Female cats will show obvious signs of them hitting their heat cycle, but do you know what they are and how to recognize this cycle? If your female cat is not spayed, then she will continue to go through regular cycles of being in heat, and those who own a cat and have seen this happen, even just once, will tell you that some of the signs and behaviors of a cat going in heat, can be a bit odd and may even make you want to rush to get her fixed as soon as you can – which is really the recommendation of all vets and animal caretakers, anyways. If you aren’t familiar with the heat cycle of a cat and what they do before they hit the cycle, these are the signs of a cat in heat.
1. Restless and hungry kitty
Cat’s in heat will naturally have an increase in appetite and will begin to feel and show signs of restlessness. This is the first sign of the heat cycle, known as proestrus, and you may even notice that some Tom cats start to come around, maybe gather around your home. This is due to the pheromones that your cat is putting off and it attracts the males. While this is happening, your cat’s vulva is also growing more tender and moist. You may start to notice her licking herself here more often here during the proestrus phase, which tends to last about two days.
2. Creepy sounds and calls start to emerge
A female makes some pretty interesting sounds during her heat cycle. They have been described as bone-chilling and eerie. When a female cat is in heat, she begins to get a very strong urge to mate and she calls to the males to let them know she is ready and willing. You may hear her and think she is in pain, but it is only a call of desperation to get a male to notice her and answer her call. If you hear these loud cries, this is indication that your feline is in full heat, also known as estrus.
3. Her affection for you greatly excels
Yes, your cat has been bitten by the lovebug, and not just for a male cat, but for her humans too. Cats in heat feel the need to get all sorts of attention and affection, and you may notice that she seems to suddenly start demanding your affection more; rubbing up against your leg, rolling on the floor, and making an “Elvis move” of shaking her little pelvis around. If you don’t seem too interested in showing her the affection in return or she is desperate for some loving, she might even go as far as to nip or bit at your arm to get your attention.
4. The present with their butt in the air, otherwise known as taking the “come hither” pose
Cats are known for striking all kinds of interesting poses, but if you notice your cat raising her hips and sticking her little butt in the air, giving a twitch of the tail from side-to-side, and tread the ground with her hind feet, she is in full-on estrus. At this point, she is in a very receptive state of a male cat. This stage lasts about 4-6 days and she is at high-risk of bolting out any open door to find her a willing mate.
Once your cat has completely this portion of her 10 day cycle of proestrus and estrus, or “heat,” she transitions into yet another, third stage, known as interestrus. When your female cat reaches this stage, there is a drastic change with the males. Now, she will actually aggressively attack any male that comes close and wants to mate or stands in her way. This stage is a one-to-two week stage and once it ends, the process begins all over again.
Once your cat reaches about five months of age and you start to see any of the signs mentioned above, it’s important to get her spayed to prevent these cycles from continuing. Not only does it help prevent unwanted births and helps to keep the cat population down, but it has health benefits for her, too. It helps prevent uterine cancer, polycystic ovaries, which are caused by fluctuating hormone levels. The sooner you take care of spaying your cat, the less you risk many obstacles in your cat’s life, including losing your cat due to her need to escape, and you won’t be visited at all hours of the night by prowling Tom’s.