Alley Cat Chivalry

Chivalry may be a dying occurrence among humans but among the stray and often aggressive alley cats, manners come first when it comes to meal time. A study has found that when feral cats gather around for food the toms let the females and the kittens get first choice on what’s available. The study was taken place in Rome, which has an estimated 350,000 wild cats in 2,000 colonies. The results are surprising considering with most mammals the male of the species will generally take the prime meals, such as the male lions taking the juiciest cuts of meat for themselves and leaving leftovers for the females and cubs.

Dr. Bonanni however believes that this change in dynamic is caused because of the lifestyle the wild alley cat has gone through. Since female alley cats are “almost always pregnant” and will need more food, this as well as their lifestyle has led to toms deferring to the females and kittens to improve their overall chances of survival. Though, if the toms forget their place at the dinner table the female wildcats have also changed their manners and will give them a sharp pointy reminder over the head about who gets to eat first.

Source: The Daily Mail – David Derbyshire – December 2007


  1. Having seen the cats - I can believe anything

  2. I've seen the Roma cats -they are very different to domesticated animals!

  3. In feral colonies it is usual a case of a matriarchal society.