How Often Do Cats Go Into Heat? All You Need To Know

The question which frequently comes up if you own a cat is, ‘How often do cats go into heat? Well, the answer to that is In the absence of sterilization, her body will undergo significant hormonal cycles called estrus.

Your cat’s body will be prepared for reproduction throughout these cycles, which will occur at regular intervals throughout her life. All you need about your queen’s estrus, such as how often it happens and what to expect from a cat in heat, are elaborated below. Read on for all the required information. 

Cats are sophisticated and intellectual animals that have lived with humans for over 9,500 years. And if you own a feline companion, you can first-hand vouch for that supreme intelligence and elegance. Owning these furry, four-legged enigmas is an elating experience altogether, for every day can be an exciting adventure!!

Well, While there are a lot of amazing things to discover about your cat, did you know that a female cat that hasn’t been spayed is officially referred to as the “queen”? This is the designation assigned to felines that undergo heat periods. You could very well expect more than just an attitude from your queen. 

How Long Does a Cat Heat Cycle Last?

Each heat cycle in felines lasts for several days, with the average length spanning over six to seven days, in the least. During this estrous cycle period, ovulation (that is, the release of a mature egg from the ovary) occurs only if the female cat mates.

The signs of heat disappear within 24-48 hours following ovulation. However, in the contrasting case, if the feline is not mated during estrus, the unspayed female cat falls out of the heat for a brief period.

Therefore, overall considering the mating and not breeding circumstances during the heat period, a cat’s complete estrous cycle can last anywhere from one to six weeks, with the duration of a typical process spanning over three weeks. 

What Happens When Cats Go into Heat?

how often do cats go into heat

A biological process designed for procreation, felines exhibit several elementary changes. To begin with, despite the whining and yearning for attention, cats do not feel cramps or other physical symptoms during their heat periods.

However, a rush of hormones will incline your cat to become highly anxious for mating. If your cat scents prospective mates around throughout the cycle and is disposed to reaching them out, she will become more vocal, particularly in the evenings.

Furthermore, she might gravitate towards wanting her rear end caressed and may also rub it on her owners. When a feline is in heat, she will urinate more often or spray it against vertical barriers.

This is due to the fact that feline urine includes hormones and pheromones that aid in the attraction of male cats. And though Feline courting habits may seem strange to you, they are quite effective in attracting partners for mating. 

According to the experts, It might be challenging to know if your cat is in heat unless you notice unusual lavatory behaviors or the presence of tomcats around. In fact, It’s not immediately evident.

Do Cats Bleed While in Heat?

While it might seem reasonable to believe that a cat in heat would have the same physical symptoms as a woman going through her menstrual cycle, however, the truth is far apart. To begin with, shedding uterine lining does not occur in cats.

Therefore, heat should not, contrary to common perception, result in vaginal bleeding (in case you notice your female cat is bleeding, consulting your veterinarian is highly recommended).

In reality, this biological process primarily takes place when a cat’s body is hormonally primed and receptive to reproduction.

At What Age Can Cats Get Pregnant?

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The average female cat goes into heat (or estrous cycles) between 6 and 9, although heat cycles can begin as early as four months and last as long as 12 months.

While Short-haired breeds cycle sooner, the longer-haired or more giant species may not exhibit symptoms of heat until they are 18 months old.

Therefore, in general, Cats achieve sexual maturity (and hence the ability to reproduce) around four months.

How Often Do Cats Go Into Heat?

The “estrous cycle” refers to a cat’s period of being in heat. While “Queen” is the term used for a healthy unspayed female cat. 

Puberty, or sexual maturation, is a phase that occurs in cats that is comparable to the one that happens in humans. In the case of felines, sexual maturity is attained at different ages amongst different breeds of cats.

In general, a kitten’s average age of sexual maturation ranges between six to ten months. However, sometimes it can start as early as four months.

Seasonally polyestrous, cats undergo several mating cycles during the breeding season. Furthermore, the breeding season usually occurs during the warmer temperatures, and the daylight hours are longer.

