If your female cat has not been spayed, then she will have cycles of going into heat. Heating cycles begin when a female sexually matures and becomes fertile. She is ready to be accepting of mating with a male and will start to exhibit signs of these heat cycles that you should learn to be aware of. Female cats can reach this maturity, or puberty, at different ages. A lot has to do with the type of breed the cat is, and sometimes even the environment plays a role. Some may have their first heat cycle as young as 4 months old, but typically, 6 months is the average age. If your cat is an outdoor cat, she will mature more quickly than an indoor cat will. This is partly due to them having more interaction with male cats.
Cats are animals that cab breed at any time throughout the year. In Southern California, for instance, the weather is mild, particularly the winter months. There are even seasons known as “kitten-season” there, and it runs from March through the month of September. A heat cycle will run an average of 2 weeks, and it is a good thing for cat owners to learn what the signs of heat are. So, is your cat in heat? Here are five symptoms that indicate she is.
1. Cat calling – This is a loud howling sound a female cat makes in the effort to attract males, or Tom cats. Sometimes the loud vocal howling can sound like she is in pain, but it is actually a mating call.
2. Affection – Cats in heat get tend to become very affectionate towards people and even other animals, during heat. Furniture is also an attraction for female cats, so don’t be surprised to see your cat rubbing up against anything and everything when she’s in heat. She will want more of your attention and affection, so if your cat is already affectionate, she’s really going to pour it on during heat. You’ll probably notice a lot of head rubbing, and bottom rolling on the floor. Be prepared to have to do a lot of dance moves when she’s around because weaving in and out of legs is one of her affection moves.
3. Assumes the mating position – If you walk in the room and see your kitty with her head positioned on the floor and her hind-end up in the air with her tail pushed over to one side, this is known as the mating position. Her rear legs will be treading up and down, and this little maneuver has been referred to as the look of “making biscuits.”
4. Females spray during heat – You will want to watch out for urine spray on vertical surfaces. How does a female cat spray urine vertically? By backing up towards something, with her tail in the air and possibly even treading her hind legs, as just mentioned above. The urine she sprays is scented heavily of estrogen, which is also one of her tactics to attract the males.
5. Lots of licking – Female cats will spend a lot of time licking their genitalia when in heat. You may notice that the area tends to stay moist and swollen. This is another indication of her being in a heat cycle.
During heat cycles, your cat may try to get out of the house more, or meow by the door wanting you to let her out. She wants to go prowling for a male, so always keep a close watch on the door, and your cat when your cat is in a heat cycle. One thing to keep in mind is, if your cat has already been spayed but spends a lot of time licking her genitalia area, this might be an indication she has a urinary tract infection. In this instance, you will need to have her checked by a vet since being in heat wouldn’t be a concern.