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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Post-castration variations in weight gain in a cohort of young adult male cats.

  • Author(s): Wei, Alfreda
  • Fascetti, Andrea J
  • Kim, Kyoungmi
  • Ramsey, Jon J
  • et al.

The predisposition of cats to gain weight following neutering is well established; however, there is little information about the distribution and range of post-neutering weight gains observed in cats under a controlled environment. This retrospective study investigated 6-month post-castration weight gain and distribution of percentage body weight (BW) change in a cohort of twenty, male domestic shorthair cats relative to a control group of intact cats. Cats were matched in age (2·0-2·6 years), husbandry conditions and consumed ad libitum the same dry maintenance diet for at least 3 months prior to and 6 months following castration. All cats were castrated within 48 h of each other. All cats gained weight after castration. Mean BW was 4·67 (sd 0·70) kg at the start of the study and 5·93 (sd 1·38) kg at the end of the study, with individual weight gain ranging 3-53 % at 6 months post-neutering. The pre-conception BW of the queens of each cat was compared with the pre- and post-neutering BW of their offspring. The pre-conception BW of the queens was significantly correlated with the offspring's initial BW (ρ = 0·65, P = 0·01), final BW (ρ = 0·67, P = 0·01) and percentage BW change (ρ = 0·54, P = 0·04). A wide range of post-castration weight gains was observed among cats of similar backgrounds and housing conditions. Implementation of effective methods to control food consumption pre-conception and post-neutering may be a strategy for preventing obesity and obesity-related disorders in cats.

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