How Long Do Cats Stay In Heat?

James Glover
by James Glover
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QuestionHow long will my cat stay in heat? (Danielle - Iowa)

Answer

If your female cat does not mate, she will go into oestrus as often as every two to three weeks, for several months each year, until she either mates or is spayed. Cats as young as 4 months old can go into the heat cycle, and they should be spayed as soon as possible unless they are pedigreed and you wish to breed from them. If spaying is not immediately possible then your vet may be able to give her hormones to stop the cycle. After all, the cycle is extremely uncomfortable for her, even if it does not inconvenience you. Your cat will be in heat for one or two days, but won't really come all the way out of it until you have her spayed.

Disclaimer: This service is meant to provide advice only and is not meant to replace an appointment with a registered veterinarian. Users should always seek a second opinion. Unfortunately we are only able to answer several questions per week so not everyone gets a published answer. And, unfortunately we can't answer by email.
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Readers' Comments (Newest to Oldest)
California
Bangel
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Added on July 13th, 2012
At six months old, my Bengal was spayed over a year ago yet went into heat a couple of months ago. The vet said there is likely a "stub" or loose "cell" still producing hormones and he did exploritory surgery about 3 weeks ago to cut away more of the folopian tubes and cut away some soft tissue in hopes of getting it but said it is possible they may never find it. 24 hours after her surgery she went back into heat and has continued to act as such off and on ever since, spraying and howling non stop. The vet said it could take a month for the hormones to leave her system so to be patient but i am getting concerned the surgery failed. I am wondering what options are available if she continues to produce hormones. HELP!
Texas
Ninjball
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Added on May 13th, 2012
Some vets will spay a cat when they're in heat somewill not. The human society will, but for a nominal fee and my friends vet wouldn't. Depending on the Vet. Also I think it depends on what state u live in.
Texas
Ninjball
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Added on May 13th, 2012
We have a 11 month old cat that, up to this point, hasn't acted like she has been in heat. She was chirping a little every month, but we didnt know if she was in heat or this was a new behaviorcause she was still developing her personality. Now we're positive she's in heat. She yewols, scratches at my daughters door, sprays,etc. Ive read from u expert they'll be in heat for 2 days, but I've read it could be for weeks. She has an appointment in a week. How long does her heat cycle really last?
Indiana
DJCasper1121
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Added on Sept 14th, 2011
For everyone who is talking about waiting until they have the money to get their animal fixed...if you live in the U.S. EVERY state has low-cost spay/neuter clinics. If you live in a small town, I'm sure the closest big city will have one. You usually have to make an appointment about a month in advance so I urge you to call asap. $20-30 is all it costs. If you can afford to own an animal, you can afford that. Also most states have a spay/neuter program for anyone who receives government assistance as in food stamps, medicare, disability, etc. And I wouldn't say it's harmful for a cat not to be spayed, but it definitely is uncomfortable, so why cause your cat any unnecessary uncomfort? Could you imagine cramping, bloating, be irritable, etc. every other week? Not to mention an insatiable urge to have sex!
California
quinngosling
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Added on Aug 19th, 2011
You can spay and neuter kittens as soon as they reach two pounds too, I read a blog recently about kitten season and how cats in warmer climates go into heat more often - http://www.foundanimals.org/blog-will-your-cat-beat-heat-summer - it's got other info too about spaying & neutering!
Australia
BlackRose86
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Added on July 28th, 2011
ok just reading that im hoping that my 4 month old kitten/cat gets off heat soon cause i cant stand the howling any longer. And i got her booked in for her to be de-sexed in 2 weeks cause i get Newstart from Centrelink and i get paid fortnightly.
   
