Sunday, May 26, 2024

How Early Can Cats Go Into Heat

Don't Miss

Can I Spay My Cat While She Is In Heat

How Long Are Cats in Heat? | Cats in Heat FAQ | Jackson Galaxy

Yes, you can have your cat spayed while she is in heat, but many vets will advise waiting until her heat cycle is over.

During a cats heat cycle, her reproductive organs become engorged with blood. This makes spaying a more time-consuming operation, and depending on the facility, may cost more than a spay done when a cat is not in heat.

If your number one priority is to not have a pregnant cat, you should get your cat spayed as soon as possible, even if she is in heat.

Male & Female Cats In Heat What You Need To Know

The term in heat means when a cat is ready to mate, which can be a daunting thought for any pet owner. If youre wondering what to do when your cat is in heat, call Best Friends Vets on 01202 485880 to book an appointment with a nurse. Talk to our team about your cats cycle and discuss neutering.

Our vet Stefan recommends neutering your kitten at four to five months of age to prevent unwanted pregnancies . If your cat is allowed outside at this age without being neutered, theres a good chance that he/she will mate, and kittens will be on their way. When it comes to cats in heat, here is everything you need to know.

How often cats are in heat and at what age

Female cats reach sexual maturity and can breed from about 4 months old. They will then come into heat every year around February to October. Female cats have many short periods roughly 2-3 weeks apart. They do not ovulate until they are mated, so this period of heat cycles can be lengthy. Older queens can still have cycles, albeit fewer, until they are spayed. Longer days can trigger reproductive activity, leading to many kittens being born in March, April, and May.

A male cats critical heat season is usually September to March. However, a tom that has reached full maturity can mate with a female cat whenever she allows it.

How to tell if your cat is in heat symptoms & behaviour:

How to care for a female cat in heat

Benefits of neutering

What Age Can A Cat Get Pregnant

A cat can get pregnant as soon as shes about four months old, which is why its so important to get her spayed early on. Typically, a female cat may experience heat around that time. A cat doesnt experience menopause like a human does it can keep getting pregnant until the last few years of its life. Therefore, a cat that hasnt been spayed can get pregnant both very young and very old.

If you have more questions about feline pregnancy that havent been answered here, feel free to . Consider coming in for a visit to make sure and get ready. There are many medical reasons to check up on your cat, especially if this is her first litter.

Don’t Miss: Blue Buffalo Healthy Gourmet Canned Cat Food

What To Expect In The Weeks Ahead

Your kitten should continue to grow in size and weight each week, but contact your vet if you notice a lack in either area.

Make plans to spay or neuter your kitten around the 6-month mark, although some vets perform this operation based on weight or after 2 months. Exact weeks vary for worming treatments, so check with your vet for a recommendation.

If you notice fleas on your kitten, dont rush to treat them with chemicals. Review our instructions for flea removal for kittens.

Always supervise your kitten around other pets and people, and plan to cover wires and small access areas to ensure your kitten wont be harmed or stuck in a poorly ventilated area.

What To Do When A Cat Is In Heat

Disappearing Kittens: Where Did They Go?

If you have a cat that is in heat, the attention-seeking behavior can be annoying and persistent. Breeding a cat in heat will, of course, stop the cycle but then pregnancy is likely to result which will potentially leave you with even more cats that will come into heat. Getting a cat spayed is the best way to prevent or eliminate these unwanted behaviors. This will of course also ensure the cat never goes into heat again and avoids the unwanted behaviors that go along with it. Some veterinarians will want to wait until the current heat cycle has finished due to the increased risk of surgical bleeding while others will spay a cat while actively in heat.

Read Also: Kitten Ate Chocolate

What About Dog Heat Cycles


  • Proestrus: vaginal discharge, males attracted to females, females unwilling to mate. Length: 4-20 days.Estrus: swollen vulva, yellowish vaginal discharge, mating occurs during this phase. Length: 5-13 days.Metestrus : period after estrus or mating. Length: 60-90 days. If pregnant, pregnancy lasts between 60-64 days in the dog.Anestrus: period of inactivity between estrus phases. Length: 2-3 months.

So you could be facing up to 123 days of a TOTAL heat cycle, which breaks down to about 17.5 weeks!Some general “rules of thumb” for canine estrus:

  • The first estrus cycle usually occurs by age 6-12 months for some small breeds, as early as 5 months, and for some large and giant breeds, the first cycle may not occur until 14 months of age or older.
  • On average, dogs have two cycles a year.
  • The estrus cycle lasts on average 12-21 days, but maybe be as short as a few days to four weeks. The estrus period length varies widely between breeds and individual dogs.
  • The length of a cycle varies widely, even for dogs of the same breed. If in doubt, assume the longer end of the range for the cycle length.
  • Bleeding occurs prior to a female being receptive to a male , but male dogs will be very attracted to the female in the proestrus stage.
  • Dogs can get pregnant during their first heat cycle, but this is not advisable as a 6-month old dog is not yet fully grown/mature, and complications for the mother and the puppies are more likely.
Adoption Center

More Reasons To Fix Felines By Five

Responsible pet ownership and spaying/neutering also:

  • Helps the community by reducing the number of unwanted cats
  • Reduces risks of hoarding and overabundance of cats
  • Frees up shelter resources that can be used to help more animals
  • Prevents risks of infections in the environment
  • Potentially minimizes the risk of Toxoplasma being shed in the environment in outdoor stray cats

Whats more, spaying and neutering can help you!

