|ALL UN-SPAYED FEMALE CATS eventually come into heat. Unfortunately, the behavior that accompanies the feline estrus cycle can test the sanity of any pet parent. But how can you help?
RECOGNIZE THE SIGNS
Cats use a series of behaviors to attract a mate. Prior to coming into heat, cats may grow unusually affectionate with furniture, other pets, or you and your house guests. Throughout the cycle she may loudly howl, carry her tail to one side, keep her hindquarters elevated, roll around on the floor, or stand in one spot and "tread" with her hind legs. Worse, cats in heat often spray a strongly scented fluid on objects around the home.
HOW TO HELP
The estrus cycle can begin in kittens as young as four months old. Unless spayed or mated, cats can come into heat every two to three weeks with cycles that last up to ten days. These heat cycles are uncomfortable and un-spayed cats are susceptible to a variety of medical conditions. Unless your cat is a qualified pedigreed breeder she should be spayed. Plus, having your cat spayed helps control an already overgrown cat population.
Breeding cats, on the other hand, need a vitamin-rich diet to help support the physical demands estrus and pregnancy place on the body. In addition, ensure cats in heat have access to comfortable, private hideaways. Also, identify your cat with a collar and nametag should she go outside.