And she has been on heat since around Sunday/Monday and its hard on me cause i cant leave her alone for one min.
Canada
kipperandizzy
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Added on Feb 2nd, 2011
I just had my dog neutered and also found out about getting my female cat spayed while I was there and was told they will do it while they are in heat but it would cost us more because there is more blood flow. And sometimes they don't know they are in heat until doing the procedure.
California
whatsthis
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Added on Dec 29th, 2010
I worked for a vet for several years and he told me that cats are almost always in heat if not spayed and he would spay them whether they were in heat or not and even a couple of weeks pregnant ( not fun). Now, my kitten, a Japanese short tail, is in heat. She is normally not affectionate, does not like her tummy rubbed, back scratched, etc. Now she is lovey-dovey and I kinda like it. She does churp quietly when touched, but no crying or yowling. I will get her spayed within the next month. But I am surprised that vets tell you your cat can't be in heat for the spaying. All they do is remove the ovaries.
United Kingdom
Roxy22
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Added on June 18th, 2010
Our Kitten is in and out of heat so often I am finding it difficult to book her into a vets to get her spayed as they will not do the operation while she is in heat.
   
I understand why people are saying get your cat spayed etc but what I don't understand is how people can say it makes them very uncomfortable and can 'hurt' them. Surely it's not that bad for them? Afterall it is a completely natural thing, just as a human female has periods, yes they are a little annoying and uncomfortable but certainly not unbearable.
Georgia
luvpbd21
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Added on June 13th, 2010
I live in Georgia and the Dept of Agriculture has a program where they will pay the cost of the spay/neuter all you have to pay for are the vaccines and any meds given. Also, there's an organization called friends of animals. I'm not sure if thats for every state and it can be hard to find a participating vet but what you do is they ask for a small amount of money and that buys you a certificate that will cover the cost of the spay/neuter. Again you have to pay for the vaccines and meds. I hope this helps!
South Carolina
Zazikel
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Added on May 6th, 2010
I'd just like to say that the whole Discount Spay/Neuter program, and the Catch-Spay-and Release thing are great ideas, and I'd gladly do all of them, but those services are NOT available everywhere! It isn't due to a lack of me trying to find them either. I've been looking for a discount place to get my pets and the other cats that live around my house fixed for years! But the backwards, non pet-friendly town that I live in, had never even heard of the Catch & Release program until very recently, and it's only available in one county, and I'm pretty sure I have to live in that county to participate, which I don't. As far as my own pets go, I looked up every discount Spay/Neuter clinic in the area (and they weren't easy to find!), called them all Many times! They'd never answer the phone, answering machine said leave my number, so I did, but they never called back! I tried e-mail, no reply. The one time a person did answer, it seemed like they were gonna help me get an appointment, but then they said they'd call me back and never did either! I ended up having to pay $900 for my cat to have a complete histerectomy, because the "discount" people ignored us so long, that she got an infection in her uterus. Some discount that was! So, sometimes not having the money IS a valid reason. Especially when the discount people are useless.
Australia
Valixrae
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Added on April 26th, 2010
I just wanted to say that this is great advice, unless you live outside of America. Where I live (Australia) it costs upwards of $150 to get your cat spayed.
   
As it stands my cat has now been in heat for 3 weeks and I'm about to lose my mind. No vet here will touch her until she is out of heat either. Hooray.
Florida
subee0204
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Added on April 9th, 2010
We found a cat and took her in.She's now around 5-6 months. I want to take her to a low cost animal shelter kind of place to be spayed but their appointment are given to you for weeks in advance. They require she is not in heat at the time of spaying. How can i accomodate this request because I read that cats are in heat a few time a month unless she mates.
New York
minnie21
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Added on Feb 11th, 2010
I have read about how some people can not fix their animals because of money issues.
   

   
I wanted to let people know that they can go onto the ASPCA web site, and they have a spay/neuter program. What they do is actually have a vet mobile unit come into your neighborhood and they will fix your animal, for just a small donation or even for free. You can actually arrange with your vet or local shelter to come to their place of business and set up a date and month as long as they have at least fifteen or more people in your neighborhood that also need their pets fixed.
   
It is a wonderful program and I have personally fixed quite few animals through this fantastic program. I have even fixed over the years many strays. As long as you have them in traps or carriers. Please call the ASPCA and plan a day for them to come into your neighborhood. Everyone benefits and so do the animals!!
   
