Skip to main content

Are cats polygamous?

Savannah Cats Mating
Savannah cats mating. Photo: Michael
The answer is, no, strictly speaking because cats do not get married and polygamy is a marriage in which the spouse of either sex has more than one mate at the same time.

Cats have a mating system in which females mate with multiple males and males mate with multiple females. This is near a state of simultaneous polyandry on behalf of the female cat and polygyny on behalf of the male cat.

Polyandry occurs when a female has more than one male mate at a time. Polygyny occurs when a male has more than one female mate at a time.

However, females and male cats don't appear to have mates, at the time of mating, if we apply the usual definition of the word. Female cats may be inseminated by up to ten different males and some litters have more than one father. This causes an uncertainty as to paternity. The male is unlikely to attack kittens of any female that he mated with.

Associated page: Cat Mating


xania said…
LOL hahaha Yeah totally agree with polygamy being marriage related and animals dont wed... hahaha And you nailed the answer right on... Great Blog and i must say you got a very lovely collection of cute cute cute cats...
Anonymous said…
this is a load of rubbish because what you are describing IS POLYGAMY.
have you done any animal biology/behaviour at all.
Michael Broad said…
I have no idea what you are saying. Please clarify. And if you do (unlikely) please don't insult me.

Popular posts from this blog

Cat Ear Mites

Brown gunge. Yes, I know this is a ferret! It does show the build up of dark brown to black ear wax caused by the presence of the cat ear mites in the outer ear canal. This parasite is not restricted to the domestic cat, which makes this photo valid and a useful illustration (I was unable to find a suitable photo of a cat with the condition). Photo Stacy Lynn Baum under a creative commons license. Ear mites (minute crab like creatures) are one of the causes of inflammation of the outer ear canal (scientific term for this inflammation is Otitis externa ). The outer ear canal is the tube that runs from outside to the ear drum (the pathway for the reception of sound), which can be seen when looking at the ear. Otitis externa affects humans and often swimmers as it is called "swimmer's ear" in humans. This YouTube video show ear mites under a microscope. They are not actually in the ear in this video. There are many possible causes of Otitis externa in c

Feline Mange

I'll write about three types of feline mange (a) feline scabies or head mange (b) demodectic mange and (c) sarcoptic mange. The source material is from Cat Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook - the best on the market . Generalised feline mange? Puerto Rico - Photo by Gotham City Lost And Found Feline Scabies - head mange Head mange or feline scabies, is a fairly rare condition in cats, which is caused by the Notoedres mite (head mite) that only reproduces on cats. The female mites burrow a few millimeters (that is a lot) into the skin around the head, and neck to lay eggs, which hatch and lay their own eggs. Their presence and activities causes intense itching that in turn causes the cat to scratch. The scratching will obviously be noticed and it will cause the skin to become red, scratched and worse infected. Symptoms: hair loss and scabs, thick wrinkled skin and grey/yellow crusts form plus the symptoms of scratching. Feline mange (head mange) is contagious and tr

Cat Anatomy

Cat Anatomy - Photo by Curious Expeditions . The picture above was taken at Wax Anatomical Models at La Specola in Florence, Italy. The photograph is published under a creative commons license kindly granted by the photographer. I am sorry if it is a bit gruesome. It is pretty well all I could find as an illustration that was licensed for publication. Cat Anatomy is a very wide ranging subject. The anatomy of a cat is very similar to human anatomy. If you were writing a biology book for students of biology you would go through every part of the a cat's anatomy in some detail. It would be similar to writing a book about the human anatomy. It would be a thick book and pretty boring for your average internet surfer. So, how do you limit such a big subject and make this post meaningful? The answer I think lies in doing two things: Having a quick general look at cat anatomy - an overview and; Focusing on the areas of cat anatomy that are particular to the cat and of parti