Cats in Heat | Top 10 FAQ on Cats in Heat
Cats in Heat
1) What is “in heat”?
The fertile period of a female cat’s reproductive cycle (the mating period) is called estrus, commonly referred to as “heat or being “in season”. It’s equivalent to human menstruation.
2) When does a cat come into heat?
The average female cat has her first cycle at about 6 months of age.
3) What are the symptoms?
Females bleed from the vagina sometimes with swelling of the vulva and increased urination. Cats bleed less than dogs, and rarely will you see any signs of it. Cats in heat will be more affectionate & more vocal. Cats in heat will roll around on the ground and rub up against you incessantly. Other than behavioral changes, the most noticeable symptom with cats in heat may be male cats hanging around your house.
4) How long are cats in heat?
They may stay in heat from a few days up to 3 weeks. How long depends on many variables such as genetics, environment and cat health & age.
5) How often will she be in heat?
Cats go into heat most often in spring & fall. During this period a cat can perpetually go in & out of heat until she is bred or spayed, usually about every other week.
6) Can she get pregnant her first cycle?
Yes. However, most breeders generally would not breed a cat that early. After the cat has reached a year old and gone through a few heats is the best time. They are physically & emotionally mature enough to handle motherhood.
7) What age can I have my cat spayed?
People used to be told to let their cat go through at least one cycle or let them have one litter. Today, veterinarians are doing it much earlier. Some spay as early as 5-6 weeks of age! The most common age is at 6 months. Cats can be spayed at any time during their life with the only concern being the natural risks involved with surgery on an aging cat.
8) Can I have her spayed while my cat’s in heat?
It’s a bit more complicated and most vets prefer to wait between heat cycles.. Just check your vet’s policy on this. They probably can, but might charge a bit more as the risk of bleeding complications is a little higher during the heat cycle.
9) My cat just had kittens, when can she be spayed?
Spay your cat about 2 weeks after the kittens have been weaned.
10) How will the surgery affect my cat?
Cats that have not been spayed find the whole estrus cycle uncomfortable. They are in a perpetual state of hormonal flux, which can lead to irritability. Having her spayed will alleviate some of these symptoms. Some cats might gain a little weight after the procedure as the heat cycle tends to curb their appetite.