Cat in Heat – Signs and Symptoms

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Cat in Heat.

Oestrus is the fertile period of a female cat’s reproductive cycle. It is also known as ‘In Heat’, ‘Being in Season’, ‘On Call’ and ‘Calling’

At what age does a female cat come in heat?

A cat comes in heat when she sexually matures. Usually a cats first season is somewhere between 4 and 10 months old with average age around six months. Siamese and Burmese cats are quite precocious and will often have their first season at 4 months of age.

What are the signs that my female cat is in heat?

Any or all of the signs below may be an indication that your cat is in heat.

  • Your cat becomes more affectionate than usual
  • Your cat rolls around the floor
  • Your cat carries her tail to one side.
  • Your cat becomes very vocal and meows a lot. (This is where the term ‘Calling’ comes from) This vocalisation can become very noisy with loud yowls day and night. Her voice may become more piercing than usual.
  • Your cat assumes a position with her front quarters on the ground and her bottom pointing in the air.
  • Your cat’s hind legs may ‘tread’
  • Your cat licks her vulval area more than usual
  • Your cat rubs her face up against you or furniture more often than usual.
  • If you pat your cat on her back near her tail your cat will raise her bottom in the air and may begin ‘treading’ with her hind feet.
  • If she is a cat who is usually kept inside she will be desperate to get outside, waiting for any opportunity to escape.

How long will my cat be in heat?

Oestrus usually last for between 7 to 10 days.

How often will my cat be in heat?

Unless your cat mates she will continue to come into heat every 2 to 3 weeks.

If a cat comes into heat many times without a pregnancy there are associated health risks. A intact female cat that has never been bred has a high risk of developing cancer of the reproductive organs or developing pyometra which is a life threatening infection of the uterus.

How can I prevent my cat coming into heat?

Oestrus can easily be prevented by having your female cat spayed before 6 months of age or at the age your vet recommends.

What do I do if my cat comes into heat?

You must avoid unwanted pregnancies by keeping her inside away from male cats. It’s not too late to take her to the vet to get spayed although some vets charge more for spaying a cat which is in season.

More Reading: How to tell if your cat is pregnant, Cat giving birth – Labor & Delivery

I wouldn’t mind my cat having kittens, shall I just let her out while she is in heat?

If you let your female cat out while she is in heat you risk her catching a number of diseases from contact with an unknown male cat. Some of these diseases can cause death. It’s not worth the risk.

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