With the onset of estrous cycles, cats may go into heat as frequently as every 2-3 weeks. In fact, in case of the absence of pregnancy, a cat can go into heat as frequently as every two to three weeks. And as menopause does not take place in cats, heat cycles continue to occur in elderly cats, as well.

What Are the Signs of a Cat in Heat?

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If your cat is in heat, you should watch out for the following signs and symptoms. It’s possible that your cat:

  • Begin to make loud and amusing noises, more vocalization than average. 
  • Frequent Restlessness and anxiety 
  • Crawling low to the ground accompanied with a moaning sound 
  • Becomes more friendly with people, things, and other animals (rubbing or stroking up against furniture, objects, doorways, and you!!)
  • Grooming (licking genitals) more often than usual. 
  • Trying to flee outside, scratching on doors and windows. 
  • Assume the mating posture (behind in the air, tail to the side) 
  • lose of appetite 
  • urinate to indicate territory

Therefore, If your unspayed cat is meowing, groaning, or wailing, walking weirdly, rubs up against you and your furniture, or takes particular extra care of her genitals, well, you most probably have got your hands filled with a cat in heat. 

How Do Cats Act When They Are In Heat?

A rush of hormones initiates several changes in a cat in heat. At the outset, the felines become highly anxious to mate as a result of a hormonal surge. Besides the basic urges for mating, you may notice your cat take on a more attentive and affectionate temperament, in general.

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During the heat cycles in cats, the physical affinity intensifies, resulting in the cats stroking, nuzzling as well as rubbing up against furniture, walls, and their favorite humans.

The felines in heat are likely to rub their hindquarters in particular and will likely undertake the mating posture with their hindquarters and tail elevated regularly. Other noticeable signs will be a loss of appetite along with increased grooming.

She may lick her genitals a lot and sprays to mark her territory. Vocalization and spraying are the most challenging aspects of heat for an owner. To entice a male to mate, cats in heat vocalize loudly and frequently.

They may also use strong-smelling spray on walls or furnishings. In an attempt to express their availability to available males, they may also spray walls or furniture with strong-smelling urine.

She could also make a desperate attempt to flee the room to locate a partner, scratching on windows and doors to escape. All of this is typical during heat periods. 

How Your Cat’s Heat Cycles Work?

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There are several stages to a cat’s heat cycle. When a female reaches puberty at around six months old, she experiences her first estrous or the heat cycle. 

Puberty, also known as sexual maturity, is a period that cats go through to reach reproductive maturity, and it is similar to that of humans.

Depending on the time of year or the different genetic constitutions of the varying breeds, your kitten can attain puberty at a very young age or even at an older age. In general, a kitten’s sexual development takes place between the ages of six and ten months.

Furthermore, the breeding season is typically associated with higher temperatures and longer daylight hours. 

The days when a female cat is in heat are known as the estrous period of her cycle. Each heat cycle lasts approximately six days. Cats may go into heat as regularly as every 2-3 weeks once their estrous processes begin. 

The cat will enter the “out of the heat” period for an average of 14 days if they do not mate during this period; this is the next stage of the progressing Estrous cycle. 

Your cat will go into heat again for approximately six days after the “out of the heat” period, again lasting for about three weeks on average. The heat cycle, on the other hand, can last up to six weeks. 

During this heat period, you may locate various tomcats in your yard during your cat’s heat. Cats in heat tend to vocalize loudly and repeatedly to persuade the opposite sex to mate with them.

They may also urinate on walls or furniture to indicate their availability to potential men. She might even make a last-ditch attempt to depart the place in search of a companion, scratching on windows and doors to get out. 

If your cat becomes pregnant, the gestation period ( the fetus’s development period inside the female body) will last between 64 and 71 days, with an average gestation of 9 weeks. Once the kittens have started to wean, your cat will go into heat again two to three weeks after giving birth.

When During Her Heat Cycle Can My Cat Get Pregnant?

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“Queening” is the process of a mom cat preparing to produce kittens. Female cats can get pregnant as soon as four months old if they have not been spayed. However, the typical reproductive age is 6 to 10 months, when most cats reach estrous.

From the spring until the early fall, queens might go into heat every two to three weeks, making them more likely to procreate. Furthermore, Felins exhibit induced ovulation (i.e., the eggs only emerge from the ovaries when breeding occurs); they can get pregnant at any point throughout their heat period.

