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How long does a cat go into heat? How often do cats go into heat?

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How long does a cat go into heat? How often do cats go into heat?
How long does a cat go into heat? How often do cats go into heat?

Buying a kitten is an important event that must be approached with all seriousness. In addition to the selection of care products, special food and litter for the tray, it is also important to take into account some behavioral features. In a particular case, this is the period of estrus in a cat. In an animal, puberty occurs much earlier than in humans, and therefore many owners, having acquired a female pet, are not ready for such an event.

What is heat?

Cats hugging each other

In science, this process is called the reproductive estrous cycle (hereinafter REC). It manifests itself in a change in the physical and emotional state of the cat and occurs during a period of sexual arousal.

The first period of estrus does not exceed three days in duration and allows the animal's body to adapt to the appearance of such stress in the future. However, the excited and unprepared owner immediately wonders ifwhat to do if a cat is in heat.

Often you can find information about this on the Internet or ask a veterinarian before or after purchasing a pet. Also, information about this period must be provided to the owner by the breeder from whom the animal is purchased.

Further in the article you can find out all the necessary information regarding what to do during the REC period with a cat and how not to harm her he alth.

When does this cycle start?

The earliest age of estrus in cats is 10 months from birth. At the same time, depending on the individual characteristics of the organism, the appearance of REC can occur within a period of up to 7 months. Such variation depends on the stage of formation and development of internal organs, and, consequently, on the readiness to have offspring.

Sometimes a pathology may occur, due to which the first estrus occurs at 4-5 months from birth. In the case of mating with a cat at such an early age, pregnancy and subsequent births are quite possible. However, the best answer to the question of how to help a cat in heat at such an early age is spaying. This will help to eliminate he alth problems, as well as eliminate possible threats to life.

Attention! Despite the relatively early puberty of the animal, it is better not to mate in the first estrus. Veterinarians recommend waiting until the cat is one year old to allow her to produce he althy offspring.

Signs of the REC

Checking a cat with a doctor

Often buyingfurry friend, the owners have no idea how the first estrus in a cat goes. And when faced with it, they have no idea how to react to a sharp change in the behavior of the animal. You can determine that a pet has begun a period of sexual hunting by the following signs:

  • animal starts rolling on the floor;
  • when stroking the back, the cat practically lays down on the floor, begins to touch with its hind legs and throws its tail to the side;
  • appetite decreases;
  • excessive tenderness;
  • persistent demand for attention from the owner or complete disregard for his presence;
  • Another standard sign in cats during estrus is discharge; in this regard, she often licks herself in the tail area;
  • persistent meows, turning into a rather irritable howl;
  • during this period of time, the pet begins to rub against all things in the house, and if this has practically no effect on fluffy breeds, then in the case of representatives such as the Canadian Sphynx, this manifests itself in the form of red spots or scratches in the area neck or muzzle;
  • the animal persistently tries to leave the house and go outside.

How long does a cat go into heat?

Cats sleep on the bed

The REC period in cats is usually divided into several stages, each of which can last from a couple of days to several months. Specifically, there are four stages of estrus:

  1. Proestrus. This part of estrus lasts for one or three days. characteristic behavioris a sudden onset of anxiety in the animal. It begins to scream regularly, trying to attract a partner. However, even despite the fact that during this period the cats begin to be actively interested in their “girlfriend”, mating does not occur due to the fact that the cat herself does not allow “suitors” to approach her. At the same time, the appearance of a male in the house leads to an early termination of this period.
  2. Estrus. The answer to how long estrus lasts in cats during this period depends on the presence or absence of a male in the house. The standard length of the stage is 5-7 days. At this time, the animal allows individuals of the opposite sex not only to stay on its territory, but even to tie itself. However, her behavior can be completely unpredictable and even inadequate. If during this period a cat appears in the house, then its (period) duration will be reduced to a couple of days.
  3. Diestrus (also known as metestrus). The flow time is from 2 to 20 days. Interest in the "suitors" falls, and the female tries to drive them away. In the event of ovulation and subsequent fertilization, pregnancy begins. It is also possible the onset of a "false pregnancy". In such situations, breeders say that the cat is "empty". If mating fails, estrus will resume after a while.
  4. Anestrus. This period is also known as sexual rest. Estrus does not occur for a long time. Most often this happens in summer or winter.