Lot of Luck Everyone..
Georgia
BMalc889
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Added on May 18th, 2009
Hey Matthecat99. I thought it would be really expensive too to get my cat spayed but I found out that my local animal shelter will do the procedure for only 80 dollars. I know they are professional and do good work because I have two other pets that are from there and had the same procedure there. I think this is a small price to pay for not having to listen to chirping and scratching all night! Definitely something to look in to!
California
meow23
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Added on May 16th, 2009
I felt compelled to write and urge you all to spay and neuter as soon as possible. Money is a poor excuse not to as there are many resources to help if it is an issue for you. Call your local shelter for questions about how to get low-cost spaying. Sometimes this is extremely inexpensive and you would be saving your cat a lot of discomfort. I volunteer at a cat rescue and I've seen countless abandoned cats and kittens as the result of irresponsibility by pet owners everyday. PLEASE SPAY AND NEUTER! Thank you.
Minnesota
Mattthecat99
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Added on March 28th, 2009
We have had our cat for probably 5 months and it appears as if she has been in heat for quite a while (weeks)- the chirps are all the time but lately its getting to the point where even when we lock her in her room at night she chirp/moan/scream/yells all night long!! It is VERY frustrating and even though I dont have the money, I need to get her spayed! It really became bad (past two days) because now she has changed tactics and after religiously defactaing in her litter box she has gone on the floor three times, which apparently is a way for the cat to attract other mates and basically say "I am here!!!" She gets VERY loud too and not only does she stick her butt up in the air, she does it to humans (this heat stage really messes with their heads!!!)- does anyone know if you have to wait until they are out of their major heat cycle to get them spayed?
Oregon
izzysma
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Added on March 19th, 2009
Thanks for all the advice everyone. I was going crazy not knowing much about this heat cycle as my cat is driving me nuts with her antics. It's been almost a week and she has not slowed the process, but I now know how many cats are in the neighborhood! Gees! Cats in heat are one of the most unpleasant things to watch, not very attractive I must say...Little hussy! Also, when cats do get pregnant how long until the litter comes?
Pennsylvania
wolfprincess
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Added on March 7th, 2009
I dont believe that either. I think that a cat being in heat varies. Mine isn't fixed and sometimes she is in heat for a week or more.
   
Then can be fine for a few days and come back in heat within the same month. I have found that if we don't talk to her or touch her she doesn't seem to chirp as much.
   
I agree with the one person who said she isn't interested in the normal things. Mine isn't either. She will eat and drink but always has that butt in the air.
   
It's just every time we save enough money to get her fixed something comes up.
   
Pennsylvania
Erin1020
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Added on March 6th, 2009
I have a 9mo old Birman cat who went into heat on Sat. This make it 6 days so far and going strong. She yells and yells and rolls and is uninterested in the playing she used to like. She also doesn't want her "treats" or even to be held like she does. I am waiting for this heat to end so that we can get her spayed.
Georgia
steeler1
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Added on Feb 28th, 2009
Okay my question regards Cats in heat as well. How do I know when the first heat begins ?? Chirping ?? Please explain what chirping is , as I do not believe she has ever done that.
   
Also HOW LONG does the heat last ?? Thank you so much - I need to get her spayed very soon regardless and want to protect her up until.
Oregon
StellasMama
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Added on Feb 15th, 2009
Yeah, our little kitty's in heat, and it's her first one. Yesterday she was outside all day, and we noticed this ugly big, never before seen, cat hanging around our backyard. At first, Stella's chirping was cute, but the more annoying thing is the mating stance. She keeps couching down and backing up into everything. Ugh...
Michigan
Kaboots
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Added on Jan 20th, 2009
My cat is 6 months old. She has been walking around chirping non-stop. Is this an indication that she is in heat . Its constant and driving me crazy. It was cute at first, now its annoying.
Texas
luvlylady56
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Added on Jan 8th, 2009
My cat seems to be forever in heat...and she yowls very loudly ..every time driving me up a wall!!! But it seems to me that her heat lasts more than 2 or 3 days..it seems like over a week..is this possible?