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What is Always in Heat?

When a cat seems to be always in estrus, or heat, it may be related to a few conditions. However, many cat owners believe their cat is always in heat even though that may not be the case. When a cat is in heat, it seems like a very long time. Around the month of January, a cat will continue to remain in heat for about one week, or up to 10 days, until she becomes pregnant. This cycle will repeat every 14 to 21 days. If the amount of light in the day begins to decrease in the fall, the cat typically will come out of heat. So, for the time period between January and October, the cat may regularly be in estrus. For cats that don’t seem to take a “break” after the heat period of 7 to 10 days, they may be experiencing what is known as persistent estrus. This could be a sign of a health condition and should be examined by a veterinarian. Reasons for persistent estrus could be two things, as follows:

  • Ovarian cysts
  • Ovarian cancer

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Why Always in Heat Occurs in Cats

A continuous secretion of estrogen is what causes persistent estrus. This can be caused by two different conditions. Persistent estrus in cats occurs because of:

Ovarian Cysts

Ovarian cysts are sacs of fluid or substance that can form within the ovary or on the ovary. There are several types of ovarian cysts, and most are benign. A cat with cysts that are causing issues will typically undergo surgery.

Ovarian Tumor

An ovarian tumor secretes more estrogen than normal.  A common tumor of the ovary is the granulosa cell tumor. Malignant tumors should be removed as there is risk of metastasis.

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What to do if your Cat is Always in Heat

If your cat is in heat consistently, make an appointment with your veterinarian. He will perform a complete examination, including laboratory testing such as urinalysis, blood work, and biochemistry profile. This will give the veterinarian much needed information about the cat’s organ functionality and will check for various conditions. 

Your veterinarian will also ask you questions about your cat’s heat cycle. He will want to know the precise age of the cat, if your cat has given birth to a litter, ad whether  your cat has had a false pregnancy. The veterinarian will want you to describe in detail your cat’s behaviors when in heat.

Once the laboratory results have come in, your veterinarian will take a close look at what could be going on with your cat. He may want to check for any ovarian abnormalities by performing specific tests such as radiography and an ultrasound. These tests will take a closer look at the ovaries and determine if your cat may possibly have a tumor or a cyst, both of which could cause persistent estrus.

If your cat has a cyst on his ovary or has a tumor, your veterinarian will explain to you in detail the treatment plan. He may also recommend, once treatment is complete, that you spay your cat in order to prevent her going into heat and thus, removing her chances of becoming pregnant.

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Prevention of Always in Heat

The only way to prevent your cat from going into heat is to have her spayed. Although it may be difficult to prevent an ovarian tumor or cyst, keeping your cat’s regular veterinary checkups is crucial. During these visits, your veterinarian will perform a complete examination on your cat, and if your cat is showing symptoms of any pain from an ovarian tumor or cyst, such as abdominal pain, even if your cat going into heat repeatedly is not an issue, your veterinarian will be able to diagnose the condition early.

As soon as you notice your cat continues to go into heat, it will be very important to make an appointment with your medical professional. Catching a tumor early, especially a cancerous tumor, can cause your cat to have a much better prognosis. Finding an ovarian cyst in the early stages can prevent the cyst from rupturing, which can cause more health problems.

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Cost of Always in Heat

If your cat has an ovarian cyst, the cost of treatment can be approximately $750.If your cat has a tumor on the ovaries, it may cost $100 for a biopsy, and more for the removal, depending on the size and location of the ovarian cyst.

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Always in Heat Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

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Ask a Vet

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Moses

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Mixed breed

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12 Years

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Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

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Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Constant In Heat

My 12 year old cat is constantly in heat, or demonstrating the signs of being in heat, but could be a more serious condition. It has been recommended to me that because of heth reasons, i should not neuter her because she is 12 years old. We don't have money for a vet. What can i do to make her comfortable?

July 16, 2018

Moses' Owner

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0 Recommendations

Cat’s have a quick estrus cycle and at times it can seem that she may always be in heat, however there are a few different conditions which may cause constant heat which should be checked by a Veterinarian. At 12 years old, she is old but not too old if she is otherwise healthy and a spay she be considered (depending on Veterinarian’s discretion). Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

July 17, 2018

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Kikk

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Calico lynx

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3 Years

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Serious severity

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0 found helpful

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Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Loud Meowing And Rubbing

My cat was in heat for 4 months she got out of tge house and got pregnant. She is now in heat again even though she still has a belly I think she might have had a miscarriage. She meows so loud almost like she's dying or something.

July 14, 2018

Kikk's Owner

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0 Recommendations

Cats can cycle through an estrus cycle really quickly and it can seem like they are always in heat (which is different in dogs), it is important to determine whether she is always in heat due to a medical issue or if she is in heat all the time. You should have your Veterinarian examine Kikk and think about spaying her too. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

July 14, 2018

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