Everything To Know About A Cat In Heat

Ameera Mills
By Ameera Mills. Updated: September 2, 2018
Everything To Know About A Cat In Heat

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Do you think your cat is in her period of heat? It is important that you know how to recognize when your animal is in heat so that you can understand its attitude and take care of it with the appropriate attention. It is important to know that even though it is only a female that goes into heat, this period will also affect your male cat.

In this AnimalWised article we will telling you everything you need to know about a cat in heat including; the characteristics, symptoms and care required.

You may also be interested in: How to Help a Cat in Heat
  1. Heat in female cats
  2. Heat affects on male cats
  3. A cat in heat- symptoms
  4. Caring for a cat in heat

Heat in female cats

The first thing you should know is these periods of heat occur at certain times of the year, moments in which the cat is predisposed to fertilization by a male in order to procreate. This sexual encounter will only happen during heat:

  • A cat begins will experience her first heat around 6 or 9 months. If your cat has short hair, they are more likely to start heat earlier than cats with long hair (in fact, this breed of cats can delay their estrus until about 15 months).
  • While bitches (dogs) only experience one heat season, in the case of cats it is different. Cats may more than experience more than one heat period in a time frame. In fact, heat is more frequent during spring and summer.

During this time, frequency of heat can increase and appear every two or three weeks. However, there is no rule that can help us know the exact frequency in our cats. The reason for this is that factors, listed below, can affect each cat individually;

  • Weight and genetics.
  • Jealousy is more frequent during hot periods, that is because they infer aspects such as light and / or weather.
  • Cats can also experience heat if they are in contact with others who have it. This is because pheromones are released that can cause the appearance of heat. This is common specifically if there is a presence of other male cats in the area.

It is also important that you know the phases in which heat is divided, these phases prepare the female for fertilization:

  1. Proestro: at this stage the cat is more affectionate than usual, begins to vocalize and experience first symptoms of heat, although it does not suffer as much as other phases.
  2. Estro or estrus: this stage, of variable duration, generally around 19 to 14 days , the cat is receptive to copulation. It is the moment when she can get pregnant, so we must take extreme precautions.
  3. Interestrus: The queen is not fertile at this stage.
  4. Anestrus: this marks the end of her cycle. This stage can last from 30-90 days.

In these last few periods you also need to be aware that your female cat has experienced extreme psychological and physical changes, as she has been overwhelmed with a hormonal release. She may therefore experience a false pregnancy, otherwise known as a pseudopregnancy.

Everything To Know About A Cat In Heat - Heat in female cats

Heat affects on male cats

Male cats do not go into a period of heat like females do. Male cats can mate from around 8 or 12 months. A male cat is ready to mate throughout the year.

When it detects the odor that females in heat produce or they hear the call cries from a female cat in heat, the cats begin to start meeting with the females.

Although we have pointed out that there are no cycles of heat in males, it is true that during the months of winter and autumn their libido is lower than when their is good weather. This is because the environmental factor affects a cat. However, this does not mean that if the male hears a female on a winter day that he will not try find her.

A cat in heat- symptoms

Now that you know some of the characteristics of heat in cats, we continue with signs that will help recognize that your cat is in heat. These symptoms are also different depending on the gender we are referring to:

Heat symptoms- male cats

When they become aware the smells or screams of a female in heat, the cat will begin to experience ‘‘signs of heat’’ that are easily recognizable. They appear more nervous, they begin to meow insistently and they can even tremble from excitement.

You might also notice that he marks new areas with urine. He does this as he is marking territory to make it clear that that female is his. His entire attitude may become more territorial, and therefore, he may become more aggressive towards other males.

Estrus symptoms- female cats

Unlike what happens with dogs, cats do not bleed when they are ready to be fertilized. During this period it is very difficult to ignore the symptoms of a cat in heat: she will meow much more than normal. This meows often sound like screaming of a small child.

You will also see that she will begin to rub and roll with everything and everyone. She will scratch for furniture and show more affection than normal. It is also usual that if you caress your pet in this period, she will move her body in the opposite direction as if receiving the male. She may also try and run away from home in search of a male, so be careful.

Everything To Know About A Cat In Heat - A cat in heat- symptoms

Caring for a cat in heat

We need to know how to pay more attention to a cat in heat because she becomes more sensitive and needs affection. Also, if you get distracted during this period, it is likely that will run away from home looking for a mating partner. We suggest playing with your cat in heat, caressing her, give her more attention and pamper her more. This is all done with the aim of making her feel more calm and cared for.

To protect a cat in heat from males that will come to look for her, we recommend that you close your windows and balconies, because the cat could sneak out and escape. To take care of your animal at this time and get it to stop suffering, a good thing to do is to speak to your veterinarian and consider spading your cat.

This operation involves natural risks involved in any surgical intervention, but it is essential to carry it out if we want better welfare for our animal and avoid some health problems, such as the pyometra or a psychological pregnancy.

Everything To Know About A Cat In Heat - Caring for a cat in heat

If you want to read similar articles to Everything To Know About A Cat In Heat, we recommend you visit our Heat category.

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1 comment
Sandra Hopps
Hi is their any risks of mating my cat at at least 6 months of age that would be problematic? Mayby during labor and delivery? What would be the best age to mate? We want to let her have one set of kittens and then have her spayed.
Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Sandra,

There is a myth out there that cats have a better quality of life if they have had one litter of kittens, but this is not true. Shelter systems across the world are struggling to find homes for cats and kittens, so it is much better to avoid getting our cats pregnant and to encourage the adoption of cats in need. Also, the cat will benefit both physically and emotionally from being spayed. This article below helps to clarify how:

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Everything To Know About A Cat In Heat