Female Cats In Heat: Symptoms
Now that we know how long does a female cat stay in heat , its important to be able to recognize its symptoms. When in heat, cats show all kinds of excessive behavioral weird symptoms. The rush of hormones makes your kitty beg you to go outside, even if shes an indoor one. And show all kinds of behaviors that are going to need patient and understanding of her state. The good thing is that once the cycle is over youre going to have back the cute kitty youve always known.
When Does A Female Cat Have Her First Estrus Cycle
Cats have their first estrous cycle when they reach puberty. The estrous cycle is better known as a cat’s heat cycle. On average, puberty, or sexual maturity, first occurs in cats at about six months of age, but this can vary slightly by time of year.
“The estrous cycle is better known as a cat’s heat cycle.”
Each cycle consists of several stages; the stage called estrus refers to when the female is sexually receptive, or in heat.
What About Male Cats
Male cats dont have heats.
However, if unneutered, they reach sexual maturity around the same age as their female counterparts as early as four months, but usually closer to six months of age. When a male kitten reaches reproductive maturity, you may notice behavior changes such as urine marking, pungent-smelling urine, and attempts to get outside to find a mate.
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.
What Is Heat In Cats
The first few months of a kittens life are full of essential growth milestones. It takes little more than a week for a kitten to gain her sight and hearing, three weeks to begin using the litter box regularly, and eight weeks to entirely wean from mom.
In keeping with the rapid growth theme, female cats will begin going into heat as early as 4-10 months oldbut most definitely before their first birthdays.
Now, you might be wondering, What is heat, anyway?
When a female cat goes into heat, that signifies the point of sexual maturity, fertility, and the beginning of a lifelong reproductive cycle. An unspayed female cat will enter the fertile portion of her cycle every two to three weeks, and heat will typically last for 2-10 days.
A cat in heat will experience a rapid influx of estrogen, which ultimately triggers the desire to mate with a tomcat. Since female cats are induced ovulators, their ovaries will release an egg after every mating session, amplifying pregnancy chances.
What To Do When A Cat Is In Heat
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.
Is Your Cat In Heat Heres What You Need To Know
Cat in heat? Uh oh! Follow our tips to be prepared for your cat’s mating behavior and know what you can do to best help your feline friend.
A few years ago, I had the pleasure of raising two adorable baby kittens from infancy we fed them with a bottle and helped them grow into big healthy, teenage cats. But at some point, my young cats started acting funny; and I soon realized it was because they had reached the age of sexual maturity. Hello, cat in heat! But what to do when you are presented with this funny behavior, and the new mating rituals of your feline furry friend? How do you recognize the signs of a cat in heat?And how to best handle a cat in heat ? Well cover all that and more, in the article below. Plus, discover the best way to keep track of your cat at all times.
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.
Protecting Cats In Heat: Hydration
Water is essential to cool a cat in summer. Sometimes cats are reluctant to drink, so it is important that we encourage them to drink water. Cats are attracted to water in movement, so try run a tap or invest in that can be used as drinking troughs.
In hot seasons we must ensure that our cats water is fresh, therefore you must change it several times a day. Some cats like to play with ice cubes, which can also be used as a trick to cool them down and get them to drink more water. Offering them moist food or broths to drink can also help to maintain their hydration. This is especially important in cats with; kidney problems, kittens, elderly cats, brachycephalic or sick cats, who are all in a more vulnerable position. For more, read Why isnt your cat drinking water?
Do Male Cats Go Into Heat
Male cats do not go into heat. Male cats reach sexual maturity about six months of age which gives them a sexual and territorial nature. Female cats go into heat, which is technically titled the estrous cycle.
The estrous cycle in cats is their reproductive cycle. It happens multiple times a year, from January to late fall. Cats dont go into estrus during the coldest months of the year so that their kittens arent at risk of freezing to death. In warmer climates, female felines can go into heat year-round.
How Long Does A Feline Stay In Heat
If we add up the duration of each stage in the feline reproductive cycle, we can assume that a feline can be in heat for 3 to 4 weeks.
It is also worthy to point out that we did not count in the final stage. This is because anestrus is the period when the feline is no longer in heat.
Also take note that if the feline wasnt bred during estrus period, she tends to extend the estrus period.
It means that she can go in heat longer than 12 days giving her an extended chance of getting pregnant.
At What Stage Of The Estrous Cycle Is The Cat Able To Get Pregnant
The queen can be bred at any time when in heat. Cats are induced ovulators, which means that the act of breeding stimulates the release of eggs from the ovaries. Most females require three to four matings within a 24-hour period for ovulation to occur. It only takes a minute or two for cats to mate, and cats may mate multiple times in a short period of time. Queens may mate with several different tomcats during this time, so it is possible that a litter of kittens may have several different fathers. Once ovulation has occurred, the queen will go out of heat within a day or two.
Signs Of Heat In Bengals
Watching for signs of heat in Bengals is important for both breeders and non-breeders alike. When you can tell your cat is in heat, then you can take appropriate action.
