10 Aug Is It Painful for Cats to Go Through Heat?
No one really knows for sure if going through heat is painful for a cat. However, pet owners are often concerned that their fur baby is feeling discomfort because of the signs they exhibit during a heat cycle.
Here’s a rundown on what to expect when your cat is in heat, and the best way to handle it.
Heat Cycles in Cats
Cats are polyestrous animals, which means that they can have multiple heat cycles (the period in which a cat can become pregnant) throughout any year while they are still fertile. Their heat cycles may begin as early as six months old. They typically kick off in the early spring and will continue to cycle through until Halloween. Heat cycles will continue until the cat is spayed. You may sometimes feel that your cat is always in heat and here’s why. Heat cycles can last from four to five days. They can recur every two or three weeks. This is why many vets recommend early spaying.
If they can find a mate, cats can have up to five litters in one year. Interestingly, as well as being polyestrous, cats are also induced-ovulators. This means that the act of mating triggers the release of an egg into the uterus to reach her mate’s sperm. This is why a single litter of kittens can have more than one father.
Signs Your Cat is in Heat
It’s hard not to notice when your cat is in her heat cycle. One of the most common signs – and why many cat owners think their pet is in pain – is loud howling. Rather than signaling pain, the calling is intended to draw a potential suitor. So, if you hear this noise, you don’t need to worry that your pet is suffering.
As well as being more vocal than normal, when your cat is in heat, you may notice that she is more affectionate. She may also crawl along the ground as she is calling and appear generally more restless than usual. Other signs include frequent washing of her genitals and spraying her territory. These are all normal behaviors during estrus. Some cats also go off their food during heat, so don’t worry if your cat has little appetite along with these other signs.
Caring for a Cat in Heat
A cat in heat can be tricky to live with, but her behavior is normal, so you shouldn’t try to change it unless you want to have her spayed. If you don’t want such a permanent solution, you can ask your vet for synthetic progesterone injections, which will keep her heat at bay. If you don’t want to have your cat spayed because you wish to breed her, here are some things you can do to help you and your furry friend get through her heat cycles:
- Provide her with plenty of toys.
- Play with her often.
- Put a heating pad in her cat bed.
- Use catnip to calm her down.
Getting Your Cat Spayed
Spaying is a relatively simple procedure during which your pet’s ovaries and uterus are removed. Your favorite feline will be back to normal within a few days and the surgical site will heal within a couple of weeks. Any stitches will be removed at your next vet appointment.
Although you can have your cat spayed while she is in heat, most vets would not recommend it. This is because, during a heat cycle, your cat’s reproductive organs become engorged with blood, making the procedure tricky and time-consuming. It could also cost you more money. If you really do not want to have a pregnant cat, the best thing to do is have her spayed when her heat cycle is over.
Now you will be able to recognize when your cat is in heat and how to make her more comfortable. Most importantly, you won’t have to worry that she is in pain because while even the best vet can’t say for sure, it is most likely that her only discomfort is not being able to satisfy her urge to mate.