Talk:Cat Development

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Cite this page: Hill, M.A. (2020, May 25) Embryology Cat Development. Retrieved from

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Cat Embryology

<pubmed limit=5>Cat Embryology</pubmed>

Cat Development

<pubmed limit=5>Cat Development</pubmed>


Development of urinary organs in domestic cat during the embryonic and fetal periods

Microsc Res Tech. 2018 Oct 20. doi: 10.1002/jemt.23135. [Epub ahead of print]

Mario LC1, Morais MP1, Borghesi J1, Favaron PO1, Oliveira FD1, Anunciação ARA1, Agopian RG2, Gomes SA3, Miglino MA1.


The embryonic origin of the urogenital system came from the intermediate mesoderm. Kidney development involves three successive renal systems with a fast chronological overlap: the pronephro, the mesonephro, and the metanephro. Due to the lack of specific knowledge about this system in cats the present work aimed to describe their urinary organs development, focusing on the structures seen in pronephro, mesonephro, and metanephro during the embryonic and fetal stages of development. The techniques used in this study were: light microscopy, immunohistochemistry, scanning electron microscopy, and transmission electron microscopy. For that, embryos and fetuses from 12 pregnant mixed-breed domestic cats in different gestational stages were used to describe the proposed organs. The pronephro is present at early stages of embryonary development in embryos from 15 to 19 days with the presence of pronephro's corpuscles, ducts and tubules. The mesonephro is found, in general, between days 17 and 37, and contains mesonephric ducts, mesonephric tubules, and glomeruli. The metanephro is seen since 21 days of pregnancy with the presence of glomeruli, proximal and distal contorted tubules and at day 37, the cortex-medullary region is already differentiated. The evaluation of these structures enhances the knowledge about embryology of the urinary system in cats, aiding a better anatomical understanding of the system in the specie allowing the correlation with other species. KEYWORDS: developmental biology; embryology; fetus; microscopy; morphology PMID: 30341968 DOI: 10.1002/jemt.23135

Assisted Reproduction in the Female Cat

Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract. 2018 Jul;48(4):523-531. doi: 10.1016/j.cvsm.2018.02.002. Epub 2018 Apr 12.

Johnson AK1. Author information Abstract Assisted reproduction in the queen can range from simple ovulation induction to more advanced techniques such as in vitro fertilization. This article describes techniques available and the success associated with each. KEYWORDS: Cryopreservation; Embryo transfer; Feline; In vitro fertilization; Ovulation induction; Queen PMID: 29656770

Lipid Droplet Phase Transition in Freezing Cat Embryos and Oocytes Probed by Raman Spectroscopy

Biophys J. 2018 Aug 7;115(3):577-587. doi: 10.1016/j.bpj.2018.06.019. Epub 2018 Jun 20.

Okotrub KA1, Mokrousova VI2, Amstislavsky SY3, Surovtsev NV4.


Embryo and oocyte cryopreservation is a widely used technology for cryopreservation of genetic resources. One limitation of cryopreservation is the low tolerance to freezing observed for oocytes and embryos rich in lipid droplets. We apply Raman spectroscopy to investigate freezing of lipid droplets inside cumulus-oocyte complexes, mature oocytes, and early embryos of a domestic cat. Raman spectroscopy allows one to characterize the degree of lipid unsaturation, the lipid phase transition from the liquid-like disordered to solid-like ordered state, and the triglyceride polymorphic state. For all cells examined, the average degree of lipid unsaturation is estimated as ∼1.3 (with ±20% deviation) double bonds per acyl chain. The onset of the lipid phase transition occurs in a temperature range from -10 to +4°C and does not depend on the cell type. Lipid droplets in cumulus-oocyte complexes are found to undergo abrupt lipid crystallization shifted in temperature from the ordering of the lipid conformational state. In the case of mature oocytes and early embryos obtained in vitro, the lipid crystallization is broadened. In the frozen state, lipid droplets inside cumulus-oocyte complexes have a higher content of triglyceride polymorphic β and β' phases than estimated for mature oocytes and early embryos. For the first time, to our knowledge, the temperature evolution of the phase state of lipid droplets is examined. Raman spectroscopy is proved to be a promising tool for in situ monitoring of the lipid phase state in a single embryo/oocyte during its freezing. PMID: 30099990 PMCID: PMC6084414 [Available on 2019-08-07] DOI: 10.1016/j.bpj.2018.06.019


Doppler ultrasonographic assessment of maternal and fetal arteries during normal feline gestation

Anim Reprod Sci. 2014 Apr;146(1-2):63-9. doi: 10.1016/j.anireprosci.2014.02.003. Epub 2014 Feb 15.

