Do female cats bleed?

Generally cats do not bleed like dogs do. Cats have cycles as most mammals do. However, they do not bleed or have a period in the human sense. A cats’ reproductive cycle is not like the reproductive cycle of humans. Cats do not bleed because they do not shed their uterine lining.

All female cats that are not spayed will come into heat. The fertile period of a cat is called heat or estrus. It is equivalent to human menstruation. Cats generally come into its first heat cycle at about 6 months of age. Cats’ estrus has 5 stages. Proestrus is the first stage. This stage lasts from 1 to 2 days. During this time the female cat is attracted but not willing to accept a male cat. At this stage female cats will become more receptive to male cats. The most obvious way to tell when your cat is in this stage is the call. The cats may produce a different, long loud howl. This means that your cat is letting other male cats know that she is in heat. You may also notice that your cat is being unusually affectionate, licking her genital area, rubbing its body against objects. Cats at this stage are inclined to roll around the floor. They may also assume a mating position, with its ear raised, tail up in the air and walk around the same place. Cats in heat also spray urine on objects. The urine they spray is much more odorous than their normal urine. This urine contains more estrogen. Estrus is defined as the period of sexual activity. Cats’ estrus may last from 7-10 days if not mated successfully. This stage is the only time the female cat accepts the male cat. Interestrus, is the stage between successive estrus periods if ovulation does not occur. The cat will not show any sign of reproductive activity during this stage. Interestrus will be followed by Diestrus. In this stage the female cat will not entertain male cats and her behavior will return to normal. If the cat is bred, this stage will last throughout pregnancy. If ovulation occurs but there is no fertilization, this will result to pseudopregnancy. In this case, this stage will last about a month or longer. Anestrus is final stage of a cats’ reproductive cycle. During this time, the cats’ behavior is stable. This short period of reproductive activity is like of that of a spayed cat.

Owners may find the behavior of a pet that is in heat annoying. Fortunately there are ways to help the cat relax and be comfortable. Try to rub your cats’ tummy; this will hush your kitten for a while. Make sure that you lock the doors and windows to prevent the cat from escaping. Female cats in heat will do everything to get out and meet a male cat. Enjoy the affection of your cat. Most cats want to be petted and touched when they are in heat.

The heat cycle is a normal physiologic function of a female cat. Cats though unlike dogs, do not bleed when in heat. Other placental mammals would prepare for a possible pregnancy by thickening the endometrial lining. This thickened uterine lining will be shed if pregnancy did not occur. In humans, the shedding off of the uterine lining through the vagina is called menstruation. Vaginal bleeding during this stage occurs in dogs but not in cats. Cats are different because they are one of the animal species that reabsorb the uterine lining. Cats too prepare the uterus for possible pregnancy but if pregnancy does not happen, these animals will reabsorb the vaginal secretions, the cervical mucus and the uterine lining. A cat’s uterus is so small thus the endometrial tissues can be easily absorbed.

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