The phase in which female cats are ready to mate is generally called heat. Owners of un-neutered female cats know for sure from their own experience how exhausting the behavior of their four-legged friends can be during this phase.
Find out when cats first go into heat, how mating readiness becomes apparent, and how you can help your four-legged friend below.
When cats come into heat for the first time
Female cats normally reach sexual maturity no later than when they are one year old. When exactly a cat comes into heat for the first time, however, depends among other things on the respective cat breed. Siamese cats reach their sexual maturity for example after about six months. Some longhaired cat breeds become sexually mature after more than one year.
Beside the breed also the physical development plays an important role. In general, cats are considered to be in heat when they reach about 80 percent of their adult weight. Accordingly, malnutrition can easily lead to delays in reaching sexual maturity.
How often do cats go into heat?
Normally cats go through their complete cycle twice a year and come into heat in spring and autumn. Between October and December there is normally a so-called resting phase, which is related to the length of daylight, among other things. If cats are kept indoors, artificial light can cause them to stay in heat all year round.
Cats in heat first go through the so-called proestrus (pre-estrus) and then the estrus (oestrus) during their cycle. The actual readiness to mate with a male cat is limited to the actual oestrus period.
How to spot a cat in heat?
Many cats in heat are suddenly particularly cuddly and in need of attention. Sometimes it can happen that cats tend to be aggressive during the heat and do not want to have a close contact to their humans.
In addition, they often suffer from loss of appetite and therefore hardly eat anything. Another typical characteristic, to which the rolling also owes its name, is the fact that rolling cats roll over the ground and stretch thereby usually its rear end in the height.
In addition, cats that are ready to mate often start to meow and howl loudly. They generally appear restless and urge to be let out of the house in order to look for a male cat. Sometimes it even happens that actually clean female cats put down markings outside the litter box, with which they want to attract a male cat.
Which behavioral changes occur in a cat in heat and how pronounced they are, can not be said in general terms, because there are individual differences. It can be therefore that the Rolligkeit with your quadruped comparatively inconspicuous or also particularly strenuous proceeds.
What is permanent baldness?
If a cat in heat gets the opportunity, she will mate several times with a male and will probably become pregnant. If there is no mating during the oestrus, the follicle does not appear. This leads to the fact that the cat becomes again in heat already after approximately nine days.
This can sometimes lead to a so-called permanent rolling, which is characterized in affected animals, among other things, by a permanently high hormone level.
Influence of the heat on the health of the cat
A cat in heat is not only very exhausting for its owner. Beyond that the whole is connected also for the quadruped itself with very strong stress and an enormous psychological and physical load.
This becomes clear, among other things, by the frequently occurring lack of appetite as well as the irregularity with which cats in heat sometimes visit the litter box. In addition, cats in permanent heat are particularly susceptible to tumor diseases.
Cats in heat can have many kittens
It is known that cats are very fertile and can reproduce incredibly fast. If a female cat has kittens, she may come into heat again one or two weeks later.
The pronounced reproductiveness has now led to the fact that many cities have serious problems with countless stray cats and therefore in some municipalities there is even a neutering obligation for cats with outdoor access.
Why neutering usually makes sense
Most domestic cats are not supposed to have offspring anyway. Accordingly, it is often useful to have a castration performed. A neutered female cat cannot go into heat.
This can avoid a lot of stress for the four-legged friend as well as for its owner. In addition, neutering also has health benefits and can reduce the risk of various diseases.
Even if it concerns a surgical procedure, the risks are manageable, so that the advantages of the castration outweigh possible disadvantages as a rule clearly. If you do not want your four-legged friend to have offspring, we therefore recommend that you consider the procedure not only in view of the annoying behavior of cats in heat.
Weight gain after castration
Since neutered cats sometimes tend to be overweight, it is especially important after the procedure that you pay attention to feeding according to their needs. If necessary, you can additionally support your cat’s diet with a dietary supplement of Shiimun Slim.