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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

Comments

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.

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