However, a feline must mate three to four times in 24 hours for ovulation, that is, the release of eggs to take place. Following the completion of ovulation, a feline goes out of heat within a day or two. 

A litter of felines can have multiple fathers since a female cat can mate with other tomcats while in heat. Cats are highly indiscriminate when mating, which means that inbreeding is typical ( for instance, siblings mating with siblings).

This implies that no matter how old an unneutered cat is, once she hits the heat cycle, the chances of her getting pregnant intensify severalfold. If cats are not spayed, they will go through heat cycles for the rest of their lives, as menopause is just not a thing for them.

Factually speaking, a cat with a 15-year lifespan may give birth to up to 180 kittens during that period!! 

How Can I Prevent My Cat From Going Into Heat?

Spaying (sterilizing) your cat is the only method to ensure that it will not undergo the heat cycle and become pregnant. This procedure is performed under general anesthesia.

Veterinarians prefer to neuter kittens when they are around six months old before going through their first heat cycle (the process is called an ovariohysterectomy). However, adult cats and kittens under the age of six months can also undergo sterilization. 

Spaying your cat can also lower your cat’s risk of developing some reproductive malignancies. What’s more, controlling and curbing the rising population of potential litters ensure that fewer unwanted kittens are looking for forever homes.

Therefore spaying your cat provides the best solution if pregnancies are unwanted in cats.

What Can I Do If My Cat Is Already In Heat?

At the point when your furry baby is already in heat, you need to take certain precautions to guarantee their safety and comfort, as well as their sanity.

Irrespective of the course of action, the end goal should be to relax your cat and relieve their worry and Restlessness. Therefore, the following are the things to ensure during your cat’s heat cycles: 

  • Shower them with affection and attention. Pay close attention to them. Physical touch and awareness should help to relax your cat and alleviate some of her Restlessness.
  • Keep your cat close by or keep an attentive eye on them. Keeping the felines inside your house at all times, away from tomcats, is necessary to prevent unwanted pregnancies. You will be required to confine them to a particular area of your home, such as the bedrooms or other back-of-the-house areas. It’s much better if your house has many levels. Keep your fur baby away from windows or glass doors where they could view tomcats since this will make them even more aroused, enthusiastic and agitated. 
  • If your cat is getting highly nervous, anxious, or restless and needs to go for some fresh air, ensure to make a cat enclosure so your cat may enjoy the outdoors while being safe and secure from other cats.
  • Play with your fur baby to keep them occupied. If physical touch isn’t enough to keep your cat interested, investing in some new toys and having fun playing with them might help you pass the time.
  • If you need to out and leave your cat in the heat for several hours. Ensure she has at least one human around (you can always loo out for caretakers). Besides this, ensuring the total confinement of your cat within your home in your absence is also essential. Furthermore, since some cats enjoy music, particular genres of music, you can turn on soothing music as an attractive option to assist your cat in relaxing and calming down. 
  • Maintain an odor-free litter box. More frequent cleaning of the litter box will encourage her to “mark” the box rather than your furnishings. 

What If My Cat Gets Pregnant?

The pregnancy in cats lasts for around 63-65 days. However, how to ensure your cat is pregnant? Well, consulting your veterinarian is the best way to find out. The ways to find if your cat is expecting its potential litter include: 

  • Feeling your feline’s belly can be occasionally helpful, but it’s not always accurate.
  • Your feline friend may lose its appetite or vomit often during the first few weeks of its pregnancy, especially in the mornings (morning sickness is not exclusive to humans!). You must take them to the veterinarian if this persists and also in the case that your cat is unable to eat or keep hydrated.
  • After they mate, the cat’s tummy expands, near around 30 days of mating. Their nipples swell and redden as the pregnancy progresses, which happens 2 to 3 weeks after conception (also called “pinking up”).
  • After day 16, an ultrasound can confirm pregnancy in cats. 
  • X-rays can be taken at any time throughout the pregnancy to determine the number of babies your cat is carrying ( but it is not always accurate) 
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When sure that your cat is pregnant, it is highly recommended to schedule regular visits with the vet during the term of your cat’s pregnancy. Regarding looking after your pregnant cat, It’s best to keep your cat active during pregnancy to make the delivery easy for her.

