Wednesday, February 28, 2024

When Do Cats Go Into Their First Heat

Don't Miss

How Can I Calm A Cat In Heat

Kitten Care : When Do Kittens Go Into Heat?

Some tips or techniques used to help calm a cat in heat are:

  • Avoid contact with male cats so that she does not want to attract their attention.
  • Give your cat lots of affection. This will make it feel cared for
  • Play with her, and she will be entertained
  • Give her pills for heat. These pills act as contraceptive methods, but they are not recommended because of the side effects. The best way of birth control for cats is spaying or neutering.

When Do Cats Start Going Into Heat

Cats can reproduce as early as 4 months of age. The average age of the first estrus for a female cat is 6 months however, it can begin as early as 4 months of age and, in some cases, happen as late as 12 months of age. It all depends upon your cats breed, her health, and the time of year.

Cats are seasonally polyestrous, which simply means they come into heat several times during the mating season. Your queens mating season will vary depending on where you live geographically. Cats living in environments with higher temperatures and more daylight hours and those that live indoors may experience heat cycles all year long. The breeding season for those living in colder climates with fewer daylight hours typically lasts from January until late fall.

A heat cycle can last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks and occur as often as every three to four weeks. Unlike humans, a queen does not experience menopause and will continue to cycle her entire life.

What Causes The Heat Cycle

The hormone sequence for the whole estrus cycle starts off when the hypothalamus signals the pituitary gland to releasefollicle stimulating hormone or FSH. The FSH travels to the ovaries and starts up follicle production. The follicles then produce estrogen, which triggers the in heat behaviors. When a cat is bred, the pituitary gland then sends out luteinizing hormone or LH, which causes the ovary to release the eggs from their follicles. This is ovulation. Each egg can potentially develop into a kitten once the sperm of a male cat fertilizes it.

The average number of eggs released is four, but cats have had as many as 18 kittens in one litter!

The egg empty follicles develop into corpus luteum cysts. Now they switch over to produce the hormone progesterone. Progesterone is the hormone that is essential to maintain the pregnancy. This is a rather complex set of hormonal stimuli and responses. Any misread signals along the way would lead to infertility.

Don’t Miss: How Old Is The Oldest Cat Alive

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 AnimalsĀ®. 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.

New To Having A Pet Or Just Need More Knowledge

How Often Do Cats Go Into Heat?

About heat cycles in cats:fourth or fifth month of a kitten’sYou can see then, how a female cat may almost always seem to be in heat.

  • Heat, oestrus, and estrus all refer to heat cycles in cats.
  • The breeding season in cats lasts almost year-round.
  • Heat cycles can start as early as four or five months in a female kitten.
  • Heat cycles in cats last from several days to two weeks or more
  • Heat cycles in cats repeat every two to three weeks until the cat is spayed or becomes pregnant.
  • Heat cycles may cause pain or discomfort in cats.

You May Like: Accidentally Cut Cat’s Whiskers

How To Calm A Cat In Heat

The cat heat cycle is a normal and healthy part of the life of every cat. Being in heat is not typically painful. However, you may want to help calm your cat while she is in heat. Here are several ideas to calm a cat in heat:

  • keep your female cat away from male cats
  • let her sit on a heat pack, warm towel, or electric pad or blanket
  • try catnip
  • use Feliway or other synthetic cat pheromones
  • keep the litter box clean
  • play with your cat

After getting neutered, Beta thankfully no longer tries to mate with his sister or any other cats around. And thanks to the Tractive GPS cat tracker I can always keep an eye on his whereabouts right in the smartphone app and retrieve him if needed.

What Is Cat Estrus When Do Cats First Go Into Heat

Cat estrus begins as animals reach sexual maturity, usually at about six months of age, although some cats will go into heat as early as four months and others as late as 10 to 12 months.

Cats are considered to be polyestrous, meaning they have several heat cycles a year . This means that breeding cats can produce a litter at any time of the year, even though springtime is often considered to be kitten season.

Don’t Miss: Why Do Cats Lick When You Scratch Their Back

What It Means For A Cat To Be In Heat

The term in heat refers to the time period during a cats reproductive cycle when she is able to become pregnant. Cats only experience being in heat when they reach sexual maturitywhich is typically around the six-month mark. Depending on the cat, they may hit sexual maturity slightly earlier or later.

Ungardening And Solastalgia: New Lingo Related To The Environment

My Cat Going Through Her First Heat Cycle

Cats in heat will meow a lot.

Female cats, called queens, typically go into heat when they are about six months old. However, some breeds including the Siamese are known to be early starters and can go into heat when they are just four months old.

During this cycle, your pet suffers a surge of estrogen. As she is fertile, her behaviour will change. You can expect lots of meowing, lots of weaving and shell be holding her tail up.

She will be noisy and may urinate all over the house. Also, intact tom cats will gather, hoping to court her. They too will spray urine everywhere in order to claim your pet.

All this is instinct-driven your pet cant help or control it. So be kind.

The length of the cycle depends on the cat. Vets warn it tends to run around a week. At the end of the cycle, most cats will not bleed but you may see a little bit of pink/red vaginal discharge. Then you have two or three weeks off, and it starts again.

There are two ways to stop the cycle. The first is temporary. This is when your pet becomes pregnant. She has kittens after two months and then, within a week of that, shes back in heat. Also, you have four to eight kittens to care for and home.

