Cat Heat Behavior... Common
Q & A About Cats In Heat

Cat heat behavior is always useful to know about, especially in Spring and early Summer when kitten season really kicks off.

It's useful to know about if you have a female cat that hasn't been spayed, or if there's a cat in heat hanging round outside your home who may, in about 9 weeks time, be depositing herself and her litter of kittens on your doorstep.

Cats In Heat

Here are some common questions with answers:

How old does a cat have to be before she comes into heat for the first time?

Most will come into heat for the first time at 6 or 7 months old. However a few will be as young as 4 months old.

Can she get pregnant the first time she comes into heat?

Oh yes! Therefore unless you plan to breed her, it's best to get her spayed at 5 or 6 months old at the latest.

How often do cats come into heat?

Every one to three weeks from mid-winter to the end of Summer / early Autumn. The actual heat cycle can vary from a few days to a couple of weeks.

What are the signs?

cat heat behavior illustration

The main signs are:

  • Increased affection, especialy rubbing herself up against upright surfaces (and your legs!)
  • Persistent - and dare I say it extremely aggravating - yowling!
  • Increased licking of genital area. Cats in heat do bleed from the vagina but it's rare to actually see it as it's small amounts and she washes it away pretty quickly
  • Standing in an odd position, with her head down, front legs bent, tail upright and butt exposed - i.e. a mating position
  • Spraying of vertical surfaces - in the same way that a male cat spraying would mark his teritory

In the vast majority of cases, it's much better to get a female cat spayed. This will help curb the current excess of unwanted kittens and cats and will stop the extremely frustrating howling and spraying cat heat behavior.

Here are some more pages that may be of interest:

Cat Pregnancy Signs
Cat Gestation Period
Kitten Development from 0 - 12 Weeks
Kitten Gender - How to tell the Boys from the Girls!

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