Many first-time cat owners may be thinking about whether to get a female or male cat. While there aren’t many differences between the two, getting a female cat may result in pregnancy if they aren’t spayed.
Deciding to get your cat spayed may leave you with many questions about the procedure’s process and the aftermath. One that may come to mind is, do cats have periods after getting spayed?
The simple answer is, no. A spayed cat will not have periods anymore.
This article will explain why spaying a cat means end of period, and why some spayed cats may still experience heat symptoms.
Why spaying means no more periods
A cat in heat / having periods
Heat is a period of time when a female cat is ready and willing to reproduce. Heat periods differ from cat to cat, and the length may vary, with the average being six days.
If an unspayed cat doesn’t mate during those days, it may come out of heat and go back into it after a few days, which means a full period may last up to six weeks. A cat’s period is not like one of a female human.
Still, when a cat is in heat, it’s hard to miss it.
Cats in heat come with many signs, including constant vocalization, your cat being super affectionate, excessive grooming, and more. It’s not uncommon for cats to bleed during their time in heat.
How getting spayed stops a cat from having periods
Getting a cat spayed is the process in which the ovaries and uterus are removed. Doing so will eliminate any chances of a cat getting pregnant.
Many cat owners choose to spay their female cats to avoid the difficulties of owning an unspayed one. Cats that are not spayed go into periods of “heat”.
Female cats in heat may bleed a little, and you may find blood on the floor or on their bed. However, getting a female cat spayed will stop their periods of heat.
Removing their ovaries and uterus means they no longer have the urge to reproduce, and their days of being in heat will be over. This includes the symptoms of heat like bleeding, meowing, low crawling, excessive flopping and more.
If you notice that your cat is showing signs of heat even though spayed, take them to the vet to get checked!
If you have had your cat spayed and they are still exhibiting signs of heat, there is room for concern.
Some medical issues can cause cats to experience heat symptoms, and it’s important to take your cat to the vet right away if you notice this.
Here are some medical issues that may be causing your kitty to experience heat-like behavior.
Ovarian remnant syndrome (ORS)
One of the most common reasons a cat may go into heat after spaying is ovarian remnant syndrome. This condition may sometimes develop months to years after spaying.
Some female cats have separate ovarian tissue not linked to the main ovaries. This tissue only becomes active after the main ovaries are taken out.
If this ovary tissue grows and comes in contact with a cat’s abdominal wall, the cells in the body can form a new ovary. Having this new ovary will eventually produce hormones strong enough for their heat to return.
The later section of this article will discuss some methods used by a vet to diagnose ORS.
Some cats may have uterine tissue that is left in the abdomen.
The stump of uterine tissue may not cause any problems. Problems arise when the stump produces hormones and causes a pyometra, which is an infection of the uterus.
If the stump has a pyometra, heat-like signs start to show in a cat. You may also notice a bloated tummy or vaginal discharge.
If you suspect your cat has stump pyometra, take them to the vet. Your vet may want to perform surgery to remove the stump.
If your cat is spayed and seems to be in heat, the explanation may be hormone exposure.
Some creams and products contain estrogen in them. If a cat ingests amounts of estrogen-containing products, it might cause them to exhibit signs of heat.
It’s common for cats to get into things that don’t belong to them. Being aware of all the products in your home and keeping them out of furry paws can avoid lots of trouble!
Another medical condition that may cause symptoms of heat is an adrenal tumor. A cat with an adrenal tumor may experience constant symptoms of heat.
Adrenal tumors can produce hormones that cause symptoms of heat. In these cases, surgery may be required to remove the tumor.
How are ovarian remnant syndrome diagnosed?
Your vet may take a few methods to determine if your cat has ORS.
Method 1: Baseline hormone levels
When a vet is trying to determine whether or not a cat has Ovarian Remnant Syndrome, they may use a baseline hormone levels test.
However, this test is not fool-proof because a cat with normal hormone levels may very well have ovary remnants.
Method 2: Ultrasound
One way to diagnose ovarian remnant syndrome is by ultrasound. Although it is not commonly used, an ultrasound may be used to see where the ovarian tissue is growing and how it looks.
It is used when a cat is in heat. This test isn’t used as the first choice because it may be hard to see the tissue depending on its size.
Results also may vary depending on the stage of heat a cat is in when the test is being done.
Method 3: Vaginal cytology
This test must also be done when a cat is in heat, and it involves a swab of its vagina. The swab is inspected for traces of cornified cells, which proves that there is estrogen in the body.
This test is often used with other tests to confirm that an ovarian remnant is causing the estrogen.
Method 4: Hormone stimulation
A hormone stimulation test involves the vet giving a synthetic hormone to a cat while in heat.
After about a week, the vet will draw blood to test for progesterone which shows that ovarian tissue is present in the body.
Benefits of getting your cat spayed early
When your cat reaches a certain age, your vet may bring up the topic of spaying for a good reason.
Although there are medical conditions that may cause a cat to exhibit symptoms of heat after being spayed, it’s not very common.
There are many benefits to spaying your cat. Here are some pros to getting your cat spayed!
#1: Better behavior
A major pro to spaying your cat is that they won’t go into heat! Cats in heat can be a handful.
With their constant meowing and restlessness, it’s hard to watch and hard for your cat to go through. A full cat heat period can last up to six weeks, and it’s definitely not easy!
#2: Reduces overpopulation
One of the biggest reasons spaying is recommended is to help reduce the number of birth kittens.
If your cat has access to the outside world, chances are, she may get pregnant whenever she is in heat. Those kittens then are likely to follow the same pattern if not spayed.
Many unspayed cats have many kittens that owners cannot care for that end up on the streets and in shelters where they may be put down due to lack of space.
Spaying your cat will prevent her from getting pregnant and stop a vicious cycle before it starts.
#3: Healthier cats!
An amazing pro to getting your cat spayed is it helps to prevent some pretty terrible medical conditions. Spaying your cat can help prevent breast tumors and uterine infections.
To best protect your cat from developing any condition, it’s recommended to spay her before her first heat cycle.
While having a cat is tons of fun, there are surprises at every turn! Female cats undergo periods of heat where they are willing and able to reproduce.
There are lots of symptoms that come with a cat in heat which includes meowing, low crawling, bleeding, and more. The bleeding a cat experiences is different from that of a female human.
After getting your cat spayed, they should not have any periods of heat. If a cat is experiencing heat symptoms and has already been spayed, it may have a medical condition that needs to be checked.
While cats may develop medical conditions that cause heat symptoms, it’s not very common. It’s always a good idea to get your female cat spayed!