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How long does a cat stay in heat?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
My friend has taken a stray that the vet says is about 1 year old. She has had her for probably 7 weeks or so. She went into heat two nights ago. She is mostly just "chirpping" and not howling. But they are not getting much sleep.

She has always intended to have her spayed...this just snuck up on her. So, obviously the vet says its more expensive to spay while in heat. She needs to know what is the average amount of time she will be in heat. I researched and it says she could go back into heat in 2-3 weeks. Yikes. Not much of a window of opportunity to have the spay done.

Thanks guys.
post #2 of 7
Can be anywhere from 1-3 weeks at a time. Best to just get her spayed whether she is in or out of heat because you cannot predict when she will be out long enough to jump in and spay her - its will cost more if she is in heat, but better then then risk her getting pregnant.
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Are there health risks for a spay while in heat? She won't get pregnant, totally inside kitty in an apartment.

But if there are risks, that opens another kettle of fish.
post #4 of 7
Yeah, cats cycle in and out of heat pretty much constantly. One thing my vet told me is to wait 10 days from when she starts calling, at that point she'll be less "bleedy" inside.

It is slightly more risky to spay while she's in heat. Everything is more swollen inside and very vascular, so bleeding is more likely. However, a vet told me that it's no big deal in cats. He won't spay a dog in heat but said it's fine for cats. And since adult female cats basically never go completely out of heat unless bred, it's pretty much unavoidable.

They should ask their vet about the risks. A lot depends on the skill of the surgeon, so if he's not comfortable with in heat spays, that's the main thing.
post #5 of 7
Right.

I had read in one british veterinarian handbook about this. They didnt liked to spay while in heat. Their recommendation if it was difficult to find good time for this - let the cat get pregnant. It is easier to spay in early pregnancy than in heat...

I wouldnt say this is the course we do recommend, but it is interesting to bear this in mind for comparison...

Her heat is apparently not of the worst sort. So I recommend to wait it out (4-7 days it usually takes), and take the spay afterwards. Now in winter season next heat shoulnt come too tight on with any luck.
post #6 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by StefanZ View Post
Right.

I had read in one british veterinarian handbook about this. They didnt liked to spay while in heat. Their recommendation if it was difficult to find good time for this - let the cat get pregnant. It is easier to spay in early pregnancy than in heat..
Yes, my vet said this as well. I don't like the idea in general (though I have no problem with an early pregnancy spay if necessary, I wouldn't do it on purpose), and I wouldn't want to take the risk of letting a housecat out to mate with toms of unknown health status.

I don't know if coming into winter will make a difference as to her heat cycles. In my experience, the seasons don't much matter to indoor cats.
post #7 of 7
My future breeding queen had her first heat a bit over a month ago (age 13 months back then). It lasted for 9 days and it was pure howling the whole time, how nice was that. She hasn't had her second heat yet (now that we are waiting for it so she can be mated).

A friend of mine had a female cat who after few normal heat cycles went into heat which just didn't stop at all. She had to spay the cat while in heat, but the vet didn't think it was a big deal. Kitty was fine after the spay. She had some issues with her ovaries or uterus, can't remember, which caused her to be in heat all the time.
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