How Do You Know If A Cat Is In Heat?

Things to look out for when your cat is in heat!


  1. How do you know if a cat is in heat? When a queen (an adult female cat that is still within her reproductive age, one that has not been spayed) is in heat or is "calling", the things that she does can be very confusing to many cat owners that have never owned a female cat before. The things that a queen does when in heat can make it appear as if she is very angry, irritable, combative or simply hostile. A queen can also act quite affectionately, and not eat as much as she normally would. Rolling around on the floor and treading in place are also among the signs that a queen is "calling". When a queen is "calling", her body is getting ready to reproduce. The symptoms are similar to PMS, or premenstrual syndrome (also known as premenstrual tension), which can occur in humans. The "calling" period can last for 3 weeks.

    Cat Pregnancy

    A female cat can become a "queen" at only 4 months old, and this queen can become pregnant during the period that she is in heat. Pregnancy for a cat can last for a little over 2 months, and a queen can give birth to a litter of about 3 to 6 cats after 67 days. It is also possible for a pregnant cat to give birth in as little as 56 days, or as much as 71 days. Three weeks after getting pregnant, a first-time mother cats "udders" or mammary glands are likely to turn a rosy pink shade. This is what happens when the mammary glands get bigger in size, as they prepare to produce milk for the litter. 

    Is My Cat Just Gaining Weight, Or Is It Possible That She Is Pregnant?

    About halfway into a queens pregnancy, she is likely to gain weight, as she begins to eat for herself and her litter. A cat that is just gaining weight is likely to show that she has become heavier all over, and her stomach area will just be drooping. On the other hand, a cat that is pregnant is likely to show some protuberance around the sides of her stomach. Eight weeks into her pregnancy, a queen is likely to lose her appetite once again.

    How Do Vets Diagnose Cat Pregnancy?

    There are different ways by which cat pregnancy is professionally diagnosed, among which is palpation. This is done by feeling around the cats stomach area for kittens, which should be the size of walnuts at this point, or about 4 weeks into the pregnancy. Palpation is best done by an experienced vet; otherwise, misdiagnoses are possible, as there are times when the protuberances just mean that a cat is constipated. There are also cats that do not exhibit any of these. For a more accurate diagnosis, an ultrasound exam is best.