What Happens When Cats Are In Heat
There are various stages that a cat will go through when theyre in heat. Several factors can also influence when a cat goes into heat for the first time, such as their breed, the time of year, and their physical condition.
There are five stages of the heat cycle, each with a unique timeframe and associated symptoms. Below, well break down each of the five stages of a cats heat cycle.2
Spaying Your Cat Before Heat
A spay surgery, or ovariohysterectomy, is considered a relatively low-risk, routine, surgery if the cat is not in heat. Ideally, you will have your cat spayed before her first heat to keep things simple.
Vets generally recommend spaying kittens by the age of six months. That’s because most female kittens will have their first heat cycle between the ages of six and nine months. Though uncommon, some cats will go into heat as early as four months of age. Many animal shelters and rescue groups prefer to spay kittens as young as eight weeks of age. This prevents accidental pregnancies later on. If you are concerned about making sure you have your cat spayed before her first heat, you may want to talk to your vet about doing the surgery early.
Once a cat begins her heat cycle, she can easily become pregnant. Most feline heat cycles last about four to seven days. If she does not mate during this heat cycle, she will probably continue to go into heat again every few weeks.
If your cat does go into heat, you are now faced with a decision. Should you wait to spay your cat after her heat, or should you have her spayed while she is still in heat?
Spaying A Cat In Heat
If your cat is in heat, her instincts and hormones are telling her to mate. Therefore, she will go to great lengths to escape the home and find males to mate with. This is why a cat in heat should be kept securely indoors to avoid an unwanted pregnancy.
Unfortunately, it can be frustrating to live with a cat exhibiting the signs of estrus. Cats in heat tend to vocalize excessively. They may obsessively try to escape their homes. Some will even mark areas of the home with urine.
If you don’t think you can deal with this behavior for about a week, then you may ask your vet about having her spayed as soon as possible. Though spaying a cat in heat is not ideal, it can be done. However, there are some disadvantages to this.
When a cat is in heat, the blood vessels that supply the reproductive organs and surrounding tissues become engorged with blood. The tissues may be more prone to tearing. This adds up to a surgery that is more complicated and lengthy than a routine spay. It will also be more expensive because of the extra time and supplies needed. Though the increased risk to the cat is minor, some vets prefer to avoid doing surgery on a cat in heat.
If you have scheduled your cat’s spay surgery in advance and find that she has started her first heat right before the surgery, be sure to contact your vet for advice. It may be more practical for you, your cat, and the vet to postpone the surgery.
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Spaying Your Cat During Any Heat Cycle
It is possible to have a cat spayed while in heat, but this is not an ideal situation. Spay surgery during a heat cycle has some risks. One of the biggest disadvantages is that female cats become engorged in heat. Their organs and tissues fill up with blood to prepare for mating. The tissues can easily tear during spay surgery, creating unnecessary complications.
Unfortunately, the chance of tearing makes the spay surgery process a longer and more expensive one. If tearing occurs, the cat will experience more pain and a lengthier recovery. Keep in mind that once your cat goes into heat for the first time, she may go into heat every few weeks until she becomes pregnant. It can be tough to schedule surgery during a time outside of the heat cycle.
What Are The Symptoms Of A Cat Going Into Heat
The very first signs that your cat is going in heat are often behavioral. During this time, your felines hormones will change. Therefore, her behaviors will often change as well!
Many cats rub against their owners more than usual. They become very demanding of affection and may even persistently rub up against furniture.
When their backs are stroked, they may raise the rear quarters and stomp their back feet a few times. Typically, this is one of the last behaviors to occur, though.
Many females will become highly vocal. They may meow more at their owners and other household members, or they may seemingly meow at nothing! Some cats will yowl in the middle of the night, which can be pretty troublesome for their owners.
Its a bit like having a crying baby, except nothing you do will make the cat stop meowing for very long.
Some females will begin to urinate more frequently and may even exhibit marking behaviors. Accidents outside the litterbox are common during this period. A females urine contains pheromones and hormones, which will let nearby males know of her breeding status.
Of course, you dont have any males in your home , but the cats hormones dont know that.
These symptoms will continue while your cat is in heat.
