How Long Do Cats Stay In Heat?

Is your kitten turning into an adult cat, and you’re wondering if it’s gone into heat? Are you also wondering how long do cats stay in heat? As cat owners, it will be helpful to know what we can do to take care of them during this cycle. In this blog, we will learn about cats and their estrous cycles, and the things you need to do to help your cat in heat.

Estrous Cycle Explained

You may have heard the word “in heat” to describe your cat, but what about estrous cycles? The estrous cycle is the same as the “heat” cycle. It is often referred to as the stage when a cat is ready to mate

Female cats will experience their first estrous or heat cycle once they reach puberty or sexual maturity. Usually, cats reach puberty in their sixth month, but it may also depend on other factors like weight, time of year, health, etc. Here are the stages of a female cat’s heat cycle.


During this stage, the female cat is not yet ready to mate but may already start to attract male cats. At the proestrus stage, which typically lasts for 1-2 days, cats do not display signs that they are in heat.


The estrus stage is the heat stage which can last for a week. At this time, a female cat (also known as a queen) is open to mate with male cats. The female cat will also start to show signs of being in heat and attracts male cats. The queen may have different vocalizations and behavior during this stage.

During the estrus stage, the queen may mate several times. And when it gets pregnant, the kittens may come from different fathers. This is called superfecundation.


This stage comes after estrus. It’s the period between estrus because the female cat will go into heat again every 2 to 3 weeks until the breeding season ends. During the interestrus stage, the female cat is back to its normal self.


Anestrus is the stage when the cat is reproductively inactive or dormant. There’s no longer estrus activity because the reproductive hormones have diminished during this period.

Signs Your Cat Is In Heat

So how can you tell if your cat is in heat for the first time? They undergo their first estrous cycle during puberty, which happens at six months of age on average. The most common signs to watch out for when a cat is in heat are behavioral. Here are the signs your cat is in heat.

  • The cat wants more affection

When in heat, you may notice your cat rolling, rubbing against you, and demanding attention.

  • They will spray urine

Female cats are likely to spray urine on vertical materials during the estrous cycle. Their urine contains hormones and pheromones, which serve as signals to the other cats that they are available for mating. Male cats will also spray urine to mark their territory and signal their sexual availability. 

  • The cat makes constate noise

A cat in heat will make loud vocalizations or a loud howl. A cat in heat will do this to attract a cat to mate. 

  • Your cat scratches too much

One of the signs your cat is in heat is when it scratches your furniture, windows, or doors too much. 

Things To Do If Your Cat Is In Heat

In heat cats

If your cat is in heat, its natural instinct is to mate with any cat of the opposite sex they see. If your cat seems uncomfortable or agitated during this stage, here are the things you can do to calm your cat.

  • Spend time playing with your feline pal for distraction
  • Let your cat lay on a warm towel, electric blanket, or a heated pad
  • Make sure their cat litter is clean
  • Put your cat away from the other cats of the opposite sex
  • Provide a catnip for your cat
  • Give herbs that can relieve stress or synthetic pheromones to calm your cat. 

Common Questions About A Cat In Heat

How Long Do Cats Stay In Heat?

Each estrus or heat stage lasts for seven days on average. However, it may also range from one day to 21 days. If the cat has not mated during the heat stage, it will go into heat after a few days or weeks. This entire cycle may last up to six weeks. 

How Often Does A Cat Come Into Estrous Cycle?

Cats are polyestrous- they can have multiple cycles during the breeding season. 

Can You Stop A Cat’s Heat Cycle?

The best way to stop a cat in heat or pregnant is to have the cat spayed. This way, the cat will be less likely to scratch and spray urine. It may be hard to know when your cat’s going into heat for the first time, and this is why most vet suggests having the cats spayed once they reach six months of age.

Is It Painful For A Cat In Heat 

Cats may feel discomfort when in heat, but they are not usually in pain every time it happens. Also, they don’t typically bleed when they’re in heat. Note that blood in the genital part or urine is a sign of urinary tract infection, therefore make sure to consult a vet immediately if you see any blood in the genital area or urine.


So how long do cats stay in heat? On average, it can last up to seven days. Cats typically reach puberty at six months of age. Usually, this is also the time when they usually start going into heat. If you’ve noticed your cat in heat, we should not ignore them as their fur parent. A little help goes a long way now that you know the things you can do to calm your cat in heat.

At The Lovable Cat, we believe that every cat deserves to be loved and cared about.

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