I was wondering if you could answer some of my questions regarding sexual selection in cats (or any other animals). I would like to apologize beforehand for my incorrect term use.

  1. When it comes to mate choice, is mutual choice for both males and females the norm? If not, is it mostly a tomcat or a female cat who does the choosing?

  2. Do female cats always have freedom to choose, or is it more like a rape or consensual sex?

  3. How do cats choose their prospective partners in the wild, what are the mechanics of this process? Does a prospective partner come with the territory or are there any courtship rituals? I am interested in mate availability for female cats and sexual selection from a female cat perspective.

Thank you very much in advance.

P.S. Any other animals will do if they do not live in groups, prides or harems. I am interested in individual choices.

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    $\begingroup$ Are you also interested in lions ? (Technically, they are also cats.) I can help you with that , if you are interested. $\endgroup$
    – biogirl
    Jan 10, 2014 at 8:58
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, thank you, that would be nice to know. Maybe they have the same behavior patterns. $\endgroup$
    – Banana
    Jan 10, 2014 at 10:43

1 Answer 1


Wilson and Reeder (Mammal Species of the World) count 40 species of Felidae. Most of them are small cats (subfamily Felinae). Lions are in the subfamily Pantherinae, which contains only 6 species, one of them the jaguar, Panthera onca, which is solitary, like the tiger, Panthera tigris. By what I know of small cats, Puma concolor included, and the tiger and the jaguar, it seems that lion social behavior is not typical of felines. (Would add that as a comment, but can't comment with reputation < 50).


Looking for "Felidae sexual selection" or 'Felidae "sexual selection"' in google I have found some links. Look for "sexual selection" or "Felidae" in the text. Though I'm afraid most of them are not exactly what you're looking for, maybe they can open new windows of thought. Hope that helps!










  • $\begingroup$ Thank you very much for your comment. If you could provide any links about female cats' sexual selection, I would be very grateful. $\endgroup$
    – Banana
    Jan 10, 2014 at 15:22
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    $\begingroup$ it would be great if you can make this more digestible. $\endgroup$
    – Memming
    Jan 10, 2014 at 15:49
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for providing all those links. I will check them out! $\endgroup$
    – Banana
    Jan 10, 2014 at 20:20

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