When cats reach puberty, they begin their first estrous (reproductive) cycle. The estrous cycle is also known as the heat cycle in cats. Puberty, or sexual maturity, begins in cats around the age of six months. However, this can vary significantly depending on the time of year. So, do cats stay in heat after mating?
Yes, cats can still be in heat after mating as cats’ heat cycles last around a week on average, although they can last as little as one day or as long as two weeks. Ovulation is triggered by mating, and it may take numerous matings to get pregnant.
This article will talk about your cat staying in heat after mating and what its effects are.
What Does Cat In Heat Means?
Cat in heat is another term for a cat being in oestrus or being receptive to being mated and potentially becoming pregnant.
When a cat reaches sexual maturity, she goes into heat, which means she is fertile and ready to mate. Cats can enter puberty at varied ages depending on breed and environment, although they can have their first heat as young as four months old, with the average age being six months. Outdoor cats can mature faster, especially if there are intact males nearby.
Cats can reproduce all year in Southern California, thanks to the mild winters, with the busiest “kitten season” occurring from March through September. Heat cycles can last anywhere from two to four weeks.
Signs Your Cat Is In Heat
Signs that your cat is in heat include: –
1. Display of Affection
Your female cat may become overly loving.
She might rub her hindquarters against furniture, stuffed animals, other cats, or even you.
The way she lifts her tail or even assumes the mating position occasionally distinguishes this behavior from sheer restlessness.
2. Defining Her Domain
A cat in heat, like a male cat, may spray urine on vertical surfaces.
She’ll back up to her preferred surface, raise her quivering tail, and possibly do the repetitive treading mentioned above.
This appears to be a sign of concern to the inexperienced eye. This is a natural behavior for a cat in heat, so don’t be frightened.
3. Need To Get Away
When your cat is in heat, instinct dictates that she rushes to the door when it opens. Outside, she sees possible suitors and realizes she needs to entice and mate with them.
It is not uncommon for an indoor cat to escape for more than one day, if not a week or more, during this time. Make sure to close all escape routes and keep a close eye on her.
You could even use play to divert her attention away from the subject at hand.
4. Loss Of Appetite
Your cat’s appetite may have dwindled. Her mind is on other things, to be honest. Her biological urge for reproduction, rather than feeding herself, is shifted by instinct.
However, keep an eye on her hunger because this should only last two weeks. If she doesn’t return to her regular feeding habit after that period, something else could be wrong.
How Frequently Do Cats Go Into Heat?
A cat can go into heat after every two to three weeks.
Cats have a year-round breeding season that can start as early as February and end as late as December, although, in the western hemisphere, the breeding season runs from March through September.
“Kitten Season” is dreaded by rescuers because it signifies that the new crop of kittens will remove any prospect of adoption for older cats, including last year’s kittens, at shelters.
This is sufficient grounds for spaying and neutering pet cats if for no other reason. Cats’ heat cycles are known as “polyestrus,” which means they go through them on a regular basis during their reproductive years.
These heat cycles can begin as early as the fourth or fifth month of a kitten’s life and last until she is spayed or bred.
Cats go through heat cycles that last anything from a few days to two weeks or longer, and they recur every two to three weeks.
You can see how a female cat may appear to be in heat practically all of the time. No one can determine for sure whether heat cycles are painful for cats; nonetheless, based on their calling (loud yowling) and other signs, they appear to be highly uncomfortable.
A kitten’s first heat can occur as early as 4 1/2 months, so don’t believe the conventional recommendation is to wait until six months to spay.
Remember that after a female cat has her first heat, she will continue to have heats until she mates or is spayed.
How Can You Soothe A Cat Who Is In heat?
You can soothe a cat who is in heat by doing the following steps: –
1. Separate Her From Male Cats
When your cat is in heat, she becomes even more agitated when she is in the presence of males.
Allow her no access to the outside, and close all windows and doors, including pet flaps.
You must keep her away from all-male cats in order to keep her calm and prevent her from becoming pregnant.
Isolation will also keep her safe; if she notices a male outside, she may attempt to flee your home.
If you live with a male cat, locate a friend or hire a cat sitter to take him in for a few weeks.
If the two cats remain in the same location, they will act erratically and almost likely mate.
Cover the window with drapes or a piece of cardboard if male cats may be seen through it.
2. Use Catnip
Only use catnip if it relaxes your cat. Cats react to catnip in a variety of ways. When given catnip, some cats rest and settle down, while others get energized and aggressive.
Avoid this strategy if you don’t know how your cat reacts to catnip. It has the potential to exacerbate the problem. This is simply a short-term solution, but it might buy you an hour or two of calm.
