Oh, the good ol’ menstrual cycle. If you’re a female reading this, big props to you for putting up with it to help propagate the human race. The race surely cannot thank you enough. But did you know, like humans, female cats also go through this? Yes, your female cat can relate to your experience too! And if that is news to you, here are five things you should know about cats going in heat.
- In cats, this process is called estrus and kittens are going to start going through this process towards the end of their time as kittens, as they’re about to grow into adults. Like in the human species, this process creates the right conditions for the cat to be able to undergo the reproductive process and accommodate the growth of tiny little kitten offspring.
- Kitten will normally go into heat at about the age of six months old. There isn’t an exact age for going into heat though, and depending on the breed of cat, it can vary quite a bit too.
If you are concerned with the standard house cat, you can assume the average but certain breeds, such as the Siamese cat, they can experience going in heat from an age as young as four months old. There are some breeds where the females don’t get in heat until they’re much older; sometimes as much as a year too!
The lesson here is that you’ll need to look up quite a bit about the specific breed you want or are interested in. Also, you should note that at the end of the day, all these numbers are averages or estimates. The exact time it takes for your cat to experience going in heat is likely to vary from the next person who owns a cat of the same breed. So don’t come charging at me if your cat experiences this much sooner than whatever figure I or the internet might state! I’ve already issued my fair cautions and warnings and it’s up to you to use the information how you see fit!
- A cycle wouldn’t be complete without actually going into a cyclical pattern, now would it? Even the estrus experienced by cats will come and go in cycles. Typically for a cat, after it goes into estrus, it’s going to last for about a week’s time, in which, the cat is not supposed to be discharging some blood-like substance like humans.
This cycle is triggered by a surge if estrogen in the cat, a chemical typically known to regulate the female sex drive and in general, the female reproductive system. Also, it’s known to increase the sexual drive in the cat and so, you shouldn’t be surprised that it tries to call out to potential mates in the warmer seasons. Yeah, they’re a lot more like humans than we think!
In the off chance that the calls out to a suitor were not met with a response, the cat goes out of the heat and despite ruing the missed opportunity to mate, it is going to go back in heat after a couple of weeks again, beginning the intimate cycle all over again. And of course, this is a process shared by pretty much all mammals that are children of Mother Nature. Quite fascinating, all of this!
- So you know by now, a bunch of things about the menstrual cycle of cats. Now, what are the signs that you need to be vigilant of in order to identify when your kitty is in the heat? There are quite a few and they range from kind of funny to outright awkward!
Don’t be surprised to see her frantically pacing around the house and rubbing up against you in an ‘interesting’ manner, to call it a word!
And if that’s not enough, you better watch it with the petting because trust me, she’s going to take it the wrong way! Jokes aside though, this is a legit thing; they’ll be responding to affection in a manner that would be fit a potential mate rather than a human parent!
Also, another clear sign of going in heat is that your cat is going to make a weird cry of sorts. Relax, it isn’t a painful one! The cries of the cat are more like that of a damsel in distress, waiting to be saved by a knight in shining armor, or in this case, feline in shining fur!
- Finally, you should know that all the behavioral and mannerisms exhibited here are perfectly normal behaviors for a cat. There is no reason to overreact to these things and let her continue to be a cat and do cat things. Sure, there’s a likelihood that your feline friend will be desperate to go outdoors and do everything in her powers to fulfill her cravings that arise in such a sensitive period.
If it is too much to handle or you think that it’s something that can be potentially dangerous for her as a young kitten’s owner might, for example, you’ll want to go for a more permanent solution such as neutering.
If she isn’t neutered and you’re in this phase with her right now, stay off any injections or anything of that sort that is designed to keep the heat away. It can be bad for her health in the long run and that’d be awful!
Instead, make things easier for her by playing with her often and giving her some dummy toys that she can just tear up.
As a means of relief, heating pads are also known to help cats cope with the heat and keep them nice, warm and nestled.
So there are a lot of tells and signs about when your cat is in heat and how to identify them properly. It’s all part and parcel of owning a cat, so get used to it my friend! Or consider getting it neutered if that’s what you’d prefer.