Spaying, a small operation, puts a permanent stop to it. It also prevents an overload of kittens. And as our shelters kill thousands of cats every month because there are too many to adopt, this is the only responsible and kind approach.

Recommended Reading: 17 Yrs In Cat Years

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.

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.

Also Check: Chinese Money Plant Toxic

Should I Let My Cat Have An Estrus Cycle Or A Litter Of Kittens Before Spaying Her

There are no valid reasons for letting a cat have an estrous cycle or have a litter of kittens before being spayed. Cats can become pregnant on their very first estrous cycle, increasing the chance that an accidental breeding may occur. Cats are indiscriminate, so a brother cat may breed with its sister, a father may breed with his daughter, and a son may breed with his mother.

A common myth is that female cats will become more friendly and sociable if they are allowed to have a litter of kittens. This is not true, and only serves to contribute further to the serious problem of cat overpopulation.

Contributors: Ryan Llera, BSc, DVM Cheryl Yuill, DVM, MSc, CVH

Reasons For Preventing Feline Pregnancy

When Do Cats Go Into Their First Heat

The female cat can give birth to as many as 5 litters every year, and each litter averages four to five kittens . This means your unspayed cat can have an average of 20 kittens every year, which will add to the problem of the overpopulation of cats, particularly if you end up taking them to an animal shelter or humane society.

And she will be in almost constant heat, which is actually highly stressful for her unless you own a cat with a pedigree and are a responsible breeder.

Cats that go through a heat cycle continuously will potentially lose weight, will overgroom, and tend to acquire behavioral issues. Notwithstanding driving you a little crazier each time a heat cycle arrives.

Also Check: Dawn Dish Soap For Cats

When Does A Cat Go Into Heat

In the Northern Hemisphere, female cats can cycle from late January until late fall. In tropical regions, female cats can cycle all year round. Unspayed cats that spend time exclusively indoors with artificial lights can also cycle all year round.

Cats have their first reproductive cycle when they hit puberty. On average, puberty or sexual maturity, first occurs in cats around 4-6 months old yes, thats right, when they are kittens.

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.

Read Also: Do China Eat Dogs And Cats

Why Do Female Cats Spray When In Heat And How To Stop It

Why do female cats spray when in heat? Female cats in heat will spray strong-smelling urine all over the house to attract males. Its their way of telling male felines that they are available to mate. Sometimes, your cat may try to spray you as a form of marking. For indoor cats, spraying might be followed with the urge to go outdoors to seek a mate. They may attack your door or try to escape in every chance they get. The only solution to stop this is to get your female cat spayed once it reaches sexual maturity.

Cats spray their urine as a form of communication. Aside from females, its also observed among unneutered male cats. Unlike normal urination, cats produce a small amount of urine when spraying. They usually douche their urine on vertical surfaces, but its also common to find sprayed urine on the floor, couch, and furniture.

How To Handle Cats In Heat:

How to Help a Female Cat in Heat?

If you dont want kittens, keep cats in heat indoors. If cats in heat do get out, theyre more at risk for contracting infectious diseases, such as feline leukemia, from any infected male cats that they attempt to breed with.

Remember that responsible cat breeders carefully screen and select the male cats they breed with their queens, not only to ensure a purebred pedigree, but also to prevent such transmission of disease.

You May Like: Tuxedo Cat Lifespan

What To Expect When Your Cat Is In Heat

  • Email

Like most female mammals, cats go through physical cycles that prepare their bodies for fertilization and birth. In humans, this cycle is called “menstruation.” In felines, it is called “estrus.” When female cats are experiencing estrus they are said to be “in heat” and are hormonally receptive to both intercourse and reproduction. Cats can go into heat in late kittenhood, making it necessary to spay them if a pregnancy, and the responsibility of raising and finding good homes for kittens, is unwanted.

How Can I Keep My Cat Calm While Shes In Heat

While your cat is in heat, she may experience some added stress and anxiety. Its important to keep your cat calm and comfortable during this time.

Each cat is an individual, so your approach will have to depend on your own unique cat.

Some cats may prefer extra petting, brushings, and attention to relax. Extra exercise can help burn off some energy and reduce stress, too, so you may wish to try some active games that get your cat moving.

Other cats prefer to be left alone and hide when they feel anxious. If your cat feels more relaxed when shes on her own, try providing her with a safe, quiet space where she can retreat. A carrier, cat bed, or enclosed area even a box with blankets might give her a nice place to calm down.

A heating pad might also help your cat relax and stay warm. Many cats find catnip or pheromone products to be relaxing. You should only use these products if they help your cat stay calm when shes not in heat. Some cats get too excited by these products, and you wont be helping by providing them during a heat cycle.

Recommended Reading: Cat Tail Broken

Why Is My Cat Still In Heat

This is because the queens hormone production is stimulated by the light of longer days. When the days are shorter the queen is not stimulated to go into heat. Indoor cats are exposed to long periods of artificial light and therefore may continue to go through heat cycles all year round.

Watch out your female cat may roam when in heat, looking for her next mate! Male cats also have a tendency to explore their grounds, looking for females in heat. You can monitor your cats whereabouts during this time with the help of cat GPS and activity tracker .

The Cat Heat Cycle Explained

Breeding Cats

All female cats will go through the natural heat cycle unless they have been spayed or are pregnant. This is also referred to as the estrus cycle and during this time, a cat is capable of breeding that is, mating and having kittens. The stages of the cat in heat cycle are described in detail below:

You May Like: How Old Is A 12 Year Old Cat

More articles

Popular Articles