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Cats probably arrived in Australia before 1788 due to early European contacts. Since that time they have spread across the continent. Their disperal was assisted by farmers, who in the past deliberately released cats around burrows as a form of rabbit control (1).

Adult cats maintain discrete home ranges (2). They can breed at any time of the year. There is no specific breeding season, but most kittens are born in spring to late summer/autumn. Females average 2 litters a year, with an average of 4.4 kittens/litter.

cat-outside

Even though juvenile survival is limited by the availability of easily caught prey, such as young rabbits (2), a cat population can increase dramatically.

For example, in 1949, 5 cats were introduced to Marion Island. After 25 years, the population on the island was over 2000 (3).