Female cats enter heat cycles, and that is signified by some typical symptoms people owning unspayed cats must know. An unspayed cat will go through a natural heat cycle, which is referred to as estrous. It is a period in which your cat is ready to reproduce. During this time, your cat will notice an unusual change in her behavior, which might become a cause of concern if you aren’t aware of how to deal with this change.
Therefore, some knowledge of heat signs in cats will undoubtedly help you anticipate the changes they undergo. But let’s first define the cat’s heat cycle in a bit more detail.
What is involved in a Heat Cycle for Your Cat?
A cat’s heat cycle happens due to hormonal fluctuations that allow reproduction to occur, and this cycle happens in the reproductive organs – the uterus and ovaries. In most other mammals, a heat cycle causes the release of an egg from the ovaries. However, the case of cats is a bit different as they won’t release eggs until they breed. But even when they don’t release eggs, they have fluctuations in their hormonal levels that usually accompany blood vessel engorgement. All these body changes show that your cat is in a heat cycle.
When Do Cats Go Through Heat Cycles?
The average age of cats when they hit puberty is six months. At that time, they go through their first heat cycles. But generally speaking, this heat cycle can happen anywhere between 4 and 12 months of age, mainly depending on the cat’s health, breed, and, more importantly, time of the year. This heat cycle is signified by your cat’s natural inclination towards mating and subsequent reproduction.
Since cats are seasonally polyestrous, they go through heat cycles in a specific season of the year. This season generally starts in February and lasts until October in the northern hemisphere.
Tops Signs Your Cat Is In Heat
So, how do you tell your cat is in heat? As discussed above, there will be some behavioral changes that signify your cat is going through a heat cycle. What are those changes? Let’s discuss.
When cats are in heat, they become more vocal. And the voice of their calling sounds more distressed and plaintive. This vocalizing is usually loud and persistent.
Having that said, vocalizing is only one of the signs your cat is in heat. The fact of the matter is this sign is associated with many body changes besides a heat cycle. So how do you tell if your cat is meowing more due to being in heat? Well, you will have to look at other heat signs as well.
The reason most of us pet cats is they are affectionate creatures. They are cuter when they rub their face against your legs and try to jump in your lap. However, their affectionate behavior acquires extra vigor when they are in heat, and you might become uncomfortable with this change. Your cat will start rubbing its face with furniture and other objects when you are not around.
Her Tail Tells A Different Tale.
The position of a cat’s tail becomes unusual during her heat period. She will keep her tail on one side and the bottom stuck in the air, acquiring a posture that signifies her willingness to mate.
It won’t seem like your cat can sit down when she is in heat. Her movements may lead you to think if she is in pain. But, it is merely restlessness in her bottom area due to hormonal changes involved in a heat cycle.
The cat’s crawling posture during heat cycles is pretty strange. They tend to keep their upper body flattened on the ground while keeping their bottom in the air. And they tend to crawl with this posture the entire day.
Tendency to Get Disappeared
No matter how homey your cat is, it won’t hold back from being adventurous during a heat cycle. This is probably due to the lack of response to their calling. As a result, they might want to go out and seek that response.
Now, if you have a cat that is not spayed and you do not want kittens from it, the best practice to keep it from getting lost is to keep it locked until a heat cycle is over.
When in heat, your cat may tend to lick its vulva more often due to swelling in the area. This swelling is normal during heat cycles. This temporary change in licking habit makes it hard for your cat to clean the area. While the swelling, in this case, is usually too insignificantly visible, it is not less irritating for your cat.
Rolling on the floor
Your cat will start wailing and rolling on the floor simultaneously when it is in heat. Some people confuse this hormonal impact with a painful condition. As a result, they try to get an emergency appointment with a vet. But fortunately, it is more likely a sign of a heat cycle.
How to calm your cat when it is in heat?
Heat cycles are natural and a necessary happening for female cats. And while your cat may sound like it is in pain during these cycles, it is not. Still, you will want to calm your cat during these periods. To help you with that, here are a few ideas:
- Make sure that your cat doesn’t get a chance to mate with male cats.
- You can let her sit on a heat pack, blanket, or warm towel.
- Make sure that your litter box is clean.
- Take your cat outdoors and play with her.
Most people get their cats spayed to prevent future heat cycles. However, many vets are not in favor of surgically removing cats’ reproductive organs. On the other hand, some experts suggest it’s a matter of a cat’s owner’s choice.