When Does a Cat Reach Sexual Maturity?

Suddenly, your tiny kitten becomes a hormonal teenager.

Suddenly, your tiny kitten becomes a hormonal teenager.

When you first bring a tiny, fuzzy young kitten home to your care, the notion of him becoming sexually mature seems a million years away. One day though, felines hit adolescence in what often feels like the blink of an eye. Be prepared to deal with the "consequences" of a hormonal cat.

Age

Both male and female kittens generally become reproductively mature somewhere between 5 and 8 months old. This time frame varies among individual kittens. Certain breeds typically mature at a faster rate. Siamese kittens sometimes become sexually mature as young as 4 months old, while it might take a rather late-blooming Persian kitty up to almost a full year.

Males

At around 6 months or so, you may notice the beginnings of a tomcat's classic hormonal behavioral patterns. For example, a male cat may display aggressive behaviors at this time, perhaps attempting to fight with other cats in your household. Other signs of maturity include urine spraying to communicate with female cats, nighttime "calling" vocalization and constant attempts to escape your home and wander outdoors. If your cat is participating in any of these behaviors, sexual maturity is the very plausible culprit.

Females

When a female cat becomes sexually mature, she'll start going into heat every few weeks. This means that she's in season and ready to mate. The signs of heat in felines are usually apparent. Your cat may start acting in a manner that is uncharacteristically affectionate, head-butting you and rubbing against your legs all of the time. You may notice her placing her body in a mating position frequently, with her rear end slightly elevated. Other indicative signs are excessive yowling and meowing, irritability, urine spraying, restlessness and just like the male counterparts, attempts to run away from the home.

Spaying and Neutering

If you're concerned about your cat's sexual maturity -- and also the possibility of breeding -- speak to your veterinarian about the safest and most appropriate time for spaying or neutering your specific kitty. These surgical procedures are often conducted on felines that have not yet become sexually mature.

 

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