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How Is Spaying In Dogs Similar To A Tubal Ligation In Humans
There are few similarities between spaying a dog in heat and performing a tubal ligation in a woman during her menstrual cycle:
- The most common similarity is that there is a serious risk of complications and both doctors and vets tend to recommend against doing so
- Both surgeries will prevent future pregnancies and may terminate current ones
- Tissues surrounding the surgery site are more apt to tear as they are swollen
Is There A Way To Prevent Heat
The good news is that there are ways to help prevent heat in cats. One way is by spaying your cat. This will help to reduce the hormones that trigger heat cycles.
Another way to prevent heat in cats is through the use of injections. These can help regulate their hormones and reduce the chances of your cat going into heat. But there may be potential side effects associated with these treatments. If you are concerned about your cat going into heat, talk to your veterinarian about these and other options.
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Spaying A Cat Procedure: What To Expect
First, make an appointment with your veterinarian. Your vet will perform a physical examination to make sure your cat is in good health, and may perform bloodwork to ensure your cat will be fine under anesthesia. This is a great time to ask about any concerns you may have regarding the procedure.
Most hospitals will have you drop your cat off in the morning on the day of surgery. Barring any complications, they will discharge your cat the same day once she has recovered from anesthesia and your veterinarian is satisfied with her status.
Your cat may be groggy and uninterested in food for the rest of the day this is normal. Your veterinarian will provide your cat with appropriate pain management before discharge and will most likely send you home with more medication to keep her comfortable. Increasingly, veterinarians will give injections of timed-release pain medications prior to discharge, which means you wont have to administer any medications at home.
There Are Four Stages Of Heat Cycles In Cats
A heat cycle can last from 4 to 7 days. The female cat will go into heat several times a year until she mates. When a female cat hits the reproductive age, she is called a queen.
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Is Your Cat In Heat
When a cat is in heat, she is fertile and receptive to mating. Your cats heat cycle usually lasts for around three weeks, although it can vary from cat to cat. The most common trigger for a cat to go into heat is the lengthening of daylight hours , although some cats may go into heat regardless of the season. Other triggers can include stress, weight loss or gain, and changes in her environment.
She Has An Underlying Medical Condition
While peeing everywhere is a sign that your cat is in heat, its not the only possible reason maybe your cat is sick.
Some diseases cause felines to pee more often, and sometimes they even lose their ability to control their bladders. These illnesses include urinary tract infection, kidney disease, arthritis, and diabetes.
If you notice your cat looking extremely uncomfortable while peeing, you should call your vet to ask whether a check-up is needed.
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Why Is My Spayed Cat In Heat
When cat enters heat after being spayed, the problem is likely due to the surgery not being completely successful. However, there are some other reasons why a cat will have symptoms of heat after being spayed. They include:
The release of hormones can also result in something known as phantom pregnancy in cats. This is when the cat believes they are pregnant due to the hormonal changes, even though no fetuses are gestating. While the above reasons can lead to a spayed cat going into heat, it is important to note this is very rarely recorded in felines. The highest recorded instance is of surgical error, but treatment is available.
Does Spaying Cause A Cat To Gain Weight
Spaying a cat does may their metabolism to slow down slightly. As a result, spayed cats are more at risk of gaining weight. However, you can help keep your cat healthy by making adjustments to their diet if required and introducing more activity and exercise into their daily routine to prevent obesity.
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Male & Female Cats In Heat What You Need To Know
The term in heat means when a cat is ready to mate, which can be a daunting thought for any pet owner. If youre wondering what to do when your cat is in heat, call Best Friends Vets on 01202 485880 to book an appointment with a nurse. Talk to our team about your cats cycle and discuss neutering.
Our vet Stefan recommends neutering your kitten at four to five months of age to prevent unwanted pregnancies . If your cat is allowed outside at this age without being neutered, theres a good chance that he/she will mate, and kittens will be on their way. When it comes to cats in heat, here is everything you need to know.
How often cats are in heat and at what age
Female cats reach sexual maturity and can breed from about 4 months old. They will then come into heat every year around February to October. Female cats have many short periods roughly 2-3 weeks apart. They do not ovulate until they are mated, so this period of heat cycles can be lengthy. Older queens can still have cycles, albeit fewer, until they are spayed. Longer days can trigger reproductive activity, leading to many kittens being born in March, April, and May.
