If your cat is in heat, it can be pretty obvious. Constant calling, rolling around, rubbing against things, and waiting for the slightest opportunity to break out of the house.

Key Takeaways:
  • It's generally recommended to avoid spaying a cat in heat, but there are situations where it may be necessary.
  • Wait about a week or two after your cat finishes their heat cycle before spaying.
  • Risks of spaying a cat in heat include excessive bleeding and other complications during the surgical procedure.

So, can you put an end to their heat by getting them spayed? And when is the best time to do it? We have all the information you will need.

If your four-legged friend is of the canine variety, check out our article about how long dogs are in heat.

Can You Spay a Cat in Heat?

Although it is generally recommended to avoid spaying a cat while she is in heat, there are situations where a veterinarian may proceed with the surgery. It may be deemed necessary if the heat cycles are closely spaced or if there is a high risk of an accidental mating.

However, it's important to note that spaying a cat in heat can be more challenging due to the enlarged blood vessels in the reproductive organs. 

How Long After Heat is Best to Spay Your Cat?

If you can wait, it’s best not to spay your cat while they’re in heat. To minimize the risks it’s best to wait a couple of weeks for everything to settle down.

However, this is sometimes difficult because female cats can come into heat again just a few days after their previous heat ended, so it’s easy to miss the opportunity to spay her, depending on the length of her cycles.

If you’re struggling to get the timing right, consult with a vet to discuss the spaying procedure and the options.

Stress-Free Spaying For Your Pet

BetterVet veterinarians can perform your pet’s surgery at a partner hospital. We go the extra mile for you and your furry friend!

How Can You Spot a Heat in a Cat and How Long Does it Last?

Every cat is different, but a cat’s heat or heat tends to last somewhere between a few days and a week.

During this time, you’ll probably notice them vocalizing, known as yowling or caterwauling. These noises are essentially their way of calling for a mate. They will also rub against furniture or your legs more than usual, and they might roll around on the floor.

This odd behavior, combined with their crying, often convinces owners that they are in pain rather than in heat. One giveaway sign of a cat’s heat is the lordosis position.

This is where the cat crouches down with their rear end elevated, in what looks like a praying position. As they raise their bottom in the air, they often hold their tail to one side. This display is intended to attract a male.

Why is Spaying Your Cat Recommended?

There are multiple benefits to spaying your cat. If you choose not to spay your cat, not only will they continue to come into heat repeatedly, but you'll risk them getting pregnant.

Cat heats are triggered by longer days, so most young cats will come into heat for the first time during early spring.

If they don’t mate and become pregnant during that heat, they will come back into heat within a week or two. This cycle can repeat until the inevitable pregnancy occurs.

Of course, every time a cat does mate, there is a risk of transmission of diseases. There is also a risk of female cats who are not neutered developing a uterine infection, known as a pyometra. This is very uncommon compared to dogs, though, likely because most female cats are spayed when they are young. Therefore, if you’re not planning on breeding your female cat, it’s best to get her spayed.

You can find out more about how to keep your pet healthy by reading Everything You Need to Know About Your Pet’s Health Care.

What Does Spaying a Cat Involve?

A cat spay operation is known scientifically as an ovariohysterectomy. During the procedure, the cat's uterus (womb) and ovaries are surgically removed. Depending on whether the cat is pregnant, or complications are anticipated, the surgical wound may be on the flank or the midline of the belly.

After spaying, your cat will take around 10-14 days to heal and recover, and until then will need to be monitored closely. They will usually need to wear a cone collar or body suit to prevent them from licking the wound or pulling the stitches out.

What are the Risks of Spaying a Cat in Heat?

When your cat is in heat, the blood vessels surrounding their ovaries and uterus are larger and more fragile. Similarly, the uterus itself will be engorged. This can mean that the risk of excessive bleeding and other complications during the surgical procedure is higher.


In summary, getting your cat spayed is the best and most responsible choice any pet parent can make if they do not intend to breed from them. While it can be costly, it lowers your cat’s risk of some deadly viral diseases and prevents unwanted litters of kittens. If you can, it’s best to avoid having them spayed while they’re in heat, but if you’re struggling to find a time when they aren’t in heat, speak to your veterinarian about the options available.

Reach out and book a consultation with our trusted veterinarians to discuss the spaying procedure and the options tailored to your cat's unique situation. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How long do cats stay in heat?

Cats generally stay in heat for about a week, although the duration can vary. During this time, they may display behaviors like vocalizing, rubbing against objects, and assuming a mating position with their rear end elevated.

How often do cats go into heat?

Cats are polyestrous, meaning they can go into heat multiple times during the breeding season. If they don't mate or become pregnant, they can cycle back into heat within a week or two. The frequency of heat cycles can vary, but it typically occurs every few weeks or months until they mate or the breeding season ends.

Do fixed cats go into heat?

Once a female cat is spayed, she will no longer produce estrogen or have ovaries, which means she will no longer go into heat. While there may be some rare cases where remnants of ovarian tissue remain, causing some heat-like symptoms, this is not typical for a spayed cat.

Does spaying a cat stop heat?

Spaying a cat involves removing their ovaries, which produces estrogen, and therefore prevents them from going into heat. Once the ovaries are removed, the hormonal cycle that causes cats to go into heat stops. Therefore, spaying is an effective way to prevent heat cycles in cats.

How long after a heat can a cat be spayed?

Cats can be spayed during their heat, however, there is a greater risk of complications. Therefore, it’s safer to spay them a week or two after their heat, if possible.

How can I get my cat out of heat?

There are hormonal treatments available that can delay heat, although these aren’t without risks. You can’t, however, bring your cat out of the heat, the heat has to end naturally.

How dangerous is it to spay a cat in heat?

There are some greater risks associated with spaying a cat while they’re in heat. This primarily the risk of excessive blood loss. However, in-heat spays are still performed relatively regularly and the complication rate is low.

How much does it cost to spay a cat in heat?

The cost to have your cat spayed will depend on your location and the practice you choose. There could also be supplementary charges if the surgery is more complicated due to your cat being in heat.