Originally Posted by ShortNCuddlyAm
I did start to model the numbers for cats based on average litter size and the number of cats who frequent our garden, assuming that we still had ours, and that none of the cats were neutered. I then decided I had better things to do
Been done. Saw it mentioned on a blog that went into some detail on the math a few days back, but I don't remember which one. Here's the short version, though:
What is the population potential for one female cat?
The much-repeated quote that one female cat can produce 420,000 kittens in just 7 years is unbelievable and baseless. No science supports this projection, only hunches. Science disproves this projection by factoring in true birth rates along with newborn and juvenile mortality.
According to wildlife biologists, the reproductive and offspring mortality rates of free-roaming cats are similar to wild carnivores. One female cat averages six kittens per year and 75% of her kittens die before reproductive age. When using these criteria, math experts calculate that one female cat and her offspring will produce 100 cats in seven years, assuming that all adult cats remain alive for all seven years. Although still an overestimate, this figure is far less daunting and realistic.