Female cats are annoying when they are in the heat: they are noisy, aggressive, and always prone to make escape attempts whenever they see a door open. Noticing these behavioral changes – coupled with the probability of unwanted pregnancies (especially if a cat is in love with her neighbor Tom!) – most owners decide to spay their furry pals to put the risks to rest forever.

If you are so annoyed that you cannot even wait for your kitty’s heat cycle to be over, you might think of neutering her immediately. But can you spay a cat in heat?

Can You Spay a Cat in Heat?

Yes, a cat in heat can be spayed, but unfortunately, doing so can be fraught with complications. During cats’ heat cycles, their hormone levels elevate, making the uterine tissues thicker and crumblier. This also makes the vessels leading to the reproductive organs richer in blood than usual.

These issues have the following four impacts:

Due to the abovementioned reasons, it is recommended not to spay a cat while she is in heat. Since heat cycles in cats last no more than a week at maximum, it is better to wait until your kitty is normal rather than take risks.

Since cats have a window of about one to three weeks of normal days between each heat cycle, a chance to get your pet spayed can be availed easily.

Laparoscopic Surgery

An advanced form of operating, laparoscopy allows the vets to access the abdomen of pets without too much incision. So far, it is the safest technique to spay a cat; however, it is still not readily available.

Is Spaying a Cat in Heat Dangerous?

Given the advances in surgical procedures and medicines, spaying a cat in heat is no more dangerous though the risks are a little high. The main peril comes from excessive bleeding, which can now be controlled to a greater degree.

But say if your cat suffers from some disease like Von Willebrand’s, the vets would have a hard time bringing bleeding from already engorged blood vessels back to normal – thus pushing a cat towards extreme cases.

It is important to note that despite the availability of these medical facilities, it is better to consult a vet in advance.

When Is the Best Time to Spay a Cat?

Ideally, you should spay your cat before her first heat cycle occurs, i.e., before the age of four months. It is because spaying surgeries are the least harmless at that time. However, your local vet can guide you better by physically examining your pet.

If you have adopted your cat that is more than two years old from a shelter, chances are she has already been fixed – shelters spay their cats only when they reach the age of two years.

If your kitty has missed that age and is grown up without being neutered before her first cycle, you can get the surgery done anytime when she is not in heat.


Some cats can go into heat again as soon as within a week. Therefore, you should be in touch with the vet to postpone the surgery whenever needed.

How Long Does a Cat Stay in Hospital if Spayed in Heat?

Even if a cat is spayed when she is not in heat, she might be kept in the hospital for a day. However, the time can increase further if any complication occurs.

Similarly, since the risk is greater if a cat is spayed in heat, there is a greater probability of her being hospitalized for more than just a day. Nevertheless, note that there is nothing to worry about in such a case; it is always better for your cat to be under the supervision of a professional for longer periods though it may cost more time and money.

But as already mentioned, you need to spend more if you are willing to take risks!

A cute orange tabby kitten walking in the yard

How to Make Sure Your Cat Is Not in Heat?

If you are planning to make an appointment for a spay surgery for your cat, you need to ensure that she is not in heat at the date of the appointment. By knowing this, you can contact the vet to postpone the surgery in time, making it easier for her or him and yourself too.

Ideally, if you do not see the following signs in your kitty, she is not in the heat:

Being Vocal

Cats are meowing and caterwauling more than often when they seek a partner to mate with.


Cats, when in heat, are visibly restless if their behavior and schedule in analyzed. For instance, they may be awake at night.

Crawling and Moaning

Cats in heat simultaneously crawl with their head low and moan as if they are distressed or in pain; however, it is just an effect of the heat cycle.


Cats in heat rub themselves, especially their rear end, against different objects and even people to spread their scent that attracts tomcats.

A Lot of Grooming

Unlike licking her paws, as cats normally do, she might go for excessively licking her genital area when in heat. This causes it to swell.

Frequent Urination

Cats urinate frequently and even in unwanted areas to spread their scent at maximum places when in heat.

Indoor to Outdoor

Even if they spend most of their time indoors, cats prefer to go outside when in heat as the chances of mating are far greater there.

Tail Orientation

Cats ready to mate have their tail puffed up and on one side, which is a mating position. This acts as a sign to male cats that a female is in heat.

Conclusion: Can You Spay a Cat in Heat?

Yes, but you should not. Due to high hormone levels, some health issues can complicate the spay surgery in our kitty pals when they are in heat – risking their well-being and costing the owners money and time. Therefore, choosing to spay a cat in heat is not advisable. It is in your kitty’s best interest to do it before her first heat cycle.

Learning about spaying a cat in heat, find out if it is okay to spay a pregnant cat.

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