Ecology of the Feral Cat, Felis catus (L.), in South-Eastern Australia II.* Reproduction
E Jones and BJ Coman
Australian Wildlife Research
9(1) 111 - 119
Reproduction was studied in feral cats collected over a 3-y period from south-eastern Australia. Litters were recorded in all months except April, but most births occurred between September and March; from October to January inclusive, all adult females collected were either pregnant or lactating. On average, females dropped two litters per year, the first in spring and the second in summer or early autumn; mean prenatal litter size was 4.4. For females, sexual maturity was reached at an estimated age of 10-12 months and a minimum weight of 2500 g. For males the onset of sexual maturity, as indicated by a more rapid increase in testes size, commenced at a mean weight of 3200 g and was completed at a mean weight of 3800 g and an estimated age of 12-14 months. The lightest males detected undergoing intial spermatogenesis weighed 2600 g. Adult males showed no significant monthly variations in either combined whole testes weight or percentage of seminiferous tubules containing spermatids or spermatozoa. However, significant monthly changes in combined epididymides weight indicated a low-intensity reproductive cycle.
Full text doi:10.1071/WR9820111
© CSIRO 1982