Here are the signs of heat that you should be looking for:
- Increased vocalizations that are typically louder that normal and may sound like your cat is in pain or scared.
- Increased displays of affection towards people, other cats, and even inanimate objects.
- Assuming a mating position by lowering her front end, walking in place with her back legs which are crouched, and swinging her tail from side to side.
- Licking her genitals more frequently.
- Decrease in appetite.
Do Cats Bleed While In Heat
No, cats shouldn’t bleed when in heat. If that, or anything else odd or worrisome happens, contact your veterinarian.
Vahrenwald says that unless you want kittens, you should keep your cat insideaway from potential matesduring her heat cycle. But her best recommendation is to spay your cat and avoid heat cycles all together.
What Are The Most Common Signs Your Cat Is In Heat
As VCA Animal Hospital explains, the most common and visible signs and symptoms that a kitten has entered the heat cycle for the first time are as follows:
- The cat becomes very affectionate.
- The cat vocalizes a lot more and becomes a lot louder.
- The cat will rub themselves along the ground.
- The cat may try to get outside even if they are normally an indoor cat.
- The cat will raise its hindquarters and tail when petted.
- The cat will urinate surfaces to spread her pheromones.
- The cat may spot blood or fluids .
- The cats vulva may appear visibly swollen.
Another sign that your cat has begun a heat cycle is if you suddenly start seeing strange cats showing up in your yard.
Intact male cats whether pets or feral male cats can often hear and smell a female cat in heat from a surprising distance away and will come to try to mate with her.
While you may not always see the male cats, you will smell them male intact cats will also spray-mark the area around your home to try to ward off other male cats who also want to try to mate.
This is why it is so vitally important that you dont let your female cat slip outside, at least unless your plans include raising a litter of kittens and then finding good homes for them.
Does Birth Control For Cats Exist
There are products out there that interfere with a cats hormonal cycle, but because of the associated health risks, most vets dont recommend them unless absolutely necessary.
A far better option is to spay your kitty.
Spaying alleviates discomfort and stress from frequent estrus, minimizes hormonally-induced behaviors such as urine marking, and helps to prevent some serious health problems like certain cancers and potentially fatal infections of the uterus.
Of course, every pet is an individual. So, when you make an appointment, your veterinarian can answer all of your questions and help you make a kind, informed decision for your furry BFF.
Is It Normal For A Cat To Go Into Heat Every Other Week
Cats will come into heat every other week right through spring and summer. They go into heat when around 5 6 months old and are in heat for 1 week and then off heat for 1 2 weeks, then back into heat etc. It is possible that there may be a cyst on the ovary. The only real way to treat this is to have her spayed.
Keep Your Cat Safe In A Heat Wave
1. Protect your cat when the temperature heats up!
The temperature is soaring, and its only going to get hotter. Make sure you know how to keep your cat safe in the summer heat.
2. Watch out for heatstroke.
Symptoms include panting, lethargy, drooling, fever, vomiting and collapse. If you think your cat may have heatstroke, get the vet ASAP the condition can cause permanent organ damage and death. Learn more about the signs of heatstroke in cats with our shareable infographic.
3. Offer your cat several ways to cool off.
Leave a fan on in a place where your cat can sit in front of it, add some ice cubes to her water or offer her a cool treat
4. Let your cat find cool spots in the house.
Your cat will seek out the cooler parts of your home, so make sure she has access to areas with tile floors or rooms that dont get much sun.
5. Play in the morning or evening.
Any exercise should take place during the cooler hours of the day. This is especially important for young kittens and seniors, both of whom are very vulnerable to heatstroke. If your cat has just eaten, make sure you give her some time to digest before you begin playtime.
6. Brush your cat often.
A well-groomed, tangle-free coat will help keep your cat cool.
7. Tell us!
When Can I Expect My Cat To Go Into Heat
Your queen is growing fast and you can expect her first heat at around six months. For some cats, heat season starts as soon as theyre four months old.If you dont wish to become a grandparent your vet will recommend spaying. He or she will advise you about the right moment to spay her according to her health records. Usually, its when your kitty reaches the age of four to six months. Yet, for some kitties, it can be as early as three to four months of age.
Can I Spay My Cat While She Is In Heat
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.
Not Planning To Breed From Your Cat
If you know for certain that you arent going to breed from your cat, its a good idea to have her spayed. Spaying will:
- Eliminate the risk of unplanned pregnancy
- Reduce aggression and sex-linked behaviour
- Reduces the risk of diseases like FIV and leukaemia
- Reduces roaming
Read more:Neutering your cat: what you need to know.
When Is There Something Else Wrong With My Cat
If you find that your spayed cat displays some of the signs of being in heat listed above, you need to look for other reasons why your cat is acting the way they are.
These signs may include not urinating in their litter box or meowing a lot more than usual.
After checking the common reasons for not urinating in their litter box , you should take a closer look at your cat and:
- Make sure that your cat isnt hurt If your cat is in pain, they may also try to alert you through meowing or even yowling. Check to see if you can find what is wrong before taking them to the vet. However, if you find them hiding , you can be sure that they are feeling very under the weather and they need a vets attention as soon as possible.
