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Copyright © 2020 Discovery Communications, LLC. Their heat cycle generally lasts from 4 - 12 days. Female cats are polyestrous. Cats are known as induced-ovulators, which … As PetMD explains, an-estrus is the rest period that occurs in between estrus cycles. Female cats are in their reproductive age between 7 to 9 months old until they are around 8 years old. Pet obesity is a significant enough issue that the Association for Pet Obesity reports a whopping 60 percent of cats are obese. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. It is important that female cats do not mate before ten months old, as they may not be … You will likely see some or all of the signs listed in the previous section here. Sometimes it is much safer to spay a female cat than allow her to get pregnant again. Inter-estrus lasts two to three weeks on average. An-estrus typically occurs as a response to seasonal changes like shorter daylight hours. Following the spay surgery, the veterinary surgeon will administer an injection to reverse the effects of the anesthesia. With the sheer numbers of abandoned pet cats who become feral and then get pregnant and have kittens, it is a kindness to spay a female cat before she has had kittens. There is some truth to this myth, in that metabolic changes can occur as a result of the spay surgery. To understand how this might happen to your pet cat, you first need to understand that felines only ovulate after they have mated. The cat vocalizes a lot more and becomes a lot louder. You can still make water available overnight unless your veterinary surgeon specifically recommends otherwise. On average, female cats will have their first heat cycle around the age of six to nine months. The truth is, it may not be difficult to find a home for an adorable pet kitten, but once you adopt out that kitten you lose control over the quality (or not) of future life they have. If she does enter the estrous cycle, it will likely happen less frequently until the warm season returns. During adolescence, your cat will experience a surge in estrogen that will cause her to go into heat for about a week. You can see then, how a female cat may almost always seem to be in heat. Then your cat will go back and repeat the first three stages. We are compensated for referring traffic and business to Amazon and other companies linked to on this site. On average, puberty, or sexual maturity, first occurs in cats at about six months of age, but this can vary slightly by time of year. When the temperatures are warmer and there are 14 to 16 hours of daylight, this will signal the female cat’s body to go into heat. What Are the Most Common Signs Your Cat Is In Heat? Once the female cat is conscious and able to move about, the veterinary surgeon will advise the pet parent on the appropriate use of pain medication as needed to minimize any post-surgical discomfort. Their mammary glands (breast) may swell with milk and they may begin exhibiting maternal behaviors. In some areas of the world, the period during which female cats are open to mating will be dictated by the seasonal shifts in daylight hours and temperature. The biological term for a cat in heat is called “estrous cycle”. Queens (female cats) will go into heat year round. Especially during the increased daylight hours associated with spring and summer, a cat will go into heat every 14 to 21 days for about seven to 10 days. Every heat cycle lasts an average of six days. It is very important to learn about the feline heat cycle so you won’t get caught off-guard when your kitten starts behaving strangely. The question is “how often do cats go into heat?” ... Cat pregnancies typically last around 9 or 10 weeks and can have 3-4 litters of kittens per year. The inter-estrus period will only take place if your female cat does not breed (does not ovulate) and become pregnant during the estrus period. That is, it is known that the periods where animals are most likely to be in heat is during warmer and longer days, i.e. Cats can breed nearly year-round, from late winter into early autumn, with the heaviest "kitten season" running from March through September. The whole surgery typically takes less than 20 minutes. Cats are known as a polyoestrus species. However, these postestrus cycles usually begin when the cat reaches puberty, as early as 4 months right to 10 months of age. Otherwise, the estrous cycles will continue. The cat is fully sedated during the procedure and pain medications are provided for post-surgical care so discomfort is minimized in every respect. As VCA Animal Hospitals explains, mastitis, or inflammation of the mammary glands (the milk-producing glands), which can lead to sepsis if not promptly treated. Different cat breeds will reach puberty at different ages. According to PetMD, it is not unheard of for a female kitten to go into heat for the first time as early as four months of age or as late as 12 months of age. Cats can breed nearly year-round, from late winter into early autumn, with the heaviest "kitten season" running from March through September. Each cycle consists of several stages; the stage called estrus refers to when the female is sexually receptive, or in heat . Animal Planet GO - Watch Full Episodes and Live TV. Bowling Green-Warren County Humane Society, How Long Can Cats Go Without Urinating: What Is Safe & What Isn’t for Your Pet Cat, 10 Top Cat Breeds That Don’t Shed [Does Not Mean Hypoallergenic]. This first stage of the heat cycle lasts just one to two days. This means they can come on