Is your cat currently having her period and acting like she is in pain? Has she been in heat longer than you might have expected? Today we will answer the popular question people have been asking for centuries, “How long will a cat stay in heat?”
About How Long Will A Cat Stay in Heat?
How long will a cat stay in heat? This is a common question to many. The average length of time that a cat spends in heat is anywhere from three to four weeks. The times vary widely between individual breeds and may be longer or shorter based on a cat’s normal cycle.
If the cat is spayed or neutered, it can stay in heat for 9 months of the year without having any problems with reproduction. After that time the reproductive hormones stop working. If the cat is left intact, it can stay in heat for anywhere from 3 to nine months.
The cat could become pregnant multiple times within that time period but it is unlikely since her uterine lining would thicken and prevent other embryos from attaching to it.
Some cats stay in heat from a few days to up to six weeks. The reason for this enormous gap in time is that there are individual differences between each cat even though they are all felines and come from the same species.
How long each individual cat stays in heat depends on its genetic and hormonal makeup.
What Causes a Cat’s Heat Cycles to be Longer or Shorter?
The length of time that a cat is in heat has several factors: genetics, hormonal drive, and environmental.
How long a cat stays in heat can be controlled by genetics but at times you cannot predict its length.
If a cat has two or more intact (non sterilized) female relatives who have not yet had its first estrus it is always possible for them to produce kittens at any time during its lifetime.
On the other hand, if a cat has no intact relatives it is unlikely that she will come into heat.
The hormonal drive in cats is what supports the reproductive cycle.
The hormone levels are at their highest level when a female cat comes into heat and this triggers an estrus cycle that lasts for about two weeks.
The level of hormones can vary based on many factors such as health, hunger, stress, and sleep patterns.
Environmental factors are extremely influential in the length of how long a cat stays in heat.
For example, cats who live outside have much longer cycles than ones that live indoors. In some cases, cats have been known to come into heat for as long as four weeks. Also, another factor is if a female cat has recently had kittens.
This can cause her to repeat her cycle and stay in heat even longer because the maternal hormones from motherhood can override the reproductive hormones for some time after delivery.
What happens When A Cat Stays in the Heat for Long?
Just like humans, young cats are not at the peak of their immune functioning during the first year of life.
A cat poses the risk of UTI, parasitic infections, and feline leukemia being in heat for long periods of time.
The same thing happens to a human female when she goes through menopause. After over 30 years the immune system weakens but that does not mean a female cat is more susceptible to illness than others.
How long a cat stays in heat does not affect her ability to reproduce. She is still fertile when she comes into heat and can still be impregnated even if she has been in heat for a very long time. It’s just unlikely that she will have any kittens.
Does a cat stay in heat longer if she isn’t spayed?
Yes. Un-spayed cats stay in the heat much longer than the average two weeks and some even up to four weeks.
Spaying your cat is the best way to control her cycle and prevent infection from occurring. If you do not have your female cat spayed then be prepared for her to come into heat more often than a female who’s not been sterilized yet.
If a female cat is spayed she will be able to come into heat every 6 months or so.
Why does a female cat stay in heat longer than a male?
There are many factors involved with a female cat’s heat cycle. A female cat stays in heat for about 90% longer than a male.
The female’s body responds to hormones that have been released during pregnancy and stop ovulating and menstruating once she has had all of her kittens.
If a female cat is allowed to come into heat without being sterilized then she won’t be able to come into heat again until her next cycle. If a female cat has been spayed then she will not be able to come into heat again most likely.
Many of the factors that determine how long a cat stays in heat are genetic and environmental.
A female cat will not go into heat for the first time until she is about 6 months old. When she does, you will be able to tell because she will have a bloody discharge, swollen vulv@, and she may become aggressive towards other cats.
A female cat will usually go into heat every six months or so. After she has gone through a heat cycle she will return to normal behavior.
How long does a female cat stay in heat if she’s not sterilized?
Female cats who have not been sterilized will typically begin to come into heat about every six months. Female cats can typically go through three heat cycles before they are too old to reproduce.
How long will a cat stay in heat depends on many different factors, however, a cat’s period of heat can last anywhere between two weeks and four weeks. When this happens, you can usually tell by her behavior.
A cat in heat will become very affectionate and receptive to male cats although she will not be able to be fertilized at that time. There are a few other signs you can look for when trying to figure out if your cat is in heat.
One of the most obvious is bleeding from the vulv@. This occurs when she goes into estrus and should stop after a while. If it does not then you may have to take her to the vet because there could be another health problem going on such as an infection or tumor.