Most female cats come into heat at the age of 6 months. But certain environmental factors can cause it to happen faster. And certain breeds – like Siamese – can come into heat as early as 4 months, while for other breeds 10 months is a more typical age to come into heat.
Each run generally lasts several days, with the average length being seven days, although it can range from 1 to 21 days. If the queen (an intact female cat) does not mate during heat, she will go into heat for a short time, usually around 7 days, but it can range from 2 to 19 days.
Female cats reach sexual maturity and can breed from around 4 months of age. They then come into heat (or season) between February and October each year. Female cats have many short periods about 2-3 weeks apart. They don’t ovulate until they mate, so this period of estrus cycles can be long.
Do cats bleed when they are in heat? In the vast majority of cases, cats do not bleed when in heat, although it can happen. Blood in the urine or in the genital area can be a sign of a urinary tract infection. So if you spot blood, contact your veterinarian immediately.
While experts say it’s not ideal, a cat in heat can be neutered while she’s in heat. The reason vets are somewhat reluctant to perform this procedure while a cat is in heat is that blood vessels and tissues can swell during the heat and this can increase the risk of bleeding during the surgery.
Although your vet may prescribe medication to reduce signs, the best way to protect a cat from heat is to have her spayed. After she is spayed she will not come into heat and will be much less territorial and less likely to spit or scratch.
In addition to strange and unusual vocalizations, a cat on heat will exhibit unique behaviors, such as rolling on the floor, demanding more attention, rubbing against you or the furniture, spilling urine, or even trying to catch up sneaking outside, notes Petful.
She rolls over when crying and can stand with her rear end up while kicking with her hind paws. Cats don’t exhibit the bloody discharge associated with dogs in heat, so the behavioral changes may be the first clue that your kitten has reached puberty.
Running female cats (in the heat cycle) emit a potent sex pheromone that can be sniffed or “smelled” by a cat even a mile away.
It is available either dried or as fresh catnip grass. While some cats become hyperactive or even aggressive when exposed to catnip, others become gentle and relaxed. The calming effect doesn’t last long on a cat in heat, but it can ward off the effects for about 10 minutes.
The optimal age to spay/neuter a cat is before it is 5 months old. For cats of your own, the optimal age would be 4 to 5 months; For cats in shelters, the optimal age might be as early as 8 weeks.
A cat in heat, similar to a tomcat, can spray urine on vertical surfaces. To do so, it will retreat to the surface of its choice, raise its quivering tail, and possibly even perform the rhythmic kicking described above. To the untrained eye, this looks like a sign of stress.