Urbanisation exposes wildlife to new challenging conditions and environmental pressures. Some mammalian species have adapted to these novel environments, but it remains unclear which char- acteristics allow them to persist. To address this question, we identified 190 mammals regularly recorded in urban settlements worldwide, and used phylogenetic path analysis to test hypotheses regarding which behavioural, ecological and life history traits favour adaptation to urban environ- ments for different mammalian groups. Our results show that all urban mammals produce larger litters; whereas other traits such as body size, behavioural plasticity and diet diversity were impor- tant for some but not all taxonomic groups. This variation highlights the idiosyncrasies of the urban adaptation process and likely reflects the diversity of ecological niches and roles mammals can play. Our study contributes towards a better understanding of mammal association to humans, which will ultimately allow the design of wildlife-friendly urban environments and con- tribute to mitigate human-wildlife conflicts.