Blanco PG1, Rodríguez R2, Olguín S2, Rube A2, Tórtora M2, Gobello C3.


The aim of this study was to describe Doppler parameters of uterine, umbilical, fetal abdominal aorta, fetal renal and fetal internal carotid arteries, as well as fetal heart rate (FHR), during normal feline gestation. Fifteen, 1-4 years of age, weighing 2.5-3.9kg, domestic short-hair pregnant queens, which were born in our institutional cat colony were included in this study. Color and pulsed-wave Doppler evaluations of uterine arteries were performed every 10 days (Day 0, 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60) from mating. Fetal Doppler and M-mode ultrasonography were performed to assess umbilical, fetal abdominal aorta, fetal renal, fetal internal carotid arteries and FHR. Both peak systolic velocity (PSV) and end diastolic velocity (EDV) of uterine artery increased up to parturition (P<0.01), while resistance index (RI) decreased from Day 10 onwards (P<0.01). From Day 40 onwards, RI of umbilical artery diminished, while PSV and EDV augmented (P<0.01). Fetal abdominal aorta (P<0.01), renal (P<0.01) and internal carotid (P<0.01) arteries diminished their RI from Days 40, 60 and 40 onwards, respectively. Both PSV and EDV of these three arteries increased progressively. Fetal heart rate was first registered on Day 20 when it began to increase up to Day 40 and then diminished to the end of gestation (P<0.01). It is concluded that blood flow of uterine, umbilical, fetal abdominal aorta, fetal renal and fetal internal carotid arteries progressively increased during normal feline pregnancy, while FHR rose to mid gestation and then decreased up to parturition. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. KEYWORDS: Cat; Doppler; Pregnancy; Ultrasound; Umbilical artery; Uterine artery

PMID 24602508

Annotated features of domestic cat - Felis catus genome


Sequencing and comparative genomic analysis of 1227 Felis catus cDNA sequences enriched for developmental, clinical and nutritional phenotypes

BMC Genomics. 2012 Jan 18;13:31. doi: 10.1186/1471-2164-13-31.

Irizarry KJ1, Malladi SB, Gao X, Mitsouras K, Melendez L, Burris PA, Brockman JA, Al-Murrani SW.


BACKGROUND: The feline genome is valuable to the veterinary and model organism genomics communities because the cat is an obligate carnivore and a model for endangered felids. The initial public release of the Felis catus genome assembly provided a framework for investigating the genomic basis of feline biology. However, the entire set of protein coding genes has not been elucidated. RESULTS: We identified and characterized 1227 protein coding feline sequences, of which 913 map to public sequences and 314 are novel. These sequences have been deposited into NCBI's genbank database and complement public genomic resources by providing additional protein coding sequences that fill in some of the gaps in the feline genome assembly. Through functional and comparative genomic analyses, we gained an understanding of the role of these sequences in feline development, nutrition and health. Specifically, we identified 104 orthologs of human genes associated with Mendelian disorders. We detected negative selection within sequences with gene ontology annotations associated with intracellular trafficking, cytoskeleton and muscle functions. We detected relatively less negative selection on protein sequences encoding extracellular networks, apoptotic pathways and mitochondrial gene ontology annotations. Additionally, we characterized feline cDNA sequences that have mouse orthologs associated with clinical, nutritional and developmental phenotypes. Together, this analysis provides an overview of the value of our cDNA sequences and enhances our understanding of how the feline genome is similar to, and different from other mammalian genomes. CONCLUSIONS: The cDNA sequences reported here expand existing feline genomic resources by providing high-quality sequences annotated with comparative genomic information providing functional, clinical, nutritional and orthologous gene information.

