Are cats polygamous?
|Savannah cats mating. Photo: Michael|
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