How Often Can a Cat Go into Heat?

Sep 15, 2020
cats go into heatAs the breeding season approaches and the length of the day begin to increase, the entire feline family begins to come on call. This behavior can be very alarming to some people who have not seen these signs before.

This period is known as the estrus cycle or the heat cycle. If you don’t have information about this season, you can ask your vet for advice.

This article will look at the different phases of the heat cycle, how often cats go into heat when cats go into warmth, and how long cats can stay in the heat.


When do cats go into heat the first time?

Cats have their first estrous cycle when they reach puberty. The estrous process is also commonly known as the heat cycle. Cats generally reach their sexual maturity or puberty when they reach approximately six months of age after the cat goes through the heat cycle several times a year.


Phases of Heat Cycles in Cats

The estrous cycle consists of several phases and will discuss these stages.
 
  • Pro estrus

The estrous cycle’s first phase lasts only two days, and there are no behavioral changes during this phase.
 
  • Estrus

This phase lasts almost seven days, and specific behavioral changes are observed in cats. In this phase, your cat will be receptive to males and can become pregnant.
 
  • Interests

Interests occur only if a cat does not ovulate. This phase lasts from 13 to 18 days, and then the proestrus begins again.
 
  • Diestrus

That is the phase in which ovulation occurs in the female, and it happens when a female cat and a male cat mate.
 
  • Anestrus

Anestrus means there is no heat cycle. It can occur due to reasons such as shorter daylight hours or constant exposure to indoor lights.


How often do cats go into heat?

Cats can go through multiple cycles during their breeding season, which is why they are called seasonal polyesters.
Besides, the breeding season of cats also varies. It depends on the area they live in, environmental factors such as the hours of light, and the temperature.


How long do cats stay in heat?

Cats stay in heat for no more than a few days, usually an average of about six days. If the cat does not mate during the heating phase, she will come out of this phase in a brief period. That is why the cat’s heat cycle ranges from one to six weeks, and the length of the cat’s cycle is approximately three weeks.
 

Signs of estrus

The most common symptoms that appear when the cat is in heat are:
  • Loud Yowling and Meowing  

The most apparent sign that appears when a cat is in the heat is that they will be very vocal. The cats will make a lot of meows, and they will do it very loud. This extra-loud, the high pitched howl is done to attract males. Loud meows are the first sign you’ll notice when your cat is in heat.
 

  • They appear more affectionate.

Their normal behavior for cats to rub against everything, including you, spread their scent. When cats are in heat, their scent changes, so they will rub their body against everything with more passion for replacing their usual scent to attract males.
 

  • They Spray Urine 

When cats are in heat, they "spray" urine on vertical objects such as furniture, it is the same as non-neutered males’ behavior. Cats do this to spread their scent.
 

  • Unnecessary Licking 

Cats like to groom themselves and spend most of the day grooming, but they groom themselves more than usual and lick their genitals when in heat. Most cats in heat have a swollen vulva.
 

  • Loss of Appetite

Most cats will stop feeding when they go into heat. Their appetite will remain changed for up to two weeks and if it does not usually reach after that, contact your veterinarian.
 

  • They want to go out

Don’t let your cat in heat go out and in the period of time of the breeding season also. During heat, do not let your kitten out; there will be some male cats hanging around your house, you have to keep her away from them. You can isolate her in a safe room in your home, in your bedroom, or any other place. Make sure she doesn’t escape when you open the back or front door of your house. Keep your kitty away from windows or glass doors so that you cannot see any tomcats.


In which the estrous stage cycle can a cat get pregnant?

A cat in heat can breed at any time. Cats are induced ovulators, which means that their egg will release from the ovary during copulation before going to the uterine. Some females require three to four mattings in 24 hours to ovulate. It usually only takes a minute or two for cats to mate so that they can mate many times in a short time.

A cat in heat will mate with several cats, so a litter of kittens can have different parents.


What is the gestation period of a cat?

The Gestation period of cats is approximately 64 to 71 days or 9 weeks.


How to prevent your cat from becoming pregnant?

The best and most appropriate way to prevent your cat from becoming pregnant is to remove her ovaries (sterilization or ovariohysterectomy) surgically, known as a spay. It would be best if you did it before the first estrous cycle.

The recommended age for ovariohysterectomy is six months because it is challenging to predict cats’ first cycle. If you have a male cat, you should go with neutering, but usually, you don’t need to worry about unwanted kittens because the female goes away before birth date, especially the feral felines.


What to do if the cat goes into heat?

If your cat is in heat, then you should take a few steps to ensure that she remains safe and comfortable during this phase. Whatever you do, your main goal should be to calm your cat and relieve her anxiety and restlessness. And make sure before allow cats mating to have their vaccinations because veterinary clinics don’t prefer to give any medicine during the feline pregnancy period or even when the female in heat.
 

  • Don’t let your cat go out.

During heat, do not let your kitten out; there will be some male cats hanging around your house, you have to keep her away from them. You can isolate her in a safe room in your home, in your bedroom, or any other place. Make sure she doesn’t escape when you open the back or front door of your house. Keep your kitty away from windows or glass doors so that you cannot see any tomcats.

  • Give them lots of attention.

Lots of petting and attention can help calm your cat and ease her anxiety. You can keep your cat busy by playing with her. If play doesn’t distract your kitty’s attention, you can use some attractive toys to keep her occupied while you’re away.

  • Keep the litter box clean.

Keep her litter box clean, as this will help encourage her to mark her litter box, and her furniture will remain safe.

  • Use Catnip

Use catnip both in its fresh and dried form because it has a calming effect on our cats’ heat.

  • Don’t punish them

Remember that your cat is helpless during this heating phase, and you must understand that it is a biological procedure if you punish her and yell at her will only make things worse instead of calming her down.


Final words

If your cat goes into heat before you can neuter her, you should keep her indoors and away from males. Talk to your vet about how to help your cat through this phase.

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