Article

Reproductive capacity of free-roaming domestic cats and kitten survival rate.

Environmental Medicine Consortium and Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27606, USA.
Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (Impact Factor: 1.72). 12/2004; 225(9):1399-402. DOI:10.2460/javma.2004.225.1399
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To determine reproductive capacity of naturally breeding free-roaming domestic cats and kitten survival rate.
Prospective cohort and retrospective cross-sectional study.
2,332 female cats brought to a trap-neuter-return clinic for neutering and 71 female cats and 171 kittens comprising 50 litters from a cohort study of feral cats in managed colonies.
Data collected for all cats included pregnancy, lactation, and estrus status and number of fetuses for pregnant cats. Additional data collected for feral cats in managed colonies included numbers of litters per year and kittens per litter, date of birth, kitten survival rate, and causes of death.
Pregnant cats were observed in all months of the year, but the percentage of cats found to be pregnant was highest in March, April, and May. Cats produced a mean of 1.4 litters/y, with a median of 3 kittens/litter (range, 1 to 6). Overall, 127 of 169 (75%) kittens died or disappeared before 6 months of age. Trauma was the most common cause of death.
Results illustrate the high reproductive capacity of free-roaming domestic cats. Realistic estimates of the reproductive capacity of female cats may be useful in assessing the effectiveness of population control strategies.

0 0
 · 
0 Bookmarks
 · 
216 Views
  • Source
    [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The measurable benefits of animal control programs are unknown and the aim of this study was to determine the impact of these programs on pet population changes. A prospective cross-sectional study of 1000 households was implemented in 2005 to evaluate characteristics of the owned and unowned population of dogs and cats in Santa Clara County, California. The same population was previously studied 12 years earlier. During this time period, the county instituted in 1994 and then subsequently disestablished a municipal spay/neuter voucher program for cats. Dog intakes declined from 1992-2005, as they similarly did for an adjacent county (San Mateo). However, cat intakes declined significantly more in Santa Clara County than San Mateo, with an average annual decline of approximately 700 cats for the 12 year period. Time series analysis showed a greater than expected decline in the number of cats surrendered to shelters in Santa Clara County during the years the voucher program was in effect (1994-2005). The net savings to the county by reducing the number of cat shelter intakes was estimated at approximately $1.5 million. The measurable benefits of animal control programs are unknown and the aim of this study was to determine the impact of these programs on pet population changes.
    PeerJ. 01/2013; 1:e18.
  • Source
    [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT:   Our goal was to determine whether it is more cost-effective to control feral cat abundance with trap-neuter-release programs or trap and euthanize programs. Using STELLA 7, systems modeling software, we modeled changes over 30 years in abundance of cats in a feral colony in response to each management method and the costs and benefits associated with each method . We included costs associated with providing food, veterinary care, and microchips to the colony cats and the cost of euthanasia, wages, and trapping equipment in the model. Due to a lack of data on predation rates and disease transmission by feral cats the only benefits incorporated into the analyses were reduced predation on Wedge-tailed Shearwaters (Puffinus pacificus). When no additional domestic cats were abandoned by owners and the trap and euthanize program removed 30,000 cats in the first year, the colony was extirpated in at least 75% of model simulations within the second year. It took 30 years for trap-neuter-release to extirpate the colony. When the cat population was supplemented with 10% of the initial population size per year, the colony returned to carrying capacity within 6 years and the trap and euthanize program had to be repeated, whereas trap-neuter-release never reduced the number of cats to near zero within the 30-year time frame of the model. The abandonment of domestic cats reduced the cost effectiveness of both trap-neuter-release and trap and euthanize. Trap-neuter-release was approximately twice as expensive to implement as a trap and euthanize program. Results of sensitivity analyses suggested trap-neuter-release programs that employ volunteers are still less cost-effective than trap and euthanize programs that employ paid professionals and that trap-neuter-release was only effective when the total number of colony cats in an area was below 1000. Reducing the rate of abandonment of domestic cats appears to be a more effective solution for reducing the abundance of feral cats.
    Conservation Biology 09/2012; · 4.36 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Approximately ∼15% of foster kittens die before 8-wks of age with most of these kittens demonstrating clinical signs or post-mortem evidence of enteritis. While a specific cause of enteritis is not determined in most cases; these kittens are often empirically administered probiotics that contain enterococci. The enterococci are members of the commensal intestinal microbiota but can also function as opportunistic pathogens. Given the complicated role of enterococci in health and disease, it would be valuable to better understand what constitutes a "healthy" enterococcal community in these kittens and how this microbiota is impacted by severe illness. In this study, we characterize the ileum mucosa-associated enterococcal community of 50 apparently healthy and 50 terminally ill foster kittens. In healthy kittens, E. hirae was the most common species of ileum mucosa-associated enterococci and was often observed to adhere extensively to the small intestinal epithelium. These E. hirae isolates generally lacked virulence traits. In contrast, non-E. hirae enterococci, notably E. faecalis, were more commonly isolated from the ileum mucosa of kittens with terminal illness. Isolates of E. faecalis had numerous virulence traits and multiple antimicrobial resistance. Moreover, attachment of E. coli to the intestinal epithelium was significantly associated with terminal illness and was not observed in any kitten with adherent E. hirae. These findings identify a significant difference in species of enterococci cultured from the ileum mucosa of kittens with terminal illness compared to healthy kittens. In contrast to prior case studies that associate enteroadherent E. hirae with diarrhea in young animals, these controlled studies identified E. hirae as more often isolated from healthy kittens and adherence of E. hirae as more common and extensive in healthy compared to sick kittens.
    Journal of clinical microbiology 08/2013; · 4.16 Impact Factor

Full-text (2 Sources)

View
66 Downloads
Available from
Oct 24, 2013