A few years ago, I had the pleasure of raising two adorable baby kittens from infancy – we fed them with a bottle and helped them grow into big healthy, teenage cats. But at some point, my young cats started acting funny; and I soon realized it was because they had reached the age of sexual maturity. Hello, cat in heat! But what to do when you are presented with this funny behavior, and the new mating rituals of your feline furry friend? How do you recognize the signs of a cat in heat? And how to best handle a cat in heat (especially if you want to prevent an unwanted cat pregnancy)? We’ll cover all that and more, in the article below. Plus, discover the best way to keep track of your cat at all times.
What does it mean when a cat is in heat?
You might have heard the term, ‘cat in heat’ or ‘dog in heat’ before. ‘In heat’ refers to when a cat (or dog) is ready to mate and fertile. For cats, this natural cycle already begins around the age of 5 to 10 months old.
The first time I ever realized my young cats were in heat was when they seemed to attempt to mate with each other – although they were brother and sister.
Yes, this can and does occur; especially among cats who are not exposed to many other cats in the wild. While in heat, their strong, natural mating instinct will cause them to try to mate with any and every cat of the opposite sex nearby – the cat in heat does not obey any rules about how humans think they ‘should’ behave!
Get your cats spayed and neutered to avoid unwanted (and possibly inbred) cat pregnancies.
To successfully handle a cat in heat, it’s good to know the signs of a cat in heat.
Cat in heat signs & symptoms
Be aware of the following cat in heat signs and symptoms that your cat might display if they are in heat. Your cat might:
- start making funny sounds
- become more restless
- crawl low to the ground
- be more affectionate with people, objects, and other animals
- groom their private parts more frequently
- try to escape outdoors
- assume the mating position (behind in the air, tail to the side)
- urinate to mark territory
- loose appetite
So whether your unspayed cat is meowing, moaning, or crying, walking funny, rubbing up against you and furniture in your home, or taking extra special care of her lady parts, if your cat displays one or more of these signs, you most likely have a cat in heat on your hands. Now, let’s take a look at feline periods and the heat cycle in cats.
Do female cats have periods?
Female cats do have a monthly cycle, but one which is quiet different from female humans. Rather than shedding the uterine lining like human women do every 32 days or so, cats and select mammals reabsorb the old uterine-lining rather than bleeding it out. This takes place during the estrus cycle described below.