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However, towards the conclusion of your cat’s pregnancy, prevent any extremely boisterous behavior. Additionally, as she approaches her due date, concentrate on helping to keep her calm and avoid anxiety or Restlessness.

Keep a close eye on her appetite and comfort level during the pregnancy. If your cat has lost interest in her meals or appears to be in discomfort, it is highly advised to visit a doctor as this can be a sign of an underlying health issue. 

Can I Spay My Cat While She Is In Heat?

Although it is feasible to neuter a cat during its heat cycle, many veterinarians prefer not to carry out the procedure.

The feline’s reproductive organs and associated blood vessels get engorged with blood during the estrus cycle, making the spaying and elaborated time-consuming method. Because the procedure takes longer to conduct, your veterinarian or the hospital may charge you extra.

Though it will be time-consuming and costlier than usual, however, if you want to avoid potential pregnancy in your cat, you should get your cat spayed as soon as possible, even if she is undergoing her heat cycle.

How Can I Keep My Cat Calm While She’s In Heat?

The estrus cycle is a naturally occurring biological phenomenon for reproduction, and no way it hurts your cat.

Various approaches, such as added affection, attention, and exercise, as well as time for solitude, can help your feline to calm down during this phase. The following are a few examples of frequently used methods:

  • Shower your cat with a lot of love and attention. While your cat is in heat, give her extra attention to help her relax. Spend time with your fur baby in a meaningful way. Permit her to snuggle up in your lap. What’s more, brushing her gently proves beneficial to both her coat and her temperament. Keep her close by. 
  • Maintain a clean setting for your feline. A cat in heat may begin urinating in her territory ( that is your humble adobe!). If your cat is in heat, the last thing you want is for it to mark your furniture, carpet, or other furnishings. Therefore, to avoid his, it is recommended to maintain the cleanliness of your cat’s litter box— keeping it much cleaner than usual — to keep them from marking other places when in heat. If your cat can’t smell itself in the box, she’ll keep drawing the same territory rather than exploring new ones; it’s just doing what comes naturally to her. Therefore, manipulation with cleanliness can work in your favor. 
  • Don’t yell at them or criticize them in any way. It’s important to remember that your cat can’t help but be in heat; it’s a biological phenomenon. If you walk up to them and tell them to be quiet, for example, instead of soothing them down, you could make them even more nervous and restless.
  • When a cat is in her heat cycle, she is more likely to be aggressive and stressed. While you won’t eliminate these symptoms, you can control them by providing additional outlets for their hostility. Cats tend to feel better if they get more activity. During your cat’s heat cycle, exercise and playing are beautiful diversions. A weary cat will sleep more soundly after a session with a laser dot. In keeping your cat entertained, interactive toys such as a feather hanging from a twig can work wonders. A scratching post may also help your cat relax during her heat cycle when she is more anxious than usual.
  • Allow cats to be alone and isolated. Even if your cat is typically highly active and approaches playtime with vigor, she may prefer isolation during her estrus cycle. Allow her to establish a haven in a towel-lined closet box, elevated sleeping space on a high shelf, or her cat tree. Make sure to keep her indoors and away from other cats, especially the male populations. 

What Else Should I Do For My Cat While She’s In Heat?

Regardless of how you manage your fur baby’s stress, one thing you must do is safeguard your feline’s dwelling and environment. It’s best not to let your cat out during her heat cycle, and you don’t want male cats roaming about your yard.

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Try to keep windows, and doors shut whenever possible, and make sure there are no holes in screens or cracks from where your cat may escape, or a male cat could enter your home. 

When leaving your feline at home for several hours, check on her to ensure she is safely tucked in the house and not wandering about. Keep dog doors, windows, and screen doors closed to ensure that any exit is safe and secure.

If more than one tomcat turns up for courting during your cat’s estrus, a battle is likely to ensue, worsening your kitty’s already heightened the state of Restlessness. Allowing your cat to roam when she is in estrus might result in an unexpected pregnancy. Therefore keep her indoors. 

