Not many people are aware of the fact that a cat’s reproductive system is seasonal which means that cats can give birth only during a particular time in the year, which is generally warm months. A non-spayed female cat that has reached reproductive age is called a Queen. In this article we will be talking about a very common yet very confusing topic- How long does a cat stay in the heat.
How long is a cat in heat? Is my cat in heat? For answers to questions like these please read on. Cats as young as 6 months old can experience a heat cycle especially those cats that have not been spayed. This is called their first heat cycle or Estrus. There are five different phases that take place during Estrus:-
Proestrus- This is the phase where the cat starts getting attracted to other males but it is also a little careful at the same time and does not mate. Body hormones start building up. Affectionate behavior is a common thing observed in cats during this time. The length of this period could be from 12 months to two days.
Estrus- This is the phase when the cat understands the male signs and becomes receptive to them. Visible signs here would be blood discharge, loud vocalizing, urine marks, etc., which most of the owners find unusual as they do not understand what is happening. Once a male cat breeds her she would be ready to ovulate. This phase generally lasts for a week on average.
Interestrous- This is the period between estrus cycles in case the cat isn’t bred or if the cat is bred but fails to ovulate. This can last from 7 to 10 days. The signs visible during the estrus start again and can alternatively keep going and coming back until the cat is either bred or spayed.
Diestrus- This is the period after estrus and mating. The cat goes through different reproductive stages and if it is pregnant, pregnancy will last for 60 to 66 days before she gives birth to her kittens. In case the cat is not pregnant, she will stay away from the heat cycle for at least 30 to 35 days.
Anestrus- This is the phase of sexual and hormonal inactivity between estrus phases. It could last for 2 to 3 months.
These are the steps that you could follow to calm your cat while she is in the heat cycle:-
- Stroke your cat’s lower back and she would respond by raising her pelvis.
- Try and offer extra love and affection to your cat while she is in heat. Physical petting calms the cat and it would have mental ease that you are there for her.
- Try and distract your cat as much as possible, this takes her mind away from everything that is happening and is bound to feel better.
- Consult your vet regularly.
For cats that are pets, it is highly recommended to spay them which is a surgical procedure to remove a female cat’s ovaries and uterus. This helps in eliminating accidental pregnancy and reproductive diseases that may be caused later in a cat’s life. Cats should be spayed before the start of their heat cycle; if spaying is done while the cat is pregnant there are chances of surgical abnormalities.