What to Expect if Your Cat is in Heat

As a female cat’s body prepares for mating and bearing kittens, it will encounter a range of physical changes. This is commonly known as having a cat in heat, and is a situation that every pet owner should be prepared for. When you are, the benefits will be felt by pets and owners alike. Our experts at Asheville Pawz are here to help you know what to expect.

What is a cat in heat?

A cat in heat, otherwise known as going through the estrous cycle, is a female cat that is in a cycle that can be compared to a human woman’s menstrual cycle. As such, the feline will experience a range of hormonal changes as it becomes hormonally receptive to intercourse and reproduction.

While all cats are different, yours may start the cycle from as early as four months old. Once it starts, the female cat will be in heat for around one week. This cycle will subsequently repeat itself every two to three weeks and will continue until she becomes pregnant or is spayed. The process usually begins in spring, which is known as the breeding season.

After having kittens, a cat may resume the estrous cycle around eight weeks after birth.

What should you expect from a cat in heat?

As a pet owner, you should be responsive to the signs that you have a cat in heat. The most common symptoms include;

  • Howling, 
  • Genital licking,
  • Assuming the mating position,
  • Not eating,
  • Pacing the home.

While the howling is actually to attract a mate, being in heat can be uncomfortable for your cat. So, if you are not prepared to raise or rehome the kittens, it’s probably best to get your cat spayed to prevent unnecessary discomfort.

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Asheville Pet Care Team

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