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Reprod Domest Anim. 2008 Jul;43 Suppl 2:144-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1439-0531.2008.01154.x.

Updates on reproductive physiology, genital diseases and artificial insemination in the domestic cat.

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Division of Reproduction, Department of Clinical Sciences, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden.


Reproduction in the domestic cat is characterized by large individual variations in the female oestrous cycle and in male semen quality. The female cat reproduction is strongly influenced by season, and new data suggest that it is possible that season also affects male fertility. Repeated periods of oestrus and spontaneous ovulation may lead to degenerative endometrial changes causing infertility. For artificial insemination (AI), induction of ovulation is necessary in the absence of the mating stimuli. The large variation in the relationship between follicular growth and timing of expression of oestrus complicates, however, timing of ovulation induction. Stress may lead to progesterone secretion by the adrenal glands and possibly have a negative impact on early pregnancy. The large individual variation in semen quality makes fertility evaluation and feline semen conservation a challenge. For AI, the semen can be deposited in the cranial vagina, the uterus or in the uterine tubes. Intrauterine insemination results in higher pregnancy rates than intravaginal but is more complicated. Surgical intrauterine or intratubal insemination has resulted in the birth of kittens, but is an invasive procedure that is not allowed in all countries. Transcervical intrauterine insemination with frozen-thawed semen has, however, recently resulted in the birth of kittens.

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