A little stray cat arrived one day and I fed her. She looked to me to be less than a year old. Rather pretty cat with bright clear blue eyes and a washed out siamese looking coat. Then one day I noticed her belly becoming quite large so I made her a nice bed. She had 6 kittens, 5 male and 1 female. She was such a good mommy, training her kittens how to catch moles and bugs. She taught them how to climb a tree and how to back down a tree. It was interesting to watch her. I decided to take her to the vet so she would not have babies again...six is enough. When her one female kitten was old enough, I took her to the vet too so she would not have babies. Since there was 5 males, I did not take them to the vet. Mind you, these are outside cats.
One by one, the male cats have wondered off, never to return. Last week, there was 2 males out of the 5 left. Now there is 1 male left. Whereas once there was a total 7 outside cats, have now become 3 outside cats.
I decided to do some research to see how far a male cat will go in search of a female cat.
The answer appears to be 6 miles. In other words, a male cat can smell a female cat from 6 miles away.
It also says that some times the male cat never returns home, that he may claim a colony of female cats.
If no other male cat has marked the territory within the 6 miles, it's highly probable that your male cat will find his way to the female cat.
I live in a rural area and when I drive down the various back roads, and main roads, I find myself always looking in the yards of people, looking to see if I can locate any of the male cats that have gone missing. I've never spotted any of them. A six mile area, can be a very large area. There's not much telling where they have gone or in which direction.
In one sense, that was comforting to know they are probably still alive some where, hanging out with one or more females. Around here, some times wild dogs roam the woods and other predatory creatures.
If you don't want your cats running off, it's best to get them spayed and neutered. When cats are spayed and neutered, they tend to go no further than a block or two from home.