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Is My Cat In Heat?


cat_in_heat.jpgIf your cat is not spayed, she will eventually experience coming into heat. It is important to understand what being in heat or oestrus. Heat, oestrus, and estrus are all terms that can be used to describe the condition of being in heat, or fertile and receptive to mating. It is the period of time during with the females body is able to receive fertilization from a male through the mating process and conceive a litter of kittens. Understanding how conception works in felines is not necessary in figuring out if your cat is in heat but is worth researching so that you understand how the process works.

What Is A Heat?

Breeding season, in cats, usually stretches from March to September and is a cause of dread in those who work on shelters that have an animal kill policy. The influx of kittens from unspayed cats simply eliminates the chances of older cats (even the kittens from the previous year).

Cats are polyestrus, meaning that they will experience heat cycles throughout their fertile years. These cycles can begin as early as four or five months and continue for a few days up to two weeks, recurring every two to three weeks. This leads people to make the assumption that a cat is always in-heat, it is inaccurate but understandable. No one can say that it is painful, however the behaviors of a cat in heat lead people to believe it is at least uncomfortable.

Is My Cat In Heat?

Here are the signs for feline estrus. Please be aware that a cat in heat will be desperate to find relief. A cat that never attempted to get outside will suddenly be trying to dart past your door. There is no reason to avoid spaying your female- a kitten can be spayed very young without any additional health complications. There are even increased benefits to spaying before the first heat. If, however, you do not get your female spayed before her heat, it is possible to spay during heat.

Immediately before your cat enters a heat cycle, they may become unusually affectionate and rub their hindquarters against furniture, toys and peoples. Your female may spend extra time cleaning their genital area.

WARNING! If your female engages in excessive licking of the genital area without the other symptoms listed you may want to visit the vet to check for a urinary tract infection.

Your female will then engage in a loud and often obnoxious mating call. This will be followed by assumptions of the mating position to show she is receptive to mating. The mating position places the head down with front legs bent, the rear end and tail are raised and the female will tread the floor with her back legs as though walking in place. Spraying or marking, something you may have thought to avoid by getting a female over a male, may also occur as the female tries to encourage males to come to her.

If your female does not mate she will continue to go into heat or oestrus as often as every two to three weeks for several months out of every year until she is mated or spayed. Once she has delivered her litter the cycle will begin again.



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