When kitties call

One thing that tends to get overlooked in cats during their heat period is ‘calling’. Female cats keep calling in varying pitched ‘meows’ when they are on heat, but a lot of pet parents don’t understand the reason for it. Here’s more on ‘calling’ in cats...
Estrus or estrus-related calling in cats means that the cat is on heat. This indicates that the female cat is fertile and would be receptive to mating. The stage is defined according to the female cat’s sexual behaviour.

Dogs have two mating cycles a year, whereas for cats there are several mating cycles through the year. The female cat will come into heat under the effect of increasing day length (also known as photoperiod) once she reaches puberty. The heat cycle usually begins when they reach the age of six months.

There are four phases of a cat’s heat cycle –
Pre-estrus
Estrus
Met estrus
Di estrus

Calling usually happens during the estrus phase. This phase lasts for 7-10 days. If your cat doesn’t get pregnant within this duration, the phase will repeat every 14-21 days until she becomes pregnant. It is recommended that you keep your cat indoors when she is in heat.

According to Dr Gautam Anand, “Cats are induced ovulators – it means that mating stimulates them to release (ovulate) her eggs.” This simply means that if the ‘queen’ (a female cat) mates with a male, she becomes pregnant or else the phase will just end.

Usually a female cat will not stop calling until she is mated. In fact, there are high chances that even after mating she will still be in the estrus period.

Symptoms
Some of the symptoms that indicate your cat is in heat include –
  • Calling during the day and night
  • Loss of appetite
  • Behavioural changes
  • Increased affection
  • Rubbing against people/ furniture
  • Pronounced (husky) meowing
  • Varied pitch in meows
  • Rolling on the floor
  • Spraying on vertical surfaces (table legs, chairs, sofas etc.)
Some cats may be silent callers. So instead of calling out loudly they will howl or squirm around.

Treatment
“Spaying and neutering are effective treatment options,” says Dr Anand. It is essential that when neutering is done, both the ovaries are removed as the cat will still have heat cycles with a single ovary. Consult your vet for the best option.

Apart from these surgical procedures, the other treatment method is a suppressive injection. This particular injection suppresses the heat cycle in cats for up to 6 months.

Calling in shrill meows can sometimes be annoying for the pet parent, but you need to understand the cause and get proper treatment. You must understand that your pet undergoes various hormonal changes during heat. Therefore, be patient and affectionate.

www.dogsandpupsmagazine.com; www.facebook.com/Dogsandpupsmag

DID YOU KNOW?
Cats hate baths more than dogs!
Most domestic cats dislike being in water, whether for a bath or a dip in a pool. Most dogs though can't get enough of it. It could be because a cat's fur takes longer to dry than a dog's does, and cats don't like being dripping wet while they wait to dry off. CATtitude, you know!
—livesciences.com

Whatever is your creature companion, we are here to listen to you. Send your photos, queries and stories to
timeslife@timesgroup.com


By Kritika Manchanda

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