How Long Do Cats Stay In Heat
Key takeaway. Cats stay in heat for around 3 to 7 days, and up to 20 days for some cats. The heat cycle varies for all cats and typically occurs every 2 to 3 weeks.

How long do cats stay in heat for the first time?

Your female cat is acting strangely, and you’re asking yourself, “How do I know my cat is in heat?” There are seven signs to look for. Chances are you’ve heard the phrase “like a cat in heat” before, but what does that mean? “In heat” refers to when a cat is fertile and ready to mate.

A cat’s first heat happens when she hits puberty at six to 10 months old. Her oestrus cycle will usually last four to five days and, unless she becomes pregnant, she will be in heat again in roughly two to three weeks. If your cat has not been spayed (neutered/desexed), she will behave differently when she is in heat.

Keep an eye out for these behaviours:

Is it normal for a cat to be in heat for a month?

For cats that don’t seem to take a ‘break’ after the heat period of 7 to 10 days, they may be experiencing what is known as persistent estrus. This could be a sign of a health condition and should be examined by a veterinarian. Reasons for persistent estrus could be two things, as follows: Ovarian cysts.

Is a cat in heat crying?

Signs a Cat Is In Heat –

  • Vocalizing
  • Urine spraying
  • Attention-seeking behavior
  • Demanding or pushy behavior
  • Rolling on the floor
  • Raising hind end into the air
  • Wiggling hind end when the back spine is stroked
  • Begging to go outside
  • Rubbing its face on things

The first thing most people notice about a cat in heat is how much it vocalizes. Crying, meowing, and yowling are all often loudly heard from a cat in heat. These vocalizations are to get attention and let other cats know that they are in heat. In addition to the noises, a cat in heat will also seek out attention and affection from its owner and other people.

  They love to be pet and stroked, especially down their backs and hindquarters. When pet, a cat in heat will often wiggle its hind end, its legs may tap dance, and its tail will be held high into the air. It may also rub its face on its owner and furniture excessively to spread its scent. Other signs that a cat is in heat include it rolling on the floor, begging to go outside (even if it is an indoor-only cat ) by scratching at the door and even spraying urine.

A cat will back up to a wall or other vertical object, wiggle its hind end, and spray urine to let other cats know it is in heat. A rush in hormones during the heat cycle causes a cat to have all these exaggerated behaviors and they stop once a cat is no longer in heat.

Why do cats cry when in heat?

Download Article Download Article An unspayed female cat comes into heat every three to four weeks, and she’s not usually quiet about it! This period, when she’s most receptive to getting pregnant, can last for up to seven days. This means you might have a highly hormonal cat on your hands for one week out of every three.

  1. 1 Calm her loud meowing. When a cat’s in heat, she advertises the fact to increase her chances of finding a boyfriend and having kittens. One way she does this is by vocalizing incredibly loudly and constantly. To an inexperienced owner, it may seem like she’s in pain, but this is perfectly normal behavior. You can either choose to deal with the extra noise, or try to calm her down.
    • Try plugging in a Feliway diffuser before your cat comes into heat. This synthetic feline pheromone surrounds her with safe, familiar scents. Pheromones are chemical messengers — a similar idea to the pheromones a female gives off to advertise she is in heat. But the ones in Feliway might have a calming, soothing effect on her.
    • It doesn’t work immediately, but the pheromones build up the cat’s sense of well-being over a couple of weeks. As such, it’s best to plug the diffuser in early and leave it running constantly in the background, so she gets the benefit by the time she comes into heat.
  2. 2 Deal with scent marking. Not all female cats do this, but some mark their territory with urine. Urine has potent scent markers that she uses to attract mates. Again, there’s nothing you can do to stop this behavior without getting her spayed, so you just have to make do. A few things you can do to make life a little easier include:
    • Making sure she has a clean litter box at all times. Hopefully her house training will lead her to use the box instead of marking in the house.
    • Deodorize immediately if she does mark. This will discourage her from returning to that spot to mark it again.
    • Use an “enzymatic” cleaner to completely remove the urine odor. The enzymes in these products break cat urine down better than any other cleaner. Allow the product to air dry for best results.
    • A home-made alternative is to dilute some biological washing powder in water. Use this to clean the area, then rinse it with water. Clean again with a solution of bicarbonate of soda. Finish by rinsing one last time.
      • Always test cleaning products on a small, hidden patch of fabric before treating a marked patch for odor.


