Do Cats Have Periods?

Cats are the least troublesome pets you can own. However, a female cat, just like other female organisms, reaches reproductive maturity at some stage. At this stage, cat owners who are uninformed or less informed often have limited knowledge about the changes that the female cat goes through. A common question that cat owners ponder over is do cats have periods? Here is a compilation of important information that you will need to know when your female cat goes through a mature ageing process.

What is Heat?

Period cycles are slightly different for our feline friends as compared to humans. Often times you will hear a cat owner say “My cat is on heat”. This indicates that the cat has reached puberty and is longing to breed, or in much simpler words the sexual hormones of a cat are at their peak. 

The cat is most fertile during this period. A cat will typically go on heat for the first time when it is around six months old. A typical heat cycle of a cat consists of four phases - proestrus; estrus; metestrus and diestrus.

What is the Estrus Cycle?

Just like a human female’s menstrual cycle, female cats have the estrus cycle. If you are beginning to wonder - do cats have periods when they are in the estrus cycle, then hold on a little longer – we’re getting to that. The most common signs of estrus in cats tend to be mostly behavioural. 

Rolling on the floor, rubbing against people or objects, increased licking of its genital area because of its swelling, becoming more vocal than they usually would be, spraying on vertical structures with a strong smelling fluid and posing as if she is ready to mate are all typical signs indicating that your cat has entered its estrus cycle. The most agitating out of all these symptoms is the spraying.

Be extra attentive and if you see your cat lifting her tail backed up to a tall structure, make sure you remove her from that area before she sprays on it. Another thing to keep an eye out for is her anticipation to leave the house where ever she spots a door open. An indoor cat is desperate to leave the house when on heat!

If your cat begins to bleed through its vagina then it is a health concern that you must inform your vet about as early as possible.

Do cats bleed when in Heat?

For all cat owners out there, the most important question that has probably been keeping you on the edge – and the answer is NO. Cats do not bleed when they are on their estrus cycle. So that’s a sign of relief. However, no matter how loving and affectionate your feline friend may be, once it is on heat, it will become ten times more demanding.

And, it may even cause destruction to your furniture around the house by peeing on carpets or spraying its urine on other areas around the house. Don’t worry, they’re not expressing anger by depicting this behaviour. They just need to release all those hormones and mark their territory to signal their sexual counterparts that they are ready to mate.

How long are cats in Heat?

If your cat is not spayed, it will go into heat several times in one year. A typical heat cycle lasts around one week to ten days. There are some external factors that may influence how quickly your cat matures and reaches puberty. For instance, the amount of interaction your female cat has with other male cats.

It also differs from breed to breed. Siamese cats are more likely to hit puberty way earlier than any other breed of cats. In contrast, Persian cats may not reach puberty until they are 10 months old or even older than that.

The heat cycle of a female cat will not come to an end unless it becomes pregnant, or it mates and does not become pregnant at all, or the breeding season ends and external factors affecting the cat’s heat are subsided. As long as the mating season is active, your cat is highly likely to remain in heat.

How often do cats come in Heat?

Cats can be “seasonally polyestrus”. This means that they can be on heat multiple times during the breeding season. Breeding seasons vary and are dependent on geographic and environmental factors. Each time your cat goes on heat, it can be in the estrus cycle for as little as one day to seven days. If the queen cat has not mated during this period, she will remain in and out of heat several times with a break of 1 to two weeks at the max.

What to do when my cat is in Heat?

Typically if you ask a cat owner – do cats have periods, he or she will give you a huge list of things to do when your cat goes on heat. Practically, it is very difficult to manage a cat when it is on heat.

There is no way to actually make the cat behave in a better manner because its behaviour during this cycle is considered absolutely normal. If you take your cat to the vet during this period, the vet will suggest you opt for hormone injections which can ease the disruption that the cat may be causing around the house.

But why put your poor feline friend in so much torture when you can simply buy her some cat toys to shred and deal with the frustration if you are not willing to let her mate.

How to prevent your cat from going on Heat?

The typical way to prevent your cat from going on heat would be to get it spayed. This is a surgical sterilization procedure for which you will have to take your cat to the vet and probably leave her there for a couple of hours.

You can get your cat spayed regardless of the age during any time of the year. There are a lot of misconceptions about getting a cat spayed that people have created over time. For instance, the cat’s head will not grow proportionately to its body if you get it spayed at a young age.

There is absolutely no logic behind that claim. Every cat reacts differently to being spayed. Therefore, you cannot predict what kind of behavioural changes, there are often none, that the cat will go through after it has been surgically sterilized.

There are some great catnip toys available on that you could purchase to help ease your feline friend’s frustration. There are some really cute mice toys available as well. Check these out:

These toys are all available at reasonable prices and will be perfect for your cat to shred and destroy while she is on her heat period.  

A Parting Note

If your answer to the question – do cats have periods, has been answered then you are good to go. It would be only fair to be more understanding towards your cat’s behaviour when it is on heat and going through maturing changes in her body.

Try to be more accommodating and loving to your feline friends at these times. Imagine yourself during your periods and the pain that you probably go through. Now picture a cat who is unable to express this pain and frustration. Be nice!

Rebecca Welters

Yes, I am that weird cat lady with 200 cats and live in the darkest corner of the city where no one dares to go! Joking! But I am a cat lover and have 2 Ragdoll cats called Toby, he's 3 years old and Dory, she's 8 years old. I'm 36 years old and live in the quiet town of Washington.

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