How To Know If My Cat Is In Heat Or Pregnant
Cat owners already know that these pets have a very particular character that can hardly be compared to any other. This includes all aspects of their behaviour, including heat, when the time comes that they are ready to mate with a cat nearby and when they are pregnant. But if this is your first experience with cats, it may be difficult for you to identify if your animal is at this point, so at OneHowTo.com we give you some information to easily find out if your cat is in heat or pregnant.
Unlike other pets, cats are always ready to mate, so if there are female cats around them that are constantly in heat, they will be too. A cat reaches sexual maturity after about one year of age, afterwards the animal will develop a very particular and territorial behavior when it is in heat.
is the main characteristic of this period. Cats urinate inside and outside the home in defined spaces with a fluid that is much stronger than normal urine, leaving a smell at home that is difficult to remove.
The cat conqueror will plan an escape. If you live in a house, you may not see your cat for several days, and if you’re in an apartment, the animal may sneak out the door when you’re distracted to woo the anxious female cat nearby. This, though it may sound nice, threatens the life of the animal because it is vulnerable to harm. It’s also how many cats get lost.
Keeping Your Cat Healthy
The heat cycle can be difficult for cats, and the benefits of spaying your pet are numerous. For instance, cats are susceptible to diseases, such as ovarian, uterine and mammary cancer, but the chances of developing them are greatly reduced if your cat is spayed.
According to the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University, your cat should be spayed before she goes into heat for the first time. The spaying procedure, performed at your vet’s office, consists of the removal of your cat’s reproductive organs, thereby eliminating her estrus cycle and her possibility of becoming pregnant. Because cats can become pregnant during their very first reproductive cycle, it’s important to have her spayed in order to prevent feline overpopulation, emphasizes The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®. Kittens are cute, but there just aren’t enough loving homes for all of them.
When you first adopt your cat, be sure to ask whether or not your cat is spayed. If you’re unsure, consult with your vet during your fur baby’s wellness appointment. This is also a good time to ask your vet for more information about your cat’s cycle and how to stop it from happening. While dealing with your cat during her estrus cycle may seem like a new challenge to understand, being educated and continuing to care for your cat the best you can is a great first step.
How Often & How Long Cats Are Cats In Heat
If you dont get your female cat spayed, she will go into heat eventually. Cats will begin going into heat around the time they hit puberty and they will continue to go into heat for the majority of their life.
Most cats hit puberty around 6-9 months of age. However, larger felines may take longer to reach puberty and go into heat. Time of year can also affect when a cat will technically reach puberty.
After cats hit puberty, when they do go into heat depends on a variety of factors.
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Do Female Cats Have Periods
Female cats do have a monthly cycle, but one which is quite different from female humans.; Rather than shedding the uterine lining like human women do every 32 days or so, cats and select mammals;reabsorb the old uterine-lining rather than bleeding it out. This takes place during the estrus cycle described below.
A small amount of blood may be shed during the heat cycle of your cat but it is more common for a female cat with a period to display the signs of a cat in heat above. Contact your vet if you notice worrisome bleeding in your female or male cat.
What Does It Mean When A Cat Is In Heat
You might have heard the term,cat in heat ordog in heat before. In heat;refers to when a cat is ready to mate and fertile. For cats, this natural cycle already begins around the age of 5 to 10 months old.
The first time I ever realized my young cats were in heat was when they seemed to attempt to mate with each other although they were brother and sister.;ð¨
Yes, this can and does occur; especially among cats who are not exposed to many other cats in the wild.;While in heat, their strong, natural mating instinct will cause them to try to mate with any and every cat of the opposite sex nearby; the cat in heat does not obey any rules about how humans think they should behave!
Get your cats spayed and neutered to avoid unwanted cat pregnancies.
To successfully handle a cat in heat, its good to know the signs of a cat in heat.
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When To Expect Going Into Heat
Most female cats are at close to 80 percent of their adult size when they have their first estrus or heat. For shorthaired cats, that is generally around 6 months of age. Some kittens go into heat as early as 4 months, while longhaired cats may not have a first heat until about 18 months, though that is less common. Siamese cats are notorious for coming into heat at an early age.
The estrus cycle in a cat is stimulated by daylight length with 12 hours of daylight generally being the activator. Cats are classified as seasonally polyestrus. This means that a cat will have multiple heat cycles during the breeding season. For cats in the Northern Hemisphere, March to October is generally considered to be prime breeding season. Figure your cat will cycle through every 14 to 21 days from March to September or October, unless she is bred or spayed.
What Is Heat Like For Cats
While it’s logical to assume that a cat in heat will have the same physical symptoms as a woman having her period, the reality is very different. First, cats do not shed the lining of their uterus. So contrary to popular belief, heat should not involve vaginal bleeding. If your female cat is bleeding, contact your vet. Since human females shed the lining of their uterus every month, cramping, bloating, and related symptoms can be present. Cats do not experience cramps or other physical symptoms, despite their howling and need for attention during this time. Instead, a surge of hormones will make your cat extraordinarily eager to mate. She may rub against you, pace back and forth, and assume a mating position if you pet or stroke her. You may notice your cat loses her appetite during this period, as well, or she may lick her genitals often and mark her territory by spraying. She may also attempt to run out the door, escaping to find a mate. This is all normal behavior during heat.;
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How Can You Get Your Cat Out Of Heat
There is no way to get your cat out of heat. She will stay in heat until her heat cycle is over. Its that simple.
