How Long Does Your Cat Stay In Heat?

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Your cats are in heat? Their vocalizations make you feel sick? And you find ways to make things better? For how long does your cat stay in heat, check our post!

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Cats and dogs are favorite pets of people around the world. Although they are all mammals, the in-heat length of cats is quite different from dogs. This makes many cat owners confused about the cat’s heat cycle and not know what’s going on with their lovely pet. Some even think that their cat has problems with health.

So, in this post, we not just help you answer the question “how long does your cat stay in heat?”, but we also give you helpful information about the heat cycle of cats. Let’s get started!

How To Tell If Your Cat Is In Heat

The heat cycle of cats usually begins in the warm season (from January to August). This is a very normal milestone for female cats. Don’t be panic! Check these signs before taking her to the vet.

Make Annoying Sound

Making annoying sound is the clearest sign. A normal female cat just meows in low sound, but when being in heat, she will increase her vocalization. It sounds like she is in pain or anxiety, and it’s sometimes like a crying baby.

Their sound in this situation can make some people feel very annoyed and even scared. And you – as her owner – should not be angry at your cat because it’s just a natural instinct.

Want to Go Outside

She may hide somewhere near the doors, windows, wait until you open them without attention then immediately run. Some cats will return home after few minutes or hours, and try to escape as much as possible. Meanwhile, others leave home until the heat gone, then turn back. In some particular situation, she will leave home up to 3 months, then turn back with her kittens.

Become More Affectionate

Cats are already affectionate; however, when they are in heat, you will see them very very strange. They unusually rub objects in the house, roll on the carpet and even cling owners’ legs, arms, face to asking for petting. Your cat can do this to their (favorite) human or to another male cat.

Male Cats Around Your House

If you see there are some strange male cats prowling around your house, don’t be surprised because they are following the ‘love song’ of the female, which is looking for a mate. They are the reason why your cat always wants to escape outside even though she is an indoor cat. One of those tomcats will be your kittens’ father.


In addition to raising vocalization, your cat can spray a little amount of urine on wall and other places. It is because the increasing of pheromones and hormones in urine can attract male cats.

In addition, signs of heat cycle can include others signs such as increasing or decreasing appetite depending on each individual, waving their tails, etc. If your cat doesn’t have these signs, take her to the vet to have a health check.

How Long Does Your Cat Stay In Heat?

The cats’ heat cycle occurs when the kitten is in the fifth month to the tenth month. Unlike dogs, cats can be in heat several times a year. This relies on the season changes, species, etc. In general, this period lasts about 8 to 14 days and is divided into 3 stages:


The first stage lasts 2 days. In this stage, your cats will make annoying vocalisation. She tries to attract the male from near to far distance by the loud vocalization, but she’s still not available for mating.


The second stage lasts about 5 to 10 days, sometimes 14 days. In this period, the female cat is ready to mate and exposes some signals as we mentioned above. If you don’t want her to have kittens, do not let your ‘queen’ meets any male cats.


This is the last stage when a female cat returns to the normal circumstance gradually. All the signs will cease as a rest before coming back to the first stage after a couple of weeks. The cycle will last until the breeding season ends or your cat is spayed.

However, if the cat is mated, she will not step up to interestrus. She will ovulate and become pregnant. After 60 days, she gives birth to kittens. When kittens are weaned after approximately 8 weeks, the female cat then turns back to the heat cycle.

How to Take Care of Your Cat During the Heat Period

Don’t be angry at your cat. Instead, try these things to calm her and prevent your cat from having unwanted kittens:

  • Spend more time on playing with your cat: This will give her physical exercise and a distraction. In case you don’t have much time, give her a toy instead.
  • Keep your cat in the house always: In case you have another male cat in your house, isolate two of them until the heat cycle ends.
  • Spaying your cat: Please note that this won’t help you calm the in-heat cat because it just helps you stop the heat cycle. You should spay her before the first cycle in order not to have any kittens. The recommended age is 8-week year old, and make sure she weighs 2 pounds at least. 
  • Petting her, talking to her and always staying beside her: This will help your cat feel more comfortable.


Of course, an in-heat cat is such a drag when they last so long. Nevertheless, it is the time for you to take care of and pay more attention to your cat. This will not only help her feel more comfortable but also avoid her from having unwanted kittens.

Hopefully, you now know how long does your cat stay in heat, as well as her unusual signs and ways to take care of her during the heat period.

As always, leave your comment if you have any questions. 

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