Frisky cats abandon traditional values

Study of Italian cats' mating habits

source: Roger Dobson
Independent December 11 2000 p8

Researchers from Milan University, Italy, and Claud Bernard University, France, have studied the mating habits of cats in a square in Rome, Italy. The researchers observed 81 cats for three months, and found that the female cats had relationships with as many as 10 toms over three days. Cat society used to be organised round controlled polygamy, with each male controlling a patch and permitting two or three females onto his territory. Female cats chose their areas according to the abilities of males to produce high quality kittens. Changes in the urban environment have changed cats' behaviour. Food is more plentiful, and feral domestic cat populations have grown to high densities. Individual territories have disappeared, and big multi-female and multi-male groups have emerged, the researchers say.