  3. 3 Be prepared for clingy behavior. Your cat goes on a massive hormonal roller coaster,which changes her behavior when she’s in heat. One difference is that her body language and social behavior might change quite a bit.
    • She might seek out company far more than usual.
    • She may demand that you rub her lower back. When you do, she might flirtatiously hold her tail to one side to better expose her genital area.
    • She may ‘commando crawl’ across the floor by flattening her front half against the floor, then crawling with her rear end pushed up in the air.
    • She is also likely to squirm and roll around enthusiastically. When combined with the loud crying, it might look like she’s in pain. Don’t worry — she’s just flirting.
    • There’s nothing to be done about this behavior. It’s perfectly normal, and as long as no males are able to reach her, she’ll be fine.
  4. 4 Give her extra attention. Tire her out with regular play sessions. This may lessen her energy and help her to settle down and sleep instead of writhing around and yowling. Some female cats enjoy an extra fuss or even a massage when they are in heat. But don’t be surprised if she starts acting flirty with you and presents her backside!
  5. 5 Don’t change her feeding routine. Many female cats don’t eat properly when they are in heat. This can cause them to lose weight and body condition, which worries their loving owners. But don’t try to make up for her lack of appetite with higher calorie cat food. This will only supply her with even more energy to cry and call.
    • Instead, leave large amounts of her regular cat food available for free-feeding. She can snack whenever she feels like it.
  6. 6 Decrease the stress on your other cats. If you own more than one cat, think of how stressful it is for the others to have a calling female in their midst for one week out of every three. This can be unsettling for them. The Feliway diffuser you use to calm the behavior of the cat in heat will also make your other cats feel better.
    • Again, Feliway takes a couple of weeks to build up in your cats’ systems, so plug in the diffuser before your female goes into heat.
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  1. 1 Keep her indoors. If your cat is normally allowed to wander outdoors, you have to put a stop to it as soon as you realize she’s in heat. While she’s indoors, you can control whether or not male cats have access to her. While she’s outdoors, every male in the neighborhood is going to be drawn by her yowling and scent marking. She is very likely to get pregnant.
  2. 2 Isolate her from your male cats. If you own an un-neutered male cat, he will likely be drawn to her like a magnet when she’s in heat. You must keep all males away from her until her heat has passed.
    • Keep either the male(s) or female isolated in a separate room.
    • Spruce the room up so the isolated cat doesn’t grow anxious. Put a litter box in there, along with a comfortable bed, food, and plenty of toys to keep them occupied.
  3. 3 Lock your doors and windows. Even if you keep her inside, the neighborhood males will still be able to hear her yowling and smell her scent marking. You may notice a suspicious increase in tomcats lurking around your home.
    • Leaving doors or windows open, even with mosquito mesh acting as a barrier, can be dangerous. A determined male will claw through the mesh to reach your female, and she can get pregnant without even leaving the house.
    • Block off any cat flaps in your doors.
  4. 4 Consider spaying her. Rescue centers are over-flowing with unwanted kittens and cats. It’s morally questionable to let your cat get pregnant for no good reason. Spaying female cats can be done at any stage in their hormonal cycle. If cost is an issue, many cat rescue or welfare societies offer vouchers towards the cost of surgery. Your local veterinary clinic will be able to point you in the right direction to make inquiries.
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Add New Question

  • Question Can a cat be spayed when she is in heat? Dr. Elliott, BVMS, MRCVS is a veterinarian with over 30 years of experience in veterinary surgery and companion animal practice. She graduated from the University of Glasgow in 1987 with a degree in veterinary medicine and surgery. She has worked at the same animal clinic in her hometown for over 20 years. Veterinarian Expert Answer Support wikiHow by unlocking this expert answer. Yes. Unlike dogs, it’s fine to spay a female cat when in heat. The surgery is considered safe, despite the slightly greater blood supply to the womb, and when the ovaries are removed, she will come out of heat.
  • Question How long does a cat stay in heat? Dr. Elliott, BVMS, MRCVS is a veterinarian with over 30 years of experience in veterinary surgery and companion animal practice. She graduated from the University of Glasgow in 1987 with a degree in veterinary medicine and surgery. She has worked at the same animal clinic in her hometown for over 20 years. Veterinarian Expert Answer
  • Question How long does a female cat stay in heat for the first time? Dr. Elliott, BVMS, MRCVS is a veterinarian with over 30 years of experience in veterinary surgery and companion animal practice. She graduated from the University of Glasgow in 1987 with a degree in veterinary medicine and surgery. She has worked at the same animal clinic in her hometown for over 20 years. Veterinarian Expert Answer Support wikiHow by unlocking this expert answer. If she’s not mated, the heat lasts between 1-7 days, with an average being around 2-3 days. Be prepared for this to repeat again in 2-3 weeks time, and possibly all year round if she lives indoors.