heat multiple times in a calendar year (compared to dogs that are dioestrous and only come on … 2  How Long Does a Cat Stay In Heat? Pregnancy places a mother cat at risk of any number of known health issues, including the potentially deadly condition mastitis. According to the Merck Veterinary Manual, false pregnancy is not considered common for companion felines, but it certainly can occur and is important to know about. False feline pregnancy is sometimes also called pseudopregnancy. What age do cats go into heat? When this occurs, it is the result of an incomplete spay surgery where ovarian tissue remains inside the cat’s body. Estrus is the main stage of the feline heat cycle. Female cats go into heat seasonally that last 3 weeks. This is often regulated by seasonal shifts in daylight hours or temperatures. During this time she may have a small … Female cats go into heat every two to three weeks during the mating season which can last from spring to fall. Bengal cats may be in heat for anywhere from 3 days to 3 weeks, though the average heat cycle is 4 to 7 days. When Does a Female Cat Go Into Heat For the First Time? Feline Heat Cycle Unlike dogs, female cats do not cycle at regular intervals throughout the year. Since your tabby is growing up, you may wonder on that question. It also avoids adding to the cat overpopulation problem. While it may appear like your female cat is very affectionate and loving, in truth she is quite frustrated and under a lot of stress while she is in the heat cycle. Met-estrus can last up to 40 days. Sometimes a female cat may display the signs of false or pseudopregnancy even after being spayed. Cats can come into heat as often as every three weeks, and can conceive at any point while they are in heat, meaning that keeping an unspayed adult cat … However, there are far too many pet cats who remain intact and are also overweight. According to Wangford Veterinary Clinic, it will be important to stop offering your female cat food at a certain point the night before the procedure. But once you understand the group of behaviors you are witnessing, it is easier not to worry that something is wrong with your cat. This site is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. This often means that cats are only receptive to breeding from January through October or March through October depending on the regional location. It means that she can go in heat longer than 12 days giving her an extended chance of getting pregnant. The term “seasonally poly-estrous” simply means that adult female cats can become fertile, or receptive to breeding, many times each year. Your email address will not be published. during the spring and summer. Excellent question, I hadn't given this much thought so i have checked with a vet friend of mine. In other areas of the world, and especially in places where it is warm year-round near the equator, cats may go through an estrus cycle every two to three weeks year-round. In a year a cat can go on heat many times. The met-estrus period only takes place if your female cat does breed (does ovulate) and becomes pregnant. Getting your cat spayed prevents her discomfort -- and yours, as you watch and hear her behavior, and avoids the risk of mammary cancer and uterine disease. They can come into heat … This cycle will repeat every two to three weeks. That means in 12 months one female cat … The cat may spot blood or fluids (this does not always occur). Should you spay your female cat or allow her to breed? Cats normally go into heat when there are 14-16 hours of daylight (natural or artificial… If your cat happens to be in heat, it's best to wait until it passes to have a vet spay her. Then dissolvable stitches are used to close the incision site. The cat will urinate (spray or mark) surfaces to spread her pheromones. Female cats do not go through menopause. Female cats go into heat at around 5.5 months-1 year because that's when their body is sexually mature, kind of like how girls get their period around 9-13. Depending on your female cat’s age, life stage and pregnancy status, your veterinary surgeon may wish to do pre-operative blood draw to assess overall health, kidney and liver function and red blood cell count (to assess the risk of anemia). This is why it is so vitally important that you don’t let your female cat slip outside, at least unless your plans include raising a litter of kittens and then finding good homes for them. How often do cats go into heat in a year? While unspayed dogs only come into season once or twice a year, female cats are fertile and come into heat much more regularly. However, her body may interpret the act of mating as equal with conception, even inducing hormonal shifts that would only occur if she was pregnant. A … While these guidelines may differ somewhat depending on your female cat’s age, stage of life, and past or current pregnancy status, this is a general idea of what you can expect to do when preparing your cat for spay surgery. The cat will be monitored throughout the spay surgery for blood oxygen levels and heart rate to be sure all is well. And much like the latter, it's not … Once a kitten has had her first estrous cycle, it will reoccur every two to three weeks until one of two things occur: either the cat gets spayed or the cat gets pregnant. This short, informative video made by a cat owner explains the basics of what to expect when your cat goes into heat for the first time. The cat will rub themselves along the ground. These heat cycles may start as early as the fourth or fifth month of a kitten's life, and