A cat in heat, maybe a handful. Spaying your female cat will prevent her from not just going into heat in the future, but also the potential unwanted pregnancies as well as health issues such as cancer. 

When Does a Female Cat Go Into Heat For the First Time?

When cats reach adolescence, they undergo their first estrous (reproductive) cycle. The estrous cycle in layman language is called the heat cycle in cats. Puberty, or sexual maturity, in cats, commences at the age of six months.

However, this might vary significantly depending on the time of year, genetics, breed, and other factors. It is not uncommon for a female kitten to go into heat for the first time at the young age of four months or at as old as twelve months old.

Is There a Specific “Breeding Season” for Female Cats?

Most animal species have a designated breeding season. Seasonal changes in daylight hours or temperatures are frequently responsible for this. This applies to domestic cats as well as the wild and feral members of the Felidae family.

The female cat’s body will go into heat when the temperatures are higher, and there are 14 to 16 hours of daylight. At the same time, during winter, a feline will be less likely to go into heat because the sunlight is lesser.

If she does go into estrus, it will most likely be less regularly until the warm season arrives.

What Is a False Pregnancy in Cats?

In cats, false pregnancy develops when they have been induced to ovulation but have not conceived. A phantom pregnancy, also known as pseudocyesis or pseudopregnancy, happens when a fully grown female cat shows all of the pregnancy symptoms without really being pregnant.

False pregnancy usually occurs six to twelve weeks after the cat is in estrus or heat cycle. The only way to know if a bit of fur baby is pregnant or is experiencing a false call is by taking it to the vet.

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As false pregnancies can resemble severe illnesses, it’s critical to contact a veterinarian as soon as possible in case of any doubt.

In case of false pregnancy, the female cat may exhibit some basic signs of undergoing gestating. For instance, their mammary glands may expand with milk, pink nipples, behavioral changes, etc. 

Furthermore, in some cases, even after being spayed, a female cat may show indications of false pregnancy or pseudopregnancy.

This often results due to an incomplete spay operation, in which ovarian tissue remains inside the cat’s body, and the condition is called “ovarian remnant syndrome”. This necessitates a second operation to remove the leftover ovarian tissue. 

What Happens During the Spaying Procedure for Female Cats?

Spaying a female cat (also known as an “ovariohysterectomy”) is a quick process. It includes the following procedure: 

  1. The female cat will be anesthetized (with general anesthesia) using a face mask after putting on a heating cushion for comfort. 
  2. The cat’s blood oxygen levels and heart rate will be monitored throughout the spay procedure to ensure that everything goes smoothly. 
  3. Following this, the area around the surgical incision is shaved and sterilized. The veterinary surgeon can remove the uterus, reproductive tract, and ovaries from the female cat’s abdomen through this incision. 
  4. After this, the incision is stitched using dissolvable stitches. Skin staples or adhesives are sometimes utilized as well. This will take near about an hour.
  5. The veterinarian will deliver an injection to counteract the effects of the anesthetic after the spay procedure. In most cases, this injection takes action in as little as 15 minutes. 
  6. Following the procedure, the veterinary surgeon will enlighten the pet parent on the proper administration of pain medication after the female cat is awake and can walk around. This will help to reduce any post-surgical discomfort. 
  7. The pet parent will be given a detailed post-operative care plan to keep their cat calm and quiet so that healing may proceed as quickly as possible.

How Often Do Female Cats Go Into Heat?

Seasonally polyestrous cats experience several estrous cycles throughout the breeding season. A cat can go into heat as frequently as every two to three weeks if she does not become pregnant during the heat cycle. 

Geographic and climatic parameters like temperature and the number of daylight hours are vital in determining cats’ onset of heat periods. When a cat comes to achieving sexual maturity is highly determined by the number of daylight hours (having a significant influence). 

In general, Cats in the Northern Hemisphere cycle from January until the end of the season. In contrast, the felines of the tropical climates or those who spend most of their time indoors are known to cycle all around the year.

How Often Do Male Cats Go Into Heat?

Male cats do not undergo heat cycles. However, they achieve sexual maturity about the same time as their female counterparts if they are not neutered, as early as four months but generally closer to six months.