PMID 22257742


Follicular growth monitoring in the female cat during estrus

Theriogenology. 2011 Oct 15;76(7):1337-46. Epub 2011 Jul 28.

Malandain E, Rault D, Froment E, Baudon S, Desquilbet L, Begon D, Chastant-Maillard S. Source INRA, UMR 1198 Biologie du Développement et Reproduction, Jouy en Josas, France.


Follicular growth in the feline ovary is usually detected indirectly, through behavior observation, vaginal smears, or more invasively, by estradiol assay in blood. This study was designed to describe follicular dynamics by transabdominal ultrasonography. Secondly, the stage of follicular growth was associated to behavioral and vaginal changes. Ovarian ultrasonography was performed during nine anovulatory and 12 ovulatory cycles. Forty-eight follicles were followed during anovulatory cycles: on the first day of estrus behavior, 4.8 ± 0.2 follicles (2 to 7 per female) of 2.3 ± 0.01 mm mean diameter were present. Follicular growth continued at a rate of 0.2 ± 0.04 mm per day. At least one follicle in the cohort reached a diameter greater than 3.0 mm. Maximal follicular growth (when one follicle of the cohort reached the maximal diameter observed for the whole estrus) was reached 3.8 ± 0.3 days after the onset of estrus with the largest follicle reaching a diameter of 3.5 ± 0.04 mm. Growth of the various follicles within a cohort was not exactly synchronous. When no ovulation took place, the follicular diameter decreased by 0.1 ± 0.01 mm per day until the end of estrus. The first day after the end of behavioral estrus, the diameter of the largest follicle in each cohort was 2.7 ± 0.05 mm. No correlation was found between follicular development and either vaginal smear characteristics, or time elapsed since the onset of estrus. When ovulations were mechanically induced after one follicle had reached 3.0 mm in diameter, artificial insemination produced normal pregnancy rate and litter size: four pregnant females out of nine, and 2 to 4 kittens per litter. Ultrasonography proved thus to allow the monitoring of follicular growth in the female cat, with low correlation with behavior and vaginal smear modifications. Further studies are needed to evaluate the interest of an ultrasonographic ovarian follow-up to determine the optimal moment for ovulation induction prior to artificial insemination.

Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

PMID 21798582


Developmental changes of Müllerian and Wolffian ducts in domestic cat fetuses

Inomata T, Ninomiya H, Sakita K, Kashiwazaki N, Ito J, Ariga M, Inoue S. Exp Anim. 2009 Jan;58(1):41-5. PMID: 19151510

Development of external genitalia in fetal and neonatal domestic cats

J Vet Med Sci. 2009 Feb;71(2):139-45.

Inomata T, Ariga M, Sakita K, Kashiwazaki N, Ito J, Yokoh K, Ichikawa M, Ninomiya H, Inoue S.

Department of Laboratory Animal, School of Veterinary Medicine, Azabu University, Sagamihara, Kanagawa, Japan. Abstract Development of the external genitalia of fetal and neonatal cat were studied macroscopically, paying attention to the formation of the labia and the sexual differentiation. The female urogenital folds budded from each side of the genital tubercle and, gradually extended to the tip of the genital tubercle by the 6.8 cm stage in crown-rump length. Then, the well-developed urogenital folds ensheathed completely the genital tubercle to form the prepuce of clitoris and the labia, flanking the external opening of vagina as the folds of skin which were equivalent to the labia minora in humans. The genital swellings known to become the labia majora in humans were clearly recognized in the caudolateral region of the genital tubercle during the fetal stage. These swellings became flat and obscure after birth. Thus, in cats the genital swellings did not join to the formation of the labia in the same way as in humans. The sex difference in the external genitalia was first observed at the 3.2-3.3 cm stages. In the male, the anogenital raphe appeared and the caudal portion of the genital swellings moved and fused each other at the caudal region of the genital tubercle. In the female, both features were not easy to observe.

