Whether you have adopted a cat that may have already started its reproductive cycle, or you’ve decided to not spay your cat for breeding purposes, you may have to cope with a cat that is in heat during a certain part of the year. The best thing to do as an owner is to be aware of all of the facts before your cat enters this stage, so you can recognise the difference between being on heat, and illness.
Below we have listed some of the clear signs that your cat is on heat, and what you can do to assist them during this time.
Things to know
- Cats can go into heat between the ages of 6-12 months
- They usually come into heat during the summer months when it is warmer and there is at least 10 hours of sunlight a day
- Indoor cats that are under artificial lights for the majority of the day can go into heat at any time
- It can last from between 10-14 days, where the cat has the most likely chance of becoming pregnant
Signs your cat is in heat
The first clear sign that your cat is on heat is a distressed-sounding cry, almost like a wail as she wanders the house. Make sure this isn’t confused for standard meowing, as some cats are just frequently vocal.
Your cat will rub excessively on surfaces around the house to leave its scent, which is slightly different when they’re in season. You will notice that they will rub their cheeks or chin the most, which is where their scent glands are located. Combined with excessive licking of the genital area, this will confirm she is in heat. However, this can also be an indication of a urinary disease, so if in doubt, take her to the vets.
She might also adopt the ‘Estrus Posture’, which is linked to attracting the attention of male cats. It consists of her rump rising in the air and treading the carpet with her hind paws. Moving her tail to one side and keeping it there is also a clear sign, as this makes it easier for male cats to mate.
Lastly, another sign is an indoor cat wanting to get outside or wanting to escape, as this will enable them to mate with male cats in the area.
If in doubt, or if you are finding your cat adopting any other uncharacteristic behaviour, speak to your vet at once. For further advice regarding your cat, head over to the Simpsons Premium Advice Centre.