- Make sure that your cat doesnt have a urinary tract infection If your cat has been spayed and they suddenly lick at their genitals, it can be a sign that they have a urinary tract infection. This can be very serious, so get them to the vet as soon as you can.
Now that you know what to look out for when your cat goes into heat and what you can do to calm them down, you can start to speak to your vet about the options you have like spaying that will not only help your cat, but also help you keep your sanity during cats mating seasons.
How Do I Know If My Cat Is On Heat
The signs of oestrus are mainly behavioural and can include:
- Increase in vocalisation- this is often described as a yowl and is louder than your cats normal meow. It can sometimes be confused with an expression of pain or anxiety.
- Increase in affection- towards people and cats alike. Rubbing against or weaving between your legs and rolling around on the floor. Although contrary to this some female cats can become aggressive towards their owners and other cats.
- Change in mannerisms – when you stroke your cat along her back she will lower her front half, raise her bottom in the air, start to tread up and down and move her tail from side to side.
- Increased attention to the genital region .
- Reduced appetite
Is My Cat In Heat Spotting The Signs
It can be difficult to spot when your cat is in heat, especially during her first few seasons. Changes in behaviour and personality are the most important signs to watch out for:
She may be more affectionate than usual rubbing up against people and furniture. That said, she may also become very grumpy and aggressive. Alternating between the two behaviours is not uncommon.
Female cats often get vocal when theyre in heat – this is because theyre trying to summon the attention of the nearby male cats. To help her with this, she may also spray a strong-smelling urine.
If you keep your cat indoors during her season , she may get restless and try her utmost to leave the house.
Occasionally, cats can lie on their bellies and swish their tails in the air whilst yowling which can be quite alarming! They may also sniff and lick their genital area more than usual.
Q: Do Male Cats Go Into Heat
A: No, male cats do not go into heat. But intact male cats go crazy when they smell a female in heat, doing everything in their power to find and mate with the fertile female cat.
Stray Toms have even been known to try to break into the home of a fertile female cat. During this period, its very important to keep your female cat inside and away from all intact male cats if you want to prevent pregnancy.
Q: Can You Spay A Cat In Heat
A: Yes, you can spay a cat that is in heat, but its not preferable to do so. Many veterinarians will ask you to wait until your female is out of heat, then bring her back to be spayed.
When a cat is in heat, theres a lot more blood flow in her reproductive organs. This can make it harder for the veterinarian to perform the surgery. There is also a higher risk of bleeding issues when spaying a cat during a heat cycle.
Its best to wait for a week or two after signs of heat subside before spaying your cat. But dont wait too long or the cat may go into heat again before she can be spayed.
How To Deal With A Cat In Heat
Cats in heat can exhibit behaviors that often make them less enjoyable as pets. Cats that are unspayed will go through multiple heat cycles every year and run the risk of becoming pregnant every time.
Spaying your female cat will ensure she doesnt have an unwanted pregnancy and eliminate the unpleasant side effects of going into heat.
What To Do When Your Cat Is In Heat
There are a variety of reasons cat owners decide not to spay their cats. Whether youve decided to breed your cat or have ethical or health-related concerns about spaying, living with a queen during the height of her cycle isnt easy. Here are a few tips to keep both of you as comfortable as possible:
- Provide her with lots of love and affection. Spend time playing with her daily. If she allows it, pet or brush her lower back.
- Make her a nest with a heating pad and her favorite toys.
- Give her some catnip to help her calm down. Your veterinarian may have other ideas as well.
- Keep her litter box clean, especially if she marks her territory. This may encourage her to use the litter box instead.
Above all, be patient. Your queen is simply exhibiting instinctual behavior during her estrus. If her behaviors dont return to normal when her cycle ends or you suspect she is sick, contact your veterinarian immediately.
If you arent planning to breed your cat, consider getting her spayed. This will eliminate the annoying behaviors she displays during heat and prevent any unwanted litters of kittens.
Whichever you decide, know that science says cat owners are happier and healthier than folks who dont own pets. Besides being great companions, cats can lower stress and anxiety as well as combat loneliness. That means that even on their worst day, owning a cat makes life better.
I Think My Cat Is Pregnant Right Now What Should I Do
If your kittys pregnancy took you by surprise, dont worryyou certainly wouldnt be the first pet parent thats happened to!
The best things you can do now are to confirm the pregnancy and talk to your vet about your kittys care.
Signs your cat might be pregnant, include:
- Enlarged mammary glands or nipples.
- Weight gain and a larger belly.
- Mild vomiting, loss of appetite, or lethargy.
Some of these symptoms may not be obvious. And, they could be symptoms of a health problem that needs to be treated.
So, its best to make an appointment with your vet as soon as possible.
If youd prefer to terminate the pregnancy, your vet can also talk to you about spaying your cat during pregnancy. For this option, the earlier you talk to your vet, the better.