As he reaches reproductive maturity, you may observe behavioral changes in your male kitten, such as urine marking, pungent-smelling urine, and attempts to get outside to locate a mate.

How Often Do Cats Go Into Heat When Spayed?

The whole reproductive tract (including both ovaries and the uterus) is surgically removed when your pet is spayed. As a result, your spayed cat no longer has ovaries, does not generate estrogen, and does not go into heat.

How Often Do Cats Go Into Heat In A Year?

Felines may go into heat as consistently as every 2-3 weeks once their estrous cycles begin. A cat can go into heat as regularly as every two to three weeks without pregnancy.

How Often Do Female Cats Go Into Heat And How Long Does It Last?

Seasonally polyestrous, Felines undergo several breeding cycles throughout the heat periods. Geographic and climatic elements like temperature and the duration of daylight hours will influence the mating season.

An indoor cat that hasn’t been spayed will go into heat every two to three weeks, with each cycle lasting at least six days. Your cat’s heat cycles will continue until she is spayed or becomes pregnant.

How Often Do Cats Go Into Heat After Having Kittens?

Cats often reproduce in the spring and summer, giving birth to offspring after 65 days after conception. However, after about one week to a month, a cat might go into heat again after having kittens.

How Often Do Bengal Cats Go Into Heat?

Every 2-3 weeks, Bengal cats will go into heat for 4-7 days at a time. This varies. Some felines go into heat and don’t come out until they’re bred. When a kitten is in heat, she will call (yowl, loudly) to draw attention to her predicament.

How Often Do Siamese Cats Go Into Heat?

In the case of the Siamese members of the Felidae family, the females are known to go in and out of their heat period with ten to fifteen days of the seasonal estrous cycle. Also, this breed of felines experiences the onset of the heat cycle as early as four months old.

How Often Do Persian Cats Go Into Heat?

Persian cats may display continuous heat cycles in early spring (averaging 14 to 21 days from the start of one cycle to the beginning of the next), followed by further separated cycles in late spring. Each feline has her regular rhythm.

How Often Do Sphynx Cats Go Into Heat?

The estrous cycle in Sphynx Cats can last anywhere from 4-6 days if the female cat mates and up to three additional days if the cat does not get the opportunity to mate.

Every two weeks, this cycle repeats, and cats can become pregnant at any time of year. Like other cat breeds, seasons can also influence the estrous process in these felines. 

Conclusion

You now understand the symptoms of a cat in heat, how long the heat cycle lasts and its many components, how to soothe a cat in heat, and how to avoid undesired cat pregnancy.

We discovered that cat-in-heat behavior could begin at a young age – about five months old – and that spaying cats at this age are safe. The best strategies to avoid unplanned pregnancy in your cat are to get it spayed or neutered and to invest in a GPS location and activity tracker for your cat.

In this manner, your pet may relax from her normal heat cycle and enjoy exploring her territory while you are at ease!

FAQs

How do I stop my cat from yowling?

If your cat yowls for attention, educate her that you will only pay attention to her if she is calm. Control your desire to yell at her or lavish her with attention, especially if it is furious attention. Instead, be patient and wait for a bit of stillness. Give her the attention she desires right away.

How long does it take for a cat to stop being in heat?

The heat cycles in felines can begin as early as the fourth or fifth month of a kitten’s life and last until she is spayed or bred. Cats go through heat cycles that last from one day to several days, two weeks or longer, and recur every two to three weeks.

Why is my cat meowing loud non-stop?

Felines meow for a variety of causes, ranging from severe to attention-seeking. Illness, a desire for food, loneliness, stress, and the want for attention are just a few of them.

Why does my cat meow loudly randomly?

Felines meow for a variety of causes, ranging from severe to attention-seeking. A variety of illnesses can cause a cat to experience hunger, thirst, or discomfort, all of which can result in excessive meowing. Cats can potentially get an overactive thyroid or renal illness, which can cause excessive vocalizations.

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Gulshan
Hi, I am Gulshan, a pet blogger, and author. I've been working with the local pet groups for the past five years. I have been fascinated by our pets and am here to share that wonder with you.