Is your cat acting weird? Maybe she’s sticking her bum in the air and meows very loudly? What could be wrong We all know the importance of having our cat companions neutered or neutered. But sometimes even the most well-intentioned cat carer misses the time – and before you know it, you’ve got a cat on your hands in the heat. Don’t hesitate to see your vet if you see any of the following signs that mean your cat is in heat.
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1. A cat in heat has an increased appetite and agitation
This is the first sign of proestrus, the earliest stage in a cat’s estrous, or heat, cycle. Other things you may notice are hangovers that gather around your house because your cat’s pheromones attract them. If you don’t notice the cats, chances are you’ll notice their business cards: you can’t miss the smell of hangover spray.
Your cat’s vulva may be slightly enlarged and moist, but you probably won’t notice this as one of the signs a cat is in heat because 1) it is likely to lick off any discharge, and 2) because chances are you are not closely examining your cat’s genitals. Proestrus lasts a day or two.
2. Cats in the heat make creepy calls and meow noises
The sound of a female cat in the heat can be downright terrifying. As its urge to mate grows, a cat’s calls in heat become almost alarming, as if in pain. It can drive you crazy too, because as their heat rises the call gets louder and more haunted and could become almost constant.
If you haven’t had a hangover on your doorstep before, there will sure be one as soon as your cat calls. These cats in heat noises are an indication that your cat is in full heat or oestrus.
3. A cat in heat shows a dramatic increase in loving behavior
If you thought your cat used to be a lovebug, then it probably sticks to you now, constantly demanding your attention, weaving in and out of your legs, rubbing against you, shaking its pelvis, and rolling on the floor. But if you pick her up while she is rolling around, she may grab your arm or even bite it.
4. Cats in the heat do a “come here” pose with their butts in the air
If you stroke your cat’s back while she’s in the heat, she’ll raise her hips to poke her bum in the air, twitch her tail to the side, and kick her hind feet.
These last three signs indicate that your cat is in full oestrus or heat and is extremely receptive to mating. She could become an escape artist and do anything to scratch her hormonal itch. Estrus lasts four to six days.
After your cat has experienced up to 10 days of proestrus and estrus, better known as “heat,” each week, it will move into the third phase, known as interestrus. During this phase, she will refuse to mate and aggressively attack any tomcat that gets in her way. If she doesn’t mate during the heat cycle, she’ll stay in that interest phase for a week or two and the whole process will start over.
If your cat is over five months old and showing these signs, take them to the vet as soon as possible to have their spay. Cats will continue to walk in and out of the heat until they become pregnant or are neutered.
Uncastrated cats have a much higher risk of developing breast and uterine cancer, as well as polycystic ovaries, due to constantly fluctuating hormone levels. Spaying also removes the risk of a potentially fatal uterine infection called pyometra (I once saw a cat in a veterinary clinic that died of pyometra and it was really terrible). Your cat’s behavior will improve and you will not be visiting cats every time of the day or night.
But spaying isn’t just good for your cat – it’s good for your community as well. The fewer unwanted kittens that are brought into the world, the fewer cats are killed due to lack of space in animal shelters.
Thumbnail: Photography by annadarzy / Thinkstock.
Continue reading:The 5 stages of cat pregnancy