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Feline dystocia: prevalence, and association with cranial conformation and breed
  1. DA Gunn-Moore and
  2. MV Thrusfield
  1. Department of Companion Animal Studies, University of Bristol, Langford, Avon.


The litter prevalence of feline dystocia was investigated using a questionnaire survey of cat breeders. Information was obtained on 2928 litters, from 735 queens. Dystocia was reported to have occurred in 5.8 per cent of litters. The level of dystocia in individual breeds ranged from 0.4 per cent of litters born in a large colony of cats of mixed breeding, to 18.2 per cent of litters in the Devon rex. Pedigree litters were at significantly higher risk than litters of cats of mixed breeding (odds ratio: 22.6). Relatively high levels of dystocia were identified in Siamese-type, Persian and Devon rex litters, whereas cats of mixed breeding showed a relatively low litter prevalence. Dolicocephalic and brachycephalic types were found to have significantly higher levels of dystocia than mesocephalic cats.

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