What exactly is a cat “in heat”, probably are the signs of cats in heat and how long are cats in heat? Here’s what you need to know about cats in heat.
Symptoms of cats in heat can test the patience of even the most loving pet owners, which is why veterinarians recommend that female cats be spayed before the first heat cycle occurs. Cats in heat have entered the phase of the feline reproductive cycle that is characterized by their receptivity to males and mating. This phase is also known as estrus. In the world of cat breeding, unspayed females are known as “queens.”What is the heat of the cat? When do cats go into heat for the first time?
Cat estrus (or heat) begins when the animals reach sexual maturity, usually around six months of age, although some cats go into heat at four months and others at 10 to 12 months.
Cats are considered to be polyestrous, which means they have several heat cycles per year (in contrast to dogs, which generally have two heat cycles per year). This means that breeding cats can produce a litter at any time of year, even though spring is often considered “kitten season.”
Signs of a cat in heat
Even if you’ve never been around cats in heat before, chances are good that you know something is going on with your pet – the behaviors he uses to get the attention of a potential mate will certainly get your attention too. Signs of cats in heat or cats experiencing heat can mimic signs of pain or distress in your cat, and include the following:
- Your cat is likely to become extremely affectionate and constantly rub against you, other household animals, or even furniture.
- When you pet your cat, it may instinctively assume the mating position, head lowered and hindquarters raised.
- He will become noticeably more vocal and his vocalizationswill include unusually loud howls that are designed to get the attention of a partner.
- You may spray a fine stream of urinearound your home while marking your territory in an effort to attract a mate.
- Your cat may exhibit a restless rhythm, or it may roll back and forth on the floor constantly.
- Cats in heat can lose their appetite
- In some cases, cats in heat may persistently lick their genitals, which are probably swollen. You may also notice a bloody discharge.
- Your cat may make continuous attempts to escape from your home in an effort to find a mate. This can include scratchingat window screens or running out the door when it is opened.
Heat in cats: how to handle it
If you don’t want kittens, keep cats in heat indoors. If cats in heat go out, they are at higher risk of contracting infectious diseases, such as feline leukemia , from any infected male cat with whom they try to breed.
Remember that responsible cat breeders carefully select the male cats they breed with their queens, not only to ensure a purebred pedigree, but also to prevent such disease transmission.
How long are cats in heat?
So how long are cats in heat? The heat phase will generally last between a week and 10 days. However, if your cat is unable to mate and become pregnant, it is very likely that she will return to heat sometime within the next three weeks. Some cats that are not allowed to breed may appear more or less constantly in heat.
How can you prevent a cat from going into heat?
The only way to prevent the heat cycle from repeating itself over and over again, along with the distress it causes both you and your pet, is to spay your cat . It is a myth that cats should be allowed to go through a heat cycle or even have a litter prior to spaying. Early spaying is widely regarded as the most ethical course for pet owners in light of the millions of animals that are euthanized in pet shelters each year. It is simply irresponsible to bring another litter of kittens into the world when there are too few homes for existing animals.
Spaying is considered major surgery because it involves entering the abdomen to remove both the ovaries and uterus, although the procedure is safe and routine when performed by a qualified veterinarian. And while surgery is possible at any point in the estrous cycle, most veterinarians refuse to spay cats in heat because congested blood vessels in the reproductive organs create an increased risk of heavy bleeding.
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