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 her estrus cycle, your furry pal will attract a lot of males. You will witness some significant behavioral changes in your kitty’s overall manners.
What Is The Estrus Cycle?
Your furball’s very first estrus cycle will happen when your kitten reaches sexual maturity, which typically occurs shortly after she’s reached six months of age. The heat period, or the estrus cycle, is when your female kitty can mate, ovulate, and become pregnant with baby kittens.
Do Cats Menstruate Or Bleed During The Estrus Cycle?
Unlike human women or female dogs, it’s uncommon for a female cat to bleed during her estrus cycle. However, there are a lot of visible changes which you’ll witness in your feline.
You may see them rolling on the floor. Or they may beg to go outside.
Cats also get extremely demanding and affectionate when they’re in heat. They may even become impatient to the point where they become destructive. They may pee on the carpet or urinate on other parts of your furniture.
This behavior is prompted 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 The Estrus Cycle Effect My Cat?
Apart from marking its territory and spraying pheromones on furniture, your pet will also express other notable behavioral changes.
While appetite towards cat food may not change, your kitty will seek a lot of extra attention. Even if she’s not normally super affectionate, she may constantly rub on you, your visitors, and 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.
Your cat may also roll on soft surfaces like the sofa and the carpet. She may also arch her rear end and tail upwards if you stroke her spine.
The sprayed pheromones and constant meowing will also attract male cats into your yard or near your apartment building.
What To Do When My Cat Is In Heat?
You 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. Females can breed at any given moment during the estrus cycle, regardless of how long ago it started. As such, a litter of newborn kittens can be conceived with more than one father.
If you decide to keep the males at bay and not allow your kitty to mate, she 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 24 hours.
Ultimately, try to focus on your everyday routines even if your cat 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 to be safe from male tomcats.
How To Prevent Cat Periods
Of course, your best option, if you are not a breeder, is to have your cat spayed. This surgical sterilization will prevent your feline pal from experiencing estrus cycles and from getting pregnant.
You can spay your cat anytime, regardless of age.
One final note…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 this is not true. Bearing or not bearing kittens before being spayed doesn’t affect a cat’s behavior.