Now you know how long cats are in heat. And how often does it happen? A perfectly reasonable question. The answer to this is often quite commonthe view that much more RECs occur in the fall or spring and occur at intervals of one or two weeks. At the same time, science has put forward the opinion that the level of sexual activity is affected by the length of daylight hours.

The cessation of estrus occurs during pregnancy, and the resumption occurs 3-4 months after the birth of the offspring. If all kittens died before/during/after birth, the onset of estrus occurs a little earlier.

There are cases where the REC may start on the second day of calf feeding.


Checking your cat's blood pressure

How often can estrus in cats result in he alth problems? The answer is quite often. Previously, such a phenomenon as a "false pregnancy" has already been mentioned. It occurs if fertilization does not occur after ovulation of the animal. One of the reasons for this result may be the infertility of the cat. A sufficiently frequent repetition of the process of mating with such an animal, and therefore, obtaining this result can lead to the occurrence of inflammatory processes, diseases of the reproductive system and even oncology.

To avoid such problems, both partners should be checked in advance. And if getting offspring from a cat is not planned, then sterilization would be the best solution.

What should I do if my cat is in heat?

Kitten in the hands of a doctor

The beginning of heat always guarantees inconvenience to both the pet and the owner. To avoid various troubles during this period, it is worth preparing a list in advancesteps to take to make life easier for everyone. The sequence of these actions depends on the purpose for which the animal was acquired. There are two main categories.


Cat with kittens

The breeding animal was purchased for breeding. In this case, it is necessary to act depending on what kind of estrus it is on the account. If the first, then it is better to skip it, allowing the pet to adapt to this condition. At the second and subsequent estrus, it is necessary to find a he althy cat and mate, thus allowing the cat to calm down.

Attention! When buying a cat for breeding, regular fertilization should be avoided. After the birth of kittens, it is recommended to take a break of six months or a year to avoid the appearance of various diseases and complete moral and physical exhaustion.

Pet ("for myself")

The second case is when the pet was purchased as a pet. In this situation, it is necessary to know how often and how long a cat's estrus lasts in order to provide timely assistance in overcoming the accompanying stress. When breeding animals is not planned, one of the following tips can be used:

  • Use hormonal drugs to stop heat. The use of such drugs is not allowed more than 2 times a year. Violation of this regime or a poor-quality product can lead to malfunctions in the body or even the appearance of a tumor of the ovaries or uterus.
  • Seek help from sedatives. During estrus, a cat can be given suchdrugs, such as "Fospasim", "Cat-bayun" and others. But the results of their actions are not manifested in everyone. And some may even cause allergic reactions.
  • Distraction from stress. When the use of various drugs for calming is not possible due to he alth problems of the animal or because of the desire not to harm him, then it is worth resorting to various kinds of activity. If you play with a cat before going to bed, then you can ensure that she sleeps peacefully all night without harming herself or others.
  • Sterilize the animal. This operation will completely stop the occurrence of estrus.
Cat at the vet

Attention! When sterilizing an animal, it is necessary to do a complete removal of the uterus and ovaries. A simple ligation of the tubes will cause the cat to continue to demand a “groom”, but will not be able to become pregnant and subsequently produce offspring. In doing so, her condition will deteriorate significantly.


Caring for an animal is a rather complicated process. A pet requires sufficient attention and quality care, on a par with a full-fledged family member (it is not for nothing that they are often compared with children). And the reproductive estrous cycle is one of the integral parts of his life. In this material, the answers to such questions as: how long does estrus last in cats, how does it manifest itself, what to do to calm the animal at this time, and others.

However, we strongly recommend getting all the necessary information about this process from a professionalvet.

Good luck!

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