The expression of oestrogen-α and progesterone receptors was determined in 13 normal, 21 dysplastic and 53 neoplastic feline mammary tissues. Expression of the receptors was correlated with cell proliferation, as assessed by the MIB-1 immunolabelling index, and with the clinical course of the disease. The expression of oestrogen receptors was significantly higher in healthy tissues and in adenosis than in neoplastic lesions, and the levels of progesterone receptors increased in fibroadenomatous changes and in ‘in situ’ carcinomas but decreased in invasive carcinomas. The oestrogen and progesterone receptor status of the invasive carcinomas did not correlate either with the histological parameters or with the overall survival of the cats, although the oestrogen receptor-negative tumours had a poor prognosis. Oestrogen receptorpositive neoplasms had a significantly lower MIB-1 immunolabelling index than oestrogen receptor-negative neoplasms.