There are many signs that cats gives off when they are ready to mate, including urinating, attracting cats of the opposite sex and meowing or yowling often. A female cat that is ready to mate will have a slightly large vulva, and she may have an increased appetite and be more affectionate than usual.
Cats can begin to have their first heat cycle at around 5 to 10 months old, but they can have it later depending on the breed. The heat cycle in cats varies depending on the time of the year, but most cycles last from 1 to 7 days. Cats will continually have heat cycles throughout the breeding season if they are not spayed.
Vaginal bleeding is not a common sign that a cat is ready to mate. When a female cat urinates on her surroundings, she is letting male cats know that she wants to mate. During this time, tomcats in the area might show up and try to mate with the female cat. If the males are unable to mate with her, they usually spray urine in the area to mark their territory.
Once a female cat become pregnant, she will remain pregnant for approximately 9 weeks. It is usually hard to tell if a cat has become pregnant until after she has been pregnant for longer than 3 weeks. To prevent a cat from becoming pregnant, keep them indoors while they are in heat.