How to determine that an animal is sexually mature (what are the signs)?
Puberty in female cats
The age of the onset of sexual activity in female cats depends on various factors: breed, feeding, conditions of keeping. Usually, the signs of puberty are pronounced already at 6-9 months of age.
The duration of sexual hunting (estrus) in a home-kept female cat reaches 10-12 days. The intervals between estrus are different, depending on the time of year, breed, environmental characteristics, communication with other cats, physiological characteristics of the animal and vary from two weeks to several months.
Unlike dogs, cats do not have blood secretions during sexual hunting.
In order to determine whether a female cat is in heat, you can use the following signs:
- behavioral: female cats become more affectionate, they rub against objects or the feet of the owner, roll on the floor, lift the back of the trunk up, and make piercing screams which are very unpleasant to the human ear;
- there is a slight swelling of the mucous membrane of their genitals.
Puberty of male cats
The age of the onset of sexual activity in male cats depends on various factors: breed, feeding, conditions of keeping. Usually, sexual maturity of cats occurs already at 5-6 months of age. After that, the cats are ready to mate all year round.
During sexual hunting, male cats become restless, aggressive, make piercing screams which are very unpleasant to the human ear, mark the territory, spray furniture and walls with a secretory discharge that has a pungent smell.
Puberty of female dogs
Bitches reach sexual maturity at 6-8 months of age. They are in heat one to three times a year.
The beginning of sexual hunting is accompanied by an enlargement of female's genitals (the so-called loop) and the appearance of mild bloody discharge. Female dogs may demonstrate increased anxiety or vice versa become sluggish and their appetite worsens.
It may be necessary to delay or interrupt estrus, for example, for participation in an exhibition, in case of foster care etc.
Puberty of male dogs
Males reach sexual maturity at the age of 12-16 months. After that, they are ready to mate all year round.
During estrus, the female dog secretes pheromones that drive the males “crazy”. They become restless, unmanageable and even aggressive.