Beat The Heat
Cats in heat, you will notice your female cat can sometimes be very affectionate than its usual self, may meow for longer durations especially at night and even roll on the floor, all of which are visible signs of cat heating. These simple signs indicate that your pet cat is in heat, a signal that every female cat owner will notice if you have not spayed her.
What is Cat Heating?
Cat in heat is also known as the period of estrus. It is a repetitive female reproductive cycle over a year. Seasons and hormonal changes drive the fertility and sexual receptiveness in female cats. A severe hormonal change during the estrus cycle makes them fertile and receptive to mating. Even seasonal changes play a very important role in cat heating. The behavioral pattern during this period can be very alarming, but if you understand the cause, the whole process can be less stressful. If your cat is not spayed, then recognizing the signs will help a lot.
What is the age for cat heating?
Cats have repeated a heat cycle, which means they are polyestrous. They are influenced by hormonal as well as seasonal changes. The estrus cycle in cats usually starts when they reach 6 months of age. Some cat breeds start estrus when they attain four months of age, while for others it may take as long as an year to attain sexual maturity. The ideal age varies from 6 months to one year. Certain breeds of cats show sexual maturity early as compared to others, but most attain maturity within this age. Once the cats reach sexual maturity the heating cycle starts.
Cat Heating Season
In countries like United States most cats breed between the months of February and October. It is during these months cats experience frequent heat cycles. Since seasons also play a crucial role in cat heating, spring is considered the most ideal season for influencing the heat cycles. Mating behavior is high during the spring seasons. During the winters and fall months the daylights are short, which doesn’t encourage cats to go to the estrus cycle, though indoor cats can experience heat cycles throughout the year. The conditions should be favorable for hormonal changes to occur so as to start the estrus cycle. Cats in the northern hemisphere mate from March to September while their counterparts in southern hemisphere find October to March very favorable.
Signs of cat heating
The signs of cat heating can be very difficult to identify for new cat owners, which is one of the prime reasons why most vets recommend spaying before the first estrus cycle begins. One of the main symptoms of cat heating is the feline’s receptiveness to males and mating. This is an indication that your cat is ready for reproduction. This is called as estrus cycle in the feline world and unsprayed cats are called as queens. Once the queen reaches the age of 6 months her body is ready for reproduction, but some cat breeds are known to reproduce at 4 months. Unlike dogs, cats have several heat cycles in a year, which means cats can produce litter at any time of the year.
Some of the visible signs of cats in heat are showing extraordinary affection by rubbing against you, or other pets in the house or even the furniture. During this phase cats are more vocal and display an unusual meow that is aimed at attracting the attention of a mate. When you stroke a cat in heat she immediately assumes the mating position with her head held low and the hind body raised. In an attempt to lure the attention of the mate, cats tend to spray urine around the house to mark their territory. Such cats tend to roll on the floor constantly, may show less interest in food, and constantly lick her genitals. You may even notice a bit of blood from her genitals. Some cats may even try to escape outdoors to find a mate. So if you have not spayed your cat, then she may display at least some of the above symptoms when she is at heat.
Period of Cat heating
Usually the estrus cycle can last for up to 7 to 10 days and she may come to heat every 2 to 3 weeks if she doesn’t mate. Cats ovulate only if mated or else they may enter the estrus cycle every 2 weeks.
How to Beat the Heat?
If you don’t want kittens in your household and if your cat is not spayed, then the best solution is to keep your cat indoors, though she may make all efforts to sneak out of your house. Such cats heat every few weeks until they mate, which can cause a lot of distress to you as well as your cat. The best solution to beat the heat in cats is to get them spayed. Some experts even suggest that cats should be allowed to bear at least one litter before they are spayed, though this is a myth. Spaying early is the best course of action for pet owners. The ideal age for spaying is 6 months or according to your vet’s suggestion. Spaying before their first estrus cycle does away with the risk of accidental pregnancy and various diseases associated with cats in heat.
What are the diseases that your cat can develop during the estrus cycle?
When a cat goes into the estrus cycle for the first time, which usually is at the sixth month there is every possibility that she may get pregnant. This is not an ideal situation and is not advisable, as they are too young and hence are more prone to develop complications for themselves as well as their kittens. She is even at the risk of developing infectious diseases like feline leukemia, which she may contract from infected males while mating. Even cat breeders take utmost care to select only healthy males for their breeding program to ensure good offspring’s and to prevent any transmission of diseases. If your cat is left unchecked and allowed to mate with unknown male cats, then there is every possibility of her developing diseases that can even cause death and is not worth taking the risk. A cat that has never been bred has high risk of developing cancer of the reproductive organs or infection of the uterus.
Can cats be spayed while in heat?
It is possible to spay cats while in heat or when they are pregnant, but there is always some amount of risk involved. Due to the swollen vessels and tissues of the reproductive system there is always a risk of heavy bleeding during the procedure, which can lead to a lot of complications. Even the cost of surgery during this time is higher than usual.
Cats in heat is a very normal phase in the life of every young feline. If you don’t want kittens and want to keep your pet cat healthy the ideal solution to beat the heat is to get your feline friend spayed as it will not only reduce your stress, but will also relieve your cat from the various associated distress and complications.