  • It can save money on emergency reproductive disorders like an infected uterus
  • Spaying and neutering can save you time on trying to find homes for 6-8 kittens
  • It can save you money on a veterinary visit to test all your kittens for feline kitty AIDS , deworm them, and give them their first 2 shots before you adopt them out

There are several reputable organizations that endorse and support early spay neuter in cats, and these include:

  • Alley Cat Allies
  • Cat Fanciers Association
  • Winn Feline Foundation

When in doubt, discuss this with your veterinarian and keep your cat healthy and happy. But try to Beat the heat and Fix Felines by Five!

You May Like: 2 Year-old Cat In Human Years

Kitten Development Stage: Week 1

  • Kittens are born with their eyes and ear canals closed. They do not have any sight or hearing and will most likely stay close to the mother.
  • The umbilical cord will dry up and fall off within a few days.
  • Their main activities will include eating, sleeping and passing waste.
  • The mother cleans the kitten regularly, and this also helps stimulate the newborn.

How To Help Your Cat When Shes In Heat

Ask the Vet – When do mares first go into heat?

If your cat has not been spayed, its important to accept that when shes in heat, her behaviour is natural. Keep your eyes peeled, and if your cats behaviour is causing trouble, speak to your vet about possible solutions.

Remember: if a female cat ventures outside when shes in heat, its highly likely that shell become pregnant.

You May Like: Can I Wash My Cat With Dish Soap

Was Your Pet Food Recalled


  • Cats do not need to have a litter of kittens before they are spayed.
  • Reproducing does not make them more affectionate, alter personalities or solve any problems. It does add to pet overpopulation.
  • Cats can become pregnant during their first heat cycle, and they do not discriminate when it comes to finding an available male they will mate with their parents or siblings.
  • Cats can go back into heat soon after giving birth.

Five Stages Of The Feline Heat Cycle:


Not many signs are seen in the cat for this stage. The female is attractive to the male, but unwilling to mate. Length: 1-2 days.


This is when the female cat is receptive to the male. External signs such as a swollen vulva or bloody discharge, are not as obvious in the cat as they are in the dog. The main signs seen are behavioral — loud vocalizing, rolling on the floor, elevating the hindquarters and possibly a decrease in appetite. Many people have confused the signs of the feline estrus phase as signs of being in pain. Length: 3-14 days . If the female is not mated, she may go back into heat within several days.


The period between estrus cycles if the female isn’t bred. Length: 2-3 weeks.


The period after estrus or mating. Length: 30-40 days. If pregnant, pregnancy lasts on average 60-64 days in the cat.


The period of inactivity between estrus phases. Length: 2-3 months.

Some general “rules of thumb” for feline estrus

The first estrus cycle usually occurs by age 4-12 months.

Cats are considered to be seasonal breeders most often showing signs of mating behavior in the spring and fall.

Cats are induced ovulators, meaning that they only ovulate if mated.

If not mated , the estrus phase of the cycle will return in 1 – 3 weeks.

Multiple matings produce more ovulations more than one male can be the sire of a litter.

Recommended Reading: Is Blue Buffalo Good Cat Food

How To Know If Your Cat Is Pregnant For Certain

Your trusted, local vet will be able to tell you for certain if your cat is pregnant by using one of these strategies:

  • Palpation: An experienced veterinarian can gently press on the cats abdomen and feel the cats fetuses as early as the 20th day of pregnancy.
  • X-Rays: X-rays will only show skeletons of kittens about 40 days into the pregnancy. Its the best way to show the number of kittens.
  • Ultrasound: Ultrasounds can find kittens as early as 21 days of the pregnancy, but it can sometimes be difficult to count the number of kittens.

Did You Know That There Is An Actual Kitten Season It Is The Time Of Year When Animal Shelters Are Bursting With Kittens Westvets Hazel C Carney Dvm Ms Dabvp Shared The Following Information For Cat Owners On The Signs And Symptoms Of A Female Cat In Heat:

Can Cats Go Into Heat After Being Fixed?

Its 3 AM when you are jolted awake by screams of what sounds like terrible pain from your six-month-old female kitten. When you stagger half asleep to the living room you find her writhing on the floor while a cat outside on the window ledge howls. Concerned, you call your veterinarian who reassures you: your cat is probably just in heat, not seriously ill.

Most female kittens first go into heat when they are six to eight months old. Some shorthairs, especially those with Siamese ancestors, may reach puberty at five months while long-haired kittens may not go into a first heat until nine to eleven months of age.

