We all know that human females have menstrual cycles, which occurs when the uterus sheds its lining once every 28 days or so. If a human pregnancy occurs, the lining is retained for the growing embryo. But what about your cat? Do cats have periods? Is there such a thing as cat menstruation?
Cats are among the group of mammals that go through estrus, a process also known as “in heat.” Estrus is cyclical like a period, but cats reabsorb the uterine lining instead of shedding it and bleeding.
Do Cats Have Periods?
Not exactly. Cats are induced ovulators. This means that ovulation, the process whereby eggs are stimulated and released from the ovaries, only occurs when they mate with a male cat. Humans, on the other hand, are spontaneous ovulators, which means that ovulation occurs in response to hormonal changes and happens with regular frequency.
Most female cats become reproductively mature when they are four to six months old, This is akin to human puberty. The feline estrus cycle usually lasts from seven to ten days. Humans are fertile all year, unlike cats who typically enter their estrus cycle seasonally, such as in early spring or late winter.
When your cat goes into heat, you’ll notice her behavior changes to attract a mate. When a female cat (or queen) is inseminated by a male cat (the tom) she ovulates, which ends her estrus cycle and begins her pregnancy, which typically lasts around nine weeks.
When Do Cats Get Their Period?
Female cats get their period and become sexually mature when they reach puberty at around 4-6 months. Once cats are reproductively mature they can enter estrus, which is your cat’s menstrual cycle. From that point on, your young cat could have kittens of her own.
Getting your female cat spayed prevents pregnancy, so talk to your veterinarian about the appropriate time to do so.
What Are The Signs Of A Cat Having Their Period?
Felines produce chemicals called pheromones, which is how they mark their presence and make it known to other cats. Pheromones are excreted from numerous glands located in the paws, mouth, ears, face, and anus. So when your cat head butts you, she’s marking you as her human.
Your cat’s behavior can change drastically while they are in heat. Your usually docile pet can turn into a destructive and demanding one that you have never seen before. If your inside cat suddenly starts bolting for an open door, she may be attempting to mark the door with pheromones to attract a suitor or run off on her own to find one herself. Even if your cat has never shown interest in the great outdoors before, that can all change during estrus, so be prepared.
The following signs can indicate that your cat is in the heat:
Increased vocalization is the most common sign that your cat is in a heat cycle. Incessant yowling is an invitation to male cats in the neighborhood. So guard your door unless you want a litter of kittens.
Scratching and Spraying
If your female cat has entered estrus, she will often exhibit destructive behavior, such as spraying to mark territory or indiscriminately scratching.