At what age cats come in heat for the first time?

Young female cat in the heat for the first time.
Young female cat in the heat for the first time.

As your female kitten grows up, you might wonder what is the age when she will first come in heat. In the previous article, we already talked about reasons why cats go in heat in the first place, but now let’s take a look at when cats start coming in heat, as well as should you worry if your kitten does not come in heat.

Cats come in heat for the first time when they reach sexual maturity. Normally this is between six and ten months of age while it can be as early as 4 months of age and as late as 18 months.

Some cat breeds have a predisposition to start coming in heat earlier or later. Most short haired cat breeds tend to go in the first heat at an earlier age than long haired cats, for example, Persian cats usually are reported coming in the heat for the first time no sooner than at 12 months of age.

Note, cats normally don’t come in heat during winter. You can read about reasons here, but you must note, if your cat reaches 12 months in winter, then, most likely, she will not come in heat before early spring.

Should you worry about cat not coming in heat?

So, what about if your cat has reached an age of one year, but has not yet come in heat? Is it dangerous? Should you worry about that?

If you are not planning to breed your cat, then you shouldn’t worry about it under any circumstances. Just spay your cat at an appropriate age, which is starting form age of five to six months.

And forget about bullshits told by someone that your cat should have a heat cycle or a litter of kittens before spaying her. There is not scientific evidence to that, even the other way around. Studies show if you spay your cat early, risks of mammary tumors development are minimized.

On the contrary, if you do intend to breed your cat, you should pay attention if your cat does not come in heat at an age expected, and you may consult a veterinarian if you suspect there might be a problem with you cat’s reproductive system.

However, most veterinarians would suggest not to worry if your cat does not come in heat up to age of 18 months. If it’s still not happening after then, some tests may be necessary to assess your cat’s reproductive health.

In the next article of our article series about cats in heat you will learn how long cats stay in heat.