will continue until she is either bred or spayed. Most breeders recommend keeping the male cat with the female for 1 to 4 days to ensure that … Cat estrus begins as animals reach sexual maturity, usually at about six months of age, although some cats will go into heat as early as four months and others as late as 10 to 12 months. A spay surgery is one of the most commonly performed surgeries in the veterinary field. Heat cycles in cats … There is some evidence that short-haired cat breeds will experience their first estrus cycle earlier in life than will long-haired cat breeds. The truth, as Bowling Green-Warren County Humane Society explains, is that it is not necessary to wait until a female cat has had one litter of kittens before spaying is safe. Cats are seasonally polyestrous which means they go into heat on a seasonal schedule, typically February through October in the Northern Hemisphere. How long does cat … Cats have a period of puberty, or sexual maturation, which is similar to the period that occurs in humans. If you do not have plans to become a professional or avocational cat breeder, or if your budget will not provide for feline pregnancy emergency medical interventions, it is much safer and smarter to have your female cat spayed on or before her first heat cycle. According to Companions Spay and Neuter, the feline heat cycle has five discrete stages. The World's #1 Nonfiction Media Company. As well, modern feline medical science shows some evidence that spaying a female cat before she goes into heat for the first time may make for a healthier adult cat. If your cat is over the age of seven, your feline veterinarian may want to order some pre-surgical bloodwork to assess kidney and liver function before surgery. Just like human, tabbies are also experiencing a female life cycle which set up their bodies … Just as people don’t need to get pregnant to feel like “real people,” so too can cats have a very enriching and enjoyable quality of life without having kittens. Generally, all cats have their first sexual behavior before finishing their growth and reach adulthood. No doubt choosing to add a female kitten to your family will introduce some difficult questions into your life. The cat’s vulva (genitals) may appear visibly swollen. A feline veterinarian can evaluate whether the female cat is in a stage of pregnancy where it is still safe to perform the spay surgery. Common Myths About Cats in Heat and Safe Spaying, Understanding the Cat Heat Cycle From Start to Finish. You will want to refrain from offering either food or water on the morning of the spay procedure. As VCA Animal Hospital explains, the most common and visible signs and symptoms that a kitten has entered the heat cycle for the first time are as follows: Another sign that your cat has begun a heat cycle is if you suddenly start seeing strange cats showing up in your yard. When the daylight hours are reduced during the winter season, a female cat will be less likely to go into heat at all. Long-haired cat breeds, such as Persians, tend do go through puberty at slightly later ages, ranging from 10 months to as many as 18 months. The female cat is not yet in heat and is uninterested in mating (even if the males around her are very interested!). This means your queen could go into heat as often as every two weeks over the course of a 6- to a 9-month breeding season. In this article, we go into detail to discuss how often do cats go into heat, what to expect when the heat cycle begins, how often cats go into heat, and effective methods to prevent the heat cycle from occurring. For the most part, cats become sexually mature at around 5 to 9 months of age, although it varies. Female kittens grow up quickly. It is easy to panic when you hear your cat yowling repeatedly and see your cat rolling around on the floor in clear distress. There is no medically sound reason why a cat that has already delivered kittens cannot be safely spayed. Male cats take a bit longer to mature but both male and female cats are ready to mate before they are a year old. Once you have spayed your female cat, the affection she displays will be un-marred by hormonal fluctuations she has no control over. Keeping company with a companion animal can be an amazing part of the experience of growing up. When do cats go into heat and for how long? As long as you provide your pet cat with a complete and balanced feline diet and plenty of daily activity, playtime, and enrichment, you are unlikely to be faced with feline obesity issues after spaying. The average age for most cats to experience their first heat … Cats are polyestrus breeders, meaning they can go through multiple heat periods in a year (and can have as many as five litters in that year). he tells me that cats do not go through a menopause like humans so they can continue to go into heat into old age. Next, the surgical incision area is shaved and sterilized. v: Cats go into heat around eight months of age and cats can have their first heat at six months. This is especially true if you are caring for a young female kitten or cat for the first time. As a pet writer and blogger, Shannon is passionate about crafting knowledge-based, science-supported articles that foster healthy bonds of love and respect between people and animals. While it is never pleasant to contemplate, sometimes spaying a pregnant cat is the best way to prevent bringing kittens into the world that is already vastly overpopulated by unwanted, relinquish, or feral former pet felines. Many cat owners express concern about the behavioral changes they