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  • Remember that your cat will meow loudly at night and be more affectionate.
  • Remember that your indoor cat may make an effort to escape and go outside to mate. Take care to keep her safe indoors. This will help prevent her from getting pregnant, injured or lost.
  • If you want to breed your cat, you may need a license and special equipment.


Take her to the veterinarian if she bleeds. Although you may be tempted to compare her heat to human menstruation, they’re very different processes. Cats should not bleed when they are in heat.

Advertisement Article Summary X To deal with a female cat in heat, start by keeping her indoors and away from any male cats to avoid an unwanted pregnancy. Then, be prepared for clingy behavior, which is normal and reflects your cat’s need for more attention.

Do indoor cats go into heat?

How Long Does a Cat Stay in Heat? – If an indoor cat isn’t spayed, she’ll go into heat every two to three weeks, each cycle lasting about three to five days, says Vahrenwald, the owner of Park Hill Veterinary Medical Center in Denver, Colo. The heat cycles will continue until your cat is either spayed, which Vahrenwald recommends, or she gets pregnant,

How do cats act in first heat?

While your cat is on heat it’s likely she will become very affectionate, ‘flirty’, start ‘calling’/meowing loudly (it can even sound like she is in pain), rolling around, arching her back and moving her tail to one side. She will try hard to find a male cat, and male cats will be equally keen to reach her.

Do cats go into heat every week?

How Often Do Cats Go Into Heat? – Once estrous cycles begin, cats may go into heat as often as every 2-3 weeks, Cats are seasonally polyestrus (also spelled polyestrous), meaning they can have multiple cycles during their breeding season. Breeding season would normally be during warmer weather and longer daylight hours.

Why do cats go into heat so often?

Reasons to Prevent Heat in Pet Cats – As soon as your kitten has her first heat, she will be able to get pregnant. The hormones in her system make her eager to find a mate. She will likely cry out in a way that sounds like she’s in agony. She may roll around on the ground and rub on everything in sight.

  1. Most importantly, if she is indoor-only, she may try to escape your home in search of a mate.
  2. Not only is it dangerous for her to be outside, where she may get lost or injured, it’s also unsafe for her to become pregnant at such a young age.
  3. Her body is not done growing, so pregnancy may be harmful to both her and the kittens.

If your cat does not get out of the house to mate during her first heat, she will continue to go through a heat cycle every few weeks until she becomes pregnant or is spayed. This may make it seem like she is constantly in heat. Over time, this may be stressful and unhealthy for your cat.

  • She may lose weight, begin overgrooming, and even develop behavioral issues.
  • If you allow your cat to get pregnant, you are adding to the world’s pet overpopulation problem.
  • There are countless cats and kittens waiting in shelters for homes.
  • Even if you find homes for your cat’s kittens, you have to consider that the kittens are taking the place of shelter cats that might have been able to find homes.

Unless you have a pedigree cat and are prepared to partner with a cat breeder for responsible breeding, you should make sure your female kitten is spayed as soon as possible. If you suspect your pet is sick, call your vet immediately. For health-related questions, always consult your veterinarian, as they have examined your pet, know the pet’s health history, and can make the best recommendations for your pet.

  1. Little, Susan E. Female Reproduction, The Cat, 2012, pp.1195-1227. Elsevier, doi:10.1016/b978-1-4377-0660-4.00040-5
  2. Spaying And Neutering, Cornell University College Of Veterinary Medicine, 2020

Why is my cat still in heat after 2 months?

Key Takeaways – Persistent heat is a rare symptom in cats where the hormonal regulation of the reproductive cycle is disrupted, causing the cat to be in estrus (heat) for an abnormally prolonged period. • Normal heat cycles in cats are variable, last for months, and the stages are difficult to differentiate, so identifying the symptoms of persistent heat as opposed to normal cycling can be difficult • Conditions that cause persistent heat include pyometra, functional cysts and tumors, and exposure to hormone replacement therapy products • Associated symptoms include vaginal swelling and discharge, abdominal distention, and excessive thirst and urination • In cases where a prolonged estrus period is accompanied by additional symptoms, emergency veterinary attention is required • Diagnostic tools include physical examination, blood tests, vaginal cytology, and diagnostic imaging • Treatments include spaying or reducing contact with hormone replacement products

How long are cats in heat and how often?

How Long Does a Cat Heat Cycle Last? – Signs of heat will resolve within 24-48 hours of ovulation, which will occur only if a female cat in heat mates. Otherwise, the average cat will be in “heat” for seven days (ranging from 2-19 days). This cycle can repeat itself every two to three weeks, as long as there are extended daylight hours.

Can cats go in heat more than once a year?

