have sex if the female is not in heat, but that does not mean the act is not pleasurable. Male cats also sometimes masturbate or hump inanimate objects, which could mean they do get pleasure from sexual acts. But being neutered doesn't prevent them from doing the act either.
    – Kai
    Dec 3, 2020 at 17:01

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