Katz Tales: How to know when your cat is in heat

  • Animals
  • Wednesday, 13 Nov 2019

Cats in heat will meow a lot. — 123rf.com

Female cats, called queens, typically go into heat when they are about six months old. However, some breeds including the Siamese are known to be “early starters” and can go into heat when they are just four months old.

During this cycle, your pet suffers a surge of estrogen. As she is fertile, her behaviour will change. You can expect lots of meowing, lots of weaving and she’ll be holding her tail up.

She will be noisy and may urinate all over the house. Also, intact tom cats will gather, hoping to court her. They too will spray urine everywhere in order to claim your pet.

All this is instinct-driven; your pet can’t help or control it. So be kind.

The length of the cycle depends on the cat. Vets warn it tends to run around a week. At the end of the cycle, most cats will not bleed but you may see a little bit of pink/red vaginal discharge. Then you have two or three weeks off, and it starts again.

There are two ways to stop the cycle. The first is temporary. This is when your pet becomes pregnant. She has kittens after two months and then, within a week of that, she’s back in heat. Also, you have four to eight kittens to care for and home.

Spaying, a small operation, puts a permanent stop to it. It also prevents an overload of kittens. And as our shelters kill thousands of cats every month because there are too many to adopt, this is the only responsible and kind approach.

Spaying is done when your pet is about six months old or when she hits a healthy weight. Ideally, you let her have kitten vaccinations first and then put her up for the snip when she reaches her half year. Talk to your vet and have it sorted out when you first adopt.

Hopefully, you can avoid the trauma of your pet being in heat.

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Ellen Whyte , cats in heat


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