A male cats critical heat season is usually September to March. However, a tom that has reached full maturity can mate with a female cat whenever she allows it.
How to tell if your cat is in heat symptoms & behaviour:
How to care for a female cat in heat
Benefits of neutering
Why Do Cats Make Weird Noises At Night
A cat in heat will be particularly vocal after dark, so your cat will make loud, ear-piercing wails. To the untrained ear, it sounds like your cat is in pain. This yowling sound is known as caterwauling.
Caterwauling is an unmistakable message to local tomcats. Your cat is announcing that shes available to male cats seeking a mate. Caterwauling occurs at night as the streets are largely quiet and empty.
Caterwauling is not one-way communication, so male cats will respond by meowing loudly.
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How Can You Tell If A Cat Is In Heat
Signs to look for include excessive vocalization and agitation .
Your cat may seek extra attention, requesting lots of touching and petting. She might roll around on the floor, stick her hindquarters up in the air, tread her back legs, and spray urine.
Finally, these symptoms may be accompanied by a loss of appetite.
Do Cats Have Periods What To Expect When A Cat Is In Heat
ByZara Gasparpublished 12 August 22
Do cats have periods? We reveal everything you need to know about and what to expect when cats are in heat
Wondering Do cats have periods? It’s a natural thing to ask, especially if you’re the first-time owner of a female cat and aren’t really sure about that particular aspect of cat biology.
Thankfully we’re here to tell you everything you need to know about the feline equivalent of periods, as well as explaining what happens to female cats during puberty, and helping you to understand what to do when they are in estrus and how you can make things easier for both them and yourself.
Find out all about your feline friends monthly cycle, how to spot when your cat is in heat, identify why your cat is bleeding and what to do.
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Are Cats In Pain When In Heat
Cats are not in pain when in heat, but they may act differently than usual and may feel discomfort or become agitated. Their behavior is usually more affectionate and vocal, and they may urinate more frequently. If your cat is in heat and youre concerned about their behavior, seek out veterinary guidance.
According to the latest veterinarian research, the typical length of heat cycles is six days.
What Are The Signs A Cat Is In Heat
There are various signs that can indicate a cat is in heat, such as3:
- Arching rear end into the air
- Demanding behavior
- Loss of appetite
- Wanting to be pet more than usual, especially on their backs and hindquarters
The first signs that will indicate a cat is in heat will typically be them crying and meowing loudly. This is because your cat is trying to let other cats know theyre in heat. A cat in heat will also try to get more affection from their owners and other people. When you pet a cat in heat, they will most likely wiggle their rear end with their tail high in the air.
The influx of hormones that a cat experiences during their heat cycle is what triggers these symptoms. However, as soon as a cat ends their heat cycle, these behaviors will stop as well.
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Your Cat Was Not Spayed
In some cases, a cat showing signs of heat may turn out to be intact, meaning she was never spayed in the first place. This is most common in cases of an adult cat being adopted or a stray cat who is found as an adult without a clear history of spay or previous heat cycles. Sometimes owners believe the cat was spayed based on a lack of heat cycles at the time of rescue, or perhaps they are told by a previous caretaker that the cat is believed to be spayed. In any case, your veterinarian can check for a spay scar by shaving your cat’s belly, and if there is any doubt, blood work can be done to check your cat’s hormone levels. Nowadays, many animal shelters and rescue groups also apply a small green or blue tattoo mark on the abdomen after a spay to ensure a cat’s spay status can be easily confirmed.
What Is Ovarian Remnant Syndrome
Ovarian remnant syndrome is a condition that occurs when ovarian tissue remains inside the body after a female cat is spayed. This tissue can produce estrogen, triggering signs of heat in the cat.
In an intact female cat, the ovaries produce hormones, including estrogen. It is this estrogen that triggers your cat to go into heat. When your cat is spayed, the entire reproductive tract is surgically removed. Therefore, your spayed cat no longer has ovaries, produces estrogen, or goes into heat.
“Ovarian remnants may be left behind during surgery or may be caused by the presence of accessory ovarian tissue…”
If a previously spayed cat shows signs of going into heat, this may indicate that functioning ovarian tissue is still present and producing estrogen. Ovarian remnants may be left behind during surgery or may be caused by the presence of accessory ovarian tissue .
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