What Can You Expect When a Kitten Hits Puberty?

Kittens reach reproductive maturity at varying rates.
i Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images

Kittens can be heartbreaking. One day the tiny little fuzzball is purring up against you, and the next she has reached full reproductive maturity and is calling out to all potential mates in the area. Instead of sulking over the reality of the situation, learn how to handle it.

Queen Cats Time Frame

Female cats, also known as queen cats, all reach sexual maturity at different times. No set time frame exists for healthy cats to hit puberty. Also, certain breeds, such as the Burmese and Siamese, are known to reach maturity faster. Expect your kitty to begin puberty anywhere from 4 to 10 months in age, in some cases, later.

Tomcats Time Frame

Similarly to female cats, tomcats have no specific time for puberty. In general, however, you can expect a male cat to become sexually mature around 4 to 7 months old.

Queen Cat Signs

In order to help your precious pal through puberty, it may be helpful to learn the signs of her heat cycle. When a female cat has not been spayed, she generally enters into heat every few weeks or so. When in heat, a cat is essentially ready to reproduce. Look out for telltale indications including loud nighttime yowling, restlessness, unusually affectionate behaviors, pacing, appetite loss and trying to run away. The cycle typically lasts for around one week, but can go for less or longer.

Tomcat Signs

Although male cats do not go into heat per se, they also display very obvious signs of sexual maturity. One of the most common signs is persistent urine spraying, which can be very problematic -- and messy -- for cat owners. Male cats may also wander around aimlessly in search of females. Another particularly frustrating sign of male cat puberty is extremely loud howling in order to lure in local females. You may need to cover your poor ears for a while.

Neutering and Spaying

To spare yourself -- and your cat -- the anxiety and stress of the puberty stage, get her fixed immediately. Cats often get neutered or spayed as young as 4 months old. Consult your veterinarian to get her opinion. Not only will you prevent your cat from that angsty puberty stage, you will also help curb feline overpopulation in your area.

Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.

the nest