tabby cat walking outdoor

If you own a female kitten, then one of the biggest questions on your mind is probably how old cats are when they go into heat? In most cases, female cats go into heat at around 6 months of age; however, this can vary depending on the individual cat.

The best way to stop your female cat from going into heat is to have her spayed. In this blog, we’ll talk more about the heat cycle of cats and the symptoms to watch out for. We’ll also do a section on keeping your cat safe while she’s in heat as well—at least until you can get an appointment to get her spayed.

How Often Are Cats in Heat?

As with most animals, cats mate seasonally. Unfortunately, a cat can get pregnant at as young as 4 months of age, so you’ll want to have your cat spayed as soon as she is old enough.

It’s also important to note that the breed of the cat has a lot to do with when they go into heat as well. Many smaller breeds will go into heat earlier, and some larger breeds will go into heat later. It’s also essential to note that the breeding season in some cats can last up to a year.

The breeding cycle itself usually lasts for 6 days at a time, and it’s during this time that your cat can get pregnant. The time of your cat’s breeding season will be different as well. It usually depends on the weather in the place you live.

Most breeding seasons are from late fall into January; however, that depends on the weather and daylight hours in your area.

It also depends on the cat. Some cats go into heat more often than others, and some might only go into heat once a year. If you’re worried about your cat and when it should be going into heat, it’s best to contact your local vet for answers and make an appointment to have your cat spayed if that’s what you choose to do.

What Are the Symptoms of a Cat in Heat?

In most cases, the first symptom of your cat going into heat is going to be a change in the cat’s behavior. As with humans, female cats have hormones that come into effect when they are about to go into heat. Some signs that your cat is going into heat include the cat rubbing against you more often than normal and even outright demanding attention!

Many cats also rub themselves against the furniture and meow quite loudly. When petted, a cat going into heat will often arch its rear end and stomp its back feet, though this is usually one of the last signs that happen before the cat goes into full heat.

Along with the persistent meowing, many cats will walk through the house yowling in the middle of the night as well, which can be beyond aggravating to their pet parents.

It is possible that your cat will start using the litter box more frequently right before going into heat, and some cats actually start marking their territory as well. Many pet parents are under the mistaken assumption that only male cats mark their territory, but some female cats do so, too, when they are in heat.

If you don’t have any male cats in your home, then these symptoms might not be as bad. However, these behaviors and symptoms will last for as long as your cat is in heat.

cat meowing
Photo courtesy of Pixabay

How Long Will Your Cat Stay in Heat?

This is one question that has no concrete answer. The average cycle for a cat is 6 days. However, cats have been known to have short cycles of 3 days or even longer cycles of 9 days as well. Some cats stay in their heat cycle for over 2 weeks!

Cats that don’t become pregnant during a heat cycle often go right back into heat and are known to have more heat cycles during the year.

How to Keep Your Cat Safe and Comfortable During Heat

Now that you know a little about when and how long your female cat will stay in heat, you might want to know how to keep your cat safe and comfortable during this time. We’ll give you a few tips below to get you started on the right path.

Isolate Your Pet

The first thing you’ll want to do is isolate your cat. This keeps your cat from getting pregnant and keeps her safe at the same time. Never let a cat that is in heat go outside unless you want every male in the neighborhood in your yard and a pregnant cat afterward.

It’s also a good idea to close the curtains in the room your cat is in so that she can’t see any potential companions outside of the window, which will cause her to meow even louder. Finally, make sure to close the pet door if you let your cat roam the house during this time as well. Male cats will make their way through that door pretty quickly in answer to your cats’ call to mate.

Keep Your Pet Warm and Distracted

Once you have isolated your pet from the rest of the cats in the house or area, make sure to give her a bunch of cat toys to keep her distracted. Add a heating pad to her cat bed for her to lay on as well, along with a few blankets.

Spend extra time cuddling and playing with your feline friend during this time to keep her distracted from the desire to mate.


Cats go into heat at around 6 months of age. However, that’s not a concrete fact as every cat is different, and it depends on the area you live in, the climate, temperature, and the breed of the cat itself.

If you’re not looking to breed your cat, then it’s best to make an appointment with your local vet to have the cat spayed as soon as she’s old enough to ensure she doesn’t go into heat at all.

Featured Image Credit: Pixabay