Signs Your Cat is in Heat
Before you see signs your cat is in heat, be prepared to get them spayed to prevent an unwanted pregnancy. There are over 500 million domestic cats in the world. In the US alone 50 million are feral. Some humane societies will spay a female kitten before you can adopt them. Unless it is a pediatric surgery, you may need to wait until your cat is 6 months old.
The First Heat Cycle
It is possible your cat could go into heat as early as 4 months of age. Some breeds start earlier than others. Larger cats like Maine Coons go into heat around 10 months and longer haired breeds do as well. Keep in mind though, these are averages and your kitten may surprise you. If you do plan on breeding your cat, consider waiting until she is older than a year so that her mama instincts will have had a chance to develop. Your veterinarian will be happy to discuss your options with you.
Signs Your Cat is In Heat
You will know your cat is in heat when she starts yowling like she is in pain. She may become overly restless, affectionate and be constantly trying to escape outside. You may notice her swaying her back to put her rear up in the air and she may act like she want to mate when you pet her near her back. It is usually not a good idea to have your kitten or cat spayed during heat because there will be an increase in excess bleeding.
Your cat will stay in heat for 7 to 10 days. Mating causes ovulation so it is possible, but not common for a single litter of kittens to have multiple fathers. If your cat has not mated by the time her cycle is over, you will notice signs your cat is in heat again in 3 weeks. This can make it seem like she is constantly in heat.
When Your Cat is Pregnant
If you think your cat is pregnant, you will usually notice her nipples appearing bigger and pinker around the 3rd week. The gestation period is between 60-68 days. You may notice your pregnant cat becoming more affectionate. She will probably sleep more and need more to eat.
You will want to keep her and her litter box clean. She shouldn’t be given any medicine unless your veterinarian tells you she needs it. Pregnancy can take a lot out of a cat so it’s important to provide her with a good diet, high in calcium and protein. It is important that you keep her healthy. Normally a visit to the animal hospital is not necessary unless there are complications or concerns.
You should be prepared with what to expect during the pregnancy and delivery. Being able to tell when there is a complication can help you save your cat’s life or the life of her kittens. Be sure to have the number for the emergency veterinarian on hand in case there is a problem.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please call your Richmond Veterinarian at Advanced Animal Care.