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02 May 2016 The sun is out, the skies are blue and the daffodils are blooming; spring is well and truly here, but for cat owners whose queens are unspayed, the coming of spring was prob-ably announced in a different way – with high-pitched ‘calling,’ urine spraying and more affection than usual. Generally speaking, the feline heat cycle begins in March and lasts through to September. A female cat that is un-spayed will usually be in heat every 2-3 weeks throughout the season, unless she successfully mates and becomes preg-nant. Cats enter heat several times a year with a typical cycle lasting 4-6 days at a time.

  1. It is usually fairly obvious when a cat is in heat although some cats, known as ‘silent callers,’ do not show signs of it.
  2. A cat in heat will act differently and may become more affectionate with humans and other house pets, si-dling up and rubbing her hindquarters on objects and furniture.
  3. She may also rub against the floor, adopting the lordosis position with her rear held high and her forelimbs lowered.

Her rear limbs may ‘tread’ as if walk-ing on the spot and her tail will move to the side. To mark her territory and let tomcats know she is in heat, a queen will urine mark. You will also notice your cat becoming more vocal as queens call to lure male cats during the cycle.

Excessive licking of the genital area is also a sign that your cat is in heat, although this can also signal different problems so in the absence of other symptoms, it is best to get it checked out. Bloody discharge, loss of appetite and general restlessness are also signs that your queen is in heat, although not all cats will display all symptoms.

It is well known that vets think female cats should be spayed, not only to avoid uncomfortable heat cycles but to prevent certain serious diseases such as mammary cancer, as well as pregnancy, which only contributes to the problem of cat overpopulation. Over a 9 year period, an unspayed queen and her offspring are capable of producing 11 million more cats. Given the number of cats that are handed in to shelters it is irresponsi-ble to allow your female cat to have litters when in sea-son. Getting her spayed before her first heat cycle is recommended.

How often do female cats come on heat?

Cats in season Female cats will experience their first heat cycle when they reach puberty if they have not yet been spayed. Unneutered female cats usually come into their first heat between 4 and 12 months of age. This is the fertile period of a cat’s cycle when they can get pregnant, After that, her season will typically be due to repeat every year from spring to autumn.

Display of affection: You may notice your cat becoming more affectionate than usual. It’s not uncommon for her to rub on furniture, toys, other cats, and maybe even on you. Excessive grooming: She may spend a great deal of time licking her genital area, even though there is no blood present. Mating call and position: Your cat may vocalise loudly. If she doesn’t mate during this time, the “calling” can last for several days. After that, she may assume the mating position; head down, forelegs bent, rear quarters raised, tail raised and head sideways. She might tread rhythmically with her rear legs. Marking her territory: During heat, a cat may spray urine onto vertical surfaces. This is normal behaviour for a cat in heat, so don’t panic. Loss of appetite: You may notice your cat has less of an appetite than usual. This is because her instinct is to focus on reproducing, rather than feeding herself. If the cat is not eating at all, then she will require veterinary attention. The lesser appetite should last no longer than 2 weeks, so keep a close eye on it. if she doesn’t return to her normal eating pattern after that time. Desire to escape: If your cat has the instinct to attract a mate, she may be drawn to the outdoors. It’s not uncommon for an indoor cat to run away for an unpredictable amount of time. Top tip! Make sure your kitten has been and that all of the details are up to date.

Going into heat can be an uncomfortable time for your cat. Cats don’t have the same physical symptoms that human females do during their cycle, but that’s not to say they don’t experience some form of discomfort and changes in behaviour. To alleviate some of this discomfort, you may wish to try the following:

Provide your cat with a covered heat pad to lay on Try giving some to calm them down Play with your cat to help distract them from discomfort Give to help ease stress levels

If you have specific questions or concerns about your cat, please don’t hesitate to, Female cats go into heat every two to three weeks during mating season, which can last from spring to autumn – although, with changes in climate, many cats are now coming into season at any point of the year.

  • Every heat cycle lasts an average of six days.
  • Because of this quite rapid reproductive cycle, an unneutered cat can have as many as three to five litters per year.
  • Cats are very effective breeders.
  • Without neutering, the UK’s cat population can quickly get out of control.
  • If you’re not planning to breed your cat, getting your cat neutered before they can breed is an essential part of responsible ownership.

It’s generally recommended that kittens are neutered at around four months of age or younger, It’s important to note that there is currently very little data to suggest any disadvantages to neutering a cat at a younger age (for example, from eight weeks onwards).

Do cats go into heat seasonally?

General information – A heat (or season) is when a female cat is fertile and can get pregnant. A cat’s first season is usually at around 4-12 months old, in the first spring after they’re born. Unless they are speyed, they will then continue to come on heat every year from around February (once the days start to get longer), until around October (unless they get pregnant or have a phantom/ false pregnancy).

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