PMID: 19262023


Sex determining of cat embryo and some feline species

Zygote. 2008 May;16(2):169-77.

Ciani F, Cocchia N, Rizzo M, Ponzio P, Tortora G, Avallone L, Lorizio R. Source Department of Biological Structures, Functions and Technologies, University of Naples Federico II, Via F. Delpino, 1 - 80137 Naples, Italy.


Sex identification in mammalian preimplantation embryos is a technique that is used currently for development of the embryo transfer industry for zootechnical animals and is, therefore, a resource for biodiversity preservation. The aim of the present study was to establish a rapid and reliable method for the sexing of preimplantation embryos in domestic cats. Here we describe the use of nested PCR identify Y chromosome-linked markers when starting from small amounts of DNA and test the method for the purpose of sexing different species of wild felids. To evaluate the efficiency of the primers, PCR analysis were performed first in blood samples of sex-known domestic cats. Cat embryos were produced both in vitro and in vivo and the blastocysts were biopsied. A Magnetic Resin System was used to capture a consistent amount of DNA from embryo biopsy and wild felid hairs. The results from nested PCR applied on cat blood that corresponded to the phenotypical sex. Nested PCR was also applied to 37 embryo biopsies and the final result was: 21 males and 16 females. Furthermore, beta-actin was amplified in each sample, as a positive control for DNA presence. Subsequently, nested PCR was performed on blood and hair samples from some wild felines and again the genotyping results and phenotype sex corresponded. The data show that this method is a rapid and repeatable option for sex determination in domestic cat embryos and some wild felids and that a small amount of cells is sufficient to obtain a reliable result. This technique, therefore, affords investigators a new approach that they can insert in the safeguard programmes of felida biodiversity.

PMID 18405438


Initial sequence and comparative analysis of the cat genome

Genome Res. 2007 Nov;17(11):1675-89.

Pontius JU1, Mullikin JC, Smith DR; Agencourt Sequencing Team, Lindblad-Toh K, Gnerre S, Clamp M, Chang J, Stephens R, Neelam B, Volfovsky N, Schäffer AA, Agarwala R, Narfström K, Murphy WJ, Giger U, Roca AL, Antunes A, Menotti-Raymond M, Yuhki N, Pecon-Slattery J, Johnson WE, Bourque G, Tesler G; NISC Comparative Sequencing Program, O'Brien SJ.


The genome sequence (1.9-fold coverage) of an inbred Abyssinian domestic cat was assembled, mapped, and annotated with a comparative approach that involved cross-reference to annotated genome assemblies of six mammals (human, chimpanzee, mouse, rat, dog, and cow). The results resolved chromosomal positions for 663,480 contigs, 20,285 putative feline gene orthologs, and 133,499 conserved sequence blocks (CSBs). Additional annotated features include repetitive elements, endogenous retroviral sequences, nuclear mitochondrial (numt) sequences, micro-RNAs, and evolutionary breakpoints that suggest historic balancing of translocation and inversion incidences in distinct mammalian lineages. Large numbers of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), deletion insertion polymorphisms (DIPs), and short tandem repeats (STRs), suitable for linkage or association studies were characterized in the context of long stretches of chromosome homozygosity. In spite of the light coverage capturing approximately 65% of euchromatin sequence from the cat genome, these comparative insights shed new light on the tempo and mode of gene/genome evolution in mammals, promise several research applications for the cat, and also illustrate that a comparative approach using more deeply covered mammals provides an informative, preliminary annotation of a light (1.9-fold) coverage mammal genome sequence. Comment in 2x genomes--does depth matter? [Genome Res. 2007]

PMID 17975172


Testis morphometry, seminiferous epithelium cycle length, and daily sperm production in domestic cats (Felis catus)

Biol Reprod. 2003 May;68(5):1554-61. Epub 2002 Nov 27.

França LR, Godinho CL. Source Laboratory of Cellular Biology, Department of Morphology, Institute of Biological Sciences, Federal University of Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil 31270-901.