3. Provide A Warm Surface For Your Cat To Sit On
Although success is not assured, some people find that placing a heat pack or a warm, damp towel on the cat’s lap keeps her calm and still.
Microwavable heat packs may be the most convenient alternative because they can be rapidly reheated if the cat becomes agitated again. An electric heat pad or blanket is another option.
4. Herbal Remedies
Examine the efficacy of herbal therapies. Many herbal cures for cats are available on the market. Some cat owners claim to have had success, but no single solution works for all cats.
Furthermore, none of these products may work for your cat. Purchase a collection of small samples and experiment with a variety of treatments.
When you’ve found a product that works for your cat, stock up on it and stick to the labeling directions.
5. Keep The Litter Box Clean
When cats are in heat, they often scent mark with urine to attract males. You can encourage her to use her litter box instead of scent marking your house by keeping it clean at all times.
If she still leaves a fragrance mark, clean and deodorize the area right away. Leaving a stench of urine behind will just encourage her to do it again.
Ammonia-based cleaning products should be avoided. Ammonia is naturally found in urine, and the odor will urge her to return to that location.
6. Use Feliway
Feliway can be used in your home. Feliway is a cat pheromone that has a relaxing and soothing effect on cats. However, it takes a few weeks of exposure to begin calming cats down, so it’s not a quick treatment.
If you know your cat isn’t neutered, you should consider using the Feliway diffuser during the breeding season. As a result, when she goes into heat, the Feliway will already be in her system.
7. Play With Her
Have some fun with your cat. Playing with your cat can momentarily divert her, but she’ll usually return to wailing once you’re done.
If your cat is already relaxed enough to allow it, petting, scratching, or brushing her lower back can be more helpful.
How Long Does Cat Stay In Heat After Mating?
A cat can stay in heat after mating for about 2-3 weeks or until she gets pregnant.
Cats’ heat cycles last around a week on average, although they can last as little as one day or as long as two weeks.
Ovulation is triggered by mating, and your cat may need numerous matings to become pregnant.
Female cats will typically remain in heat until they have been mated and been pregnant. Oestrus lasts 7 to 10 days and can result in one of three outcomes:
- The cat mates and bears a child. She will usually return to mating season 8 weeks after the kittens are born. However, this can vary from 1 to 21 weeks. This is normally about the time when the kittens are weaned.
- The cat mates but does not have a child, resulting in a pseudo or “false” pregnancy. In this case, she may show all of the pregnancy indicators, including weight gain, increased hunger, and even milk production, but she will not have any kittens. She will go on heat again in around 4-6 weeks.
- The cat does not mate. She will return to season 1 to 2 weeks later, and this cycle may repeat again until she has mated or the breeding season is over.
Reasons To Prevent Heat In Cats
You should prevent heat in cats as it can be stressful and unhealthy for your cat. She may lose weight, begin overgrooming, and even develop behavior issues.
Your kitten will be able to get pregnant as soon as she experiences her first heat. Her hormones make her desperate to find a partner.
She’ll almost certainly scream in agony. She is free to roll around on the ground and rub her face on anything she wants.
Most significantly, if she is only allowed to be indoors, she may attempt to flee your home searching for a mate. It’s risky for her to go outside where she could be lost or hurt, but it’s also risky for her to become pregnant at such a young age. Because her body is still growing, pregnancy could be dangerous for both her and the kittens.
If your cat does not leave the house during her first heat cycle to mate, she will repeat the cycle every few weeks until she becomes pregnant or is spayed.
This may give the impression that she is always in heat. This could become unpleasant and unhealthy for your cat over time. She may lose weight, start grooming excessively, and possibly have behavioral problems.
Frequently Asked Questions
At what age can a cat become pregnant?
Ans. Although female cats can become pregnant by six months, it is not uncommon for them to begin the estrous cycle as young as four months. If she is allowed to become pregnant at this age, the result will be a kitten giving birth to kittens, putting both the mother and the babies at risk. To avoid catastrophes like this, many veterinarians are increasingly recommending early spay and neuter.
Is my cat in pain when she is in heat?
Ans. Nobody knows for sure whether a cat’s heat is uncomfortable. However, because of the signals they exhibit during a heat cycle, pet owners are frequently afraid that their furry friend is in pain.
When do male cats become sexually active?
Ans. The majority of male cats reach sexual maturity between the ages of six and twelve months, though it can happen as late as 18 months. A male cat that has not sired a litter with a verified fertile female by the age of 18 months may be diagnosed with infertility.
It is true that your cat be still in heat even after mating if she does not get pregnant. There is no need for you to worry as it is totally normal.
If you want to avoid this, it is best to visit your vet and get your cat spayed.
If you have any unanswered questions, ask us in the comments down below.