We answered a similar question for dogs the other day, so let’s do it for cats. The question is “how often do cats go into heat?”
Female cats will have their first heat or estrus cycle when they have reached sexual maturity or puberty. Most female cats on average will reach puberty at approximately 5 to 9 months of age.
Cats, unlike dogs, are seasonally polyestrous meaning they have multiple heat cycles during the breeding season and that could potentially be all year depending on their environment. Let me repeat that, multiple heat cycles year-round!
Cat pregnancies typically last around 9 or 10 weeks and can have 3-4 litters of kittens per year. The average litter size for a cat is between 2 and 5 kittens. That means in 12 months one female cat can produce up to 15 kittens!
That female can have another heat cycle weeks after having those kittens. Soon, her kittens will reach puberty and the cycle will continue. A normal heat cycle can be anywhere from 2 days to 3 weeks. At this time, if the female has not mated during estrus she will go out of the heat for a short period of time, usually 2 weeks.
I’m not going to get into population control, pregnancy, or spay-neuter….those are all topics for future articles 🙂