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Cats/Can my cat 'catch' heat from my neighbours female cat in heat?


QUESTION: Hi. I have a difficult situation. I live in an apartment building with a yard. My next door neighbour has a 4-5 year old cat that is in heat every 2-3 weeks but never gets pregnant. Last June i was given a Bengal kitten and in October she went into heat after the neighbours cat did. I was surprised as i thought she was a bit young. Anyway she got pregnant and gave birth nearly 3 weeks ago. The neighbours cat has been in heat several times during my cats pregnancy, and then again last week. This week my cat started getting very vocal to go out, then on Thursday started rolling around on the floor and calling, so i knew she was back in heat. My Question is, Is my Neighbours cat being on heat making my cat go into heat as well? It really does seem a bit soon after delivering for her to naturaly go into heat and i cant get her done until her kittens are weaned. Are the Pheromones from next doors mature cat in heat causing my cat to go into heat? Because we share the same corridor and stairs etc and her cat will rub herself around that area when on heat. Can my cat 'catch' heat from her cat?


The short answer is no, BUT unspayed females will come into season when many other cats come in season.  It is a function of the hormones.  I expect the older female's calling has as much effect as the pheromones.

BTW, kittens can be weaned at about 4 weeks of age. Also, it is not unusual for a nursing queen to go into a "lactation" heat when the kittens are between 3 and 5 weeks of age.  So, I would begin the weaning process in another week, and, when the kittens are weaned, she can be spayed.

If you need ideas on how to wean 4 week old kittens, please send me a follow up.

Congratulations on your litter of kittens.

Best regards... Norm.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks but is it normal for neighbours 4-5 year old cat to be on heat for 2 weeks out of every month? Its calling all night even in the snow. I have actually seen this cat having sex in our courtyard (I was looking for my cat) in October and its not pregnant yet. Meanwhile my kitten got pregnant at 6 months old on first heat and i know its because the older cat brought all the male cats to the yard first. As we live in such close proximity i am scared to let my cat out now but she needs exercise and a break from nursing. I have raised this with my neighbour but she called me ignorant and said she wants her cat to have kittens. We are now not speaking so its difficult. I think her cat is barren but putting my young and fertile cat at risk. As for kittens i was going to let her wean them naturally as she has done everything else. Do i need to intervene? I am going to take them all to the vet to be checked before i give them away. Thanks very much for taking the time to give me this info but i am really in a difficult situation.
Thanks, Lucy


The problem with weaning the kittens "naturally" is that some mothers, especially first time mothers, do not seem to know to wean the kittens.  We start the weaning process at 4 weeks of age, and it takes about 2 weeks.  We like to wean them on a good strained meat baby food (the only ingredients are strained meat and broth). Once the kittens are weaned, it takes about 2 weeks for mama's milk to dray up after which she can be spayed.

If you need weaning instructions, please let me know.

Best regards... Norm.  


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Norman Auspitz


I can answer most non-veterinary questions about cats. My particular expertise is pedigree cats, breeding and showing. However, I am versed in feline behavior, cat breeds and their characteristics, general feline husbandry, and the like.


I judged for the Canadian Cat Association from 1975 until 1982. I am currently an approved allbreed judge for the Cat Fanciers'' Association (the world''s largets cat registry), and have been judging for them since 1991. I have been breeding pedigreed cats since 1971 and have been exhibiting pedigreed cats in shows since 1970. I obtained my first pedigreed cat in 1970 and have never looked back. In 1971, I obtained my first Abyssinian which has become my primary breed. In addition, I have bred Manx and Persians. Currently, besides the Abyssinians, I am also breeding Maine Coons.

Cat Fanciers'' Association, inc. (CFA) and the Manx, Maine Coon, and Abyssinian breed councils. I am currently Abyssinian breed council secretary.

Cat Fancy Magazine, The Abyssinian Chapter in The Cat Fanciers'' Association Complete Cat Book, and Articles for various editions of The Cat Fanciers'' Association Yearbook

I received a B.S. from Drexel University in 1968, a M.Math from University of Waterloo, in 1970, a Ph.D. from University of Waterloo in 1975, and a MBA from McMaster University in 1980. I received my approved allbreed judging status in the Cat Fanciers'' Association in 1999.

Awards and Honors
We have produced a number of Cat Fanciers'' Association (CFA) National winning Abyssinian and Maine Coons. We have produced a number of Abyssinian and Maine Coon Distinguished Merit females (an award for a top producing cat), including the first Distinguished Merit Abyssinian in the red (sorrel) color. I am the CFA Abyssinian breed council secretary and belong and/or hold office in a number of cat clubs. I am also a member of the CFA Judges Association.

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