Dystocia in pedigree cats – how common is it?

Dystocia means difficulty in giving birth, which causes a life-threatening emergency to both the queen and her kittens. There have been a few previous studies looking at dystocia in pedigree cats; however, with the breeds changing over time and new breeds being registered, it is important to obtain up-to-date data in order to improve our understanding of dystocia in the cat. A study by Gunn-Moore in 1996 reported the overall prevalence of feline dystocia as ~6%, which varied between breeds. High levels were seen in Siamese-type cats, Persians and Devon Rex cats. A similar study was then performed in the UK in 2006 by Sparkes & others. which found different breeds were more likely to need a  Caesarean section (0-18.5%). A later study, evaluating feline dystocia using an insurance database in Sweden, found dystocia was more common in British Shorthairs, Orientals, Birmans, Ragdolls and the Abyssinians, while being significantly lower in Norwegian Forrest Cats, Maine coons, Persian/Exotics and Cornish Rex cats.

The aim of this survey is to gain a better understanding of breeders´ experiences with feline dystocia, and how it has changed over time as new breeds have been introduced. The questionnaire is divided into three parts, where we ask questions i) about your breeding, ii) the birth of your kittens and iii) the litter itself.

Your participation is entirely voluntary, all answers are anonymous and by participating in this survey, you are giving us consent to use this data for research, publication and teaching. By submitting your data, you are indicating that you have read the description of the study, are a registered pedigree cat breeder over the age of 18 years old, and that you agree to participate in this survey. This study has been approved by the Human Ethical Review Committee (HERC) at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies. If you have any further questions you can contact us at petra.cerna.mvdr@gmail.com.

Thank you for choosing to participate in this study.

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