Like most of the female mammals, felines have uterus and ovaries. Cats also experience physical cycles that prepare their bodies for fertilization and birth. In humans, this cycle is known as the menstruation cycle, whereas in cats, it is called estrus. When female cats experience estrus, they are said to be in heat. It is a sign that their body is ready for both intercourse and reproduction.
At this stage, you will notice small changes in their behavior. They will howl, roll, and seek constant attention during estrus. The reason behind it is that she is frustrated as she is not able to mate. It makes you also uncomfortable for a small-time period. But if you have decided that your cat can mate, then it’s time for you to prepare yourself for two litters of a kitten every year. Unless you have made plans to send the cats for breeding, the only way to manage this heat is to get her spayed.
If you want to know how to find the cat in heat, how you can manage it, or any other question related to the estrus cycle, keep reading. This article will educate and guide you through the phase.
What is Cat in Heat?
Like mammals, the ovulation in cats occurs during the heat cycle only. The ovaries release eggs even before breeding during this phase. However, unlike other mammals, eggs don’t come out of the sac during the period but causing hormonal fluctuations.
The Estrous causes blood vessel enlargements in them, causing that heat. It is a symptom that tells the cat and the owner that it is time for breeding. Usually, the cats that are not spayed experience this phase. It is an indication for the owner to decide whether they can be sent for breeding or just get spayed. But most of the owners are worried only about the behavioral change in the cat, and it takes time to realize these things.
What is an ideal time that cats go in heat?
The first heat cycle for female cats occurs at the age of six months. But depending upon the hormonal growth and food, the duration may vary. An ideal time for the cat’s heat cycle is between the age of four to twelve months. Usually, the owners and even the vets do not recommend the cats for breeding at the first cycle of heat. It is because either they are too small or not ready for breeding. Hence, it is considered as a puberty stage by many people. But there is no way to stop the cat from the heat cycle.
For a better understanding of the heat cycle, here are the five different stages of Estrous.
|Cat’s Heat Cycle||What happens?||Duration|
|Proestrus||This stage may not be obvious to humans. But usually, the female looks attractive to the male cats. Even then, they will not be ready for mating.||One or two days|
|Estrus||Here is when the heat is started. The female cat is receptive. But external signs are not obvious. The vulva will be swollen, but it is not seen as in dogs.|
The cats do loud vocalizing and roll on the floor most of the time. A decrease in appetite is more commonly seen.
|3 to 14 days|
|Interestrus||If they are not sent for breeding during the Estrus cycle, then the duration is called Interestus. Here the pain is more for cats, and they indulge in weird behaviors.||7 to 21 days|
|Diestrus||The period after ovulation is Diestrus. Even with or without mating, this time is hard for the cats.||35-40 days without pregnancy.|
60-65 days in case if they are pregnant.
|Anestrus||Sexual and Hormonal functions become lower and lighter in these months.||It may occur until the next heat cycle.|
How long does the heat stay in cats?
You can see this behavior change seasonally. That’s how they are medically termed as “Seasonal Polyestrous.” It means they get into the heat cycle seasonally at the specific timing. Other factors that contribute to the heat cycle includes the environment and climate. In the northern hemisphere, the heat cycle starts in mid-February. It continues until October, depending on the region you live in. For the southern hemisphere, this cycle happens just vice versa.
The heat cycle is when the female cats wait for the mating. The heat stays like one week to 10-days initially. If the mating does not occur, the heat disappears. After a specific interval, they tend to be in the heat cycle again, which will be more than 10-days. Throughout the breeding season, this occurs quite often.
What should you do when the cat is in the heat?
With the symptoms, if you have found that the cat is in heat, there is pretty much nothing you can do. But you can always show the care and be prepared about the situation. You can use Cat Relaxants with the doctor’s recommendation. These are usually the pills that are chewable and help to balance and neutralize the hormonal functions. It keeps them calm and avoids them to be indulged in the misbehavior. If you do not want the cats to be under any medication, then there is a Relaxivent Anti-stress formula that can be used as a diffuser. It shows significant improvement, and the results last long for thirty days and more.
Naturally, only breeding the cats can stop the heat cycle. Eventually, the result is that they get pregnant. But if you think you cannot precede them with breeding, then get the cats spayed. It is the only way to prevent cats from unwanted behavior. But you need to check with the vets before you opt the cats for spaying. Because due to the surgical blood loss, the doctors usually recommend spaying cats only after the first heat cycle. It helps them to eliminate the pain when they grow as adults.
Just like any other mammals, even cats have their own heat cycle. It is natural, and as an owner, you don’t have to be worried. But spaying the female cats is the only solution found to date. Offer them with love and care that will help them to calm down. However, take them to medical intervention if you find them too annoying or could not tolerate the behavior at all. We hope that this article helped you to bridge the understanding of the cat’s heat cycle and change in their behavioral patterns.