If you have a female cat, you will wonder how to know if my cat is in heat or rearing. This period is important for felines and you must know what to do at all times. We explain everything about heat in cats: symptoms , behavioural and physical changes, when they are in heat and how to avoid it .
What does it mean that a cat is jealous
By definition, a cat is said to go into heat when she is in the fertile period of her reproductive cycle and is ovulating.
Therefore, she is going to want to find a partner, that is, a male cat that will mount her to procreate. For this reason, they are sexually receptive and able to become pregnant.
When does a cat go into heat?
Normally, cats go into heat in spring, but it can last until fall. The light of the sun and that the days begin to be longer, favour and influences that the cats are in heat.
And although this is the general rule, there may be exceptions and your kitty can ovulate in other months.
When do cats have their first heat?
If your young feline pet is very small and has never been in heat, you should know that it is very difficult to specify an exact date of when the first heat of our cats will occur.
But usually this happens during the first six to eight months of age. At the end of this article, you have more information about this aspect.
How to detect if a cat is in heat
When your animal goes into heat, it will experience a series of symptoms, behavioral changes and some physical changes that will make you know that, indeed, it is in that period.
Let’s see them in detail:
How to know if you are in heat for your behaviour
Below you can find a list of behavioural changes that your cat may have when she is in heat or when she is reared.
It does not matter if you are not an expert on cats, if you observe or detect one or more of these symptoms, have no doubt that your kitten may be in heat.
They meow constantly
The first change that you will notice is that your cat will begin to meow insistently. This is done to attract the attention of male cats. Perhaps this is the most annoying change of behavior of a cat in heat, since they can become very insistent.
The meow is performed with great power, in a very high tone and in a very repetitive way. Sometimes it may seem like a loud moan. Being animals with high nocturnal activity, they do it with much more intensity at night.
They are very cuddly
Another sign that a cat is in heat is that they become especially cuddly or affectionate. It does not matter if your pet already was, it will still be much more. Not to mention those with a surly character, the change is spectacular.
This results in constant rubbing with its master or owner. They constantly seek physical contact and receive caresses and pampering. In short, you will notice that she is much more affectionate than usual and purrs a lot.
They want to escape
Another change you are going to notice, especially if your kitten lives indoors, is that she is probably going to desperately try to get out of the house.
Although this does not happen in all cases, it is true that the vast majority of female cats try to escape during heat. Why? Very simple: they try to find a cat to ride them.
Therefore, it is very important that in these cases you are very careful not to let her out, especially if she has always lived indoors.
Remember: if your cat goes into heat, try to keep her inside, especially if you don’t want her to get pregnant. You could also eat something outside that makes you uncomfortable.
You will also notice that very often your cat in heat is going to get into a position in which the back is sunken and the hind legs are raised. It may seem like a submission posture, but it is not.
For example, while petting your feline pet, it may lower its head and back, raise its rear, and tilt its tail, exposing its genitals. This posture is called the riding stance .
They rub with everything
Another of the behavior changes of a very characteristic pussycat in heat is that you will notice that she will want to rub her body all over.
Whether on walls, corners, furniture, the floor, on the carpet, in you …, in short, anywhere that is possible.
They do this to try to impregnate their scent of a cat in heat or rearing in as many places as possible, hoping that if a male cat passes by, he can smell it and know that there is a sexually receptive cat very close.
Loss of appetite
Finally, we have the loss of appetite in ovulating cats. It does not happen in all, but it is true that in some mininas the desire to eat or feed decreases in the heat cycle . Do not confuse this behaviour with that of a jealous cat .
How to know if you are in heat for physical changes
Apart from the behavioral changes that we have explained in the previous section, a couple of physical changes that female cats in heat can be detected. One is very easy to discover and the other, on the other hand, you will have to pay a little more attention.
They lick their genitals a lot
In the period of time in which a cat is in heat, her genitals usually experience some inflammation or swelling. For this reason they can be easily seen, since they increase slightly in size.
This fact is still something that represents a certain “nuisance” to female cats, so it is very common to see them licking their sexual organs and nearby areas quite frequently.
Strong smell of your urine
During a cat’s heat, her urine remarkably changes its smell, becoming much stronger than usual, much like ammonia.
In fact, the chemical composition of urine during heat is very different, having in it a large amount of pheromones that will attract male cats.
There are also cases that even some females begin to urinate outside their litter box, marking the walls or furniture with their urine. It is their attempt to indicate their availability to reproduce through their pheromones.
How is the zeal of the cats
Contrary to what happens with female dogs, female cats in heat do not bleed during their cycle. Therefore, if your pet is bleeding from his genitals, something other than heat is happening to them, so you should quickly go to the vet.
Zeal in cats is divided into 4 phases :
- Proestro: in this phase the cat shows a behavior of heat. She attracts the male, but does not let him ride her
- Estrus: it is the phase known as heat, properly speaking. The female is allowed to ride by the male. Zeal behaviours such as yowling and sniffing become more apparent.
- Right-handed : it is the phase between one Estro and another.
- Anestrus : it is the resting phase.
The heat stage in cats lasts approximately between 7 and 10 days. Therefore, at the right time of year, they may even come into heat repeatedly (if they haven’t been mated) every 2 to 3 weeks.
You should also know that domestic cats are much more likely to have more heat cycles than those that live wild or outdoors. This is because inside the home, there is usually more light and a more welcoming temperature than outside.
How to avoid heat in cats
As you could see at the beginning, a cat in heat can be quite annoying and requires a lot of attention. There is also the danger that she gets pregnant without your wanting it. Therefore, if you never want her to have babies, it is best to sterilize your pet.
It is true that there are drugs that your veterinarian can prescribe to avoid the symptoms of heat in your cat. But ask and inform yourself well, since in some cases, the use of these drugs usually carry more problems than benefits, due to possible side effects.
The best way to prevent your cat from entering this tape cover is to sterilize it. After sterilization, she will stop entering these heat stages and will become much less territorial. I will also be less likely to mark or scratch the furniture.
Do male cats have heat?
Male cats do not have a true heat. They may be able to mate with the female at any time, as long as the stimulation has been sufficient through olfactory or visual stimuli provided by the female in heat.
From that moment, they too may begin to call their beloved with piercing meows, show restlessness and escape attempts, and may even urinate out of place as part of a marking ritual.
It is very important to be very careful with our male cats this season. It is when they begin to fight against any other male cat that crosses their path. They fight to protect their territories and of course, when fighting they can suffer from scratches, bites, and can contract diseases that are transmitted through saliva.
These include feline leukemia and feline immunodeficiency syndrome. Both diseases are incurable, so you have to be very careful with them.