Originally Posted by ardeegee
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.
Apart from the science, it doesn't really seem to match any fact I'm aware of. Otherwise we would be drowning in kittens right now. Suburban trains would be stopped by kittens on the tracks. People walking alone at night would be attacked by hordes of kittens. Sewers and drains would be clogged by kittens. CO2 emissions would skyrocket because of all the kitten farts