Owning a pet cat brings a lot of love, joy, and fun into your home and your family. It gives you a constant furry companion, someone to love and care for, and a valid excuse to crawl around on the floor with a laser pointer. With the fun parts, however, do come downsides and responsibilities. There is training to supervise, such as making sure your cat can use the litter box and come when they are called, as well as costs and expenses which are a natural side effect of pet ownership. Making sure your cat has their vaccinations, microchips, and check-ups are all essential, as is the issue of making sure they are spayed or neutered.
Going Into Heat
While kittens are undeniably cute, as a responsible owner it is your duty to make sure that your cat is neutered or spayed at the earliest opportunity. If your female is not spayed, she will go into heat fairly often; usually seasonally, during the spring and fall periods. Within each season, your cat may go into heat several times, and each period can last for anything from a few days to two weeks.
There will then be a break of around a week before the cycle starts again. The most common time for cats to breed is in the spring and summer months, and they can go back into heat as quickly as a week after delivering a litter of kittens.
Here are some clear signs your cat is in heat:
- If you have a female cat, she will be super affectionate, rubbing against anything she can and purring loudly to alert you
- Both male and female cats will also have their tail straight up in the air
- The sound of her meow will sound more like a loud howl, in an attempt to attract a mate
- Males may become more aggressive and territorial, and less friendly to people and other cats
- The outdoors will also become more appealing, as that is where all the potential mates will be lurking
- Both male and female cats will tend to spray strong-smelling urine to mark their territory. This will also contain pheromones which will help to attract cats of the opposite sex
Why You Should Spay
Not only is regularly going into heat uncomfortable for your cat, remaining unneutered could increase the chances of illness, infections, and diseases. Female cats are more prone to breast tumors and uterine infections if unspayed, and male cats may develop prostate problems and testicular cancer if left intact.
In addition, spaying or neutering can help to improve behavior. Your female cat will not go into heat, and this will prevent the risk of urination in the house, as well as regular yowling and rubbing against furniture. Male cats tend to spray urine around their territory and can be aggressive and unfriendly if they are left unneutered long term.
Spraying or neutering your cat does far more than preventing them from going into heat and getting pregnant. It potentially provides protection against a range of serious conditions and helps to keep your kitty happy, healthy and well.