Influence of Collection Method on Semen Quality in Tomcats
World Small Animal Veterinary Association World Congress Proceedings, 2014
L.S. Camargo1; C.L. Ackermann2; C. Bonaura3; M.A. Stornelli3; M.I.M. Martins4; M.D. Lopes2; F.F. Souza2
1Veterinary Hospital, University of Franca, Franca, Brazil; 2Department of Animal Reproduction and Veterinary Radiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science, UNESP, Botucatu, Brazil; 3Laboratory and Animal Reproduction Service, Faculty of Veterinary Science, National University of La Plata, La Plata, Argentina; 4Department of Veterinary Clinics, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, State University of Londrina, Londrina, Brazil

Domestic cats are the main model for reproductive biotechnologies studies to conserve endangered wild cats. In this context, semen cryopreservation is considered to be one of the most important tools to increase genetic biodiversity. The aim of this study was to evaluate the influence of semen collection methods on the sperm quality of domestic cats. Semen was collected from 21 tomcats by artificial vagina (14 samples, 3 males), electroejaculation (5 samples, 5 males) and from cauda epididymis (13 samples, 13 males). Fresh and post-thawed semen were analyzed for volume, motility, quality of velocity, total sperm, sperm morphology, and membrane integrity. After analysis the sample was diluted (10 x 106 spermatozoa/straw 0.25 mL) in TRIS-egg yolk containing 4% glycerol. Samples were thawed at 37°C/1 minute and reassessed. The collected volume was higher when sperm cells were obtained from cauda epididymis (Table 1); however, is important to realize that diluent was added at harvest. Moreover, the motility was decreased in the samples collected from epididymis. The sperm concentration did not differ between methods, but the percentage of cells with intact membrane and the number of morphologically normal cells were higher in samples obtained by artificial vagina. Nevertheless, there is no effect of collection method in motility and vigor, although the cells derived from cauda epididymis showed decreased membrane integrity post-thaw. In conclusion the semen collection methods presented low interference on the quality of fresh or frozen sperm from cats.

Table 1. Mean ± standard deviation of sperm cells from 21 tomcats collected by artificial vagina, electroejaculation and cauda epididymis

Sperm parameters

Artificial vagina


Cauda epididymis

Volume (mL)

28.6 ± 12.8a

208.0 ± 122.0a,b

1002.7 ± 120.5b

Motility (%)

87.5 ± 5.1a

90.0 ± 0.0a

58.5 ± 9.4b

Vigor (0–5)

3.8 ± 0.4a

4.8 ± 0.4b

3.6 ± 0.6a

Total number of cells (x 106)

45.2 ± 19.4a

120.0 ± 103.3a

66.0 ± 54.9a

Fluorescence (%)

83.6 ± 8.3a

60.8 ± 17.0b

56.9 ± 16.3b

Normal cells (%)

73.1 ± 17.9a

58.8 ± 18.1b

53.2 ± 17.0b

Motility of thawed cells (%)

26.4 ± 21.7a

14.6 ± 6.2a

9.1 ± 7.7a

Vigor of thawed cells (0–5)

2.0 ± 1.5a

2.2 ± 0.4a

2.2 ± 1.4a

Fluorescence of thawed cells (%)

36.9 ± 8.1a

35.0 ± 9.9a

19.5 ± 10.7b

Normal of thawed cells (%)

56.1 ± 28.0a

24.8 ± 11.4a,b

16.5 ± 8.7b

Different letters in lines indicate statistical difference (p <0.05)


Speaker Information
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F.F. Souza
Department of Animal Reproduction and Veterinary Radiology
Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science, UNESP
Botucatu, Brazil

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