Questionnaire-based survey of parturition in the queen

Musters, J., de Gier, J., Kooistra, H. S. & Okkens, A. C., Jun-2011, In : Theriogenology. 75, 9, p. 1596-1601 6 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

The lack of scientific data concerning whether parturition in the queen proceeds normally or not may prevent veterinarians and cat owners from recognizing parturition problems in time. A questionnaire-based study of parturition in 197 queens was performed to determine several parameters of parturition and their influence on its progress. The mean length of gestation was 65.3 days (range 57 to 72 days) and it decreased with increasing litter size (P = 0.02). The median litter size was 4.5 kittens (range 1 to 9), with more males (53%) than females (46%) (P = 0.05). Sixty-nine percent of the kittens were born in anterior presentation and 31% in posterior presentation, indicating that either can be considered normal in the cat. Males were born in posterior position (34%) more often than females (26%) (P = 0.03). The mean birth weight was 98 g (range of 35 to 167 g) and decreased with increasing litter size (P <0.01). Mean birth weight was higher in males and kittens born in posterior presentation (P <0.01). Forty-four (5%) of the 887 kittens were stillborn. This was not correlated with the presentation at expulsion but stillborn kittens were more often female (P = 0.02) and weighed less than those born alive (P = 0.04). The median interkitten time was 30 min (range 2 to 343 min) and 95% were born within 100 min after expulsion of the preceding kitten. The interkitten time as a measure of the progress of parturition was not influenced by the kitten's gender, presentation at expulsion, birth weight, or stillbirth, or by the parity of the queen. The results of this study can be used to develop reference values for parturition parameters in the queen, both to determine whether a given parturition is abnormal and as the basis for a parturition protocol. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1596-1601
Number of pages6
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Jun-2011


  • Birth, Cat, Interkitten time, Length of gestation, animal, animal disease, article, birth, birth weight, breeding, cat, female, litter size, male, physiology, pregnancy, reference value, sex ratio, stillbirth, time

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