Do Female Cats Have Menstrual Periods?

Female cats have period cycles just like dogs and humans. However, these cycles are slightly different for felines.

For starters, the female cat’s periods are called estrus cycles instead of menstrual cycles and they occur when your precious furball is in heat.

During its estrus cycle your furry pal will attract a lot of males, even if you’re residing on an upper floor level in an apartment building, and you will witness some significant behavioral changes in your kitty’s overall manners.

What Is The Estrus Cycle?

The very first estrus cycle will happen when your kitten reaches sexual maturity, which happens shortly after she’s reached six months of age, usually. The heat period, or the estrus cycle, is when your female kitty can mate, ovulate, and become pregnant with baby kittens.

Cats Don’t Menstruate Or Bleed During The Estrus Cycle.

Unlike human women or female dogs, it’s uncommon for a female cat to bleed during the course of her estrus cycle. However, there are a lot of visible changes which you’ll witness in your feline pet during these cycles.

Cats get extremely demanding and affectionate when they’re in heat and may even become impatient to the point where they become destructive, such as peeing on the carpet or urinating on other parts of your furniture even when there’s nothing for them to be mad at you about.

This behavior isn’t prompted by a desire for revenge, but by the need to mark territory and release hormones and pheromones which will signal to all the male cats out there that she’s in heat. If your pet doesn’t mate, the cycle will continue for around a week and will repeat itself approximately every three weeks.

How Will This Cycle Affect My Cat?

Apart from marking its territory and spraying pheromones on furniture, your pet will also express other notable changes in terms of behavior.

While appetite towards cat food may not change, the kitty will definitely seek a lot of extra attention. Even if it’s not normally super affectionate, it may constantly rub on you, your visitors, your furniture.

If your cat starts seeking your attention 24/7, it doesn’t mean that she’s fallen in love all of a sudden, it simply means that she’s in heat.

Impatient cats will become more vocal when they’re in heat and will constantly meow and groan. This can become quite irritating to most owners, especially if your kitty happens to be an Oriental Shorthair, which is a notably vocal cat.

The cat will also roll on soft surfaces like the sofa and the carpet, and will arch its rear end and tail upwards if you stroke its spine. The sprayed pheromones and constant meowing will also attract male cats in your yard or near your apartment building.

What To Do When My Cat is In Heat?

You basically have two options – allow the cat to mate with a male tomcat or keep her away from males, preventing her from getting pregnant.

During the heat cycle female felines can mate numerous times for a short period of time. Females can breed at any given moment during the estrus cycle, regardless of how long ago it started. As such, it’s absolutely possible for a litter of newborn kittens to be conceived with more than one father.

If you decide to keep the males at bay and not allow your kitty to mate, it will go out of heat when ovulation strikes. This can happen anywhere from a couple of days to a week after the estrus cycle begins. Ovulation can also be triggered by mating the kitty several times over the course of 24 hours.

Ultimately, try to focus on your everyday routines without paying attention to the fact that your female furball is spraying pheromones and is driving you crazy with her demands for extra attention. There’s no need to change her diet, but you’ll need to keep her strictly indoors in order to be safe from male tomcats.

How To Prevent Cat Periods

If you want to prevent your feline pal from experiencing estrus cycles and from getting pregnant, you’ll need to take her to a vet clinic for surgical sterilization. This is also called spaying or ovariohysterectomy.

You can spay your cat at anytime, regardless of age.

Some pet parents claim that if you allow your cat to have kittens at least once before spaying, it will make her more amiable and social, but it has been proven that bearing or not bearing kittens before being spayed doesn’t affect the cat’s behavior.

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Emily Parker
 

Emily Parker is the Content Manager at Catological. She's passionate about helping cat parents love their cats better by providing the best information and recommendations about everything you'll need to know about your cat, from kitten to senior years. She believes natural, biologically-appropriate products are best...why wouldn't you provide the best for a member of your family?!

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