The only way to get a cat out of heat is to mate her with a male. Even in these circumstances, it isnt odd for females to stay in heat throughout the rest of their cycle they wont go back into heat afterward.
If you want to make your cat stop being in heat, the best thing to do is spay her beforehand. This procedure will prevent the feline from going into heat for the rest of her life, eliminating this problem.
There are many potential ways to calm a female cat while in heat. You should keep her away from males and continue to fulfill her needs.
However, the behaviors a cat exhibits while in heat are normal and biologically appropriate. There isnt much you can do to fix your cat when she doesnt need fixing, to begin with.
Its Not Just About Extra Sleep In Hot Weather
Its vital that while your cat will sleep more to conserve energy that you make sure it can cool down if it needs to.
- Provide cooler spots in the house.
- Iced water in bottles.
- Lots of water to drink.
- Cooler quiet out-of-the-way places to rest.
This is particularly important for indoor cats as they have limited places they can go.
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Signs Of Estrus Or Cats In Heat:
Even if youve never been around cats in heat;before, youre very likely to know something is going on with your pet the behaviors she uses to get the attention of a potential mate will no doubt get your attention as well. The signs of cats in heat or cats experiencing estrus can mimic signs of pain or distress in your cat, and include the following:
How Can I Prevent My Cat From Going Into Heat
The only way you can be sure that your cat will not go into heat or get pregnant is . This operation is done under general anesthetic.
Veterinarians prefer to perform the spay operation when kittens are about six months old;before they go through their first heat cycle. Kittens younger than six months old can also be spayed, as well as adult cats.
Cats are usually spayed as adults if they are rescue cats which were not spayed as kittens. Rescue cats are usually, as a rule, spayed or neutered at the rescue center.
Spaying can also reduce your cats chances of getting certain reproductive cancers.
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Soothing Or Calming A Female Cat In Heat
If you have decided not to neuter your cat you may be concerned about her welfare and happiness while she is in heat
Even though heat behaviors are completely natural and your cat isnt in pain or distress, it is natural to want to soothe a restless pet.
Some cat owners find that Feliway products help.
They take time to build up in your pets system though, so start using them from the beginning of spring, rather than waiting until shes already in heat.
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How Can You Keep Your Cat From Going Into Heat
Clearly, some of these behaviors can be problematic for a pet parent. Not to mention that if your cat gets pregnant, youll have a whole other issue to tackle. So, the question is, how can you keep your cat from going into heat?
The only way to keep your cat from going into heat is to get them spayed. According to the ASPCA, you can spay kittens as early as eight weeks. Ideally, youll have them spayed before their first heat, which happens around five months.
Spaying will not only keep your cat from going into heat , but it can also support their long-term health. Spaying your cat before her first heat can help lower her risk for both uterine cancers and breast tumors, according to the ASPCA.
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How Do Cats Act When They Are In Heat
See files for Cats
A cat in heat is actually quite noticeable. Some breeds might be more discrete and will not proclaim their status from the rooftops, but the most common breeds in your homes will communicate to us perfectly when they are in heat.
If you don’t have a cat and you want to know the peculiar symptoms of a cat in heat, keep reading this AnimalWised article and we will answer: how do cats act when they are in heat?
As well as the usual symptoms of cats in heat, we will explain some interesting facts and details about sterilizing. Let’s begin!
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.
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Living With A Cat In Heat
Most families choose to spay their adolescent cat after going through just one heat. The nonstop noise and behavior changes can be overwhelming. If you choose to leave your female kitten intact, your veterinarian may be able to show you how to stimulate her vagina to cause ovulation. That will cut down on the number of heat cycles in each breeding season, but it wont stop all of them. Cats who are left intact but not bred may have a higher risk of developing a pyometra or infected uterus. The risk of developing breast cancer is also increased.
The good news is that your kittens bizarre behavior is much more likely her coming into heat than having rabies!
Feature image: Gina Cioli/I-5 Studio
Calming Music And Scents
Keep your cat as calm as possible. The first step to achieving this is through music. The Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery recommends cat-specific music. This acts as a lullaby for a tense, frustrated feline, reducing her desire to verbalize.
You can also appeal to your cats sense of smell. Feliway has proven calming properties. Essential oils and scented candles can also aid in soothing a cats nerves. Frankincense and lavender can be beneficial.
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Cat In Heat Signs & Symptoms
Be aware of the following cat in heat signs and symptoms that your cat might display if they are in heat. Your cat might:
- start making funny sounds
- assume the mating position
- urinate to mark territory
- loose appetite
So whether your unspayed cat is meowing, moaning, or crying, walking funny, rubbing up against you and furniture in your home, or taking extra special care of her lady parts, if your cat displays one or more of these signs,;you most likely have a cat in heat on your hands. Now, lets take a look at feline periods and the heat cycle in cats.
How Often Do Cats Go Into Heat The Estrous Cycles In Cats Explained
Unlike female dogs, female cats do not cycle at regular intervals in a year. Cats tend to come into heat depending on the season. The mating season in cats can be determined by a variety of factors, and they range from the length of daylight to whether other cats in heat are present in the environment. If there are 10 hours of daylight available and other conditions are at optimum levels, a cats hormonal system is activated. The queen, therefore, starts the reproductive cycle.
But how often does a cat, whether male or female, go into heat? And what else should you know if you are a cat parent? Find out the answers to these questions in the paragraphs below.
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