Female cats that have not been spayed can go into “heat” at puberty. “Heat” is the term for when a female cat is sexually receptive and ready to mate. Normally, sexual maturity starts around six months old. Some cats, like Siamese cats for example, may go into heat as early as four months old.
Cats have multiple cycles during breeding season. Cats usually are in season from January through August/September. However, indoor cats can sometimes go into heat all year long. Heat lasts about seven days, then the cat goes “out of heat” for 1-2 weeks and starts all over again until she becomes pregnant or breeding season ends.
The easiest way to prevent pregnancy is to spay your female cat. Spaying is a routine operation with few complications. A cat can be spayed at eight weeks old as long as she weighs over two pounds.
Why spay my cat?
Approximately 3.4 million cats enter U.S. animal shelters every year and annually; 1.4 million of those cats are euthanized.* There are health benefits to spaying your cat before her first heat, too. Spaying before her first heat reduces the risk of breast cancer and eliminates the risk of uterine or ovarian cancer.
* Statistics from ASPCA.org