Does your cat ever yell at you
If your cat is in heat - 10 questions about heat in cats answered for you
If your cat is noticeably restless and is crawling more and more across the floor, this can be a sign that he is in heat.
Heat only occurs in cats and not in males. During this time are Cats ready to mate and are looking for a sexual partner.
If you have a small female kitten, you have to be prepared for the fact that your cat will soon be in heat for the first time. This article answers the most important questions about cats' heat.
1. Why do cats get in heat?
The heat, also known as whimper, is part of a cat's sexual cycle. During this time, more sex hormones such as estrogens are formed.
Through their behavior, cats in heat signal to the male that they are ready to mate.
These signals not only affect tomcats in the immediate vicinity, but sexual partners can smell a cat in heat even from miles away and are attracted by its smell.
2. How do you recognize heat in cats?
If your cat is in heat, you will hardly recognize it. She will display absolutely unusual behavior and it will really get on your nerves. Depending on the cat, the behavior can be very different.
The following behavior is often observed in cats in heat:
- Repeated rolling and rolling over the floor
- The cat ducks its chest against the floor and lifts its bottom in the air
- Increased scratching
- Loud meowing or cooing noises
- Marking by rubbing the head on objects
- Marking by urine
- Noticeably restless behavior
- Low appetite
- Cat's tail bent to one side
- Increased urge to go outside
Which behaviors occur and how pronounced they are can not only differ greatly from cat to cat, but also depends on the phase of the grunt. Some cats are very cuddly at the beginning and don't like being petted anymore.
3. At what age can cats get in heat?
When they reach sexual maturity, cats get heat. The point in time thus marks the beginning of puberty.
This often occurs in cats between five and twelve months of age. However, there are clear differences. When your cat gets heat for the first time depends on the following factors in particular:
- Weight: Only when a cat is heavy enough will it start to get heat. About 80 percent of the final body weight must be achieved. This of course varies from breed to breed.
- Race: Race can have a significant impact on the timing of sexual maturity. While some cat breeds, such as the Siamese, Abyssinian and the Holy Burma, are considered to be precocious, many long-haired cats are often sexually mature very late. In long-haired cats, sexual maturity often does not occur until around one year.
- Daylight length: Even if all factors apply, the length of daylight can influence the time of the first heat. To do this, it usually has to be light for at least twelve hours a day. In the case of indoor cats, however, artificial lighting can also influence the timing.
4. How often does the heat occur?
How often one cat gets in heat depends on whether it is an outdoor or indoor cat.
This has to do with the fact that daylight has a significant influence on the hormonal balance of cats. As soon as it is light for at least twelve hours during the day, the grunt usually begins with outdoor walkers.
A resting phase usually occurs from October to December. The heat phase lasts five to ten days. Many outdoor cats get heat around two to four times a year.
However, if there is no coverage, a new phase usually occurs after two to three weeks. For this reason and because of the lack of exposure to daylight, indoor cats increasingly suffer from being in heat very often.
There is no coverage and, due to the artificial light, there is no rest phase.
5. Is castration advisable?
If your cat is not to have offspring, neutering is one of the safest methods. This type of reproductive control ensures that the cat can no longer become pregnant by removing the ovaries.
And the issue of reproductive control is particularly important with cats. A non-neutered cat with free access is guaranteed to have kittens twice a year - an average of 5-6 in number ...
The kittens are then themselves sexually mature at 5-12 months and reproduce - so gigantic numbers of cats come together after just a few years!
The animal shelters are already overflowing - you see, the issue of birth control concerns every cat owner for the welfare of the animals!
In addition, neutering stops the heat cycle, so your cat will no longer freak out regularly. She is less stressed and will be able to live healthily longer.
That is why neutering is appropriate for both outdoor cats and indoor cats.
6. Are there alternatives to castration?
In terms of heat, sterilization is not an alternative to castration, because the ovaries are not removed during sterilization. The fallopian tubes are merely severed.
This allows the natural sexual cycle to continue. Sterilization will prevent your cat from getting pregnant, but will not affect the grunt. In my opinion, sterilization is therefore not a sensible option.
If castration is not possible, hormone treatment can also be used. However, serious side effects can occur. Treatment with hormones is therefore often only carried out if castration has to be ruled out for health or other reasons.
7. Can being in heat have negative health consequences?
Heat is initially a completely natural condition for the cat, even if it represents a high health burden.
In addition, the roughness can also cause serious health problems:
This can be the case in particular with purely indoor cats, because they tend to suffer from permanent rolling more often than outdoor cats. Continuous heat is triggered if there is no coverage by a hangover with each phase.
At the same time, the influence of the artificial light in the living room ensures that the otherwise usual rest phases are canceled during the darker season.
As a result, the intervals between the individual phases are getting shorter and shorter and can result in permanent curl. This is a significant burden for the animal and should be treated by a veterinarian.
The hormonal changes in permanent heat can cause diseases such as uterine infections, tumors on the uterus or ovaries. If left untreated, these consequences can be fatal.
8. How can you calm cats in heat?
There are several ways to calm a cat in heat. Not every cat in heat reacts to the attempts to calm down in the same way. Ultimately, it is then a matter of trying out and paying more attention to the animal.
- Isolation from cats: When there are tomcats around, a cat in heat becomes more restless. During this time, it is best to close the doors, windows and the cat flap and make sure that the four-legged friend cannot get out. This not only ensures that the cat becomes calmer, but also that it cannot become pregnant. When locking the cat flap, be sure to block it in both directions, as a cat could try to get through it to your cat.
- A warm place: Some cats are easy to calm down with warmth, for example with a warming pillow in their favorite spot.
- Remove marks immediately: Some cats have a tendency to use scent marks. This must be removed as quickly as possible so that it is no longer marked. The cat urine odor must be completely removed. This can be done particularly well with enzymatic cleaners.
- Deflection: Play with your cat a lot, making sure that she can distract herself for at least a while.
9. Are there any herbal remedies that can be used to calm my cat in heat?
There are various herbal remedies that can have a calming effect on lovable cats:
- Catnip: Some cats have a calming effect on the smell of catnip. Not all of them, though. The scent drives some cats to release even more energy. It is best to test the mode of action when it is not in heat.
- Cat pheromones: There are preparations with cat pheromones, which have a relaxing and calming effect on some cats. However, the effect usually only sets in after a few weeks, which means that longer use is required.
In all cases it is important to ensure that you only use products that are suitable for cats. Means for humans are often much higher dosed and can harm your animal.
10. When to go to the vet if the cat is in heat?
It is true that heat and the changed behavior of the cats during this time are a natural process. However, this should not mean that you do not see the vet in the event of alarm signals such as signs of illness or severe emaciation.
As mentioned before, serious illnesses can also be triggered if your cat is in heat. Another reason to see your vet right away is if your cat is bleeding.
Unlike humans, cats do not have menstrual bleeding. The vet can also advise you on all questions relating to the heat of cats and thus cater to your cats individually.
In addition, you should find out about neutering from your vet as early as possible. I would also strongly advise you to do this castration:
Not only does it save your cat and you a lot of stress - only through castration can you prevent uncontrolled cat reproduction and prevent dangerous diseases!
Featured image (top): Faroe / Shutterstock.com
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