observe in their cat during a heat … While you may not always see the male cats, you will smell them – male intact cats will also spray-mark the area around your home to try to ward off other male cats who also want to try to mate. How Frequently Does a Cat Have Heat Cycles? Your email address will not be published. They’re able to have as many as five litters in a calendar year. If the queen does not breed, she will go out of heat approximately 1 - 3 weeks and will go back into heat… Is There a Specific “Breeding Season” for Female Cats? How often do cats come on heat? This is called “ovarian remnant syndrome” and it always requires a second surgery to remove the remaining ovarian tissue. The experience of going into heat repeatedly and being unable to mate can be far more stressful to a female cat than the experience of being fixed one time and never dealing with it again. Siamese and Burmese are breeds that often go into heat for the first time at the earliest ages. When they become mature, they will have their first heat cycle. The cat will raise its hindquarters and tail when petted. How often do cats come into heat? This shot generally takes effect in as little as 15 minutes. After this, the female cat may go back into heat. According to MSPCA Angell, the spay surgery (also called an “ovariohysterectomy” for a female cat is a very fast procedure. Pro-estrus is the first stage of the estrus or heat cycle. JupiterImages/Thinkstock | Design Pics/The Irish Image Collection/Thinkstock | iStockphoto/Thinkstock (4). When my female cat … It is when a female is most “in-tune” with a male cat and may last anywhere from 4-6 days if the cat mates and possibly extend by three more … This is more common if your female cat is pregnant or is in the golden years of life. But depending on where you live, your cat may spend several months out of the … What Happens During the Spaying Procedure for Female Cats? Especially during the increased daylight hours associated with spring and summer, a cat will go into heat every 14 to 21 days for about seven to 10 days. What Does It Mean That Cats Are “Seasonally Poly-estrous?”. Many myths continue to circulate about when it is or isn’t safe to spay a female cat. Cats typically cycle from January until late into the fall, at least in the Northern Hemisphere. According to the ASPCA, a shocking 3.2 million cats may be sitting in shelters right now waiting to be adopted – even as you are reading this. She will display frustration and irritability until she mates or is spayed -- or until the darker days of autumn. Many species of animals go through a specific breeding season. Heat cycles in cats last from several days to two weeks or longer and repeat every two to three weeks. Those that live indoors or in tropical regions can cycle all year long. Learn About What Happens When Cats Go Into Heat. Cats that live in the Northern Hemisphere have a mating season that lasts from March to September, while the mating season of cats that live in the Southern Hemisphere lasts from October … When a cat goes into heat, this is called the “estrous cycle.” An intact female cat is called a “queen.”. This is protective for your cat and can benefit overall health and longevity. A cat that has given birth can go into heat as soon as seven to 10 days after delivery, but usually takes about four weeks. In heat refers to a female cat’s readiness to have sex with a tom to … The average litter size for a cat is between 2 and 5 kittens. Many first-time cat owners mistake the signs that their cat is in estrus with symptoms of a cat being in severe pain. How to Prepare Your Female Cat for Spay Surgery. What behaviors can you expect from a cat in heat? Cats cannot get pregnant until they enter into their first heat cycle. For a female cat, the cat will be placed on a heated pad for comfort and then fully sedated (with general anesthesia) through the use of a face mask. When you consider that an adult female cat can have three or more litters per year every single year of her adult life, it is easy to see how draining that can become – to the point where her lifespan is potentially shortened as a result. The number of daylight hours typically has the largest impact on when cats will reach sexual maturity. This holds for companion felines as well as wild and feral felines. Intact (unneutered) male cats – whether pets or feral male cats – can often hear and smell a female cat in heat from a surprising distance away and will come to try to mate with her. If you don’t know what you are looking at, it can be a bit scary the first time your cat goes into heat! The pet parent will return home with a comprehensive post-operative care plan to keep their cat calm and quiet to allow for the quickest possible healing. The experience of becoming pregnant repeatedly can be incredibly dangerous and depleting for a female cat. The mating season in cats is determined by a number of factors, including the length of daylight and the presence of other cats. It is far better to teach your kids how to responsibly care for a family pet by preventing unwanted births that may add to the number of animals already waiting in shelters to be adopted. But just because your female cat has mated does not always mean that she has successfully conceived. “Going into heat” means that a female cat is now able to get pregnant. Do male cats go into heat? Allowing a cat to go into heat once before spaying may increase the risk of certain cancers later in life, including mammary cancer and uterine cancer. 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