There is very little information regarding the testis structure and function in domestic cats, mainly data related to the cycle of seminiferous epithelium and sperm production. The testis weight in cats investigated in the present study was 1.2 g. Compared with most mammalian species investigated, the value of 0.08% found for testes mass related to the body mass (gonadosomatic index) in cats is very low. The tunica albuginea volume density (%) in these animals was relatively high and comprised about 19% of the testis. Seminiferous tubule and Leydig cell volume density (%) in cats were approximately 90% and 6%, respectively. The mean tubular diameter was 220 microm, and 23 m of seminiferous tubule were found per testis and per gram of testis. The frequencies of the eight stages of the cycle, characterized according to the tubular morphology system, were as follows: stage 1, 24.9%; stage 2, 12.9%; stage 3, 7.7%; stage 4, 17.6%; stage 5, 7.2%; stage 6, 11.9%; stage 7, 6.8%; and stage 8, 11 %. The premeiotic and postmeiotic stage frequency was 46% and 37%, respectively. The duration of each cycle of seminiferous epithelium was 10.4 days and the total duration of spermatogenesis based on 4.5 cycles was 46.8 days. The number of round spermatids for each pachytene primary spermatocytes (meiotic index) was 2.8, meaning that significant cell loss (30%) occurred during the two meiotic divisions. The total number of germ cells and the number of round spermatids per each Sertoli cell nucleolus at stage 1 of the cycle were 9.8 and 5.1, respectively. The Leydig cell volume was approximately 2000 microm3 and the nucleus volume 260 microm3. Both Leydig and Sertoli cell numbers per gram of testis in cats were approximately 30 million. The daily sperm production per gram of testis in cats (efficiency of spermatogenesis) was approximately 16 million. To our knowledge, this is the first investigation to perform a more detailed and comprehensive study of the testis structure and function in domestic cats. Also, this is the first report in the literature showing Sertoli and Leydig cell number per gram of testis and the daily sperm production in any kind of feline species. In this regard, besides providing a background for comparative studies with other fields, the data obtained in the present work might be useful in future studies in which the domestic cat could be utilized as an appropriate receptor model for preservation of genetic stock from rare or endangered wild felines using the germ cell transplantation technique.

PMID 12606460


Anat Histol Embryol. 2002 Feb;31(1):37-51.

Periods and stages of the prenatal development of the domestic cat

Knospe C. Source Institut für Tieranatomie der Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München Veterinärstrasse. 13, D-80539 München, Germany.


Twenty-two stages of the prenatal development of the domestic cat are described for intraspecies comparison in embryological studies. These are assigned to the 15 embryonal periods based on the Nomina Embryologica Veterinaria to make the interspecies comparison possible.

PMID 11841356

Ultrasound aspects of fetal and extrafetal structures in pregnant cats

J Feline Med Surg. 2002 Jun;4(2):95-106.

Zambelli D, Caneppele B, Bassi S, Paladini C. Source Veterinary Clinical Department, Obstetrical and Gynaecological Section, University of Study of Bologna, Ozzano Emilia, Italy.


Prenatal feline fetal growth and utero-placental development were ultrasonographically evaluated using an ultrasound scanner with a 10 MHz sector probe. Uterus, placenta, embryo, fetus and fetal membranes in 16 pregnant cats were monitored during the course of pregnancy; 13 subjects underwent an ovariectomy on specific days while three subjects went to term. Various anatomic structures, fixed in Carson-buffered formalin, were sectioned and then compared to ultrasound images. By ultrasound examination it is possible to evaluate every stage of the fetal development; the gestational chamber can be seen on the 10th and the embryo inside the chamber on the 14th day. By the 20th day it is possible to evaluate all the fetal membranes, and later it is possible to appreciate organs and structures such as the stomach, intestine, eyes (crystalline lens), kidneys and the cerebral choroid plexi, on the 30th, 40th, 50th, 39th and 40th day respectively. Based on our observations, it will be simpler to locate anomalies of development or pathologies during ultrasound examination of pregnant queens.

Copyright 2002 ESFM and AAFP. Published by Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

PMID 12027508