As your female cat in heat is rolling on the floor and meowing and screaming, one of the top question for you will be – WHY?
In this article, we are going to tell you why do cats go in heat, as well as some related questions, like how the heat is progressing and what is the purpose of each phase of the heat cycle in cats.
The reason why do cats go in heat is quite simple – because this is how nature has intended reproduction of animals.
Cats go in heat several times in a mating season, and undergoes several phases of the heat cycle. Each phase has it’s own purpose for the greater good – giving birth to kittens.
- Proestrus is the time when your cat’s body is preparing to become receptive. The lining of the uterus is thickening, and eggs in ovaries are starting to grow.
- Estrus is the time when a cat is said to be “in heat”. During this time, your cat’s body is ready to ovulate and conceive if mating occurs.
- Interstrus is the phase which follows estrus, if the mating and ovulation did not occur. Interestrus is a time when your cat’s reproductive system rests and prepares for the next heat cycle, which will shortly begin with proestrus again.
However, if the mating did occur, it will take a different approach. Stimulation of vagina then induces ovulation, and, whether the mating was productive or sterile, it continues with either pregnancy or diestrus, also known as “false pregnancy“.
There is also a special case in cats, when they don’t undegoe heat cycle for a prolonged period of time, which usually happens during winter. It is called Anestrus and you can read more about why cats don’t go in heat during winter here.
This should answer why cats go in heat and what are the purpose of each phase of the heat cycle in cats. In the following articles we talk about at what age cats start going in heat and how often cats go in heat. Stay tuned for our series about female cats in heat.