Thursday 3 November 2011

Big Cats Get More Sex

Yes, a slightly crude but also slightly eye catching title. And I must say, no surprises. In a study¹ of the "fighting ability, rank during courtship, and mating success of the male cat", the heavyweights had an advantage. In "agonistic encounters" over females in heat, heavier male cats will usually overcome lighter male cats. "Agonistic" means combative encounters or fights.

Accordingly heavier cats had greater success in mating and therefore the creation of offspring. This would seem to be a classic example of the survival of the fittest (Darwin's theory of evolution).

Cats fighting and watching - Photo by J i J y

However, when heavier males were within a feeding group other than their own they fared less well in arguments over a female. Lighter cats sometimes won. Perhaps this is because the females were less acquainted with the incoming males, were less comfortable with them and had a say in the matter.

Note: (1) Mating behaviors, courtship rank and mating success of male feral cat (Felis catus) Akihiro Yamane, Teruo Doi and Yuiti Ono.

Associated page: Cats Mating.

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