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How Far Will A Female Cat In Heat Travel? Are They Safe To Go Outside?

If you have a female cat in heat, it’s common to worry about letting them outside for fear that it can go too far and lose its way home. Fortunately, female cats don’t usually travel that far but keep reading while we take a closer look and compare the distance traveled between males and females, as well as some other interesting facts to help you understand your pet better.

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How Far Do Female Cats Travel in Heat?

Fortunately for the female cat, she won’t need to travel far in heat. Instead, she usually stays close to her home and lets the male cats come to her. Most studies suggest that the female cat will stay 130 feet to 1/8 mile from the house during her heat cycle.

How Far Do Male Cats Travel in Heat?

Male cats travel much further than female cats. Reports suggest that a male cat can travel a mile or more in search of a partner. Male cats may also need to compete with each other for the same female, which can make the journey dangerous.

cat in heat bends in an arm chair
Image Credit: iwciagr, Shutterstock

How Can I Keep Track of My Cat When It Leaves Home?

While most female cats will stay close to home while in heat, tracking their location is possible using a GPS device that works with your smartphone. There are several brands available, and most are affordable and work well. Choose a waterproof tracker with an unlimited range for the best results.

When Do Cats Go into the Heat Cycle?

Your female cat can start experiencing the heat cycle as young as 4 or 5 months. It can last from a few days to about 2 weeks, with the average cycle lasting 6 days. The cycle will then repeat every 2–3  weeks throughout much of the year, with the only real slowdown between October and December when there isn’t as much sunlight. Most cats are born between March and September.

How Many Litters Do Cats Have Each Year?

The average female cat will give birth to 1–2 litters per year, and each litter can have 1–8 kittens.

mother cat with kittens
Image Credit: Karen Hogan, Shutterstock

How Can I Limit the Number of Times My Cat Goes Into Heat?

Unfortunately, the only way to prevent your cat from going into heat is to get it spayed. Trying to keep the cat in the house when it’s in heat can be difficult, as they often meow loudly and constantly. They can also urinate around the house to mark their territory and scratch and damage your belongings.

What Are the Benefits of Getting My Act Spayed?

The most significant benefit of getting your female cat spayed is that it will no longer go into heat and continuously try to leave the house looking for a mate. It will make owning the cat more tolerable as it will not attempt to mark its territory with urine and is less likely to tear up furniture.

Spayed cats won’t need a place to give birth or face the health risks of delivering 1–8 kittens. Spayed cats are healthier because, without reproductive organs, there is no risk of ovarian cysts or uterine infections. Finally, a spayed cat will not increase the local stray cat population, which is already out of control in many areas.

cat spaying procedure
Image Credit: De Visu, Shutterstock

Are There Dangers to Getting My Cat Spayed?

The biggest side effect of spaying a cat is usually a small amount of weight gain, but it is important to remember that the process is irreversible, and the cat will no longer have any kittens.

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A female cat in heat will usually stay nearby the house and let the males come to her. The cat will stay within 1/8 mile of her home, and most will stay within 130 feet, so you shouldn’t worry about them getting lost. However, unless you are breeding the cat for profit, most experts recommend getting the cat spayed. It will make your cat more friendly and can help protect her health.

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Featured Image Credit: rihaij, Pixabay