Longer hours of daylight, warm temperatures, and the presence of other cats all help to bring on your cats mating season. The peak mating seasons are usually early spring, late summer and Indian summer. However, if the weather stays warm and sunny through the winter, some cats will come into heat year round. In addition, cats that remain fully indoors may also cycle year round.

Proestrus : Normally lasts one to three days. During this time your queen is more affectionate, chirps and chortles, and seems more restless. Her appetite varies. She attracts male cats to your house but refuses to mate. You may notice a slightly swollen, moist vulva.

Metestrus : The short third phase usually lasts 24 hours. Your queen still has the estrus behavior patterns but refuses any advances by a male.

Also Check: Wilderness Dry Cat Food

When Can Cats Become Pregnant Again

Female cats are induced ovulators, which means that ovulation does not take place without mating or manual stimulation. If the female cat does not mate during estrus, hormonal levels will eventually drop off, and the estrus cycle will cease until it repeats itself in another two to three weeks. If she does mate, she can easily become pregnant during her first post-birth estrus cycle.

Ovulation will usually occur within 20 to 50 hours after mating, and the eggs are viable for approximately one day. The eggs are fertilized in the oviduct, and then make their way to the uterus via the uterine horn, implanting in the uterine lining within 10 to 12 days. Cats may mate several times before ovulation is complete and a female cat’s litter may end up having kittens from multiple sires. On the street, a female cat in estrus may mate with two or more male cats over the length of the estrus cycle up to 21 days, with an average of seven days.

Both male and female kittens may reach sexual maturity between four and six months of age, so it is entirely possible a kitten could impregnate his mother. This is potentially dangerous both for female cats and for her kittens. Several repeat pregnancies with only short periods between giving birth can harm a cat’s health. Bearing kittens, giving birth, and nursing them can exhaust a cat’s physical resources, leaving her malnourished and exhausted.

How Will I Know If My Cats In Heat

A female cat in heat is usually not difficult to spot or, to hear!

Signs of estrus include:

  • Vocalization. Your kitty will meow or yowl very loudly, sometimes referred to as caterwauling.
  • Affectionate or clingy behavior .
  • Rolling around on the floor.
  • Elevating their hindquarters in the air, especially when petted.
  • Increased urination and urine odor , and possibly urine marking outside the litter box.
  • Attempts to escape their home.
  • Vaginal discharge or bleeding can also occur, but its unusual to see this.

Many of these behaviors, including the yowling, meowing, urinating, and attempts to escape the home, are your kittys efforts to find or attract a mate.

Don’t Miss: Homemade Cat Birthday Cake

What Are The Signs Of Estrus

It is not common to observe vaginal bleeding from a cat in heat. The most notable signs of estrus in cats are behavioral. Most cats become very affectionate, even demanding they persistently rub against their owners , constantly wanting attention. They roll on the floor. When stroked along the back or spine, they raise their rear quarters into the air and tread with the back legs. They also become very vocal. These behavior changes often become annoying to owners, and sometimes owners think their cat has some unusual illness.

Some female cats will urinate more frequently or may even spray urine on vertical objects when they are in heat. The urine contains both pheromones and hormones, both of which act as signals of her reproductive status to other cats. This is the reason that queens in heat attract intact male cats. In some cases, this may be the first indication that a young cat has reached puberty.

Tomcats that have never been seen before in your yard or neighborhood will appear. They may spray urine on the house to mark the territory as theirs or may even attempt to enter the house to mate with the female.

How Can You Tell Is Your Cat In Heat

Everything You Need for Your Cat | 10 Cat Essentials for New Owners

How old is a cat when it happens?

A cat comes in heat when she sexually matures. Usually this happens between 4 and 10 months of age normally around six months.

What are the signs my cat is in heat?

  • Your cat may seem more affectionate, rubbing on her people, other pets, furniture, etc.
  • She rolls around the floor
  • She carries her tail to one side
  • Your cat can become very vocal and starts to meows a lot. Cats in heat can become very noisy with loud yowls day and night
  • Your cat may lower her front end down and lift her bottom into the air
  • Your cats hind legs may tread
  • Patting your cat on her back near her tail may cause her to raise her bottom in the air and she may begin treading with her hind feet
  • Cats in heat are often desperate to escape outside. Thousands of unfixed cats are lost each year because they take any opportunity to run out through an open door.

How long does a heat cycle last?

You can expect the above behavior for between 7 to 10 days.

How often will my cat be in heat?

Unless your get your cat fixed or she mates she will continue to come into heat every 2 to 3 weeks.

If a cat comes into heat many times without a pregnancy there are associated health risks. A intact female cat has a high risk of developing cancer of the reproductive organs or developing pyometra which is a life threatening infection of the uterus.

How can I prevent my cat going into heat?

This is EASY to prevent! Have your female cat spayed.

What do I do if my cat goes into heat

Read Also: How To Keep Cats Off My Car

More articles

Popular Articles

Brands Of Wet Cat Food

Wet Cat Food For Kidney Disease