How to Tell If Your Cat is in Heat?
For owners of cats who haven’t been spayed, it’s important to understand how to tell if your cat is in heat. Female cats are able to breed during this time.
There are some clear and easily noticeable changes that may occur in your cat’s behavior and appearance that’ll strongly indicate that they’re in heat.
What Is a Heat Cycle for a Cat?
More and more often cats are being spayed. For females, this entails a surgical procedure, which sees the removal of the uterus and ovaries. This drastically reduces cancer risk as well as, of course, eliminating the chance of pregnancy.
Unspayed female cats will go through a heat cycle, during which your cat can get pregnant.
Their hormones may be altered, and their blood vessels may become enlarged as the body becomes ready to mate. If they don’t mate during this period, cats will go out of heat for a short period of time. The length of this cycle can differ quite substantially, from as short as one week, all the way to six weeks. On average, each cycle will last roughly three weeks.
When Do Cats Go Into Heat?
In general, a female cat will enter its first heat cycle before it reaches six months of age, although this isn’t always the case. In fact, it could occur within just four months.
There’s a variety of determining factors for this. For example, certain cats reach puberty at different stages. Siamese cats often reach this stage in under five months, whereas many long-haired breeds of cat may take around nine months.
Cats are polyestrous on a seasonal basis, so their schedule is directly related to the season. The timing will depend on the hemisphere your cat lives in, but breeding seasons will generally last for the majority of the calendar year.
How Long Does a Cat Stay In Heat?
The main factor in determining how long a cat remains in heat is whether or not it mates during this period.
Assuming that she doesn’t, a heat cycle will usually go on for a few days at a time, with six days being the average across all breeds.
Following this, she’ll leave the heat cycle briefly before coming on heat again. The entire estrous cycle usually lasts for roughly three weeks, but could be as short as one, or as long as six weeks. It greatly depends on the breed, age, and environmental conditions of your cat.
Signs your Cat is in heat:
If you’re wondering how to spot the signs your cat is in heat, there are some notable changes in their behavior which will indicate this.
Here are some of the most prominent symptoms your cat is in heat:
- More vocal than usual
- Restless behavior
- Crawling in a lower stature
- Heightened affection
- Frequent grooming
- Increased desire to go outside
- Raised buttocks posture
- Spraying urine
- Desire for attention
- Rolling around on the ground
- More demanding
As you can see, there are a whole lot of changes in a cat’s behavior during this period.
Undoubtedly, excessive vocalization is one of the more common indicators. If she moans, cries, wails, or meows often, she’s in heat. If your cat is noisy all year round, however, it’d be best to use other factors to determine this.
Even cats who spend most of their time indoors may suddenly experience a drastically increased desire to be outdoors. This is so they can spread their scent as much as possible, and potentially come across a male cat. You may want to consider locking your cat flap, to stop her from leaving, and to prevent male cats from entering.
The frequent grooming occurs because your cat’s genital region will probably become quite swollen and sore. She’ll spend a lot of extra time licking this area to soothe it with her saliva.
If there’s one sign that’s impossible to miss, it’s when she pushes her buttocks in the air and pushes her tail to the side. This, of course, is the mating position.
If you suspect your pet is sick, call your vet immediately. For health-related questions, always consult your veterinarian, as they’ve examined your pet, know the pet’s health history, and can make the best recommendations for your pet.