• A female dog that has not been neutered will go into heat on a regular basis.

• During her heat, her body prepares itself to mate, and then to produce a litter.

Female dogs in heat may:

• Experience mood changes, including becoming more aggressive and/or more touchy

• React more easily and loudly to other dogs, including chasing them

• Attack humans who are with other dogs

• Exhibit a frantic determination to find male dogs to mate with

• Attempt to run away from home in order to find mates

• While male dogs don’t go into heat, they certainly react to female dogs who are in heat.

• Their reactions to female dogs in heat can be dangerous and destructive.

In response to female dogs in heat, male dogs may:

• Exhibit aggressive behavior towards other male dogs

• Attempt to run away from home in order to find the female dog/s in heat

• Mount and/or hump humans who are with other dogs

• Mark their surroundings with urine in order to secure territory


• As with female dogs, female cats will go into heat at periodic intervals.

• The critical difference is that cats are capable of going into heat at a very early age.

Female cats in heat can exhibit the following potentially harmful behaviors:

• Yowl loudly and continuously

• Attempt to escape the confines of their home in order to find mates

• Urinate all over the home

• Like male dogs, male cats respond to the various signals given off by female cats in heat.

• This can cause changes in their behavior that might be harmful to their homes, their humans, and/or their environments.

Male cats affected by female cats in heat can do the following:

• Run away from home in order to find female cat/s to mate with

• Scent-mark various parts of their home and other locations

• Get into fights with other male cats

This story appeared in Animal Scene’s February 2017 issue.