Many people who have never owned a cat before tend to be somewhat perplexed as to why their female cats (a cat that is still able to reproduce is referred to as a “queen”) may behave in an unusual manner during certain times of the year. This is especially true for owners who have never owned a cat before.
These cats have a disposition to show affection toward one another and may even brush up against the legs of their owners. Some queens may also raise their behinds, while others may begin “meowing” or screeching extremely loudly, and yet others may behave aggressively toward male cats. What exactly does this entail?
Your Cat Is In Heat
When your cat starts behaving this way, she is in heat. There are different stages in the heat cycle of cats, these being Proestrus, Estrus, Interestrus, Diestrus (otherwise known as Metestrus) and Anestrus. Queens that are not spayed (otherwise referred to as “intact”) or pregnant are likely to experience these every season, starting in the springtime. Queens are also likely to go in the heat a few times each season if they are not impregnated.
Cat Heat Cycle Stages
Let’s go in depth for the answer to the question, “How long does a cat stay in heat?” For a day or two, a queen will go through the Proestrus stage. At this point, this queen will find herself attracted to a male cat, and yet might not be very willing to mate. As a queen enters the Estrus stage, she is ready to mate.
Signs for this can include a discharge (bloody), as well as swelling in the vulva region, but this may not be very apparent. However, you might notice your cat screeching a lot, sticking her rear up, not eating so much and rolling around. Many cat owners tend to assume that their cat is experiencing pain, during this phase.
This can last anywhere from 3 days to a couple of weeks. After a few days, in the event that the queen is not impregnated, she may once again begin to show signs that she is in heat. The Interestrus heat cycle stage can last anywhere for a couple of weeks to a week more. This can happen if a queen is not bred.
The penultimate stage is the Diestrus stage, or Metestrus. This can last for up to about a month to 10 days more, and is the length of time that succeeds the mating period. Cats that are impregnated will give birth after about 2 months. Finally, there is the Anestrus phase, which is the length of time (about 2 to 3 months) when a cat is hormonally and sexually inactive, between the estrus stages.
How To Tell If Your Cat Is Pregnant?
If you want to find out if your cat is pregnant, check to see if her nipples are slightly bigger in size, and have turned into a pinkish color. Halfway through her pregnancy, your cat is also likely to eat more and gain some weight. About a week before a pregnant cat gives birth, around the sides of the tummy area, you will notice some bulge.