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First Day of Fall and Feline Fertility

Happy first day of fall!! For those of you who have been dealing with a yowling cat all year due to them going into heat, you will be happy to hear that October is typically the end of feline fertility season. Sadly, you will only get a couple of months’ break because they will often start up again in October.

Fun fact, the estrous cycle (aka heat cycle) in cats is influenced by the amount of daylight. In the Northern hemisphere, where we live, we do not get 14 hours of sunlight in November, December, or January. This is why cats may not go into heat during these months.

What is an estrous cycle?

There are 3 stages of an estrous cycle. The first is when your cat is in heat. This is when she is fertile and looking for a mate. The average length for being in heat is 3 weeks but can be as long as 6 weeks or as short as 1 week. Fun fact, cats will only ovulate if they have mated. It is called being an induced ovulator. Mating causes a special hormone to release with triggers the egg to be released from the ovary. Once this happens estrus will typically stop within one to two days.

Fall is a good time to spay

Fall is a great time to spay your cat. Unless you are planning to be a cat breeder, it is recommended that you get your cat spayed. She will be happier. You will be happier. Your neighbor will be happier.  When cats go into heat they are often LOUD! They yowl as a signal to all the other cats in the neighborhood that she is ready and willing to mate. Some cats are heavy bleeders. If they are heavy bleeders they require pads to catch the blood. This looks like a little diaper you have to put your cat and change multiple times a day. Some cats will drag their bums on your carpet as a way to clean themselves. Trust me when I tell you that you don’t want to clean up red streaks off your carpet…yuck. A cat in heat is also more likely to try to get out. Just like a teenager, she will try to sneak out to be with her boyfriend. Even if your cat is not spayed, you should get her a microchip so if she does get out and can’t find her way home, she is easier to be rehomed by anyone who does find her.


If your cat is in heat they can still be spayed. If they are pregnant, they can still be spayed, though this can have additional costs. You can get your cat spayed any time of year, but often vets prefer to spay when your cat is not in heat, which makes fall the perfect time.  Albuquerque Vetco offers low-cost spay and neuter for cats and dogs. Bring your cats in!