Semen collection techniques in cats

7 January 2019 – News

This was the first study to compare the quality of fresh feline ejaculates collected by three different methods: urethral catheterization (CT), electroejaculation (EE) and epididymal slicing after orchiectomy (EP).

Electroejaculation is the first-choice technique for obtaining tomcat sperm as it doesn’t require previous training and teaser female cats. Its drawbacks are the requirement for general anaesthesia and the cost of equipment. In view of these, the other two methods are more commonly used in research.

All 34 adult male cats had two palpably descended testicles. Each of them was subjected, under general anaesthesia, to the three collection methods: urethral catheterization, followed by electroejaculation.  10-15 minutes later, each animal was orchidectomized and sperm obtained by epididymal slicing. The time between collections could be considered relevant as cats generally couple repeatedly in the wild.

CT collection was associated with the lowest percentage of normal spermatozoa.  Two hypotheses could explain this: First, that it was the first collection method used and secondly that the ejaculates contained a dilution medium.

In conclusion, following analysis of volume, motility, viability, sperm concentration, total sperm count and spermatozoa morphology, it was confirmed that the best results were obtained by the electroejaculation method.  Samples obtained by urethral catheterization were not comparable to either EE or EP so its value stills need to be demonstrated.

Jelinkova K, Vitasek R, Novotny R, Bartoskova A. A comparison of quality parameters of fresh feline ejaculates collected by three different collection techniques. Reprod Dom Anim. 2018;00:1–7. https://doi.org/10.1111/rda.13205